The 722-room Loews New York has become the Metropolitan Hotel, after the first phase of a $17 million restoration that brought back the hotel's 1961 Miami Beach — style look and feel. By the end of April, 260 business class rooms will have been renovated, and by April 2002, the other 462 guest rooms will have been redone as well. Plans for a mezzanine-level conference center are currently on the drawing board.

The St. Regis Monarch Beach celebrated its topping off recently. The first-ever St. Regis beach resort is set to open in August in Dana Point, Calif. The Tuscan-influenced, 400-room property will feature 30,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 60,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space, along with a full-service spa with 27 treatment rooms and a fitness center. An on-site 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course also is planned.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts is spending $70 million to upgrade the 12-property Regal Hotels portfolio it recently acquired. As refurbishment projects are completed in the first quarter, the hotels will be renamed as Millennium hotels. Among the dozen properties: the Regal Biltmore in L.A., Regal Knickerbocker in Chicago, Regal Bostonian in Boston, Regal Harvest House in Boulder, and Regal McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale.

The Mandarin Oriental, Miami has opened in Brickell Key, a 44-acre island minutes from Miami's financial district, with 329 rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental opens early this year.

The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., has completed phase one of a $14 million refurbishment. Phase one included all 176 rooms in the Ocean Tower building; phase two will include all 96 rooms in the Pacific Palisades building and 32 garden and poolside bungalows. Fairmont took over management of the hotel from Sheraton last fall. The 302-room hotel opened in 1921 and offers 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has broken ground on the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Resort on reservation land in Hollywood, Fla. The $300 million project will include a 750-room Hard Rock hotel, a full-service health spa, lakeside beach club, gaming facilities, and a town center — style retail and entertainment complex.

The 166-room Renaissance Charleston Hotel has opened in the heart of the historic district of Charleston, S.C., with 2,500 square feet of meeting space.