The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London closed this summer to expand greatly its catering facilities, and to reconfigure and renovate meeting space. It is expected to be operating again by October, and will have the capacity for silver-service banquets for up to 500 people. Dinners and special events will be able to be served in the front side of the building with spectacular views of Westminster Abbey.

Marriott has a presence in Paris again, now that its 192-room Paris Marriott opened on the Champs Elysees. The first new hotel in the prestigious 8th Arrondissement since 1925, the property will offer a business center, fitness facilities, and 5,506 square feet of meeting space.

Hyatt is also making a move in Paris with the August opening of the Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine. While offering just two rooms for meetings, lunches, or cocktail parties, each of the boutique hotel's 86 rooms is equipped with two telephone lines and a data port. Fitness facilities are available.

In Ireland, a new high-end hotel, The Merrion Dublin, opened at the end of August with 131 rooms and 15 suites. Rooms are equipped with three phone lines; personalized, remote-access voice mail; and bathrobes, among other amenities. Six meeting rooms accommodate up to 50 persons.