* CHANGINGFACES Destination Hotels & Resorts has opened a national sales office in New York, to be headed by Patti Mottolese, regional director of sales. Mottolese had been director of global insurance sales for Starwood Hotels & Resorts and, before that, director of insurance market development for Westin Hotels & Resorts.
Linda Hwong has been named senior sales manager at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., handling corporate accounts in the Midwest. She had been sales manager at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va.
Laura Gydesen has been named director of sales, Midwest, for KSL Recreation Corp., owner/operator of resorts including La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, Calif., Grand Wailea Resort on Maui, and the Doral Golf Resort in Miami. She joins KSL's Chicago office from the Grand Wailea Resort, where she was associate director of sales.
* GOINGPLACES The 360-room Bacara Resort & Spa is set to open in September in Santa Barbara County, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountain Range. In-room features include two-line phones, high-speed Internet access, and DVD players. The beachfront property offers 25,500 square feet of meeting space, including the Spanish Colonial-style 11,300-square-foot Grand Ballroom, a 220-seat screening room, and an IACC-compliant conference center, along with outdoor event terraces and lawns. A highlight of the property is its 42,000-square-foot spa facility, which includes a 3,500-square-foot fitness center.
Elaborate upgrades to the Beach House Suites by the Don CeSar, sister property to the Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa, have been completed. The 70-suite property in St. Pete Beach, Fla., is designed for extended stays and small groups and features a "culinary concierge" service that includes daily trips to the supermarket for ingredients. Each suite has a fully equipped kitchen. A 4,000-square-foot deck offers a new outdoor venue on the beach. Guests have privileges at the adjacent Don CeSar Resort.
*BEYONDBORDERS The 487-room Great Eagle Hotel on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong harbor wrapped up a $30 million renovation close to Kowloon's clothing manufacturers and the famed Nathan Road shopping district. Meeting space accommodates up to 550. In-room features include data ports and safes large enough for a laptop.
This spring, Westin Hotels & Resorts more than doubled its presence in Europe with nine new properties. In Italy, the newly branded hotels are: the 216-room Westin Palace, Milan; the 168-room Westin Excelsior, Florence; the 321-room Westin Excelsior, Rome; the 185-room Westin Europa & Regina, Venice; and the 196-room Westin Excelsior, Venice Lido. In Spain, Westin now manages the 465-room Westin Palace, Madrid; the 146-room Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville; and the 136-room Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian. Also added to the portfolio is the 140-room Hotel Bristol in Vienna, Austria.