• The Marquis los Cabos, an all-suite luxury property in Los Cabos, Mexico, will open in February. The new hotel will be between El Dorado and Cabo Royal golf courses, with 240 suites, 32 of which have private pools, and what sales director Frederique Naffrichous calls “the only swimmable beach.” Its 27,000-square-foot spa will be the largest in Los Cabos.

  • The opening of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park last January marked the return of the Ritz Carlton brand to New York after a four-year absence. The hotel occupies the first 14 floors of a striking new glass-and-brick tower, with 298 guest rooms and 12,000 square feet of conference space, including a 4,500-square-foot ballroom and an 1,800-square-foot junior ballroom. In midtown Manhattan, The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park opened at the end of April. Formerly the St. Moritz hotel, it has 277 rooms including 40 suites. And in October, the original Ritz-Carlton Boston reopened after a major restoration. The oldest Ritz-Carlton hotel in continuous operation in the United States, it anchors Newbury Street in the heart of Back Bay. Noted for the elegance of its signature cobalt blue chandeliers and views overlooking Boston's Public Garden, the hotel's dining room is also back, now under the direction of Chef Tony Esnault, formerly at the Dining Room of The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.

  • Madrid-based NH Hotels might be a new name in this country, but it has been a leading chain for business travelers in Spain, where it manages 95 hotels in more than 45 cities, and a handful of Latin American properties. In 2000, the company purchased Dutch- based Krasnapolsy, which included nearly 50 Golden Tulip hotels in The Netherlands and Belgium. All have been rebranded as NH strives to “become a leader in Europe,” according to Moria Dennert, director, international sales offices. NH Hotels also purchased the Krystal group of Mexican hotels, which have been rebranded, and the Astran hotel chain in Germany — giving it a total of 238 hotels worldwide. The hotels are known for their “eye for detail,” says Dennert, from technology to cuisine to service, “with an aim to be innovative.” For golf incentives and meetings, NH has reached an agreement with Gary Player to design and develop signature golf courses, the first of which will be La Reserva in Sotogrande, Spain.



New and Renovated Venues

Marriott International recently won the bid to build a 1,500-room headquarters hotel adjacent to Washington, D.C.'s new 2.3-million-square-foot convention center, which is under construction with a planned March opening. The new Marriott will have approximately 90,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and is slated to open in 2006, with Marriott managing the property. www.marriott.com

Ground was recently broken on Le Reve, casino-mogul Steve Wynn's new $2.4 billion hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The 2,700-room mega-resort, with an adjacent 18-hole golf course, is tagged with a spring 2005 opening date. On the site of the now-demolished Desert Inn Resort & Casino, the resort is expected to have 2,700 luxury rooms, 18 restaurants, a 111,000-square-foot casino, a Ferrari and Maserati car dealership, and an art gallery that will include works by masters. The resort's focal point will be an eight-story-tall manufactured mountain and a three-acre manmade lake. The meeting and function space square footage has yet to be announced. Although he no longer owns or runs them, Wynn is also the creator of Bellagio, Mirage, and Treasure Island.

The new 750-room Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, Scottsdale, Ariz., recently opened. The property, designed for larger groups, offers 160,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The Westin Kierland also has a full-service spa, eight restaurants, and a water park. The hotel's 60,000 square feet of indoor meeting space includes 20 function rooms and a 25,000-square-foot ballroom. T1 lines and videoconferencing capabilities are available in all meeting rooms. Outdoor function areas include seven themed locales that can accommodate up to 1,500 people. The hotel is beside a retail and shopping complex as well as a 27-hole golf club. www.starwood.com

The Oberoi Group's newest luxury resort, Udaivilas, recently opened in Udaipur, India. Set on 30 lakeside acres, the 90-room property has two restaurants that serve fine Indian and continental fare. The on-site spa offers a wide range of treatments, including aromatherapy, sandalwood and turmeric scrubs, a Hawaiian massage, and traditional Indian treatments. The 4,300 square feet of meeting facilities include six meeting rooms and a boardroom. The largest room, which comprises 1,700 square feet, seats 130 people theater-style or 72 banquet-style. Conference coordinators are on-site and theme events are available. The resort has extensive audiovisual services and equipment, as well as a full-service business center. The resort can be reached by air, rail, or road, and is in Rajasthan, midway between Delhi and Mumbai. The Udaipur airport is a 40-minute drive. www.oberoihotels.com

The 471-room St. Kitts Marriott Royal Beach Resort & Spa, St. Kitts, will open during the first quarter of 2003. It will have 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 7,100-square-foot ballroom divisible into three sections; additional meeting rooms with 5,000 square feet of space; and a boardroom and terraces. In addition, the resort will have a 15,000-square-foot health club and spa and a 35,000-square-foot casino. A championship 18-hole golf course, operated by Marriott Golf, will also be available on-site. www.offshoreresorts.com