Upgrades and Expansions Sun International Hotels recently announced a $375 million expansion of its 1,147-room Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. By 1998, the resort will add a convention complex with a 20,000-square-foot ballroom, a 1,200-room hotel, a 50,000-square-foot casino, a water recreation and aquarium complex, and six restaurants.

The Vail (CO) Cascade Hotel & Club completed last November a $2 million renovation that updated its lobby areas, ballrooms, and prefunction areas.

At the Grand Hyatt New York, renovations are complete on all of its 1,407 guest rooms, adding larger desks, work chairs, power strips (to accommodate computers), and easy chairs. The hotel's 35,000 square feet of meeting space was also updated.

In November 1996, the Arlington (TX) Hilton embarked on a $2.7 million project to renovate all of the hotel's guest rooms and public areas (except for the Grand Ballroom which was redone two years ago) and create two concierge floors and two executive floors. The work should be completed in March. The Hilton has 310 guest rooms, plus 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

Also in Arlington, a $2 million renovation of the 310 rooms at the Marriott Arlington Hotel began last November. The project should be completed by February, and two floors at a time will be out of service during construction. A feasibility study for a 200-room expansion is also in the works.

With a redesign of the public areas, meeting rooms, and ballroom complete, the Doubletree Hotel-National Airport, Pentagon City in Arlington, VA is now renovating its 632 rooms. The project is expected to be finished by February.

Last November, the Doral Ocean Beach Resort became The Westin Resort, Miami Beach. The beachside, 417-room property was acquired by Interstate Hotels Company in October 1996 and will undergo a $10.5 million renovation during 1997, which will include the addition of 34 oceanfront guest rooms.

Caribbean Beat A number of major hotel chains are making moves on St. Thomas, USVI. Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina became a Doubletree Resort in September 1996. Doubletree's first Caribbean property offers 171 condominium units and a beachfront location. The 15-acre Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, formerly The Grand Palazzo Hotel, opened last December with 148 guest rooms and four one-bedroom suites, all with balconies. Also in December, Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort reopened after a six-month face-lift. The 300-room, all-inclusive resort has 15,000 square feet of renovated meeting and banquet space.

La Samanna, an 80-room luxury resort on the island of St. Martin, has just been added to the roster of Orient-Express Hotels, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sea Containers Ltd. Although the property now has no meeting facilities, Orient-Express Chairman James B. Sherwood says that management plans to build "modest conference facilities. We want to attract small, select groups- especially out of season." Additional guest rooms will also be built at the property, which reopened in March 1996 after renovations necessitated by Hurricane Luis.

International Scene Ritz-Carlton Hotel's first Indonesian resort, the Ritz-Carlton, Bali, is slated to open in the first quarter of the year. The 40-acre property sits on a bluff overlooking the Indian Ocean with 257 rooms, 36 one- and two-bedroom villas, and 6,243 square feet of meeting space. Special features include a two-tier pool, a 16,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, an 18-hole putting course, and three tennis courts.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will open its first resort in Mexico in February. Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos will encompass 60 suites and 114 villas looking out over the Sea of Cortez. The resort will offer an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II golf course, rooftop fireplaces, and telescopes for star gazing.