Wyndham has rebranded Baltimore's Omni Inner Harbor as the Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbor. The 707-room downtown hotel will undergo a $6 million refurbishment. It offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
Starwood has announced the opening of the renovated Sheraton Pasadena Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., which was converted from a Holiday Inn. The 317-room hotel has 12,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 2,500-square-foot ballroom.
Two Orient-Express properties in South Africa, the 226-room Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town and the 120-room Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg, recently unveiled new business wings. Guests staying in these wings will have access to a complete range of executive services plus "IT butlers," information technology experts on hand 24 hours a day. Business lounges, multilingual administrative assistance, and improved in-room technology are also features of the new business wings.
A Masonic Temple building in New Orleans is being turned into the 250-room Hotel Monaco New Orleans by Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group. The lobby's original marble floor and walls and the barrel-vaulted, herringbone-patterned ceiling will be restored. Guest rooms are being created from office spaces, while the temple's lodges will be converted to meeting space. The new hotel will open next summer.
Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts has acquired a 311-room hotel currently under construction in Chicago and set to open next spring. Located on Michigan Avenue in the North Bridge District, Le Meridien Chicago will offer 11,000 square feet of meeting space on two floors, plus a spa and fitness center.
The Westin Resort, Tremblant has opened at Mont-Tremblant in the heart of the Laurentian Mountains 75 miles north of Montreal. The 126-suite resort offers 4,100 square feet of meeting space.
The grace of a bygone era meets the technology of today in newly renovated meeting space at The Warwick in New York, located in the heart of midtown. The hotel's second-floor conference facilities total 6,332 square feet and are divisible into six meeting rooms. The new spaces retain the atmosphere of 1926, when William Randolph Hearst built the hotel. Planners can choose from 14 menus and more than 50 wines. Meeting room technology includes LCD projectors and data ports.
Melbourne, Australia Anyone who thinks all the action was in Sydney during this Olympic year simply wasn't paying attention. Construction crews are everywhere in Melbourne.
The nine-acre Federation Square development in the city center is set for completion in 2001. Ultramodern structures will house restaurants and retail outlets, plus multipurpose function space.
The restored Victorian-era Royal Exhibition Building offers lush gardens, a huge ornamental fountain, and 130,000 square feet of event space.
Just behind the REB, the Melbourne Museum opened in October with exhibits on the natural and physical sciences, social history, and culture. It holds 1,000 people for banquets in a dramatic setting, with the REB visible through glass walls on one side, and on the other, the glass-enclosed Forest Gallery, with trees, plants, fish, and birds. Other function space includes a 400-seat amphitheater and a 250-seat theater with videoconferencing.
One of the city's newest hotels is the upscale, serene Park Hyatt. The 240 guest rooms all have data ports and interactive TV; some also have fireplaces, spas, and private terraces. Meeting facilities include a circular ballroom that seats 450 people banquet-style. Features of the Park Club Health & Day Spa include an edgeless lap pool, a fitness center, a steam room, and a sauna.