In Jerusalem's historic Mamilla district, Hilton International opened the 385-room Jerusalem Hilton on New Year's Day. Near the western entrance to the old city, the eight-story property overlooks such historic sights at the Tower of David and the Jaffa Gate. The hotel's ballroom seats up to 500 people.
In Wales, another Hilton International project will open in early 1999. The new $34.8 million Cardiff Hilton will have the largest ballroom in the city, 200 guest rooms, a business center, a health and fitness club, and a city-center location overlooking Cardiff Castle.
Adding On Sonoma (CA) Valley Inn, a 75-room wine country property, has broken ground on a 2,000-square-foot conference facility and seven new suites. Each suite will feature a fireplace, large whirlpool tub, and private balcony, and will be individually decorated to reflect a local theme. The addition is expected to be complete this summer.
In midtown Manhattan, Millennium Broadway plans to expand with a new 124-room, 22-story tower called The Premier. Opening in January 1999, the addition will bring Millennium's room count to 751, with the new rooms offering wall-to-wall windows, two-line telephones with voice mail, modem connection, and fax machine.
Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center in Peachtree City, Ga., finished a 20,000-square-foot meeting addition at the end of January. The new wing has nine meeting rooms and two breakout areas to complement the property's 24 existing meeting rooms. A $4 million renovation of Peachtree's 250 guest rooms, public areas, and meeting facility has also been completed.
Chula Vista Resort, a 260-room, century-old property in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., is adding four new meeting rooms, for a total of 31,000 square feet of function space, and expanding its lobby area by 300 percent. The Southwest-themed resort will have tiered waterfall and 20,000-gallon aquarium in the lobby when the construction ends in early April.
Mayfair House, the stylish, 179-suite hotel in the heart of Coconut Grove, Fla.'s trendy restaurant and boutique district, is just completing a $5.5 million project that greatly enhances its ability to host meetings. The hotel, purchased by Impac Hotel Group in June 1997, is adding the new Crystal Ballroom (banquets for up to 250 people) and the Executive Conference Center, with five meeting rooms, two boardrooms, and a business center.
Transitions Ihilani Resort & Spa on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, is now the sixth North American property in the Nikko Hotels International chain. Under new management, the 387-room Ihilani will retain its name.
Marriott Conference Centers added the 28th property to its portfolio in early January with the addition of the Evergreen Conference Center and Resort in Stone Mountain Park, Ga. The 249-room property has been renamed Evergreen Conference Resort.
Since the beginning of the year, Four Seasons has managed the former Ritz Hotel in Lisbon, Spain. The 285-room hotel has been renamed Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, Lisbon.
Promus Hotel Corp., through its subsidiary Doubletree Corp., has acquired Harrison Conference Associates, which manages nine conference centers. They include Harrison Conference Centers, Glen Cove, N.Y., and Lake Bluff, Ill.; Merrill Lynch Conference Center & Training Center, Plainsboro, N.J.; The Conference Center at Dodger Town, Vero Beach, Fla.; Conference Center at Fairfield (Conn.); Nynex Learning Center, Marlborough, Mass.; Center for Executive Education at Babson College, Wellesley, Mass.; Bank of Boston Conference & Training Center, Boston, Mass.; and The R. David Thomas Center at Duke University, Durham, N.C.
Adam's Mark Hotels continues to expand with the recent acquisition of the waterfront Buffalo (N.Y.) Hilton Hotel. The company plans an extensive renovation and expansion of its newest property, now called Adam's Mark Buffalo. By the end of 1999, when the expansion should be complete, the 471-room hotel will have nearly 60,000 square feet of new meeting and exhibit space to complement the existing 16,000 square feet.
The 460-room Sheraton Long Beach (Calif.) Hotel, adjacent to the Long Beach Convention Center and Entertainment Complex, became The Westin Long Beach in early January.
Ireland's Doyle Hotel Group acquired its third U.S. property in December, renaming the Dupont Plaza Hotel as The Doyle Washington Hotel. The 314-room Washington, D.C., hotel will be closed for renovations until August. Doyle Hotel Group also owns the Washington Courtyard by Marriott and the Doyle Normandy Inn, both located in the Capitol Hill area.
The Sea Club, a five-level, 30,000-square-foot conference center built next door to the recently refurbished 313-room Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel in Monte Carlo, opened in October with a ceremony featuring Prince Rainier. This seems only appropriate, since the Principality of Monaco financed the construction of the property. The twelve meeting rooms (of which three are divisible into two rooms and one is divisible into three, for a total of 18 meeting spaces) reflect a royal touch, from the undulating ceilings meant to echo the Mediterranean's swells to the glass door handles the color of the sea. The Principality spent $22.5 million to create this dreamlike space by the sea, and every dollar shows. Most striking is the ground-level ballroom, which has glass panels that slide back to provide a view of the Mediterranean.