A strong regional economy, continuing increases in visitor
arrivals, particularly from overseas, and additions to convention
facilities are prompting hotel developers to look upon New
England's cities with great favor these days.
Boston, Hartford and Providence are the most prominent
beneficiaries of the latest boom in hotel development to sweep New
England, but some smaller communities are benefiting as well.
Following is a roundup of recent and upcoming developments on
New England's lodgings scene. More than 600 hotel rooms were added
to Boston's inventory in the summer of 1998, and 16 hotels are
scheduled to open their doors in Greater Boston this year,
including four in Boston proper. Many more hotel projects are in
earlier stages of discussion.
Two major properties made their debut last year in Greater
Boston. They are the 427-room Seaport Hotel Boston, which opened in
May on the waterfront adjacent to the World Trade Center. The
property offers 17,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, a
business center, health facility, pool and underground parking.
Across the river in Cambridge, the 210-room University Park Hotel
Cambridge, a Doubletree-managed property, opened in August.
Among the first new properties to open its doors in Greater
Boston this year was a 221-room Marriott Residence Inn, which
opened in Kendall Square, Cambridge, in February.
Hotels scheduled to debut later this year in Boston include: the
362-suite Wyndham Boston, located in a landmark Art Deco building
downtown; the 63-room Fifteen
Beacon Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel that will occupy a 1902
Beaux Arts structure one block away from the Massachusetts State
House, and the 197-room Club Hotel by Doubletree at Bayside
A fall 1999 opening is planned for the 600-room Logan Airport
Hilton & Towers. The $100 million hotel will be linked to
airport terminals via walkways and will include retail shops and
extensive meeting space.
In Providence, a half-dozen hotels that are in various stages of
development are expected to boost the city's lodging inventory by
about 1,500 rooms over the next several years.
Furthest along of Providence's hotel projects is a 216-room
Courtyard by Marriott, which is scheduled to open in spring
Construction could begin as early as this spring or summer on
several other additional Providence properties, including a
265-room Hilton Suites, a 345-room Renaissance Hotel and a 75-room
boutique hotel. Also planned are a 343-room Embassy Suites and a
170-room property called the Providence Hotel.
Greater Hartford is anticipating its own boom in hotel
development over the next few years. Currently, proposals are in
the pipeline for nine additional hotels.
One new Hartford hotel that looks to be a sure thing is a
373-room Westin Hotel that's being planned for downtown. The
property will contain about 25,000 square feet of conference space,
including a restored neo-Italian Renaissance banking hall that will
be linked to the hotel by a glass winter garden. Construction is
scheduled to begin this summer, and developers anticipate the
property will open in the first half of 2002.
Also in Connecticut, Foxwoods Resort Casino is nearing
completion of its Grand Pequot Tower, an 824-room hotel that has
been opening in phases since 1997. Recent additions to the hotel
include 23 luxury villas, and a health spa and indoor pool.
The 120-room Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vt.,
completed a multimillion-dollar expansion last year. The addition
includes a new spa and sports club that contains a
racquetball/squash court, fitness equipment, Jacuzzi, steam room
and sauna. It offers spa treatments, including more than 20 types
of massage, body wraps, facials and the like. The property also
added 40 deluxe guest rooms and suites.
In New Hampshire, the classic Mount Washington Hotel and Resort,
located at the foot of the Presidential Range, this year is
extending its season to 12 months for the first time in its
history. The resort's facilities and services include 27 holes of
golf, 12 clay tennis courts, horseback riding, indoor and outdoor
pools, hiking and walking trails, five restaurants and a children's
Visitors to New Hampshire can now stay in an original
19th-century Shaker dwelling that has been restored and converted
to a 24-room inn. Located in Enfield, the Shaker Inn is furnished
with Shaker-style furniture and incorporates modern comforts.
In Maine, the owners of the York Harbor Inn have opened a
seven-room property -- the Harbor Cliffs Inn -- next door to the
York Harbor Inn. Newly renovated and elegantly furnished, Harbor
Cliffs Inn provides oceanview accommodations and working fireplaces
in four of its guest rooms.