Holiday Inn expanded its testing
of a virtual concierge service called eHost to 14 of its U.S.
hotels. The chain had been testing the system only at the
Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center in Duluth,
concierge is an intranet system that enables guests to order room
service and access information provided by a traditional concierge,
including dining options, attractions, movies, shopping,
transportation and events. Guests also may use eHost to access
weather and airline information, play games and send
Holiday Inn said it
intends to roll out eHost chainwide by the end of the year. It
plans to use the system to complement traditional concierge
Hotels agreed to acquire two hotels in San Antonio,
La Mansion del Rio and the Watermark Hotel
& Spa. The transaction is expected to close March 6.
Omni said the purchase is part of its strategy to build or acquire
properties in top business and leisure destinations.
Hospitality Corp. signed an agreement to sell a
portfolio of nine hotels and a golf and tennis
club, all located in Florida, to an affiliate of the
Blackstone Group for $367 million in cash.
MeriStar said it expects to complete the transaction during the
first quarter. The properties include the Hilton Cocoa Beach
Oceanfront and the Sheraton Beach Resort Key Largo.
Hotels opened the five-star Hotel Concorde
Berlin, a new downtown property with 311 rooms. Concorde
said the hotel has the largest guest rooms in Berlin.
Homewood Suites opened a 124-unit hotel in downtown
Salt Lake City, its second in the city and the
first property in the chain to feature two restaurants and six
retail spaces on site. The extended-stay brand typically offers
limited meal service and convenience store shopping.
Starwood signed three separate deals to
manage hotels under construction in China under its Sheraton and
Westin brands. The hotels are the Sheraton Dameisha
Resort in Shenzhen, due to open in early 2008; the
Westin Zhejiang Resort at Nine Dragon Hill, a
resort area in the Yangtze River delta region, to open in mid-2008;
and the Sheraton Zhongshan Hotel in Guangdong
province, opening in January 2009.
Seasons has three new projects in Asia. The Four
Seasons Hotel Macao opens in late 2007. Two years later,
the company plans to open its second hotel in Shanghai and the Four
Seasons Hotel Taipei.
Cayman Marriott Beach Resort is back in full operation,
following a $15 million renovation to repair Hurricane Ivan damage
and expand the meeting facilities. All rooms now have wireless
Internet and balconies.
Stay Hotels now offers wireless Internet
access at its properties in the U.S. Extended Stay Hotels
brands are Extended Stay America, Homestead Studio Suites Hotels,
StudioPlus Deluxe Studios, Crossland Economy Studios and Extended
Stay Deluxe. Extended Stay guests pay a one-time $4.99 fee, which
permits Web access for the duration of their stay.
Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Ariz., was sold to the
Morgans Hotel Group for $46.5 million by
Stephen Hanson and Danny Errico, founders of the
boutique brand. Hanson and Errico said the money from the sale
would enable them to grow the James brand. Their second hotel, the
James Chicago, is slated to open next month. The
entrepreneurs also intend to open hotels in New York, Los Angeles,
Miami, Boston and Las Vegas.
Milligan is Travel Weeklys hotel editor. E-mail him at[email protected].