Roundup: The Avalon Pillow Debuts

The Avalon, a boutique hotel in New York, is giving every guest a strange bedfellow. In each of the 20 rooms and 80 suites in the property, guests will find the Avalon Signature Body Pillow. The five-foot-long and apparently ultra-fluffy pillow is reputed to be the best thing to happen to sleep since the introduction of the king-sized bed, according to the hotel.

In other hotel news...

  • Plans for the expansion of Starwood's new W Hotels brand seem to be progressing on schedule. The firm will soon open the W Atlanta and two more W's in New York, the W New York -- the Court and W New York -- the Tuscany, are slated to start in the spring. All are renovations of older properties. The first W, the W New York, opened in November.
  • Nikko Hotels International added a second hotel in Shanghai, China.
  • The Hotel Nikko Pudong Shanghai was built last year and was previously operated by Windsor Hotels International. The 31-story, 376-room hotel, has three executive floors and is a 30-minute drive from the airport.

  • The Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills completed a renovation, which the hotel said is the most extensive overhaul since the property opened in 1987. All 285 rooms and suites were involved in the renovation, which included technological upgrades such as additional telephone jacks and a wireless cellular telephone system.
  • The Leading Hotels of the World added three members. The organization's newest properties are: the Conrad International Brussels; the Cecil, in Shimla, India, and the Pan Pacific Hotel in San Francisco. With the additions, Leading Hotels of the World has 315 member properties.
  • Courtyard by Marriott, the company's midpriced brand, opened hotels in Toronto and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Three other hotels, two in Australia (in Cairns and Surfer's Paradise) and another in Frankfurt, Germany, are slated to be converted to the Courtyard brand.
  • Extended Stay America, which owns and operates StudioPLUS Deluxe Studios, Extend Stay America Efficiency Studios and Crossland Economy Studios, opened its 300th property in December. At the end of 1995, the company had two properties, but has grown an average of 76 hotels per year.
  • Marriott International will open a hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2000. The 230-room hotel, currently under construction, is the first newly built hotel in the city in 19 years and the second Marriott International property in the country. Marriott International opened the Renaissance Sao Paolo in 1997.
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