By Joe Brancatelli
Des Palmes Hilton Palermo, Sicily
Hilton Worldwide has been bulking up all over Italy and once again has three hotels in Sicily. Besides its two properties in Palermo, including the Des Palmes Hilton Palermo, Hilton has put its flag on the Russott Hotel in Giardini Naxos. Halfway between Messina and Catania, the 296-room beachfront Hilton Giardini Naxos has undergone a major renovation.
- Hilton also has a new 269-room outlet in Evanston, Illinois. The Hilton Orrington/Evanston was formerly known as the Omni and the Hotel Orrington, and it first opened in 1923.
- Le Meridien, a Starwood brand, has opened a 202-room hotel in a former YMCA building in central Philadelphia. The property is adjacent to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and a block from the Philadelphia Convention Center.
- Crowne Plaza, which specializes in hotel conversions, has two more: the 179-room hotel in Independence, Ohio, that was once known as the Skyline and the Sheraton; and a 194-room hotel in San Salvador, El Salvador, that was once known as the Hotel El Salvador.
Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2009 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.