• US-based operator Omni Hotels and Resorts will invest US$150m (£114m, €129m) in the redevelopment of the Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas.

    Led by design-build firm The Beck Group, the work will transform the resort by adding a second hotel tower – increasing the room count from 309 to 493 rooms.

    All guest facilities will also be upgraded – including the addition of a new spa.

    The design of the new 13,000sq ft (1,200sq m) Mokara Spa, a signature brand created by Omni Hotels & Resorts, draws inspiration from nearby waterways, creeks and springs, and offers a rooftop garden and adult-only pool overlooking the surrounding landscape.

    Natural materials will feature heavily in the interior design and new facilities will include treatment rooms, a wet area and a relaxation area.

    Other wellness amenities include a health club and a multi-tiered pool deck featuring three swimming pools and an infinity edge pool.

    “We’ve always prided ourselves on offering guests true Texas hospitality and now that we are evolving the physical aspects, we expect Omni Barton Creek to be one of the most sought-after resort destinations in the South,” said David Jurcak, managing director of Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa.

    Omni acquired the Barton Creek resort from KSL Capital Partners in 2013 as part of a deal which saw four other resort properties change hands.

    The redevelopment of Barton Creek resort is the latest in a string of hotel projects to take place in Austin, which was named the fastest growing city in the US by Forbes in 2016, driven by its reputation as an emerging technology hub and a host of major events.

    The city’s hotel market is quickly catching up with demand, with new hotels being opened at a rapid pace. Last year, a 222-bedroom Sheraton and the 171-room Archer Hotel were added to Austin’s existing accommodation stock, and wellness resort operator Miraval Group – recently acquired by Hyatt – is redeveloping the Travaasa Austin Resort to be Miraval Austin.

    Austin is also home to the destination Lake Austin Spa Resort, which boasts a 25,000sq ft spa, and a recently opened spa at the JW Marriott Austin.

    Last month, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts reopened a spa at its Austin property, as part of a strategy make wellness a differentiator as competition heats up in the Austin hotel market.


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