SPANISH
hotel chain Sol Melia has plans to roll out its new brand of Hard Rock
properties across the US.

The
first of the music-themed properties, in Chicago, will undergo a soft opening
this month in preparation for a full opening next February. The 381-room hotel
has been built in partnership with Hard Rock Cafe owner The Rank Group.

“Chicago
is the first, but we are looking at sites right across the US,” said Sol
Melia vice-president sales and marketing Luis del Olmo. “We feel

the
concept is right for the big cities.”

St
Louis, Boston and Los Angeles are among potential targets. The development is
part of Sol Melia’s plans to create differentiated products more suitable for families.
It recently opened Flintstones themed hotels in Minorca and Majorca in
association with Warner Brothers. Another Flinstones property will open on each
of the islands next year.