LONDON? Hilton International will expand its presence in London over the next 18 months, boosting its property count to 17 and adding meeting space and 1,022 guest-rooms to its inventory. The plan, which layers in several management contracts, represents an investment of approximately $264 million. A significant portion of the investment? $165 million? will flow to the Hilton London Metropole. The property will add 373 guestrooms for a total inventory of 1,073 guestrooms, as well as 37 meeting rooms. In addition, 195 rooms will be upgraded to executive standard bedrooms and suites in tandem with a new Hilton executive lounge, and 90 deluxe standard business rooms will be brought online. A $330,000 revamp of Aspects, the property?s signature restaurant, also is scheduled, and a new 140-seat themed restaurant will be opened. When the renovations are completed in October 2000, the hotel will be the largest international convention hotel in Europe, according to the company. ?Hilton is placing London, a very important market for the company, on the international convention circuit by building a major extension to the Hilton Metropole Hotel,? said Anthony Harris, managing director-Hilton, U.K. and Ireland. Construction also is under way on the $99 million, 355-room GWR Hilton Paddington. The Hilton-managed luxury property will feature extensive meeting facilities and is scheduled for completion by year-end 2000. Hilton also has entered into two new management contracts. It has signed an agreement with London and Regional Properties to manage the 163-room Green Park hotel. The property will undergo a $6.6 million interior/ exterior renovation to bring it to Hilton standards. Previously under the Stakis name, Hilton also will manage the 131-room four-star Hilton on Trafalgar Square when it opens in late 2000. Overall, the investment brings the total number of Hilton guestrooms in London to 5,752, and meeting rooms to 150.