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Renovations at Aqua Waikiki Wave

October 2, 2006 By: Camie Foster Travel Agent

Boutique hotel becomes Aqua's flagship property

By the time you read these words, the finishing touches will have been made to the Aqua Waikiki Wave Hotel, the 247-room boutique hotel in the heart of Waikiki that this week becomes the flagship of the Aqua Hotels and Resorts brand. A room in the Waikiki Wave's "Oceanview" category

Under the watchful eye of its owner, veteran Hawaii hotelier
Andre Tatibouet, the former Coral Reef on Kuhio Avenue has undergone a
$7.6-million renovation and upgrade over the last six months that brings it to
Aqua-brand standard, while imbuing a definite Waikiki ambiance.

Mike Paulin, founder and owner of Aqua, says the Aqua
Waikiki Wave's location, theming, room size and elegance of furnishings will
appeal to Waikiki travelers. He adds that the
hotel will represent about 15 percent of the brand's inventory.

An exclusive tour with Tatibouet of the last pre-renovation
rooms just days before they were decommissioned provided a stark contrast with
the atmosphere and amenities of the completed rooms. Guests at the revitalized
hotel will sleep in nothing smaller than a queen-size bed. During their waking
hours, guests will have access to such free amenities as an oversize
mini-refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker with supplies, and wireless Internet
access throughout the hotel.

Jane Tatibouet, who collaborated on the hotel's design, says
the goal was to provide a hip setting that stayed true to Hawaii. To this end, the decor is accented
by images in the style of noted painter Charles Bartlett, active in Hawaii in the 1920s and
1930s. The goal, says both Tatibouets, was to ensure that guests really get a
feel for where they are.

"We are going to endeavor to be a bridge between the
past and the future," says Andre Tatibouet, pointing to celebrating Waikiki's heritage and the friendliness and longevity of
the hotel's employees on the one hand, and modern furnishings and conveniences
such as wireless Internet on the other.

Rooms were stripped to concrete before being fitted with new
air-handling systems, carpets, drapes, furniture, beds, bedding, marble
vanities and new fixtures in the bath. The lobby area features expanses of
marble, seating areas, twin cascading water features and an oversize triptych
in the style of Bartlett.

Tatibouet got an early start in the Haw-aii hotel business,
pitching in at a young age at his family's Waikiki operations, and after
decades in the business, says the changes in Waikiki
elevate the destination, and keep it fresh for the future.

He remembers a letter his mother received from a travel
agent after about a year in operation, and says he continues to appreciate the
value and importance of the travel agent channel of distribution. For this
reason, he says, the hotel will provide retailers with incentives and deals.

Rack rates for 2007 start at $200 per room per night for a
superior-category room, at $240 for a junior suite and at $280 for a suite.
Retailers booking their own stays this year and presenting an IATA number when
doing so will receive exclusive introductory rates starting at $79 per night
until December 7, and again December 11-20, says Beth Churchill, vice president
of marketing and guest services. Aqua will continue to offer agents savings of
50 percent off the rack rate at all hotels in 2007.

The agent liaison at the hotel is Robin Harlow
([email protected]), its director of sales. Carolyn Watanabe, director of
revenue management, is the agent liaison at the corporate level; contact her at
[email protected], 866-406-2782, or for information, visit

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