News came last week that Hawaii will soon be home to a new Atlantis resort. This week, Travel Agent spoke to some our closest Hawaii specialists to find out how the news is being received in the travel agent world.
Here’s what we found out.
China Oceanwide has entered into a management agreement with subsidiaries of Kerzner International Holdings Limited for a new Atlantis resort in Ko Olina, a 642 acre development on the white sand beaches of Oahu. China Oceanside and Kerzner said the new resort will offer a sophisticated lifestyle experience, with ocean views, green spaces and water experiences, along with Hawaii-inspired architecture and themed programming.
“I think Hawaii getting an Atlantis resort will be great for the economy of the Hawaii Islands because of the additional airlift that it may bring,” says Patti Lehman of Boundless Travel, an affiliate with Destination Europe, LCC. “I would guess that the Atlantis would keep with Hawaiian decor blended with their cleaner, modern lines so that travelers would still get what they expect when visiting Hawaii. It will bring a new luxury resort to Oahu that will cater to the Millennials looking for authentic, aqua and sea life experiences and many high end restaurant options within the resort."
The move will mark the first Atlantis resort in the United States, along with the brand’s flagship in Dubai, Atlantis, The Palm, and the new resort in China, Atlantis, Sanya Hainan, which will open in 2017, as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai. Kerzner said the company has plans to continue to grow and develop the Atlantis brand globally.
“As an Oahu Master Specialist, I think the introduction of Atlantis to the beautiful island of Oahu will be a welcome addition,” says Tom Varghese of Travel Tom. “This will allow Oahu to be more of a true family destination rather than just purely for sightseeing since many visitors come to the island to see Pearl Harbor, but do not spend enough time to truly enjoy all that Oahu has to offer.”
Overlooking both the Honu and Kohola Lagoons, Atlantis will encompass more than 26 acres of experiences, water play in Aquaventure Waterpark, The Ambassador Lagoon and The Lost Chambers Aquarium, and dining experiences.
With a design that aims to celebrate the natural elements of Hawaii’s environment, the resort will have roughly 800 guest rooms and suites, as well as about 524 residences. Guests and residents will be able to enjoy a variety of unique amenities, from private gardens and private pools to a variety of experiences to a Beach Club. Luxury retail boutiques will be curated to offer a wide and interesting selection for shopping.
“Atlantis in Ko Olina would be a perfect addition to a family resort area on Oahu,” says Lena Brown of Largay Travel. "I believe families that have been to Oahu and typically go to other islands, would definitely make a visit to Atlantis. With nonstop flights from the West Coast and a new fun active resort open, Oahu would be their vacation destination.”
The resort will also house a spa, introducing traditional and holistic practices fused with modern spa therapies, as well as a fitness center. Younger guests will experience their own adventures, from discovering exotic marine life, to culinary lessons, to the latest innovations in technology. In addition, event space will be available for both large and small gatherings.
The resort will be on a parcel of land on the Diamond Head side of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. The amenities will be similar to Atlantis The Palm resort in Dubai, with a huge interactive aquarium as well as some hotel rooms with an aquarium view, a dolphin encounter and a shark habitat. There will be a mix of hotel, condo and timeshare units. An expected opening date has yet to be announced.
“Ko Olina is a relaxing resort area away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki,” says Brown. “The Ko Olina resort area feels like an island of its own. With an Atlantis resort, families will be able to have a land of activities for the kids."