Oahu's Hottest Hotel News

Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club
Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club // Photo courtesy of Prince Resorts Hawaii

From the rebranding of a popular Waikiki resort to executive changes at the Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu, Travel Agent breaks down the hottest news and selling points from Oahu.

Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club’s $55.4 Million Makeover

Oahu’s Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club recently completed an extensive $55.4 million redevelopment and repositioning aimed at attracting the Millennials heading to the Aloha State for leisure and business. 

Completed this past spring, the eight-month refurbishment marks the hotel’s first major remodel since its grand opening on April 20, 1990. 


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Sitting at the gateway to Waikiki and overlooking the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, Prince Waikiki is a choice location at the heart of Oahu’s four vibrant neighborhoods – downtown/Chinatown Honolulu, Kakaako, Ala Moana and Waikiki.

The property renovated 563 oceanfront guest rooms and suites, as well as added all-new dining options, a modernized lobby, a new infinity pool, and enhanced meeting space. 

Coinciding with the renovation project, Prince Waikiki also recently announced new partnerships with Katsumidori Sushi Tokyo, Watabe Wedding Corporation, and Honolulu Coffee.

With its first restaurant opening in Meguro, Japan, in April 2002, Katsumidori Sushi Tokyo is known for offering fresh, high-quality sushi. The restaurant will open its first overseas location on the hotel’s lobby level in December. 

Established in 1953 and currently one of Hawaii’s largest wedding specialists, Watabe Wedding Corporation has entered into an agreement to develop its first high-rise wedding chapel on the 33rd floor of Prince Waikiki with its vistas of Ala Wai Harbor, the Pacific Ocean and Oahu’s south shore. The wedding chapel expects to host its first wedding parties in spring 2017. 

Honolulu Coffee will offer a complete coffee experience in its cafe, located in the hotel’s new lobby, providing a unique Kona coffee experience for guests.

Visit www.hawaiiprincehotel.com/evolution

Aqua-Aston Hospitality's Hottest Oahu Happenings

With upgraded programming, events, and dining experiences, travelers can expected some new offerings this fall when they stay with Aqua-Aston Hospitality’s managed hotels and resorts in the Hawaiian Islands.

Located in Aqua Ohia Waikiki’s newly refreshed lobby is the local’s favorite tiki bar and lounge, Da Big Kahuna Waikiki – a great venue to grab a bite in-between daytime excursions or to sip a drink before heading out for evening adventures. 

In a casual restaurant setting, sample a tasty menu of contemporary Hawaiian and American plates. Da Big Kahuna’s menu includes burgers, pub-style appetizers and salads. 

Visit www.ohiahotel.com.

For families spending fall on Oahu, the Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head provides an assortment of goodies for children of all age groups. Infants receive a new Infant Amenity Package complete with infant-safe sunscreen, fragrance-free, all-natural baby bath products, and a squeezable baby whale – just in time for Oahu’s whale watching season. Children ages 12 and under receive a complimentary box of crayons and cultural activity book of fun and educational activities celebrating all things Hawaii. Once the book is completed, children can exchange it for a souvenir gift. 

Visit www.lotushonoluluhotel.com.

Known throughout Oahu for his Poke Stop restaurants, Maui-born chef Elmer Guzman brings his specialty to the Luana Waikiki Hotel & Suites with his latest concept, Fish Hook Cafe. Serving breakfast and lunch, Fish Hook Cafe offers an assortment of locally and sustainably-sourced grab-and-go items including salads, sandwiches, pastries, and gourmet coffee, as well as Guzman’s delicacy, poke bowls. 

Visit www.luanawaikiki.com and www.aqua-aston.com.

Rebranded Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger to Open in February 2018

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has announced plans to amplify its presence in Hawaii with the changeover of its owned and managed 496-key Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber to an Outrigger-branded property. 

As of February, the property will operate as Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger, with extensive $25 million renovations anticipated for completion in the summer of 2018.

Bookings for Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger can be made immediately at Outrigger.com. For trade partners in the Outrigger Expert Agent program, each booked night earns 30 reward points. Plus, qualified bookings of five nights or more from now until December 21 earn a $50 booking bonus. Travel dates for the bookings must be from February 1 to December 21, 2018. 

Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the transition highlights Outrigger’s commitment to increasing and enhancing its brand portfolio, which now includes nine premium beachfront resorts in Hawaii, FijiThailand, Guam, Mauritius and the Maldives – alongside 28 owned and/or managed hotels, resorts and vacation condominiums. 

“Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger will be an upscale, urban oasis with a modern Hawaiian elegance that is inspired by the hotel’s ocean views and surrounding natural environment,” said Scott Dalecio, president and chief executive officer of Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, in a written release. “This reinvestment is the first of many exciting capital projects to come and part of our larger strategy to ensure sustainable growth for Outrigger’s authentic and iconic brand.”

Enhancements to Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger will further complement the hotel’s new dining hotspots Maui Brewing Co. and Hawaiian Aroma Caffe.

The Beachcomber was originally built in 1970 and is remembered for its showroom where legendary Hawaii entertainers performed frequently – including the late Don Ho, who often sang his quintessential, universally loved tune “Tiny Bubbles.”

Visit www.outrigger.com 

The Kahala in Honolulu Names New Execs

The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii, recently announced the promotion of Joe Ibarra to resort manager and the appointment of Steven Tabiolo to director of front office operations. 

In his new position, Ibarra oversees and manages The Kahala’s front office, housekeeping, engineering, security, the Kahala Spa and the recreation departments.

Ibarra brings more than 15 years of hospitality experience to The Kahala Hotel & Resort. He joined the resort in 2014 as director of front office operations and was promoted to the position of director of rooms in 2015. 

Prior to The Kahala, Ibarra held a number of key management positions at various hotels and resorts in Hawaii including front office manager and event manager at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa; assistant front office manager and reception manager at The Waikiki EDITION Hotel; and front desk manager and front office supervisor at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

Tabiolo joins The Kahala team in the position of director of front office operations. Tabiolo oversees the resort’s front desk, concierge, front services, guest services and PBX departments.

He brings more than 34 years of front office management to The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

Prior to The Kahala, Tabiolo was at Halekulani as the director of front office operations and various hotel management positions for 24 years. He also served as front office manager at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Outrigger Wailea and the Whitehall Hotel in Chicago.

Visit www.kahalaresort.com

Outrigger Names New Vice President of Hotel Operations for Waikiki, Guam

Outrigger Enterprises Group has announced it has appointed Michael Shaff as vice president, hotel operations for Waikiki, Hawaii and Guam.

Shaff will lead the repositioning of the Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber, as well as oversee the OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger, OHANA Waikiki Malia by Outrigger, the Outrigger-managed Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk, Airport Honolulu Hotel, Best Western The Plaza Hotel and Outrigger Guam Beach Resort.

Shaff comes to Outrigger from KSL Resorts, where he held numerous key leadership roles over the past 14 years. 

Most recently, he served as director of asset management overseeing three luxury resorts in Southern California, the Renaissance Esmeralda, Hotel del Coronado and Monarch Beach Resort & Spa

Prior, he was general manager of The James Royal Palm in Miami and the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. Additionally, his experience includes senior operations roles at La Costa Resort & Club and La Quinta Resort & Club, both large and complex resorts.

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts is a privately held leisure lodging, retail and hospitality company with corporate offices in Hawaii and operating globally in the Asia-Pacific, Oceania and Indian Ocean regions. 

But this wasn’t the only big appointment Outrigger Enterprises Group has announced lately with perhaps the company’s biggest organizational move of the year coming back in May when Kelly Hoen was named the company’s area general manager for its two Waikiki hotels. 

Hoen brings more than two decades of luxury hotel leadership to Outrigger Resorts. Most recently, she served as the general manager for The MODERN HONOLULU, a high-energy luxury lifestyle hotel at the gateway of Waikiki. 

Visit www.outrigger.com and keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for all your latest travel news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent’s Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike and Instagram @pike5260.

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