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Hawaii’s popularity is evident in the ongoing hotel developments there, with several properties getting major makeovers and a couple of new resorts opening or on the horizon. Following is a sampling.




Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa ( is slated to open in August 2001 on 21 acres at the Ko Olina Resort and Marina development. The property will offer 359 rooms in two 15-story towers, as well as 481 two-bedroom Disney Vacation Club villas. Onsite amenities will feature a wedding lawn, a conference center and water activities, with a pool, a tube course, a wading pool, body slides, hot tubs, an adult pool, a snorkel lagoon and a conservation pool.


The Aulani will also offer Aunty’s Beach House, a children’s center where kids can explore Hawaiian culture. The full-service spa, Ulana (Hawaiian for “still” or “calm”), will feature 15 treatment rooms, an outdoor water area and a separate area for teens, and will celebrate Hawaiian culture in its design and therapies. Guests also will have access to a lagoon, a white-sand beach and a Ted Robinson-designed championship golf course.


The resort will offer two restaurants. The beachside ‘Ama‘Ama will serve cuisine make with local ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nearby, guests can dine with Disney characters at the buffet-style Makahiki. And at the ‘Õlelo Room, guests will discover the local language though labeled surroundings, flash cards on the tables and helpful bartenders.


In April 2011, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa (  launched a makeover of its 31-story, 800-room Rainbow Tower, to the tune of $45 million. The renovated rooms will feature new furniture, ergonomic desks and chairs, and contemporary Hawaiian artwork, as well as flat-screen TVs and wireless Internet access. Bathrooms will have new tiling, tubs and sinks, and hand-held shower heads. The renovation includes the Duke and Niumalu suites.


The work is taking place in phases, beginning with the top two floors, and is slated for completion by mid-December 2011. Work is scheduled to begin on a renovation of the Ali’i and Kalia Towers in 2012.


Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa ( commenced a $13 million, resort-wide renovation in January 2011. The makeover, which is slated for completion in September, includes the complete renovation of the third-floor public areas, as well as two new restaurants, a new poolside lounge and bar, an upgraded pool deck and a new Regency Club product.


In the first phase, the former Terrace Grille was transformed into Shor, an American seafood grill featuring locally catches approved by the Seafood Watch Program, as well as cuts of meat and fresh local produce. The space adjoining Shor will become the Regency Club, offering indoor and outdoor seating overlooking Waikiki Beach.


Phase two includes a transformation of the former Ciao Mein restaurant and Elegant Dive pool bar into Japengo and Swim, respectively. Both are scheduled to open in September. Japengo will feature modern Pacific Rim cuisine, sushi and a sake bar. Swim will offer cocktails, light fare and live entertainment. The pool and surrounding deck are undergoing an upgrade.


A renovation of the guest rooms has been completed at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina ( Each of the 387 rooms and suites now features a palette of sea-blue and sand, as well as custom-designed furnishings, fabrics featuring traditional kapa patterns, artwork displaying feather leis, flat-screen LCD TVs with technology jack packs, and new mirrors and fixtures in the bathrooms.


The room renovation is the second half of a refreshment project that also included the 35,000-square-foot Ihilani Spa. The spa now has a larger ladies’ lounge, a Zen garden and meditation area, a couple’s room, a private suite for groups, a 24-hour fitness center, a salon area and a refreshed reception area.


Marriott’s Waikiki Edition ( opened in the fall of 2010 in a wing of what was once the Ilikai hotel. The contemporary property features a lobby bar with oversize sofas and custom furnishings, two pools, bars, tropical gardens and an outdoor movie theater. The Private Sunset Beach and Bar has an inland private beach overlooking the ocean and its own shallow, circular lagoon with lounge chairs.


Located near the Sunrise Pool, The Spa at Waikiki has four treatment rooms, manicure/pedicure stations with balconies and a range of spa services. The hotel also offers Surf and Bikini Boot Camps, yoga, biking and hiking. Customized spa menus and specialized trainers provide individual programs and surfing exercises on the beach.


The 353 rooms and suites feature natural tones, wood and oversize windows. Many have furnished terraces with sliding louvered doors. There’s also a 1,500-square-foot Penthouse suite and 1,300-square-foot Sun suite.


Dining and entertainment includes Morimoto Waikiki by Chef Masaharu Morimoto, featuring fresh fish and seafood, and locally grown produce; as well as Crazybox nightclub. Meeting space accommodates up to 920 people.


The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort ( has completed the final phase of a $70 million renovation, a redesign of the Royal Beach Tower rooms and suites. The rooms now feature a beach-inspired ambience with modern touches, combining contemporary Hawaiian furnishings in light colors with design elements that tell the story of Helumoa, the area in which the 84-year-old property is located. Among the design elements are Indonesian tables carved from local tree trunks, Asian-inspired nightstands, custom-designed lanai furnishings and original works by local artists. Redesigned bathrooms have mosaic vanity walls and mirrors.




On the heels of its 20th anniversary, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (  has unveiled newly renovated accommodations. All 602 rooms feature new furniture, décor and bathrooms. Design elements reflect Hawaii’s plants, people and culture. For example, the carved headboards portray the native hapu’u fern, which was used by ancient Hawaiians for pillows and bedding. The rooms also feature mahogany furniture, linens inspired by traditional kapa cloth prints and artwork that pays homage to the ancient petroglyphs near the resort. Each room also has an audiovisual jack pack for charging electronic devices.


Other additions to the rooms include white, marble-tiled entryways, walk-in showers in most rooms with king-size beds, and shower/bath combos for rooms with two queen beds. All bathrooms feature rain-style showers and marble countertops with double-sink vanities. Environmental initiatives include low-flow toilets, low-VOC paints, recycled yarn carpets and energy-saving ceiling fans.


The first phase of the 322-unit Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort ( has opened on the south shore, and it is the first property in Hawaii to fly the Wyndham Grand flag. Phase one includes 85 villas, as well as lagoon pools, a fitness center, a marketplace and an upscale sundries shop. The project ultimately will include one- to four-bedroom luxury residences.


Upon completion, the resort will feature a central pool with a waterslide, a sand-bottom area, waterfalls and a swim-through grotto, as well as several hot tubs, a day spa, a poolside bar and grill, covered parking and semi-private elevators to each front door.


Villas have gourmet kitchens equipped with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances and granite countertops. Additional amenities include walk-in closets, hardwood and natural stone flooring, and central air conditioning. Each villa features a custom furniture package with premium finishes, indoor and outdoor living spaces, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to spacious lanais.




The Aston Ka’anapali Shores ( has completed a $14 million makeover on its studios, and one- and two-bedroom suites. The suites now have upgraded kitchen features with new cabinets, appliances and granite countertops, as well as remodeled bathrooms with new showers, cabinets and granite sinks. Other improvements to the beachfront property are a new pickle ball (a racquet sport) court, as well as a resurfaced shuffleboard deck and tennis courts.


As part of a $16 million, resortwide renovation, all 413 one-bedroom suites at the Fairmont Kea Lani ( have been upgraded with new furniture and linens. Improvements to the 37 two- and three-bedroom villas include a complete kitchen remodel with stainless-steel appliances and wooden cabinets, redesigned dining areas with banquettes, and stone countertops. The renovation also included replacement of the pool decks with quartzite, which reflects heat.--Mimi Kmet

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