Aqua Adds Hotel Lanai to the Fold

The management company nearly doubles its inventory in one year

By: By Marty Wentzel

Exterior, Hotel Lanai // (c) 2010 Hotel Lanai

Exterior, Hotel Lanai // (c) 2010 Hotel Lanai

Aqua Hotels and Resorts keeps broadening its horizons in Hawaii. When it adds the Hotel Lanai to its portfolio on May 1, it will become the only hotel management company with properties on each of the three islands comprising Maui County (Maui, Molokai and Lanai). At the same time, it will nearly double its statewide inventory from the same month last year.

“We’re elated to be working with Aqua Hotels,” said Hotel Lanai owner Mary Charles. “It’s just so fitting to have a kamaaina (local) company looking out for our best interests at this wonderfully historic hotel.”

Family-Style Ambience
Located in the heart of Lanai City at a comfortable elevation of 1,700 feet, Hotel Lanai was built in 1923 by pineapple pioneer James D. Dole as a retreat for executives on business and important guests.

The hotel’s unique plantation heritage is still evident in the furnishings and decor of its ten guest rooms and adjacent cottage. Each room has its own personality, but all accommodations include a Hawaiian quilt, artwork by island artists, hardwood flooring, a ceiling fan and a private bathroom.

Hotel Lanai’s in-house restaurant, Lanai City Grille, features a menu by chef Bev Gannon, one of the founding members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement. Presenting a rustic ambiance complete with a fireplace, it specializes in fresh-caught seafood, prime meats and the restaurant’s signature rotisserie chicken.

“I have fond memories of spending nights at the hotel when I traveled to Lanai to meet with Dole management years ago,” said Aqua development vice president Bill Henderson. “I was glad to see it continues to retain the family-like ambience and charm that it had back then, but also offers modern conveniences that today’s travelers have become accustomed to.”

Aqua Keeps Growing
When Hawaii hotelier Mike Paulin founded Aqua in 2001, the chain made a splash by opening properties in Waikiki that were at once hip and affordable.

In January 2009, Aqua made its first jump from Waikiki to the neighbor islands by assuming management of Diamond Wailea Resort, now known as the Hotel Wailea Maui. It added the Hotel Molokai to its brand on July 1, 2009.

Other additions to the Aqua family in the past year include the Ilikai Hotel & Suites in Waikiki, managed by Aqua subsidiary, Hotel Management Services; Kauai Beach Resort (formerly the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort); and Maile Sky Court Hotel in Waikiki.

Aqua president Ben Rafter called his company “Hawaii’s growth leader,” noting that it has been included on Pacific Business News’ list of 50 fastest-growing Hawaii companies each year since 2007.

Introductory Special
To celebrate its new management, the Hotel Lanai is encouraging clients to make bookings for stays in May or June. In return, they will receive one complimentary dessert when dining at Lanai City Grille.

Hotel Lanai room rates start at $99 per night for a standard room and $179 for the cottage. Daily continental breakfast is included.

Hotel Lanai