Aqua Waikiki Pearl
In 2007 and 2008, Pacific Business News ranked Aqua Hotels and Resorts eighth among Hawaii’s 50 fastest-growing companies. As if to illustrate that point, the Honolulu-based management firm has added another link to its rapidly-growing chain of accommodations, and this one looks to be a real gem.
On July 13, Aqua introduced the Aqua Waikiki Pearl as part of its boutique brand. Previously known as the Honolulu Prince Hotel, the property recently went through a $5 million refurbishment that turned it into a 135-room boutique hotel.
“It was exciting to watch the Aqua Waikiki Pearl evolve from a neglected property into a stylish, modern hotel in central Waikiki,” said Richard Mandel, president of Ramsfield Hospitality Finance, the New York-based owner of the hotel. “It was literally a top-to-bottom refurbishment process.”
Local interior designer Kory Wong-Oglesby oversaw the design elements of the renovation.
“The challenge was to take dated and tired guestrooms and infuse them with some energy and warmth, as well as bring them up-to-date through the finishes and furnishings,” said Wong-Oglesby. “Although it is not located on the ocean, every effort was made to bring the ocean and tropical flavor to this small property. Keeping simple clean lines were inspirations throughout, from the carpet to the furniture to the bath vanity design.”
To enhance the overall warmth of the rooms, Wong-Oglesby said she used wood tones and paint colors accentuated with bright tropical patterns on the bed scarf.
“The upholstery patterns have very organic free-flowing designs that help to balance the clean lines of the furnishings and cabinetry,” she said. “This fluidity is also carried over into the artwork, where various surf and ocean scenes were utilized and printed in a sepia tone.”
New roofing, exterior paint and renovation of street-front retail spaces were completed early on. Retail tenants have started moving in.
“Aside from rooms in the standard category, Aqua Waikiki Pearl offers some of the largest rooms in Aqua’s inventory and excellent options for families and extended-stay guests,” said Aqua sales and marketing vice president Elizabeth Churchill.
Accommodations range from 451-square-foot standard rooms and 722-square-foot one-bedroom suites to 986-square-foot two-bedroom suites. Many rooms also have sizeable lanais.
Free amenities at the hotel include Wi-Fi in the lobby, daily local newspaper and use of the in-room safe. In their rooms, clients get free high-speed Internet access, free local calls, blackout drapes, a mini-refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker or a full-kitchen. Aqua Waikiki Pearl is pet-friendly and non-smoking.
Clients staying at the Aqua Waikiki Pearl by Sept. 30 can take advantage of one of the following value-added incentives:
• Pearl in the Oyster at Pick-a-Pearl: For each booking, clients receive 50 percent off a pick-a-pearl opportunity at one of three Waikiki locations.
• Cultured Pearl: Clients get an exclusive discount on “Creation: A Polynesian Journey,” the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani’s dinner show.
• Fresh Water Pearl: Aqua Waikiki Pearl guests who buy an admission to the Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii water park can ride as many times as they want on Da Flowrider, a multimillion-dollar wave machine.