Escape Artist

 Hotel Renew offers clients calming design and more

By: Terra Judge

Entering into the in-progress hotel renew — only steps away from the boldness, bustling and beeping of Waikiki Beach — is somewhat of a shock. Officials say the ultra-calm and placid property is on track to become “Oahu’s first true designer boutique” when it welcomes guests in the fall.

The property is currently Ocean Towers until the first phase of the rebranding is completed.

“Nothing will stay the same,” said general manager Terry Dowsett. “It will be vastly different, a completely new brand and an opening of a new hotel.” The most striking difference will be the ambience and decor. San Francisco-based designer Jiun Ho has created every serene detail in the hotel — from the walls of the lobby to the guestroom amenities.

With an aim to be a true rejuvenating escape for guests, Ho has created a monochromatic oasis. Taupe, whites and grays, accented with bursts of reds, make up the majority of colors in an effort to promote tranquility. “The people are the life and excitement,” said Dowsett. “The rest is a backdrop for the guests.”

Guestrooms feature a subtle wave theme, from the curtains to the wallpaper to the stitching of the white bedspreads, and spa-inspired robes and sandals with the hotel’s logo on the sole will leave the imprint when guests walk along the sand of Waikiki. Every guestroom has a different sculpture made in India, and rooms are individually scented and can be easily changed to fit tastes. Clients can also choose from a pillow menu, while dimmable lights can be controlled bedside with the option to program light settings with a “favorite” button. Wireless digital thermostats with motion sensors control the temperature, and the mini-bar can be stocked to suit clients’ tastes.

All rooms are part of the InnNetwork, a program popular in Las Vegas, which allows guests to transform their televisions into a personal computer, complete with wireless keyboard and headphones. The entertainment portion offers hundreds of movies, games and music. In-room TVs are 32-inch, high-definition flat screens or, in double rooms, a four-by-six-foot projection television.

The hotel’s pride point will be its service. With only 70 rooms — 40 percent of which have unobstructed ocean views — the hotel can offer an intimate and personal experience. Staff will deliver luggage to rooms and valet parking will be added, along with the convenience to call down for cars to cut down on waiting time.

Beach toys will be available for use at the front desk, and staff will help plan activities and share individual favorites, especially to repeat vacationers looking for a different experience.

“We can offer personal touches, almost like a bed and breakfast,” said Dowsett. A high-end continental breakfast is offered in the lobby, which features light fare and libations in the evening; room service is available from a neighboring restaurant.



hotel renew
129 Paoakalani Ave. Waikiki Beach, HI 96815

Commission: 10 percent

Rates start at $300 per night for guestrooms and $595 for suites.