Freshening Up

Many 2003 renovations are 'deferred maintenance'

By: Marty Wentzel

Hawaii resorts are constantly tinkering with the look of their properties and range of services to keep guests interested and to stay ahead of the competition.

For 2003, the focus is on renovation and refurbishing.

“To a large extent the renovations are addressing deferred maintenance that built up during the 1990s, when hotel owners many of them Japanese overpaid for the hotels, then couldn't make debt payments, much less on-going repairs. As a result, a lot of properties deteriorated," said Joseph Toy, president and chief executive officer of Hospitality Advisors, a Honolulu consulting firm.

"We saw a number of hotel sales in the late 1990s through last year, resulting in more stable buyers," Toy said. "With the relatively lower sales prices on the hotels, the new buyers, primarily from the U.S., were able to renovate the properties."

Toy said the renovations are particularly noticeable in Waikiki, where deferred maintenance and an aging product was a problem in the 1990s.

"The state provided a 4 percent tax credit for hotel renovations,” he said.

To sweeten the deal, the City and County of Honolulu also offered a 7-year moratorium on tax increases for renovated hotels.

Some of the changes in the state’s accommodations are:

The Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki Hotel is close to completing its $27 million hotel-wide renovation.

A makeover of Doubletree Alana Hotel Waikiki’s guest rooms and corridors is expected to end in August.

Interiors of Starwood’s two historic Waikiki hotels, the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Moana-Surfrider, will be refurbished this year.

Aston at the Waikiki Banyan is spending $1.2 million to redo its lobby by March.

Aston Waikiki Parkside Hotel is being renovated, with work expected to bwe complete in August.

Outrigger Waikiki is in the midst of a $14.3 million room and corridor renovation, with work scheduled through November.

Halekulani’s recent $20 million refurbishment included room furnishings and a larger business center and hospitality suite.

On the North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort is in the final stages of a $50 million overhaul of its rooms, public areas, outdoor facilities and meeting space.

Kauai properties with plans for upgrades include Hanalei Colony Resort, where all units will be converted to two bedrooms and two baths this year.

Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort and Spa is renovating rooms and retiling its roof.

On the Big Island, guests at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai can get a workout on the new climbing wall, one of the few in the islands.

Fairmont Orchid Hawaii is investing in the expansion of Brown’s Beach House restaurant and creation of a beach bar.

Hilton Waikoloa Village has improved its spa saunas, steam rooms and salon, and is freshening its guest rooms.

Among the new facilities at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is a 3,000-square-foot pool with slides, fountains and a sand bar.

Hotel Hana-Maui has finished a $9 million rejuvenation and, like many other island hotels, is planning a new spa.

Oahu’s Kahala Mandarin Oriental has introduced spa suites for private treatments and the Halekulani is opening a full-service spa in April.

On Maui, Four Seasons Resort at Wailea recently introduced the 21,000-square-foot Spa at Four Seasons.

Sheraton Maui has grown its spa facilities by 1,000 square feet and the Hyatt Regency Maui’s Spa Moana is planning to add more treatment rooms later this year.

A spokesperson for Wailea Marriott, an Outrigger Resort, confirmed that the property will be adding a spa.