Hawaii Spring Promotions

Competition to lure travelers to Hawaii from other destinations may be stiff this spring.

By: By Karla Aronson

Hawaii Spring on Sale

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Kaanapali Beach Hotel is offering themed Internet specials. // © Kaanapali Beach HotelCompetition to lure travelers to Hawaii from other destinations may be stiff this spring. But Hawaii’s accommodations industry is prepared to bring on the specials, quality service and its many upgraded amenities in 2008.

Thinking that a weakened U.S. dollar may drive European-bound clients to the shores of Hawaii,
ResortQuest Hawaii tagged its Maui spring promotions with the slogan “Forget Spring Time in Paris.”

ResortQuest Hawaii has 5,000 rooms to fill across its 26 condominium, resort, hotel and villa properties statewide.

“We’re reaching out to our travel agents and Hawaii travelers with very compelling offers this spring, such as our Aloha Free Deals, Kids Stay Play & Eat Free family program in addition to offering a fifth night free at most ResortQuest Hawaii properties,” said Kelvin Bloom, president of Resort Quest Hawaii. “As a result, we expect to generate strong demand over the course of the next several months.”

Elizabeth Churchill, vice president of sales and marketing for Aqua Hotels & Resorts, said 2008 could be a challenging year for the economy with the possibility of a recession in the
coming months. She said Oahu’s wider variety of inventory could help cover the bases for different spending levels.

Aqua’s 10 boutique hotels are all located in Waikiki and are categorized into three tiers: Aqua Elite, Aqua Boutique Hotels and Aqua Lite Hotels. This year several of its properties will be bumped up a category.

“We did not have a boutique chain in Waikiki before,” Churchill said. “So the company expects an increasing number of visitors will be seeking a boutique hotel experience with the level of service and amenities Aqua provides.”

Aqua is stepping up its sales efforts with customized packages, including a spring travel agent “fam” package with a third night free, and $10 “spa bucks” bonuses for bookings for discounted spa treatments.

Classic Resorts also hopes to benefit from greater traveler awareness of, and demand for, condominium properties. Its six properties on Maui and the Big Island are all luxury-end resort condominiums and vacation rental homes.

“People are looking for something different,” said Kyle Donlon marketing manager for Classic Resorts.

The experienced Hawaii traveler is coming back and Classic consistently offers the high level of service guests expect, he added.

To prepare for a potentially softer market this spring, as experienced in 2007, Classic is aggressively marketing its unique product features and prime locations, as well as their spacious accommodations.

This spring, offers from Classic include fifth-night free programs, $100 American Express gift cards and rental cars.

Another luxury-end condominium and vacation rental company on Maui, Destination Resorts Hawaii, created some unique packages in anticipation of clients looking to get more bang for their buck.

“[This year] seems to be shaping up as the year of the best value,” said Kristin Mettler, Destination Resorts Hawaii and Wailea Beach Villas marketing representative. “And we are trying to provide our guests with creative experiential offers that are value-oriented to encourage them to choose a vacation to Maui this year.”

Destination Resorts’ Maui Mystery Vacation Package offers a $90 per person, per night, six-night stay for clients willing to let the company select its accommodations upon arrival. Rates begin at $1,080, double occupancy.

“Guests won’t know what type of accommodations they have until they arrive at check-in,” stated Sandy Frewer, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Destination Resorts Hawaii in announcing the offer. “With vacation rentals throughout Wailea, guests won’t be disappointed, however they may get an oceanview or be in a gardenview rental; be near the beach or a short walk from the Pacific. It’s all part of the mystery of this offer.”

Destination Resorts Hawaii is also offering a Honua Makuahine (Mother Earth) Vacation Package. Clients receive a $250 “carbon credit” offset for bookings at its six properties, based in the communities of Wailea and Makena on Maui, as well as a half-day private adventure-guide tour at its Wailea Beach Villas property.

While the Kaanapali Beach Hotel had yet to market spring-specific packages, its 2008 Internet specials offer a variety of themes, including a Maui Getaway, the Whale Encounter or
romance and golf packages.

On Oahu, the exclusive Kahala Hotel & Resort is offering The Kahala 2008 Legendary Days Promotion this spring. Offers associated with the promotion include three-night, five-night and VIP suite packages.

Outrigger Enterprises Group’s extensive line of hotels, condominiums and vacation ownership resorts are offering a number of free-night and free-breakfast packages at its Waikiki, Honolulu airport and Big Island properties. Its Ohana Waikiki Connection provides guests free rides on the Waikiki Trolley Pink Line, free long-distance telephone calls and free Internet access.

The artist-themed Wyland Waikiki is adding value for free with a free third-night, free room upgrade and free continental breakfast.

From the looks of things, clients will need no convincing to take a Hawaii vacation. With so many value-packed offers, they can have their pick of spring specials enticing them to the Islands.