Lotus Honolulu Tries Something New

Lotus Honolulu Tries Something New

From a pop-up restaurant concept to unique lifestyle amenities, Lotus Honolulu isn’t afraid to innovate By: Hawaii & Hawaii
Guestrooms were part of the property’s $2.5 million renovation. // © 2013 Aqua Hotels & Resorts
Guestrooms were part of the property’s $2.5 million renovation. // © 2013 Aqua Hotels & Resorts

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Lotus Honolulu

When the staff of Lotus Honolulu suggests that you try one of their complimentary services, be sure to take them up on it. This was a lesson learned on a recent visit — when I borrowed a bicycle for a tour of Diamond Head and came back with an engagement ring on my finger. While there are no guarantees that guests will have a life-changing experience while staying at the East Waikiki property, they are sure to make some lasting memories.

“We are a more risk-taking brand,” said Matthew Pickett, general manager of Aqua Hospitality’s Lotus Honolulu. “For example, we lend out GoPro cameras to our guests so that they can record themselves surfing, snorkeling or hang-gliding off Makapuu Point. We want guests to not only enjoy the hotel but to experience everything that there is to experience in the state, whether that’s learning how to stand-up paddleboard at the break in front of our hotel or hiking up Manoa Falls.”

Guests can also enjoy the services of a personal wellness and fitness concierge as well as take advantage of complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access, wine in the lobby from 4-6 p.m. daily and complimentary yoga classes in neighboring Kapiolani Park. But there are other reasons to book the 51-room Lotus Honolulu which, at press time, is rated as the number-three hotel in Honolulu by TripAdvisor.

In August, the property completed a $2.5 million renovation under the direction of Kory Wong-Oglesby of deZigns Interior Planning. Guestrooms now feature dark woods, clean lines and subtle tropical patterns in addition to 42-inch flat-screen high-definition televisions, upgraded bedding and linen, and custom artwork by local artist/photographer Kaypee Soh.

The property has also garnered attention as of late for its creative food and beverage efforts. In February, the property hosted a pop-up restaurant led by chef Greg Profeta, formerly of Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York.

“The concept behind our pop-up restaurant was to reintroduce the property’s food and beverage scene to Honolulu,” said Pickett. “Our location — which formerly housed the W Honolulu and, before that, Bobby McGee’s restaurant — had been a popular destination for nightlife and dining for many years. With our pop-up, we made our F&B product top of mind and announced to everyone that we’re back.”

While no other pop-ups have been announced, Lotus Honolulu’s restaurant space is currently open for breakfast, and Pickett expects to have a full-service dining facility open by July.

“It will likely offer Mediterranean cuisine in a smart casual atmosphere,” he said.

In keeping with its sleek branding, Lotus Honolulu is developing a wireless check-in process that will allow guests to begin checking in as soon as they pull into the porte cochere. Other planned upgrades include expanding the lobby and adding a coffee shop that Pickett hopes will be “like a Starbucks on steroids.”

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