New Name, New Attitude

After five years of operating as part of the Holiday Inn chain, an east Kauai resort has decided to venture out on its own. Formerly Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Kauai, the hotel was renamed Aloha Beach Resort on July 8.

By: Marty Wentzel

After five years of operating as part of the Holiday Inn chain, an east Kauai resort has decided to venture out on its own. Formerly Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Kauai, the hotel was renamed Aloha Beach Resort on July 8.

“When our five-year-contract with Holiday Inn ended, our owners had enough confidence in the property to go independent,” said Gordon Kiyabu, sales and marketing director.

But the hotel’s independent status comes with its own set of challenges, Kiyabu said.

“We can no longer hang our name on a well-known hook, and Kauai is not as popular as Maui or Oahu, so we’re marketing not just the hotel, but Kauai as a whole.”

With that in mind, Kiyabu plans to participate in joint promotions with Kauai Visitors Bureau whenever possible.

The 216-room Aloha Beach Resort is located on Wailua Bay, a destination steeped in Hawaiian culture and history. Near the hotel, visitors can see evidence of the area’s past, including heiau (ancient Hawaiian temples), a City of Refuge where lawbreakers could find immunity, and Kauai’s only petroglyphs.

“We want to show our guests why this part of Kauai is so rich,” Kiyabu said, “so we’re re-educating our staff to be storytellers.”

Three mornings each week, the hotel will offer a presentation on the legends, history and cultural significance of the area.

“We’re also contracting with craftspeople to come in each day people who have lived in the area and who can tell interesting stories about it,” Kiyabu said. “We’re offering a genuine interaction between locals and guests, to help people appreciate the destination.”

Next to the resort is Lydgate Park, a popular Kauai gathering place for surfing, body boarding and other watersports. The park features protected snorkeling, a children’s swimming area and a playground close to the beach. Kiyabu is developing a plan to bring travel agents to the property, with a particular emphasis on Western and Midwestern U.S. markets.

Fam Plans

“Agents need to experience this place,” Kiyabu said. “We have more than just a beach and aloha spirit. We offer true Hawaiiana.”

The oceanside resort, which went through a $23 million renovation five years ago, features two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, a fitness room, tennis, volleyball and shuffleboard. It offers a supervised children’s program. Dining options range from a full-service restaurant and lounge to a poolside snack bar and grill.

For groups, the hotel’s three meeting areas include the 750-square-foot Piikoi Room, the 1,600-square-foot Alii Room and the 1,872-square-foot Plumeria Garden Court, a semi-open banquet space with a stage and an adjacent lawn.

Rates, Packages

Room rates start at $198, with suites priced from $258. The resort’s 26 two-room villas start at $363 per night.

Guests under 19 stay free, and children under 12 eat free each evening when dining with a parent in the restaurant.

The Travel Agent Special, good on bookings through Dec. 20, pays 20% commission when a $150 oceanview room is booked.

The resort’s three-night romance package includes a bottle of champagne and turndown service the first evening, three day’s use of a rental car and dinner for two. Rates range from $525 to $695.

Call 888-823-5111.

E-mail: info@abrkauai. com.

Fax: 808-823-6666.

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