ResortQuest Gets an Edge

‘This isn’t your mother’s Waikiki’

By: Marty Wentzel

If travel agents haven’t been to Waikiki in the last few months, they have no idea of the changes that are transforming the destination,” said ResortQuest Hawaii president Kelvin Bloom. “This isn’t your mother’s Waikiki any longer.” As Bloom talked about the restoration that has been sweeping through the south Oahu visitor mecca for the past several years, he said that his company has been at the forefront of the movement.

“Since 2001, we’ve invested nearly $66 million in renovations and upgrades throughout our Oahu hotels and condominium resorts,” he said, “and most of our properties are in the process of some form of enhancements throughout 2007.” In 2002, ResortQuest completely renovated the Waikiki Beach Hotel, spending $30 million to create what Bloom called “the hippest hotel on Kalakaua Avenue.”

Recently, the hotel underwent an additional $16 million upgrade to coincide with the widening of Kuhio Beach, directly across the street.

“As a result, this property is experiencing a steady increase in bookings,” said Bloom. “It has one of the best views and beach areas in all of Waikiki.” Inside, clients can check out the ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel’s new fitness facility, featuring high-end cardio-health exercise equipment with personal television monitors and free headsets. It has everything from Pilates workout balls to a comprehensive collection of weights. In its guestrooms, beds now feature customized Sealy extra-plush mattresses.

As Waikiki improves itself, Bloom and his team are reaching out to travel agents with up-to-date information on ResortQuest properties, programs and area activities. They are holding educational training sessions and Webinars and sending out regular e-mail updates via STARs Online, the chain’s exclusive Web-based agent loyalty program. ResortQuest’s Web site includes a portal created for agents, and resort specials are posted monthly.

“STARs Online offers agents the ability to submit bookings, track earned points and cash-back incentives and redeem points for rewards, all on the Internet,” said Bloom. “We are committed to making sure travel agents benefit from their relationship with us.”

The company also participates with tour operator and trade magazine partners’ e-mail programs promoting Waikiki, and plans call for an update of its agent newsletter.

“As we provide agents with the tools and knowledge to sell the destination accurately, they can demonstrate that they have their finger on the pulse of Waikiki,” Bloom said.

The company’s nine Waikiki properties are diverse yet consistent, ranging from hotel rooms to condos to luxury suites, with a variety of prices to match different tastes and budgets. ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel is ideal for couples, active travelers and groups. Families and friends traveling together can book one of the condominium resorts ResortQuest Waikiki Sunset, Waikiki Banyan and Pacific Monarch which provide the conveniences of home with the services of a hotel. ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Tower appeals to clients seeking an upscale experience with two-bedroom condominium suites. For the budget-minded client, suggest ResortQuest Waikiki Joy and Aston Honolulu Prince.

Most of the chain’s properties are located on the east end of Waikiki, near Diamond Head, providing easy access to festivals and concerts at Kapiolani Park, the Sunset on the Beach program, Waikiki Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium and activities like beach volleyball, body boarding, surfing and outrigger canoe rides.

Not content simply to upgrade ResortQuest’s Waikiki properties, Bloom is looking for other ways to maintain an edge as well.

“It takes more than new furniture to make a guest happy,” Bloom said. “Clients can go to any one of our properties and expect the same level of quality. We firmly believe that more choices, plus more value, plus warm aloha spirit, equals very happy guests. That’s how ResortQuest Hawaii has grown from one small hotel in Waikiki to 26 hotels and condominium resorts throughout the state.”


ResortQuest Hawaii

ResortQuest just launched its 2007 Waikiki Sizzling Summer specials. From June 7-Aug. 23, clients get every fourth night free at the ResortQuest Pacific Monarch, ResortQuest at the Waikiki Banyan and ResortQuest Waikiki Sunset in certain categories.

For 2007, its Hawaii 5-O program is targeting the boomer market, welcoming guests 50 years and older with immediate savings of up to 30 percent per night on published rates. Its value-added children’s program, ResortQuest Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free, entitles young clients to gratis activities, meals and merchandise when staying at any ResortQuest Hawaii property up to a $300 value when accompanied by one paying adult. Unlike other hotel promotions that provide kids with freebies within the resort, ResortQuest Hawaii’s children’s program encourages families to experience everything the destination has to offer.