Royal Kona Undergoing Enhancement(1)

Don the Beachcomber’s will add to property’s tropical appeal

By: Dawna Robertson

Things are busy at the 11-acre oceanfront Royal Kona Resort this summer, thanks to a multi-million dollar “guest enhancement program.” The big buzz with this Big Island property is that it will house a new Don the Beachcomber’s Tiki Grill and Bar, bringing the popular venue back to Hawaii after a lengthy absence.

“We are very excited about our plans for the future of this great property,” said Bob Froio, vice president of sales and marketing for Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts, the management company for Royal Kona Resort. “This is an amazing landmark resort, rich in history and tradition in Hawaiian hospitality. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring her into the future with this major restoration.”

With its distinctive architectural design, the 451-room property is considered a historical icon in Kailua-Kona. It was built in 1967 by Fritz B. Burns and Conrad Hilton, who were also partners in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort. Ed and Lynn Hogan, founders of Pleasant Holidays, have owned the resort since 1984.

Slated for a late 2006 completion, the program will encompass fully renovated guest rooms, installation of a key card system, integrated safes, new air conditioning systems, artwork and upgraded bathrooms. Guest rooms and lanais will be outfitted with new carpet, furniture and soft goods.

Amenity-wise, existing poolside furniture will also be upgraded with new chairs and thatched umbrellas. And the highly anticipated Don the Beachcomber’s is scheduled to open in July, replacing the former Tropics restaurant. Plans also include a new system expediting the guest check-in/check-out process, in addition to maintaining frequent guest history and lodging preferences.

The resort has remained open during renovations.

“We are not anticipating any inconvenience to our valued guests, and will address all concerns immediately should they arise,” remarked Lalo Fernandez, General Manager for the resort. “As always, our customers come first, and we want to assure everyone that their Royal Kona experience will not be compromised in anyway by our exciting new renovations.”

Through Dec. 20, special renovation rates are from $87 per night for an ocean view room, based on availability.