Serene Hideaways

Castle's two Molokai properties offer agent incentives

By: Marty Wentzel

Last fall Castle Resorts & Hotels launched its first-ever travel agent incentive, called 5 for 50. While it wasn’t created strictly for Molokai, the program stimulated bookings at Castle’s two Molokai properties, which are traditionally a harder sell than its resorts on other islands.

“The 5 for 50 program became a motivating factor once the agents’ clients decided on Molokai as a destination,” said Kathryn Acorda, Castle Resorts & Hotels’ marketing director.

This spring Castle is reprising the incentive program, good on new bookings made through May 31 for travel from March 15-June 30. It pays agents $50 cash for every five-night minimum booking at a participating Castle resort.

Along with its two Molokai resorts, Castle manages 18 properties on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii.

As Castle promotes its Molokai properties, it also pitches the island as a destination. “We partner on marketing efforts with the Molokai Visitors Association and the airlines,” said Acorda, “and we set attractive rates for our Molokai properties to make the island affordable.”

Each of Castle’s Molokai resorts has dealt with challenges in recent years. The 45-room Hotel Molokai basically disappeared from view when it was closed for three years. Its current owners bought it, extensively renovated it and reopened it 1998.

On the west end of the island, the 72-unit Kaluakoi Villas condominium was impacted when the adjacent Kaluakoi Resort Golf Club closed for 18 months due to ownership changes. Nine holes of the course reopened late last year, and business has stabilized, said Acorda.

Notable for its rustic Polynesian-style architecture, Hotel Molokai offers live entertainment and an oceanfront swimming pool, but at the same time it maintains what Acorda called an “old-Hawaii feeling.” Located near the mid-island town of Kaunakakai, the hotel gives clients the chance to mingle with the locals and try island eateries, Acorda said. “It’s perfect for adventure-seekers and clients wanting to experience the untouched part of Hawaii,” she said.

Travel agents visiting Hotel Molokai get a 30 percent discount off rack rates, with nightly agent rates from $60. Kaluakoi Villas extends agents a 50 percent discount off rack, from $69 per night.

Both properties offer the fourth night free to its guests.

www.castleresorts. com or 800-367-5004