Wowing Waikiki

Renovations make for a new Waikiki Parc

By: Marty Wentzel

Like so many hotels in the neighborhood, the Waikiki Parc Hotel is sporting a new look following a major renovation. Unlike the competition, however, the 297-room property is promising your clients not just upgraded accommodations, but unparalleled experiences.

With the exception of one restaurant, which will open in the spring, the Waikiki Parc has completed its transformation in time for the holidays.

“The key now is for travel agents to see the hotel firsthand,” said Waikiki Parc sales director Mike Kikuyama. “That’s the best way for them to sell it.”

To spread the word, Waikiki Parc officials joined their counterparts from sister hotel Halekulani on a mainland sales blitz in October. Stops included preferred accounts and agencies in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Chicago and points east.

“We didn’t visit Los Angeles because our L.A.-based director of regional sales is working pretty much nonstop to connect with agents in that area,” said Kikuyama.

The hotel hosted 125 travel agents in November, and agents who visit through May 31 can stay in a deluxe room for the reduced nightly rate of $150.

“Sixty percent of our domestic business comes from the U.S. West primarily California, Washington and Oregon, so we’re really reaching out to travel agents in those regions,” Kikuyama said.

“Prior to the renovation, the marketplace viewed our hotel as a place with great value, in part due to the free buffet breakfast that came with all our rates,” said Kikuyama. “Now our value comes in the form of the experiences we offer.”

Beginning next year, for instance, clients can book what Kikuyama called “active lifestyle experiences,” such as a program that combines accommodations and the use of an exotic rental car.

“The market we’re going after is the 30- to 50-year-old traveler in three niches honeymooners; women friends traveling together, such as mothers and daughters; and clients who lead active lifestyles.”

Taking a step further from the norm, the hotel is reinstating its director of surfing program, which took a hiatus during the renovation. Starting in 2007, an on-property expert provides exclusive instruction for Waikiki Parc guests.

Where once it provided a comfortable and clean environment, the new Waikiki Parc promises a design dubbed “simply chic” and “an urban oasis.” Clients get an eyeful the moment they enter the promenade, with its constantly changing contemporary mood lighting.

As clients reach the first lobby rotunda, they encounter vibrant works of art and retro-modern furnishings, some draped in red leather. Over the front desk, hanging backlit blue panels resemble a rolling wave, and around the hotel are works by famed under water photographer Howard Schatz.

Waikiki Parc’s guestrooms continue the visual theme of its public areas. An ebony wood headboard boasts built-in direct lighting and individual reading lights. Atop new bedding sits the signature design accent of each room: an orange and white abstract “swoon pillow,” the brainchild of Los Angeles artist Gabrielle Jennings. Revamped bathrooms feature stone counter tops and European-style fixtures. Other indulgences include a state-of-the-art 25-inch flat-panel television, oversized writing desk, coffee maker, cordless telephone and high-speed Internet access.

Waikiki Parc’s staff is well-versed in what’s hot and what’s not around the island, and clients can use them as a resource for lining up activities like sailing, canoeing and snorkeling. The hotel’s concierge staff readily handles last-minute reservations for car rentals, sightseeing tours and babysitting services. In-house, guests have free access to the hotel’s rooftop outdoor heated swimming pool and fitness room with state-of-the-art machines.

Across the street, Waikiki Parc guests enjoy signing privileges at the Halekulani, home of three notable restaurants La Mer, Orchids and House Without A Key and Spa Halekulani, known for unique healing treatments inspired by Pacific island cultures.

As it enters its new chapter, Waikiki Parc continues to curry favor with business travelers, who choose the property for its easy access in and out of Waikiki and proximity to downtown Honolulu. Its corporate travel program comes with such gratis amenities as parking, laundry, shoe shine and late check-out, and its lobby-level business center and secretarial services make it easy to get the job done.

When Nobu Waikiki the hotel’s much-anticipated restaurant opens in Spring 2007, clients can sample the culinary expertise of world-famous chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa. A master of eclectic Japanese cuisine, Nobu blends classical techniques with global flavors, and affluent celebrities and connoisseurs count themselves among his loyal clientele. Measuring 7,500 square feet, Nobu Waikiki features a design reflecting Hawaii’s environment, using elements like running water, bamboo, fish nets, island foliage and stone surfaces. Located in the lobby and open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant offers an outdoor dining space, full-service sushi bar and private area for special events.

In the morning, meanwhile, Waikiki Parc guests can have breakfast in the hotel’s eighth-floor Parc Lanai, known for its views of the ocean and presentation of Kona coffee, teas and juice, pastries and tropical fruit. For lunch and dinner, clients might want to dine in their room, with a choice of meals from popular Honolulu restaurants available for delivery to the guest’s door.

One thing that hasn’t changed at the Waikiki Parc is its ideal location. Moments away from the sands of Waikiki Beach, it remains hidden from the hustle and bustle of Kalakaua Avenue. But when clients are ready to experience big-city perks, an easy walk takes them to upscale retailers like Tiffany, Coach, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Chanel as well as one-of-a-kind island-oriented stores. When the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center wraps up its own massive makeover in mid-2007, guests will find more than 150 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues on their doorstep.

Financially speaking, the Waikiki Parc timed its renovation perfectly, Kikuyama said.

“So much of Waikiki is undergoing a revitalization,” he said. “There has been less room inventory in Waikiki, and demand has been strong. As a result, our occupancies have been high even during renovation, and it looks like the project will come in on budget.”

The timing has been good from a marketing standpoint as well.

“A lot of properties are making changes,” he said. “Our goal is to remain competitive as we create a hotel like none other in Waikiki.”


Waikiki Parc Hotel
2233 Helumoa Rd.
Honolulu, HI 96815-1980

Room rates through Dec. 20, 2007, begin at $275 per night for a standard room, with a deluxe mountain-view room from $295, oceanview from $375 and deluxe oceanview from $415. Nightly corporate rates range from $206-$285.

The hotel’s 2007 Room and Car Experience ranges from $235-$255, including a compact rental car and free hotel parking (two-night minimum).

Families traveling together receive discounted rates of more than 30 percent on the second room booked.

Waikiki Parc pays 10 percent commission to travel agents.