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In just a little more than one decade, Aqua Hotels and Resorts — which now calls itself Aqua Hospitality — has grown into a 24-property group, and its success has led to a recent flurry of activity, including rebranding, renovations and a new travel agent website.
“Our diverse collection now spans all six major Hawaiian Islands,” said Elizabeth Churchill, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Honolulu-based hospitality chain. “We knew it was time to differentiate them into brands that reflect the unique characteristics of our major market segments.”
Among the new brands are the Monogram Hotel Collection, comprised of four- to five-star independent properties with a personalized luxury experience; Aqua Hotels and Resorts, a brand of mid-priced hotels with excellent value; and Lite Hotels, featuring eclectic, economy hotels.
The three brands will help travel agents better steer their clients to the types of experiences and price levels they are seeking, said Churchill. To help them do that, the company is launching a travel agent website with information on its hotels and resorts as well as agent education and training.
“The new site will give agents the online tools they need to sell our products effectively,” said Churchill, who estimated a second quarter 2013 website debut.
At the same time, the hotel group is in the midst of an aggressive renovation program with more than $55 million in projects completed recently or during 2013-14. In Waikiki, for instance, the reinvented Aqua Skyline at Island Colony is in the final stages of a $6 million upgrade of its accommodations and public spaces.
“The rooms are very big,” said Churchill. “As with all of our properties, we’re creating a sense of place with contemporary, clean and understated decor.”
In addition, Aqua is wrapping up a renovation of Park Shore Waikiki, which Churchill described as “an exceptional location, with guestroom views that are second to none.”
On Jan. 1, Aqua assumed management of Waikiki Joy, which will undergo a major renovation before the end of the year. Also new to the Aqua family is the Polynesian Plaza, which will close in the fall for an extensive overhaul. The end result will feature, among other things, a high-end eatery.
“We’re looking forward to more culinary expansion,” said Churchill, noting that Morimoto Waikiki restaurant at Aqua’s Modern Honolulu has been an exciting addition to the company’s offerings.
The newly renovated Aqua Lotus Honolulu will soon feature an Italian restaurant called Peppoli. Leading up to its debut, the hotel will host a pop-up restaurant culinary series overseen by high-profile guest chefs.
On Maui, meanwhile, Aqua’s Hotel Wailea is undergoing a massive makeover aimed at bringing it to “top-notch status” by 2014, said Churchill. On Hawaii Island, Aqua is targeting a mid- to late-2013 reopening of the historic Volcano House, with significantly upgraded guestrooms and a restaurant featuring captivating crater views.