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Some recent developer purchases on O’ahu with the intent to build hotels and one with some questions around it. The new hotels on O’ahu are coming along and a couple of renovations on Maui and getting close to wrapping up. Here is your Hawai’i travel news November 2023 and a bit more.
Renaissance Hotel Oahu
The Renaissance is moving along with the “drive-thru” section open and I got to take a quick peak inside the lobby. Looks nice and the place is still active with construction and work. The main entrance sign looks good and I think this section of Kapiolani will benefit from the addition.
Kapiolani Land Development
Right down the road, about a 1-minute walk, is Runners World and a diamond shop, this just got purchased by a developer with intent to develop into a 400-room(?) hotel. What is going on with the hotels along Kapiolani?
AC Hotel Honolulu
It is still very busy at this location with the entire side street filled with construction trucks but from the outside, all looks the same. With their opening in December now we should expect to see some changes soon. The AC Honolulu by Marriott is in a unique spot to service the downtown business district.
Romer Waikiki at The Ambassador
I followed the Romer Waikiki for several months as it was being worked on and got to take a tour a couple of days after opening. I just showed up and asked, lol. A polite please can do wonders. Take a look at the sneak peek article I wrote if you want additional photos but for now, I will just monitor to see when the dining options open up.
The windows are starting to go in and I am seeing some design elements on the exterior. The sunlight didn’t allow for any good photos but I think I captured it in the video above. The center opening is looking like a focal point for the design and I can’t wait to see how that is lit up at night.
Pagoda Hotel Renovations
The Pagoda Hotel had its lobby updated a while back and when I visited there was a lot of work going on but it turned out to be just electrical. The front desk says they are looking to renovate the room sometime next year, this hotel really could use a room refresh and I hope they get it soon.
Wailana Coffee House Updates
So I guess this might be the last update without referencing this iconic location in the past tense. The sign is down which makes me sad but alas, progress, I think. The sign is up for those looking for employment with ABC Stores, I think this location will be branded Island Mart but not 100% on that yet.
I promise to visit when it opens and let whoever works there know how special this corner is.
Right across the street is the Kitchen Cove, still looks like they are hiring but honestly I could not tell which restaurant was open with the signs all over the place. Kan Sushi is up and you can scan their menu from the QR code.
Modern Hotel Rebrand
So Hilton vacation clubs bought diamond properties a while back and that included the Modern in Waikiki, just a couple of weeks ago they announced the rebrand. I talked to a couple of people on the property and I guess the rooms are slated for renovation. Nobody knows when but it is coming. I also asked if the hotel was going to go full timeshare or if it would stay in a mix and nobody knew for sure.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Renovations
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel announced its plan to renovate the hotel to the tune of $180m, wow! This place is already beautiful and I cannot imagine what they are looking to improve upon. I stayed and reviewed this hotel along with a video so check that out when you can, will be great to compare when these renovations are done.
Fairmont Kea Lani Renovation
Here is the latest on the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. The hotel has successfully completed the transformation of its suites and villas, revealing 413 one-bedroom suites and 37 two-story villas that have been artfully redesigned. These accommodations now beautifully reflect the island’s rich cultural heritage and the natural splendor of Hawai‘i.
However, the second phase of the Hoʻomaka Hou Transformation project, which began in Summer 2023, is still underway. This phase primarily focuses on the renovation of the main lobby. While the LUANA Lounge is temporarily closed, the main lobby and its associated services have been relocated to the south entrance of the resort. Guests might encounter minor route changes, but rest assured, there will be no disruption to the services or amenities. All pools, beaches, activities, spa offerings, and restaurants are operational.
The culmination of this transformation is eagerly anticipated in December 2023. It promises an elevated arrival experience, the establishment of a Hawaiian cultural center, and the introduction of a premier oceanfront lounge. We look forward to unveiling these enhancements to our guests and providing an even more enriching experience at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui.
Grand Wailea Renovations
The Grand Wailea is undergoing significant enhancements to elevate its guest experience. The Spa Grande is being transformed into the Mōhalu Healing Garden & Beauty Lab, offering a blend of outdoor treatments and customized beauty programs. All rooms, including the exclusive Napua tower suites, are being revamped with luxurious designs. While the renowned Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa undergoes improvements, guests can indulge in diverse dining options like ʻIkena, Loulu, and Olivine. These upgrades, set to be unveiled in 2023, aim to blend the resort’s rich Hawaiian heritage with modern luxury.
Kona Airport Renovations
I visited Kona the other week and did a flight review coming and going, a Kona Airport guide will also be out soon. Some construction is going on and it looks like they are done with the interiors. I really like the layout and how things are coming together. I got a few shots between the boards and you can see things are getting close.
Hawaiian Airlines 787
A bit of old news but not everyone seems to know that Hawaiian Airlines has opened up ticketing for their Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights. Initially, it will be Honolulu to San Francisco and other West Coast destinations but eventually, it will be for long-haul flights. April 15th is the first available date and I have a ticket on April 16th in the business class cabin. Will do a full review so keep an eye out but here is a sneak peek I got from the corporate office.
ANA Flying Honu Flight Added
A third flight has been added to their Japan to Hawai’i weekly schedule and yes it is another “Flying Honu”. They have a sweepstakes going on to celebrate the ongoing relationship with Hawai’i as well as the new flight. A detailed explanation of the new ANA flights and sweepstakes can be found in my recent article.