Is All Ending Well for the Modern Honolulu (Formerly The Waikiki Edition)?
It's been almost a year since the calamitous takeover of the Waikiki Edition Hotel in Honolulu, but the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (full story here at Chicago Tribune)reports that business at the hotel has improved by "nearly 70 percent" since Aqua Hotels and Resorts took over the property and renamed it The Modern Honolulu. Occupancy is also up 30 percent from this time last year.
The hotel's new general manager, Vittal Calamur, told the paper that the hotel is offering something not usually found in Hawaii:
"There are of lot of great hotels in Hawaii, and people have come to know them, but the Modern brings something that wasn't here before," he said. "You can get this kind of a hotel experience in London and in Paris and New York, but in Hawaii, until now, you couldn't get this."
Yet while recent guests have reportedly been enjoying their stays at the Modern, there are still some hurdles for the hotel to overcome. For starters, the bankruptcy proceedings are still happening on June 1 and the result could include an $800,000 a year repayment to Marriott Hotels for breaking their management contract.
The Star-Advertiser also reports that tensions are high with the neighboring Ilikai apartment owners' association over issues such as pedestrian bridge access and noise complaints. Things are not much better with the Unite Here Local 5 union which claims that the working environment is unstable and workers have lost pay and benefits since Marriott was kicked out.
Yet Modern Honolulu's Calamur says the hotel is working "in good faith" to come up with a fair contract for their employees as well as work together with their neighbors to "build positive relationships."
So regardless of the bankruptcy woes, it looks like the Modern is here to stay. Chin up, Setai, it can only get better!
If you're interested in checking The Modern Honolulu out for yourself, the hotel is still offering rates in early June for just $199 a night.