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At 45,000-sq.ft., it’s the largest on Kauai and each treatment suite opens up into its own tropical garden. So while you are being massaged, polished and scrubbed, the birds are chirping, the breeze is blowing and you actually know you are in Hawaii, unlike some staid, common spa treatment rooms where you can’t tell if you're in Hawaii or North Dakota.
Hotel Renovations / Maui Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Collection / Hawaii Hotels / → All Tags
“Families look no further than the Grand Wailea”, we said last year when we listed our Must Stay Hotels for Wailea, Maui. The vast resort has an almost overwhelming list of pools, activity slides (including this, which looks terrifying) and other things on its 40 acres of grounds to keep the kids happy.
In order to keep things fresh as well, a major renovation project kicked off last October, which will last throughout this year. Those pools and activity slides were re-tiled in December, and all rooms are getting an overhaul – above, the end result.
The 356-room Kauai Marriott in Lihue starts out on the right foot: with a free shuttle right from the airport, not a service many resorts on the island offer. Within six minutes, guests are beachfront on Kalapaki Beach, widely considered the most swimmable resort beach in Kauai.
The pool is magnificent and is the largest single-level pool on the island. The keiki (kids) pool has a slide that lands in shallow water which is for children under 12. The renovated oceanfront king room we stayed in was pretty and comfy with a large balcony with views of both the massive pool and the gorgeous beach.
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So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world!
· Conrad Chicago, shown above, will cease to be a part of Hilton Hotels later this fall and will instead join Starwood's Luxury Collection group. No word yet on what the new name will be. [Source: Hotel News Resource]
· Fresh off opening their New York property, EDITION Hotels will open next year in Sanya, China; Thailand and Abu Dhabi with Shanghai and Times Square to happen in 2017 and West Hollywood in 2018. Paris has inexplicably dropped off the website although Edition folk say it is still happening. Also happening that's not yet listed? The Reijavkik Edition in Iceland. We cannot wait. [Source: Edition Hotels website]
· The 342-room JW Marriott Minneapolis, which will have direct access to the Mall of America, is set to open in November. However, the website is accepting reservations right now for stays from January 1, 2016 and beyond. [Source: JW Marriott Hotels]
· A tipster wrote into tell us that the W Retreat Kanai in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which last we heard was opening in July 2015, is now opening in January 2018, according to the W Hotels website. Yup, that seems about right for W Hotels. [Source: Tipster and W Hotels]
· After announcing a Hilton Garden Inn for Hawaii, Hilton is now going to install their DoubleTree by Hilton brand in the iconic Hilo Naniloa Hotel and Golf Club on the Big Island. The hotel is currently closed as it goes under a $16 million renovation. It should reopen as DoubleTree later this year. [Source: Pacific Business News]
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UPDATE: A rep for the Four Seasons Resorts on Lanai has told us that while the hotels are closed for renovations, the island itself is still open for exploration. Guests can visit the shops, restaurants, a newly renovated movie theater as well as play on the Manele Golf Course. A Summer Golf Special will be offered starting on June 1, which includes 18-ocean-view holes, club rental, prix fixe lunch at VIEWS restaurant and transportation to and from the harbor for only $325. But the rooms are not available for overnight stays.
When we last left you on Lanai, the plan was for some serious renovation and refurbishment to take place at the island’s two main hotels— Four Seasons' two properties, the Lodge at Koele and Manele Bay. Well the time has come, so you'd better hit up Airbnb if you’re looking for accommodation on the Pineapple Isle. Because it's only going to get worse from here.
If you have $200 million to spend, why not invest it all in a new hotel project over in Hawaii? That’s exactly what one group is doing according to the folks over at Pacific Business News. Pacific Links Hawaii will set up shop on Oahu, taking over the turf formerly home to the Mahaka Hotel & Resort.
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Always wanted to visit all fifty states, but didn’t know where to stay? Hilton Garden Inn now has you covered, as they’re happy to announce that they’re in the works to have a property in each and every one of those in the nifty fifty.
The final one for the Hilton folks will be over in Hawaii, as the chain just signed the paperwork to get down to business over in Hawaii. They’re skipping right over Waikiki and Oahu, as the plan is to head right into Kauai with the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai/Wailua Bay. They’re partnering up with the locals over at Aston Hotels and Resorts to manage things, and the 216-room beachfront spot will open its doors in 2016.
This won’t be new construction, but a full renovation and remodel will take place before the place starts flying the Hilton Garden Inn flag. Room rates and other details still haven’t been released, but we’d hope things would be a little more affordable than other spots on the island—saving you some cash for that helicopter tour.
[Photo: Hilton Garden Inn / Facebook]
Naturally, the resort fee--from a property who once prided themselves on standing out from their competitors by not having a resort fee--has caused a bit of a stir in the comments section. And it should.
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
Kea Lani means "white heaven" and the all-suite and villa Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui certainly is divine now that it's completed its extensive three-year, $70 million renovation. Improvements have touched nearly every aspect of the 22-acre Wailea property.
Above is how a one-bedroom suite at the property used to look. Just a bit too dated for our tastes. But keep reading to see how the place looks now!
A few months ago, we put out a poll that asked readers how they felt about hotels replacing traditional keycards with electronic wristbands. A few people liked the convenience of having everything on their wrist and not keeping track of a key, but most, including this writer, balked at the idea.
Part of it is that the hotel chain in question, EVEN Hotels, is charging guests $8 for them. The other part of it was the belief that if anything is going to replace our beloved keycards, it should be smart phone technology. Who needs one more thing?
Alas, it looks like enough people are at least interested in the concept to give the trend a chance to become a mainstay. But this time it’s no small potatoes. This time, it’s Four Seasons touting them as a perk.
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The few things we know at this stage? It will be the first Four Seasons hotel on the island of Oahu, the fourth island of Hawai’i with a Four Seasons (the others are Maui, Lana’i, and the Big Island), and the fifth Four Seasons in total. Another first is the creation of private residences, which adds to our expectation that the current room count of 387 will change.
The only rendering we have is above, a sweeping staircase (complete with lady in a mustard-yellow ball gown) over reflecting pools. The architects working on the renovation include 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito.
When we look at the JW Marriott website, we can only make reservations up to January 9, 2015. We think it will be 2016 or 2017 until Four Seasons reopens.
Hanalei Colony Resort, Kauai
The island of Kauai presents a number of resort options up and down its east coast, from the Grand Hyatt at Poipu Beach in the south to the Marriott outside of Lihue. For first timers to the island, this location makes sense for lodging as it puts you between the island's main attractions: Waimea Canyon and Hanalei Bay.
For those who have been to Kauai before, or who simply don't feel the need to zip around the island, Hanalei Bay is a great place to set up shop. It's a prime spot to learn to surf and, officially, home to only one resort, the Hanalei Bay Resort. Still, that doesn't mean there are no crowds. The small town is the main attraction for those staying in neighboring Princeville and remains a top draw for all visitors to the island, including those passing through on their way to the Na Pali Coast in the northwest.
View from Hanalei Colony Resort looking towards Wainiha Bay