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The Modern Honolulu has only been open for a little over two years but already its undergone two management changes. The first happened when Marriott’s Edition brand was unceremoniously shoved out of the property by the hotel’s owners, M Waikiki, back in the summer of 2011. Now, the management company that took over for Edition, Modern Management Services LLC, which is part of Hawaii's Aqua Hospitality has been sold off.
Travel Weekly reports that Modern Management Services is now a part of TMH Operator LLC, a California-based independent hotel operator. Financial details were not disclosed and Aqua stated that the sale was voluntary.
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.
We're big fans of Hyatt Place hotels mainly because of their free WiFi, spacious rooms, geeky tech panels and wallet-friendly room rates but now Hyatt Place is even more appealing thanks to the opening of their first hotel in Hawaii.
Formerly the Ocean Resort Hotel, the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach in Honolulu is comprised of two towers, the first of which, the Pali Tower, is now open. This tower has 191 rooms, all with balconies and views of the Waikiki Beach neighborhood.
Waikiki beach is a "three-minute walk" away, according to Hyatt Place, and the Hawaii Convention Center is just two miles away, making it a good spot for either business or pleasure guests, or both.
The other day we saw that the hotel formerly known as the Waikiki Edition but currently known as The Modern Honolulu was offering some amazing rates for next month--starting at just $195 a night. Then we saw rates of $155 on Jetsetter.com.
This was a steep drop from Edition's high of $375 making us extremely excited about a possible trip to Honolulu, especially since it seemed like Aqua hadn't changed a thing. But again, nothing is as it seems here.
We've got a tip that the management has already started to take apart the crazy cool Wrecktangles surf board installation behind the front desk because "they keep bumping into it." Very sad. And a little sacrilegious no? Don't you just take it down instead of removing pieces?
It's been about a month since the Edition Waikiki was kicked out of their own hotel and The Modern Honolulu ushered in but the dust from the fracas has just about settled down. More importantly, the Modern Honolulu has a real deal website now.
The site is chock-full of gorgeous photos, taken when the hotel was still an Edition, and while it lacks the sophistication of the old Edition site, the new site definitely feels more approachable with big easy to read fonts and exciting copy. (Ok, some of it does feel a little too cheerleader peppy.)
But perhaps the biggest improvement here is the room rate for the month of October. Rates at the Modern are just $195 a night all next month for city view rooms. Interestingly, that's how much the Edition offered as its special opening rate a year ago before jumping up to $375 a night. So, um...anyone up for a trip to Hawaii next month? If you are, just be prepared for some awkward employee interactions.
Edition Waikiki Lawsuit / Hotel Takeovers / Aqua Hotels Hawaii / Edition Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel Employees / Honolulu Hotels / → All Tags
We all had a three-day weekend thanks to the Labor Day holiday but down at the Waikiki Edition (or Edition Waikiki or Modern Honolulu, whatever team/side you're on), the employees were still working--both to serve guests and to fight against their new bosses, Aqua Hotels and Resorts.
As far as we know, Aqua is still running the hotel as the Modern Honolulu and Marriott is begrudgingly respecting the hotel owners, M Waikiki's recent bankruptcy filing. In the meantime, Marriott plans to sue M Waikiki up the wazoo, or for tens of millions of dollars in damages for breaking the management contract. As for the guests, Marriott is now urging them to call the Marriott reservations center and make reservations at other nearby Marriott hotels.
On the bright side, even though there are miserable employees on the property, the booze is free. The hotel is no longer selling alcoholic drinks because it needs to apply for a new liquor license in Aqua's name as the old one belonged to Marriott. That sounds crappy but reports say they are giving away the alcohol. Whee!!
Now onward with the next chapter in this story..
Edition Waikiki Lawsuit / Hotel News / Edition Hotels / Aqua Hotels / Honolulu Hotels / Hotel Woes / → All Tags
It's not so peaceful here anymore.
All this week, we've been watching the drama of the Waikiki Edition Takeover unfold at a rapid pace. The hotel owners, M Waikiki LLC, fired the first shot by dumping the Edition brand and anyone affiliated with Marriott Hotels overnight on Saturday and installing a new brand, Aqua Hotels and Resorts to run the place with a new name, The Modern Honolulu.
Marriott struck back by winning an injunction from a New York court to reinstall their Edition brand. But so far no changes have been made. Except that M Waikiki filed for bankruptcy yesterday making it harder for Marriott to take any further legal action against them.
All week long we've been posting commentary from the hotel's Edition employees who were forced to sign with Aqua Hotels or else be fired. Needless to say it's not a happy place there. (The employee have also set up a Facebook Page called Save the Waikiki Edition. 347 likes and counting!
But today, we have a different perspective to share with you--that of a longterm guest at the hotel who has stayed nearly 110 nights at the hotel this year alone. They write:
Edition Waikiki Lawsuit / Aqua Hotels / Hotel Takeovers / Honolulu Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Employees / Hotel Woes / → All Tags
The takeover and the takeback of the Waikiki Editionis moving so fast that we're finding it hard to keep up with all the developments especially as we're attending a work conference in Vegas (for realz! and we are actually sober!) So we're sitting here trying to recap all that we can as we get the time. Fortunately, it's only 12:30pm in Hawaii right now so we're not too late!
First off BANKRUPTCY! M Waikiki LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today. No doubt they blame Marriott for their financial woes but the filing also prevents Marriott from filing any countersuits against them. Tricky! Marriott, meanwhile, has called the move "desperate." As it stands right now, the hotel is now an Aqua Hotels and Resorts-run place called The Modern Honolulu. But given the craziness of the past few days, who knows how long that will last.
Edition Waikiki Lawsuit / Hotel Websites / Aqua Hotels Hawaii / Edition Hotels / Honolulu Hotels / Twitter / → All Tags
Yesterday, after we digested the shocking news about the Edition Waikiki, a savvy commenter pointed out that the
Edition Waikiki The Modern Honolulu did have a website up and running although another commented mentioned that reservations were not working yet. But lo and behold, they are working today!
We found a city view room available on September 20th for just $299 a night which is about $80 less than what the Edition had been charging earlier this summer. An ocean view one-bedroom suite was going for $799 if you wanted to splash out.
Hotel Drama / Hotel News / Hotel Lawsuits / Edition Waikiki Lawsuit / Honolulu Hotels / Edition Hotels / → All Tags
This used to be a happy place.
Uhoh. Remember that Edition Waikiki Lawsuit that the owners of the Edition Waikiki filed against Edition's parent company Marriott Hotels and visionary Ian Schrager a few months ago? Well things have just gotten really nasty.
The Wall Street Journal reports that over Saturday night, the owners changed the locks on the hotel doors, effectively shutting out Marriott.
In a dramatic move, the owners of the Waikiki Edition in Hawaii said Sunday that in the early morning hours they installed new management and changed the signs and locks on the hotel to reflect a new name, the Modern Honolulu. The changes were made in spite of a contract that allows Marriott to run the hotel as an Edition for 30 years.
The ball drop in Times Square is so last decade—you know it's true when it's all about gimmicks like putting Jersey Shore guidette Snooki inside of the lit-up ball, hamster-style. The New Year's Eve tradition that's fistpump-free for 2011 is the first-time pineapple drop at the Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu.
The only celeb who might make an appearance is President Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family.
Who's thirsty? It's time for another installment of our Summer Cocktails series. All summer long we'll profile fun new summer drinks served at hotels around the world. Got one we should know about? Send us the recipe with a photo of the drink. Otherwise, enjoy and @reply us when you're wasted!
We don't know about you, but we find it hard to get sick of all these silly cocktail puns. Maybe because it's summer and we've had a few by now? At any rate, the cocktails and the puns don't stop, and today's installment comes all the way from Hawaii, where it's Augustini Month at the Kahala Hotel & Resort.