Marc Resorts renovates its properties on Oahu

WAIKIKI -- In an ongoing effort to stay competitive in the marketplace, Marc Resorts Hawaii is in the midst of a $4 million renovation on four of its five individually owned, Marc-managed properties on Oahu.

At the 47-room Royal Suites Waikiki, the first phase of improvements is now complete, leaving the top three floors, lobby and elevators with new interiors.

One- and two-bedroom suites now have a fresh, crisp look set off with mauve and earth tones and vintage artwork.

Also new are king-size beds, with pineapple lamps adding a whimsical feel.

"[The property is] small enough that we feel we can do some special touches," said Paul Tomonari, executive vice president of Marc Resorts Hawaii.

Tomonari said he hopes to add personal services and amenities such as a concierge and breakfast baskets in the rooms.

The second phase of the renovation, slated for completion by next summer, will finish the remaining rooms and enhance public areas with new carpeting and fresh paint. The improvements to the Royal Suites Waikiki will total $750,000.

Renovations in other Marc properties on Oahu are as follows:

• Marc's Diamond Head Beach Hotel just finished a $1 million exterior renovation that included weatherproofing, refinishing and repair. Next up are minor improvements to some of the guest suites.

• Marc Suites Waikiki is awaiting approval on a $300,000 expenditure to replace soft goods. The project could begin shortly.

• Island Colony -- A Marc Suite last year renovated its lobby, elevators, porte cochere and entry areas. The bulk of the $2 million project will be completed by spring, including a new guest service center and renovations to 150 rooms and suites.

There are 14 Marc Resorts on the islands, generally located off the beach and reasonably priced.

A big selling point for many visitors -- especially families -- is that all properties have some units with kitchenettes. Actually, these are full kitchens minus the oven. A full-size refrigerator and freezer, stove top, microwave and dishwasher can come in handy during stays that now average six nights, according to Tomonari.

Each Marc property has its own selling points.

For example, Royal Suites Waikiki is located near the high-end shops at 2100 Kalakaua Ave. Next to the resort's small lobby are several popular eateries, including Sushikoh, a Japanese restaurant that Tomonari said is "always busy"; Yabusaba, offering authentic Japanese fare with handmade noodles; and a tiny Italian restaurant called Aranchino, so popular that another is set to open soon in the Waikiki Beach Marriott.

Each of the Royal Suites' lanais is spacious and furnished with a plastic table and chairs; some of the top-floor rooms have beach views.

Diamond Head Beach Hotel is the perfect location for those who want to be close to the action in Waikiki yet out of the traffic, according to Tomonari. Across the street from Kapiolani Park, it boasts panoramic views of Diamond Head and the ocean, with a tiny courtyard (and a wedding gazebo) buttressing one of the best surf spots for beginners on the island.

To contact reporter Katherine Nichols, send e-mail to [email protected].

Firm offers bonuses, pay raise

WAIKIKI -- Marc Resorts Hawaii wants to nurture what executive vice president Paul Tomonari said is "a real solid relationship with travel agents," especially now that 85% of its guests are coming from the U.S. mainland.

Marc Resorts offers 10% commission and bumps that up to 13% during special travel agent months.

Agents can look for incentives and special rates in April and September.

There also is a bonus of $25 for each booking of five nights or more; Tomonari hinted this may double at some point next year "during periods when we want more business."

The company's Web site also has a special page for agents.

Rates at the Waikiki Royal Suites start at $179 per night for a deluxe one-bedroom. A one-bedroom suite with full kitchen and ocean view at the Diamond Head Beach Hotel starts at $319.

For more information, call (800) 535-0085 or visit -- K.N.

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