Renaissance Waikiki to undergo extensive refit

WAIKIKI -- The 35-year-old Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki Hotel will undergo a comprehensive renovation at the end of the year, according to general manager Alan Cambra.

"I would like to use the word restoration," Cambra said. "We want to bring the hotel back to the glamour it used to have in its heyday. There won't be anything [left] in the building we have not touched."

The hotel will spend $25 million on the restoration.

The first phase involves completing a room renovation that was begun in 1999 by former owners Jowa Hawaii.

That phase should take about a year, and during that time, 50 to 100 rooms will be removed from inventory, Cambra said.

Jowa Hawaii had undertaken the initiative to renovate the hotel's 783 guest rooms but had completed only 180 rooms when, in February, it sold the property to Forward One, which has its U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles.

Starting in summer 2001, work will begin on all public areas, including the ballroom, meeting rooms, restaurant, lobby and hotel entrance.

The entire Ilikai property has 1,400 rooms, 617 of which are privately owned condominiums.

The property is managed by Interstate Hotels of Pittsburgh and marketed by Marriott's Renaissance brand.

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