Waikiki Beach Marriott to add spa

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WAIKIKI -- The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort is about to change its name, and with the new moniker will come a $15 million enhancement -- on top of the $65 million renovation it completed in 2002 -- as well as new marketing and packaging opportunities.

The resort, located at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki, recently signed an agreement with local favorite Paul Brown Salon and Day Spa to create a 7,000-square-foot spa overlooking the beach on Kalakaua Avenue. The result: Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

"Spas in today's world are almost like a way of life," said John Limper, director of marketing for the 1,310-room property. "It's a health and wellness issue."

The spa, along with an upgraded, 1,200-square-foot fitness center, "opens up a whole avenue of new customers for us," Limper said.

Last year's renovations involved shutting down and gutting one tower. Some outdoor areas and meetings spaces also were improved, and the Kuhio Beach Grill was added.

Three restaurants will join the property as part of the renovation, which is slated to begin Sept. 12.

Seattle's Best coffee will add its second location in the hotel, offering indoor/outdoor seating and sandwiches to go.

An Italian restaurant called Arancino also will provide indoor/outdoor seating and what everyone in Waikiki wants to see: sunset views.

Limper said there will be no guest interruption during the 10 to 12 weeks of the resort's improvement project. Only soft goods such as bedding, carpet and wallpaper will be replaced in the ocean tower, which means no hammering, he said.

But to be safe, the resort will close three or four floors at a time, using two as buffers.

The property is changing its name now so that the spa addition will be reflected in next year's brochures, Limper said.

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