Waikiki Parc fuses value, location

WAIKIKI -- Who doesn't want to stay close to the beach yet avoid paying beachfront prices?

Amazingly, many people don't know that the Waikiki Parc Hotel, a 297-room property here, offers just that.

A mere 100 yards from fluffy white sand and lilting waves, the Waikiki Parc sits across the street from its more famous sister hotel, the Halekulani. And it attracts an entirely different visitor.

"Not every guest has the budget for Halekulani," said Stacy Tamaye, sales account executive for the Waikiki Parc. Tamaye handles corporate and group travel at the Parc, which finished a $2.7 million refurbishment in July.

While the Halekulani is a luxury property, the Parc is neither luxury nor budget, explained Tamaye.

It has an adequate but minimal fitness center and a pool, but no spa.

Guests have signing privileges at Halekulani's restaurants and shops but cannot use the pool or spa there.

Rooms at the Parc are small, but most have stunning ocean or city views.

Those on the eighth floor make up for that floor's limited vista with large balconies, which are especially inviting for families traveling with children.

A recent upgrade of soft goods introduced warmer greens and browns, adding a splash of color to mostly bare walls, white plantation shutters and a spare, crisp look in the spotless rooms.

Because accommodations at the Waikiki Parc are smaller than at most hotels here, the limit per room is three people. Families traveling with two or more children should reserve connecting rooms.

The trick here is that the rooms don't actually connect. A third door seals off the corridor, leaving a small, private area between the two rooms, serving as a handy storage or play area. One key unlocks the shared door and the two room doors.

Other guest room additions include a 25-inch Sony Wega television, a CD alarm clock and a larger-than-average refrigerator that remains unstocked, enabling guests to store their own snacks and drinks.

Outside, the pool deck was resurfaced and stocked with canopy chairs, and the pool itself was retiled.

The hotel's biggest selling point, Tamaye said, is its value and location.

Guests can enjoy an "intimate boutique-style setting" where they're greeted by name.

They can walk just yards to the beach or the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center or upscale 2100 Kalakaua and receive a full buffet breakfast every day during their stay.

Free parking is part of many packages -- a huge money-saver designed to encourage visitors to rent a car and see the island.

"We want not only to sell the hotel, but sell Oahu, as well," she said.

About half of the Parc's guests arrive from the U.S. mainland, with strong support from Classic Custom Vacations, according to Tamaye.

Another burgeoning market is the single female corporate traveler who wants good value and a smaller hotel that provides a greater feeling of security.

The property welcomes groups of 150 or less. Facilities such as a private dining room more effectively accommodate groups of 30 or less.

A conference room seats eight, and a 24-hour business center offers two computers with high-speed Internet access at a cost of $1.95 for 10 minutes. Wireless access is also available in parts of the hotel.

For guests who would rather spend money on souvenirs and elegant dinners than send out their laundry, the Parc has a self-service laundry room beside the pool, an amenity that is increasingly popular with guests.

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Book it: Waikiki Parc Hotel
(800) 422-0450
Rates: From $225 per night, up to $320 for a deluxe ocean room. Children under age 14 are charged $1 per year of their age. Families receive discounts on a second room (up to $200 off for a Deluxe room) when traveling together. All rooms include full American breakfast for two at Parc Cafe or Japanese breakfast at Kacho. The Parc Sunrise package offers a deluxe mountainview room with breakfast and parking for $180.
Commission: 10%
Note: A travel agent page on the Web site lets agents send VIP customers a welcome amenity, print brochures and get discounted rates for personal stays at the Parc.

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

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