The Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki in Honolulu has emerged from a $55.4 million renovation with a new, succinct name to go along with its revamped decor, rooms and amenities: the Prince Waikiki.
"It is really the first big renovation in the hotel's history," said Chuck Abbott, general manager of the hotel, which opened in 1990. "The decision was made to change the physical look, to make it more modern and up-to-date in today's world. At the same time we looked at what services and amenities would be more appealing to today's traveler."
The project began in June 2016, and is nearly complete. G70 was the lead architecture firm for the renovation, and design work was also done by Creative Resource Associates and Wall-to-Wall Studios. All 563 of the guestrooms and suites overlook the ocean and the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, the rooms were redone in beige and blue tones that reflect the surf and sand outside. The bathrooms feature updated fixtures and amenities, such as beauty and bath products from Malie Organics that incorporate Hawaii's tropical flora.
Event spaces and the pool deck were completely refurnished and redesigned. The pool was rebuilt in the infinity style and now features uninterrupted views of the harbor and Pacific Ocean, with modern lounge chairs and cabanas.
The signature restaurant, 100 Sails Restaurant and Bar, added options for guests. The hotel's restaurant was previously known for its buffet but now has a U-shaped bar, where guests can enjoy small bites and specialty cocktails, wine and beer on tap. The menu was revamped with a focus on "fresh island cuisine," according to Abbott, and there are more a la carte options.
In place of its previous Japanese restaurant, the Prince Waikiki partnered with Katsumidori, a Tokyo sushi restaurant that made the hotel its first overseas location.
"The model for Katsumidori is to offer the highest-quality fish at reasonable prices," Abbott said. "You can sit at the sushi counter or tables, and even order your food on an iPad."
Completing the hotel's dining roster is a branch of the Honolulu Coffee Co. in the hotel lobby.
A lounge was removed from the lobby, and the area was restructured to make it easier for the hotel ambassadors to greet and interact with guests.
"We removed some of the physical obstacles, and the whole lobby is more engaging and welcoming from the guest's standpoint," Abbott said. "It was really important to us to not only look at the decor and design but also the service and amenities. We pride ourselves on personal service. If a travel agent can provide us flight information in advance, we'll have a room ready early for a guest, before regular check-in. If they let us know the guest loves Diet Coke and never drinks regular Coke, we'll stock the fridge with only Diet Coke."
Also in the lobby is the centerpiece of the new art program, a bronze sculpture of a hinana fish created by Oahu sculptor Kaili Chun. Employees and guests were invited to hammer out bronze pieces, representative of the fish's scales, that were then incorporated into the larger piece, which is titled "Hulali i ka la," meaning "glistening in the sun." Prince Waikiki then adopted a graphic rendition of the sculpture as its new logo. Additionally, Hawaiian artist Solomon Enos painted vibrant abstract canvasses that are displayed throughout the hotel.
Guests can also book tee times at the 27-hole Hawaii Prince Golf Course, designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. The hotel's wedding chapel, which is perched on the 33rd floor, is expected to be finished this month. Visit www.princeresortshawaii.com/prince-waikiki