Rebranded Waikiki hotel to focus on wellness and sustainability

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After a $1.5 million rebrand and room redesign, Renew is focused on wellness and local partnerships.
After a $1.5 million rebrand and room redesign, Renew is focused on wellness and local partnerships.

Hotel Renew on the eastern end of Waikiki is wrapping up a rebranding and redesign of the property with a focus on wellness and local partnerships, including excursions with community impact components and an expansive new menu of health-conscious programming.

The roughly $1.5 million redesign of the 72-room hotel, now known simply as Renew, was led by Honolulu-based Vanguard Theory, which also worked on the recent redesign of the Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club. With the rebranding has come a renewed focus on offering amenities sourced in the Aloha State and experiences beyond the traditional tourist spots.

"For millennial travelers, wellness is a big component," Renew general manager Thomas Harris said. "A lot of people are making health and lifestyle choices a priority, especially with younger consumers in the market. We saw it as an opportunity for the hotel and OLS [Renew's parent company] to move into that space. They are very oriented around nutrition, fitness and the wellness lifestyle."

The property has also partnered with Travel2Change, a company that provides activities and tours with a volunteer or social and environmental responsibility component.

"They offer several opportunities to give back to the island," Harris said. "There are kayak and stand-up paddleboard excursions with a cleanup in Kailua, a bicycle tour and beach cleanup, and a lot of the programs are off the beaten path."

The rooms and common areas have been redone in a midcentury minimalist motif with touches of modern tropical design.

"Previously, the rooms had somewhat of a 2000 feel to it, the rooms were pretty dim," Harris said. "Now, the rooms have some rose quartz since Vanguard Theory are a bit of risk takers, and they are lighter and brighter. ... We also opened up the footprint to provide as much real estate as possible."

Renew boasts a wellness concierge who can tailor the programming and daily schedule for each guest's goals and interests during their stay.

"We are really going to lean on our wellness concierge to get a sense of what the guests want to accomplish even before they arrive on property," Harris said. "We can work on the wellness aspects, and the give-back programming, so we can plan out and fulfill their entire list."

The honed focus on wellness and local products shows up in several areas. Guests are now welcomed upon arrival with Mamaki tea from Tea Chest Hawai'i and receive a jar of local Manoa honey when departing.

"We wanted to make Renew hyper local, with anything and everything we could be Hawaii- and even Oahu-based," Harris said.

There is a Relax Station available at the front desk from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with lavender items to help promote better sleep. Guests can also request an in-room workout kit with yoga mat, medicine ball, 5-pound dumbbells and resistance bands, and the property has a selection of Peloton bikes for in-room use upon request. Additional programming includes beach yoga, astrology readings, mini aromatherapy facials, snorkeling adventures with bay restoration and removing invasive species along hiking trails.

"We don't have a huge footprint so we are always looking to build out our list of local partners, offer more to our guests and help show them some of the less visited areas of the island," Harris said.

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