Major renovation work that would have closed the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel in Waikiki later this summer has been put on hold, bolstering room inventory in Hawaii's busiest visitor destination during the state's peak travel season.
The 1,142-room property was sold along with the Moana Surfrider, the Royal Hawaiian and the Sheraton Waikiki, all Starwood hotels, earlier this year. The new owner, a Tokyo-based firm called Kokusai Kogyo Co., is now reconsidering its plans for the Princess Kaiulani.
"The new owner wanted to take time to review all of the options," such as a new hotel or a renovation, said Kelly Sanders, area managing director for Starwood Waikiki.
"I don't think they were sold on the condo-hotel option, which is what the previous owners were looking at doing there."
At one point the plan was to knock down two of the Princess Kaiulani's three towers to make room for a new high-end condo-hotel, which might have contained a St. Regis product, while completely overhauling the remaining building's guestrooms and public spaces.
In the short term, the owners will spend about $2 million on a soft-goods refresh of the Princess Kaiulani's rooms, lobby and arrival area.