Hyatt Regency Maui speeds up renovation

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Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has embarked on a sweeping guestroom renovation scheduled to be complete by Nov. 15.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has embarked on a sweeping guestroom renovation scheduled to be complete by Nov. 15.

When the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa reopens following its closure during the Covid-19 pandemic, guests will be welcomed back to rooms redone from top to bottom -- a down-to-the-studs renovation that is the culmination of a five-year process that touched on nearly every aspect of the property.

Currently, the resort is set to reopen Sept. 1 to coincide with the beginning of a state plan to allow visitors who test negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of arrival to skip a 14-day quarantine period. The pretravel testing program was originally set to launch on Aug. 1, and has already been pushed back once due to concerns over testing availability and spikes on the U.S. mainland.

The first of the property's three guestroom buildings was completed in December 2019, another is set to be completed in the coming weeks and the third building is scheduled to be finished by Nov. 15. 

"Because of the pandemic and quarantine, we were able to accelerate the construction schedule," general manager Fred Findlen said. "Originally we thought we would be able to finish by the end of year, but now we will have everything done before Thanksgiving and the holiday season."

The accommodations have been completely redone, including new furniture, technology, fixtures and amenities.

Guestroom closets were opened up to create a feeling of more space, bathrooms now feature double sinks, and the balconies were redone with new sliding glass doors and a glass barrier to replace the previous wrought-iron railing for clearer views of the ocean or mountains outside.  

"I think our old sliding glass doors were 40 years old," Findlen said. "The new design brings the room into the outside environment much more."

All new wiring means a plethora of new plugs in convenient places and additional technology, including digital room keys that can be downloaded to a guest's phone and motion-sensor lights. The tubs in rooms with king-size beds were removed in favor of a new shower stall, while rooms with two queen beds kept their bathtubs. The bathrooms also have all new tile flooring and granite countertops.

"We felt like the two-queen-bed rooms are more of a family setup, and so those guests would still like the tub for children, while the king rooms are typically couples," Findlen said.

As part of the renovations, the resort added new room categories, the Corner King, Corner King Partial View and Corner King Ocean View. Each 510-square-foot room offers expanded living space compared to standard rooms, can be connected to a standard room for families and groups, and features two lanais. The total tally of guestrooms increased from 806 to 810.

Hyatt Regency Maui is already the only LEED-EBOM Gold certified resort in the Aloha State, and they have added energy savings and other efficiencies during the work, including retrofitting the air conditioning systems. In addition to the guestroom overhaul, the lobby is currently being renovated and redesigned for the first time in the property's four-decade history. The changes at the 40-acre oceanfront property also include new landscaping design that offers more walkways and spaces for socializing.

Findlen said the resort is following state and federal updates on best procedures for combating the spread of coronavirus in addition to working on the Hyatt companywide plan, and while it is currently slated to reopen Sept. 1, they are also prepared for another delay in the implementation of Hawaii's pretravel testing program.

"From the beginning with Covid-19 we've been proactive," Findlen said. "We have hired a hygiene and wellbeing leader. As we learn more from the government and health industry, Hyatt and the hotel are adapting care and cleanliness procedures and physical spacing. ... As an industry, I think hotels want to make sure we give guests a feeling of security. When we reopen, we will be ready. Each brand has certain standards, but we all want to make sure that when people come back to Hawaii they are comfortable and continue to see Hawaii as the safest place to be."

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