Pacific Marina Inn refurb aims for 'boutique economy' vibe

The Pacific Marina Inn's renovation that will add an elevator, improve the pool deck and upgrade the room furnishings and amenities.
The Pacific Marina Inn's renovation that will add an elevator, improve the pool deck and upgrade the room furnishings and amenities.
Pacific Marina Inn, a budget property near Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, is undergoing a $1 million renovation that will alter many aspects of the hotel.

The hotel, built in 1976, named a new general manager, Dan Baumann, in July 2017 and started work on plans for a property-wide refresh. Overall, they are investing $1 million in the renovations with designs on upgrading from a two-star to three-star property.

"We have somewhat of a unique location near the airport, as opposed to the bulk of accommodations being in Waikiki," Baumann said. "There is a lot going for it though. The property has a unique feel, and with the renovations we have the idea to turn it into more of a boutique economy hotel."

Baumann added they would like to diversify the clientele from the current mix of about half Hawaii residents traveling inter-island, and half overnight stays for people coming and going from the airport. A station for the under-construction Honolulu rail project is coming to the Pacific Marina Inn's doorstep, and management hopes that will open up the hotel to a new group of guests.

The three-story, 120-room property is getting its first elevator, which will be decorated on the outside with a mosaic facing the pool area. The pool deck is being redone and they are installing a fireplace and new furniture to create an area for gatherings.

"We have two wings with 60 rooms in each wing, and in between we have some nice landscaping, zen gardens and the pool," Baumann said. "We wanted the pool and common areas to be a little more social, and we added the fire pit to have that area where people can come together."

The Pacific Marina Inn offers standard rooms with either a queen or two twin beds in addition to suites with extra amenities such as a sofa, wet bar, coffee maker and a microwave. Carpeting in the rooms has been torn out in favor of new wood flooring, WiFi has been significantly upgraded and each room now has a Bluetooth radio alarm clock and extra USB ports for plugging in personal devices. The rooms also received new furnishings and fresh coats of paint.

"In addition to the renovations I want to bring a new focus on guest service," Baumann said. "That's not always something people see in less expensive properties, but we can compete with any resort on the island in terms of service."

Pacific Marina Inn is also home to a Chinese restaurant and bar, Canoe Hut Lounge, open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., but guests arriving late or leaving early have only a few options in the neighborhood. In a move to address the need for a dining alternative, the renovations include a new snack and gift shop with both hot and cold items.

The renovations are scheduled to be completed by the end of February, according to Baumann.
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