Waikiki Beachcomber starting rebrand and renovation

A rendering of the planned redesign of the rooms at the Waikiki Beachcomber.
A rendering of the planned redesign of the rooms at the Waikiki Beachcomber.
Tovin Lapan
Tovin Lapan

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts is ready to put more of its own stamp on a property it has operated for years.

The Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber is being converted to an Outrigger-branded property, and will officially be known as the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger starting on Feb. 1. The property is also set to undergo a $25 million renovation that will touch many aspects of the hotel including the rooms.

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts was purchased by Denver-based KSL Resorts last year, and this represents one of the company's first major investments in its new Waikiki properties.

The 496-room resort was built in 1970 and was bought by Outrigger in 2005. The renovations are the first major changes since a $30 million renovation in 2009, when the property was known as the Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber, according to Mike Shaff, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts vice president of hotel operations for Waikiki and Guam, who is overseeing the Waikiki Beachcomber transition.

The renovations will transition the property, which is a neighbor of the relaunched International Market Place, upward in the market, according to Shaff, and they expect a higher average daily rate after the project is complete.

"I don't think the customer mix will shift dramatically," Shaff said. "What I do think we will see is that the age range will drop a little bit, and we will transition to more of an upscale, urban oasis type of offering."

Architecture firm Hart Howerton and SFA Design are leading the renovations and changes to interior decor, including refreshed accommodations done in a contemporary Hawaiian theme.

"We want to make sure we do something different," Shaff said. "We want a timeless design, not something that is great today but will be horrible tomorrow. There is a residential feel in the rooms with Hawaiian patterns and a relaxing, ocean and beach design."

The work will also significantly update the technology in the accommodations.

"We want to make sure that connectivity is up to date, because we know personal device management is important to today's traveler," Shaff said.  "A lot of people have three to four devices each these days, and adding a lot of options for plugging in in convenient locations throughout the room was important. We also are adding a Bluetooth-enabled speaker system, and new, 55-inch flat-screen TVs with a software program so people can watch Netflix on their personal accounts."

Works by Hawaiian artists will also be featured throughout the property, including a focus on underwater photography.

The room renovations are expected to start in April and finish by the end of the summer, Shaff said, and the hotel will remain open and work to minimize disruption during the process. Much of the planning is still being done, but the renovations will include a new 1,500 square-foot meeting space and a lobby redesign. Roughly a year ago the property welcomed the addition of two new dining options, Maui Brewing Co. and Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, which will remain a part of the new hotel.

Bookings for Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger are already being taken at Outrigger.com, and participants in the Outrigger Expert Agent program earn 30 reward points for each booked night. For bookings made by Dec. 21, 2017, of five nights or more with travel dates between Feb. 1 and Dec. 21, 2018, agents can earn a $50 booking bonus. For more information visit OutriggerAgent.com.
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