Waikiki’s Sheraton Princess Kaiulani refreshing 280 guestrooms

A renovated guestroom at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.
A renovated guestroom at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.
Work has begun on a $5 million refresh for 280 guestrooms in the Ainahau Tower of the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel in Waikiki.

Laurie Wong Ihara, the property’s director of sales and marketing, said the project should wrap up at the end of this summer or early in the fall, and improvements will include, “brand-new carpet, brand-new furniture, new beds, new wallpaper and new blackout drapes.”

“A total internet upgrade is in the plans, as well,” she said of the Ainahau Tower, which will also have its lobby-floor refreshed. “It’s a huge commitment on the behalf of Starwood and our owners.”

Located one block from the beach, the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is home to a total of 1,142 guestrooms, spread across three multistory buildings: the Ainahau Tower; the Kaiulani Wing; and the Princess Wing. The property sits on what was once the Ainahau Estate, home to a residence of the beloved Hawaiian Princess Kaiulani, who died of pneumonia in 1899 at age 23.

According to Ihara, the Ainahau Tower room improvements feature a number of nods to the late princess.

“The wallpaper is a very tasteful peacock feather print,” she said, “because peacocks were her favorite.”

Other improvements, meanwhile, have a more contemporary influence.

“We added new USB ports, that are so important when you’re traveling now,” she said. “They’re right by the phone right by your bed.”

The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani will celebrate its 61st anniversary in June, and according to Ihara, the last Ainahau Tower room refresh of this magnitude was completed about 15 years ago. She added that some of the $5 million in upgrade funds were also spent on a refresh in the hotel’s main lobby.

“We totally redid the carpet and put some new highlights in the lobby,” Ihara said, noting that the public bathrooms there were also overhauled. “So it looks fresh and new.”

Ihara indicated more substantial work is slated for the Princess Kaiulani in the future, but no firm overhaul strategy has been decided on.  

“Similar to our sister properties [in Waikiki], we do have major renovation plans down the road,” Ihara explained, noting that some of those renovation plans have changed a fair bit over time. “But we don’t have that date set yet.”

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