Hawaii visitors traveling to Oahu this fall will have a host of new options that include not only freshly redesigned rooms and amenities, but two new luxury properties in Waikiki.
New projects from Aqua-Aston Hospitality and Halekulani have recently announced official launch dates and should be highly anticipated openings for luxury travelers. Additionally, a slate of Honolulu hotels across a variety of price ranges have either recently wrapped up major renovations or are finishing before the year closes.
Espacio, The Jewel of Waikiki: Set to open Sept. 7, this new, amenity-laden development from Aqua Aston-Hospitality features nine, 2,250-square-foot, three-bedroom suites, each on its own floor with butler service, Italian-marble bathrooms, dry sauna, lanai Jacuzzi, full kitchen and inclusive luxury rental car. Concierges plan individually tailored activities and experiences, there are no preset check-in or checkout times, and guests receive access to a luxury fleet of cars and in-suite chef service. The property's new restaurant, Mugen, led by chef Jason Yamaguchi, features fish flown in daily from Japan, a selection of rare Japanese whiskies, high-end sake, and select wines. The tower also includes a rooftop jacuzzi and infinity pool and full-service spa. Rates begin at $5,000 per night.
Halepuna Waikiki: Formerly the Waikiki Parc Hotel, the property is scheduled to emerge from a multimillion-dollar transformation in October to offer 284 guestrooms and four suites with ocean views. The luxury boutique hotel from the operators of the neighboring Halekulani will feature local artwork sourced in collaboration with the Honolulu Museum of Art. Halepuna Waikiki's opening will also include the debut of Halekulani Bakery and Restaurant, a full-service, all-day casual restaurant featuring a variety of pastries, cakes and artisanal breads created by a baker from the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani rates range from $350 to $1,100.
Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger: On April 29, Outrigger Hospitality Group celebrated the grand opening of the brand's first lifestyle hotel in the center of Waikiki. A $35 million renovation included an injection of works from Hawaii-based artists throughout the property, and a new beach house theme with expanded pool deck and infinity-style hot tub, new meeting venues and guest amenities, and a colorful, contemporary redesign of the 498 guestrooms. The property also features Maui Brewing Co. and Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, an open-air deck overlooking Kalakaua Avenue, and the recently opened Beachcomber Market selling travel needs like sunscreen, hats and tote bags in addition to select works from local artisans. Rates start at $191 per night.
White Sands: Under new ownership that invested $8 million in the property, this hotel first built in 1957 hearkens back to Waikiki's early days as a tourist magnet. The three buildings face a central courtyard decked out with a pool, hot tub, bar and tropical gardens. The 95 rooms were redone in a midcentury modern style with work completed in early 2019, and more updates are underway, including a refresh of the food and beverage concepts. Nightly rates start at approximately $150.
Waikiki Beach Marriott: This 1,310-room property on the eastern end of Waikiki is putting the finishing touches on a multiyear, $100 million revamp. The lobby, event spaces and other public areas were redone in 2016, and Kuhio Beach Grill, a bourbon bar featuring a prime rib buffet, opened in early 2017. This year, all of the rooms in both towers are being renovated, with the work scheduled to be completed prior to the end of the year. The beach-themed room redesign features new, larger closets, a coffee and tea station, brighter bathrooms and updated technology such as 55-inch TVs. Rooms rates start at $234 per night.