Maui County's islands inspire Sheraton room refurb

The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is in the middle of a $25 million project to renovate all 508 guestrooms and suites.
The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is in the middle of a $25 million project to renovate all 508 guestrooms and suites.
The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is embarking on a full room renovation that, for the first time, will impart a unique style and decor on each of its buildings.

Sheraton Maui, which sits adjacent to Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) on the north end of Kaanapali Beach, is spending an estimated $25 million to renovate the 508 guestroom and suites on the 23 acre property.

The resort originally built in 1963 went through a major renovation from 1994 to 1996, and there were some lighter renovations done in 2011.

"We haven't done the bathrooms since we reopened in 1996 after the big renovation," General Manager Tetsuji Yamazaki said. "So the room is being upgraded and the bathroom totally refreshed."

Previously all of the rooms in the six buildings that house accommodations were done in a similar style. Now, Sheraton Maui is basing the design and decor for different buildings based on the three islands in Maui County: Maui, Lanai and Molokai.

"This is our first time doing this and until this renovation the look, feel, and decor was the same no matter where you were," Yamazaki said. "We saw this as an opportunity to highlight the many vantage points the property offers and the distinct views from each building."

Each island will be represented by a pair of buildings. The Anuenue and Nalu buildings are based on Maui, with design elements using high-contrast artwork and a color palette of warm pinks and reds. The Lahaina and Ohana buildings are themed off of the former pineapple-producing island of Lanai, which can be seen across the channel on a clear day. The design features abstract artwork and a color scheme heavy on orange and blue tones. Finally, the Moana and Hoku buildings, which sit above cliffs of Black Rock, take their inspiration from Molokai, highlighting the ocean views and green and aqua tones.

The renovation design encompassing 464 guestrooms, 43 suites and one presidential suite is led by AHL, formerly Architects Hawaii Ltd.

"We looked at several architects and one thing that stood out about AHL is that they really understand the sense of space," Yamazaki. "The Sheraton sits on this iconic location on Kaanapali Beach above Black Rock, and there's a lot of history that comes with that.   They took the time to speak with our cultural adviser to understand the history, culture and uniqueness of this place so they could reflect that through the design."

The new design blends a Hawaiian aesthetic with a modern, sleek feel. The resort upgraded all of the in-room televisions to 52-inch screens last year, and more upgrades are coming with the current project.

"I would say it's a crisp look, contemporary and modern," Yamazaki said. "The
bathrooms have all new vanities, tiling, and are bright, modern, fresh and clean. We've also added more places to plug-in, especially bedside. Everyone needs to plug in their devices. It's very important."

Additionally, the resort has plans to rebrand one of the property restaurants, Black Rock Kitchen, this spring and unveil a new dining concept.

"It will be a brand new experience, but we're not ready to announce any details,"  Yamazaki said.

The room renovations are being done in phases with an eye toward minimizing guest disruption, he said, and all of the buildings are expected to be completed by summer.
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI