Aqua Hospitality has sold Modern Management Services LLC, the entity that manages Waikiki’s Modern Honolulu hotel, to TMH Operator LLC, a California-based independent hotel operator. Financial details were not disclosed.

Earlier this week, Travel Weekly erred in reporting that the hotel’s owner, M Waikiki LLC, had ousted Aqua as the hotel’s management entity. A spokesman for Aqua said the sale of Modern Management Services was voluntary.

The 353-room hotel, which was built in the 1960s as part of the Ilikai Hotel, drew a great deal of attention when it reopened in October 2010 as the first Edition hotel, the boutique brand created in a partnership between Marriott International and Ian Schrager.

In August 2011, M Waikiki attempted to terminate Marriott’s management contract without prior notice and took possession of the hotel, alleging that the hotel suffered from low occupancy because of bad management and a lack of marketing and promotion on the part of Marriott and Schrager.

Marriott subsequently took back the hotel, but the move turned out to be short-lived. M Waikiki filed for bankruptcy, renamed the hotel the Modern Honolulu and brought in Aqua Hospitality as its new management firm.

Aqua operates about two dozen Hawaii hotels. Earlier this year, it split its properties into three sub-brands: Monogram Hotel Collection, Aqua Hotels and Resorts; and Lite Hotels. Modern Honolulu was one of four hotels flagged as a Monogram.

Following the announcement of the sale, Ben Rafter, president and CEO of Aqua Hospitality, said in a statement, “We wish the new owners of Modern Management Services and the owners and team members at the Modern Honolulu continued success.”
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