It's always a pleasure to write about the rebirth of one of the iconic hotel properties in Waikiki. After an $85 million renovation which began in the summer of 2008, the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, will officially hold it's grand reopening on March 7, 2009, although a number of guests have taken advantage of the resort's "soft" opening since the first of the year.
The resort also hosted an Aloha Inaugural Ball on January 20, 2009, to mark the inauguration of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama.
The Royal Hawaiian, the iconic "Pink Palace of the Pacific," has a long, storied history. Sporting magnificent Spanish-Moorish architecture with an exterior painted in a brilliant shade of coral pink, The Royal Hawaiian launched a new standard of vacationing in paradise, and for over 80 years, has drawn people from around the world eager to leave their everyday lives far behind.
The 14 acres of prime Waikiki beachfront land were originally used as a playground for King Kamehameha I after he conquered the island of Oahu. Queen Kaahumanu's Summer Palace was previously located in what is now the hotel's Coconut Grove garden.
The Royal Hawaiian is owned by Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP which also owns the two Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki, the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort, as well as the Sheraton Maui in Ka'anapali, Maui. Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP is one of Hawaii's largest employers, with nearly 3,000 hotel associates in its workforce.
The hotels are a part of the 12-hotel group of Starwood-managed properties in Hawaii. Starwood's Luxury Collection is a ensemble of more than 65 of the world's finest hotels and resorts in more than 26 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world.