The resort will be reborn as Wākea Waikiki Beach from February 2024, the first site within the luxury line in the Pacific island state.
First opening its doors in 2009, the 38-storey property is home to 462 guestrooms and suites.
It will now embark on a reinvigorated chapter featuring a custom design renovation by Bryan O’Sullivan (BOS) Studio, which has contributed to London hotel cornerstones like Claridge’s and The Connaught.
After participating in a multi-day cultural immersion programme in Waikiki, the BOS Studio team defined the new design direction by encompassing both cultural integration and luxury enhancements to the overall aesthetic of the building.
Scheduled to start in early 2025 and slated to take place over several months, the renovation will be phased to minimise disruption to daily operations and will encompass upgrades to public areas, including lobbies, pool areas, spa, fitness centre, residence corridors, landscaping and residence interiors.
In addition, Wai`olu and In-Yō Café will be reconceptualised, and the destination restaurant on the ground floor will soon be home to an internationally-acclaimed restaurateur and chef.
Overall, the redesign will include new finish materials and a furniture collection that consists of pieces tailored specifically for Wākea, as well as updates to modernise building systems.
Greg Hartmann, senior vice president, luxury and mixed use development, Hilton, said: “Hawaii has played an important role in Hilton’s history and growth strategy across the Pacific. With more than 20 hotels and resorts open and welcoming travellers across Hawaii, we are delighted to introduce the first LXR Hotels & Resorts property to the destination.
“The signing of Wākea Waikiki Beach complements our Hawaiian luxury portfolio and ensures we continue to meet the needs of our ever-evolving guests in destinations where they choose to be. We are excited about this new era for the resort and look forward to building upon its award-winning reputation.”
Feisal Jaffer, global head, LXR Hotels & Resorts, commented: “LXR Hotels & Resorts provides guests access to the most alluring destinations globally and Wākea Waikiki Beach’s oceanfront location in Oahu is no exception. The resort offers an exceptional locale for travellers looking to create their own intriguing adventure.
“Illustrating LXR’s unique approach to hospitality, Wākea Waikiki Beach is the perfect addition to the brand’s growing portfolio and we look forward to welcoming distinguished travellers from around the world to this unrivalled destination.”
Waikiki’s grand dame
Jason Grosfeld, chairman and CEO, Irongate, noted: “We are thrilled to spearhead the revival of what I have always felt to be the ‘grand dame’ of Waikiki with its timeless architecture and unobstructed views. Irongate’s enduring commitment to this property, which dates to its inception with a one-day record-breaking sales success followed by many years of award-winning hospitality, underscores our steadfast dedication to the destination of Waikiki and its residents and visitors.
“Through our collaborative efforts with BOS Studio on design and with Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts as the operator, this iconic edifice embarks on an exciting new chapter.”
Scott Ingwers, MD, Wākea Waikiki Beach added: “As we celebrate 14 successful years of unwavering commitment to residents, guests and our local ‘ohana, the transition to Wākea Waikiki Beach represents an exciting milestone for our dedicated team and all who have supported us since the beginning.
“I am honoured to be a part of our ongoing legacy and evolution and will continue to embrace the Hawaiian values and exceptional culture that have brought us to where we are today.”
The Hilton group is also working on a pair of Hawaiian developments due for delivery in Q1 2025.
These comprise the 210-key Curio by Hilton Kauai and the 136-room Maui Palms Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton, which will encompass three buildings: a central, single-storey, open-air lobby and two adjacent four-storey guestroom wings. The lobby building will have a bar and a small-plate restaurant open to the public. Plus, a pool is planned along with extensive landscape improvements.