Four fascinating, innovative new Hawaii hotels have either just opened or are opening soon. From unusual locations, including Chinatown Honolulu and Hanapepe, Kauai, to more expected locations such as Kona on the Big Island and Hanalei Bay, these are sure to attract a lot of interest from Hawaii visitors and will have a major impact on the community and industry.
Pacific 19 Wife. From $209/night.
This new hotel on the Big Island is set to open on April 1st. With 122 rooms, it takes its name from the 19th parallel that divides the Pacific Ocean. This was formerly the Kona Seaside Hotel. Nine Brains investment and development company acquired the hotel in 2020, except for 30 rooms which operate as Kona Seaside. This is their first hotel.
The unique Hawaiian feeling dissolves the distinction between indoors and outdoors.
A huge monkeypod tree, set among other lush plants, adorns the outdoor entrance lobby, where guests are greeted at a large reclaimed monkeypod table. Other lobby amenities include teak slate walls, wooden shelving and unique Hawaiian-themed wallpaper. A swimming pool, two fireplaces and guest beds are just off the lobby.
The rooms combine Big Island natural environmental colors with custom wood furniture designed just for the Pacific 19 Kona. These include wooden credenzas and upholstered headboards. Also find exclusive bed linen, towels and bath products. Each room has a private lanai and what is called a macro bar with snacks and equipment.
A guest program also focuses on music, art, culture and adventure. Daily yoga classes and Friday/Saturday food trucks. The hotel also has a rotating art program. Restaurant service is at Pacific 19 Cafe, which has light food, a shop and coffee/tea.
Reasonable prices and an authentic atmosphere.
The Pacific 19 Kona sounds interesting on several levels, especially since rates start at a relatively modest $209/night.
1 Hotel Hanalei is now open.
1 Hotel Hanalei Bay opened earlier this month and we were there to check it out and witness the opening day blessing. The former St. Regis Princeville Resort now features “quality linens and views of lush gardens, soaring mountains or sparkling Hanalei Bay” and a brand new look. The lobby roof was removed and now has an unusual and distinctly different garden entrance with trade winds flowing through.
A Bali Hai view like no other.
The perfect view of Bali Hai remains stunning, especially in the new down-to-earth hotel design. The hotel was bought five years ago by Starwood Capital Group with plans for it to be part of the 1 Hotels and Resorts brand.
The $250 million renovation.
The makeover was massive, at least in the common areas and apparently in the rooms. Unfortunately, when we visited the property at the grand opening, no guest rooms were made available for us to inspect. It was a disappointment, to be sure.
The hotel was closed for over two years due to a remodel. Mostly this was during COVID, so the hotel created construction jobs for locals during the island’s shutdown. Because of its location, the resort, one of the island’s significant employers, must remain largely air-conditioned 24/7 to prevent a recurrence of severe mold that has long plagued the property.
Eye-catching rates from $8,000 to $77,000/week.
For example, the king room with a mountain view will set you back just $6,406 for a 7-night stay, which with resort fees and taxes comes to $8,011. It goes up from there. Look for a limited number of rooms with a lanai, referred to on the website as terrace rooms.
The 252 transformed rooms cost 250 million dollars.
“Every corner of this irreplaceable property is being redesigned – the results will boast 252 transformed rooms and suites; a 7,900-square-foot wellness center; renovated pools, including a new adult pool with sweeping tropical views; and an 18,000-square-foot spa and fitness center.”
New Wo Fat Hotel, Chinatown, opening in 2023.
The hotel is scheduled to open in late 2023. It will be known as Wo Fat Restaurant and Hotel, with an exterior that, by legal necessity, will retain its original appearance. The company leading the project specializes in the restoration of historic buildings, and this project sounds fascinating.
Originally built as a restaurant in 1938, it is among the most distinctive buildings in Chinatown. Lately, a Chinese merchant has occupied the first floor.
It is estimated that the nightly rate for the 23 rooms will start at around $300. Kauai’s Dickie Chang is among the partners in the development that was first slated to open about three years ago.
Aloha Theater Inn, Hanapepe Kauai.
The Aloha Theater is perhaps the most famous landmark of sleepy Hanapepe on Kauai’s west side. The property, which opened in 1936 and has stood as an unused eyesore for years, is currently being converted into a mixed-use building with a 16-room hotel and other businesses. It was a theater until it closed in 1981.
The redevelopment started in 2019, and it is due to open in 2025.
The new Aloha Theater Inn’s first floor will contain six hotel rooms and two businesses. One is Little Fish Coffee, which was once a fixture in town but later closed. On the second floor, there will be a further six guest rooms, plus a restaurant. At the top of the building on the third floor, there will be two other rooms overlooking the Hanapepe River. The rooms will be around 320 square meters in size and will each have unique furniture with a local theme.
Parts of the former building are reused in the new design, including steel beams and wooden elements. Many of the other aspects are bought used from Habitat for Humanity.
As with Wo Fat in Honolulu’s Chinatown, this development is believed to be the springboard for the redevelopment of Hanapepe.
Which hotel are you most excited about?
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