Exciting changes are on the horizon for Hawaii’s luxury accommodations market, as a combination of brand-new and dramatically overhauled resort properties across the destination are slated to welcome their first guests in the first half of 2016.
The most talked about of these new hotels might well be the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, located on the island’s west coast, where developers are spending $500 million on a renovation and rebranding effort.
“The resort is scheduled to open this spring, and we are taking reservations as of June 1,” said General Manager Sanjiv Hulugalle. “And we’ve seen an overwhelming response by guests eager to stay with us.”
The first phase of the project has been a major renovation to what was formerly the 387-room JW Marriott Ihilani, knocking down walls and reconfiguring floor plans for a new total of 357 guestrooms featuring an inventory of 52 suites.
Other major additions include a collection of six new restaurant and lounge concepts, an improved spa and wellness center, enhanced meetings and events spaces and a tennis academy run by former pro Jim Courier. Guests of the Four Seasons Oahu will also have “privileged access to the Ko Olina golf club,” according to Hulugalle.
The second phase of construction, work on the resort’s 150-unit luxury residence tower, is likely to begin later this year after the hotel welcomes its first guests, Hulugalle said, adding that the project will likely be an 18-month build.
In the meantime, Four Seasons Oahu officials have been assembling an impressive gathering of arrival options for guests landing at the Honolulu Airport, including a helicopter transfer out to the property or the chance to arrive instead via a 75-foot yacht guests will board not far from the airport. Hulugalle noted that Four Seasons guests traveling onboard their own private jets can choose to land at west Oahu’s smaller Kalaeloa Airport, which is a very short drive from Ko Olina, and hop into one of the Four Seasons’ BMW convertibles.
Resort officials have also been busy developing activity options for future guests, including guided cultural hikes through scenic sections of west Oahu unavailable to the general public.
“These are hikes going through private land,” Hulugalle said. “And they just mesmerize you with the beauty of Hawaii. When you do these treks with people who are native to the area, who know the stories and the history of the land and the people, it makes it such a fascinating experience, and it really makes you want to come back for more.”
Article By: Shane Nelson