Kokua Hospitality Media Mentions
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Global travelers and modern explorers can now experience the new Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach which officially opened its doors to guests today. Located in the former Waikiki Trade Center, the hotel is the first Hyatt Centric hotel in the state of Hawai‘i, introducing 230 contemporary guestrooms and suites in the heart of the world-famous destination. To commemorate its opening, the hotel will host a grand opening celebration on Jan. 19, 2017, that will kick-off with Hawai‘i’s first-ever Walk For Wishes® event, benefiting Make-A-Wish® Hawaii.
“The revitalization of this property has been an incredible journey, and our entire Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach ‘ohana is overjoyed to welcome guests,” said Charles Young, general manager of Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach. “We are proud to play a role in the renaissance of Kuhio Avenue. Our hotel is a true launch pad for guests to explore and discover the best of Waikiki’s urban setting.”
Developed by Chartres Lodging Group and CoastWood Capital Group, Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach offers a modern guestroom design, including floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the ocean and Diamond Head, spa-like bathrooms with Drybar Buttercup blow dryers, and spacious floor plans, enhance the guest experience. The hotel boasts a variety of upscale amenities including a lounge pool, outdoor seating with circular fire pits, a 24/7 fitness facility and a 400-stall parking garage. The hotel’s bar and restaurant, The Lanai, will be led by Chef Yoshi Ohata. The 1,900-square-foot eatery is set in a modern, island-inspired space and will introduce creative Pacific fusion dishes to Waikiki’s culinary scene.
Several popular retailers also join the property in re-energized storefronts, including a two-level Nordstrom Rack, which opened in September 2016, Starbucks offering craft beers, wines and gourmet appetizers in the evening hours, Jamba Juice, and American Savings Bank.
“Our vision for this hotel was to create a unique, forward-looking offering for travelers that seek to incorporate exploration into their international experience,” said Maki Nakamura Bara, president and co-founder of Chartres Lodging Group. “Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach reflects the spirit of exploration and discovery that is at the core of the Hyatt Centric brand and is a fantastic addition to the thriving tourism market.”
Construction on the property began in summer 2015, with renovations led by Swinerton Builders, local architecture firm Group 70 and California design firm DESIGN360unlimited. Throughout the transformation, the project created approximately 600 construction jobs and 100 full-time and part-time positions.
In partnership with Make-A-Wish® Hawaii, the hotel’s grand opening celebration on Jan. 19, 2017 will feature the state’s first Walk For Wishes® fundraiser. At the walk event, key stakeholders, community members and Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach colleagues will come together to celebrate the legacy of the nonprofit organization and raise funds to grant wishes to local children battling life-threatening medical conditions.
A valuable land asset of Queen Emma Land Company, the redeveloped Waikiki Trade Center will directly support The Queen’s Medical Center, the state’s largest private, nonprofit hospital.
Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach will be the 12th hotel in the Hyatt Centric brand’s portfolio, joining hotels in North America and Latin America destinations including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Key West, Montevideo, Uruguay, among others. Rates start at $229.
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Kokua Hospitality, LLC, an independent hotel management company based in San Francisco, announces the addition of Napa Valley, California’s Wine Country Inn and Napa Winery Inn to its management portfolio. The properties mark the third and fourth California-based hotels to be managed by the company.
The Wine Country Inn is a 29-room boutique, luxury hotel located between the Napa Valley towns of St. Helena and Calistoga. Surrounded by acres of vineyards and award-winning wineries, the Wine Country Inn opened in 1975 as Napa Valley’s very first Bed & Breakfast and has since become one of the area’s most beloved destinations. The hotel celebrates the spirit of Napa’s winemaking culture and offers a selection of spacious rooms, suites, and cottages with complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast, and views of the property’s sprawling lawns and botanical varietals. The hotel recently completed renovations to the lobby reception building and all guestrooms in the Winery House.
Also ideally located in the heart of wine country is the Napa Winery Inn. It offers 59 pet-friendly guestrooms and suites, an outdoor patio with a pool, hot tub, and fire pit. In addition, the hotel features a 450 sq. ft. private meeting room and a complimentary breakfast buffet and nightly wine hour. Beyond the property, guests can enjoy a selection of three restaurants within walking distance, Galpao Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse, Fume Bistro, and Il Posto, or choose to take a short ten minute drive to either downtown Napa or Yountville.
These additions to the Kokua Hospitality portfolio enhance the company’s presence on the West Coast and continued growth in the United States. The Wine Country Inn and Napa Winery Inn join The Axiom Hotel San Francisco, Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport Hotel, Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, and the Queen Kapiolani Hotel as the company’s seven hotel properties on the West Coast and in Hawaii.
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The Axiom Hotel is where history meets the digital revolution. Located at the nexus of San Francisco's historic Union Square and innovative Mid-Market Technology hub, this 152 guest room LEED Certified boutique hotel welcomes those who desire a digital lifestyle delivered through seamless technology and thoughtful service. Tech-amenities include complimentary Fiber Optic WiFi, self check-in kiosks, and motion sensing detectors in guestrooms. With century old architecture fused with an electric modern design, guests will feel that at any moment another unique experience will engage them and leave them knowing they have arrived at "the Center of Next."
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From the dying to the river, to the parades and countless Irish pubs pouring Guinness in honor of St. Patty himself, Chicago offers an overwhelming amount of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to choose from. To help put travelers at ease,DoubleTree Chicago Magnificent Mile will be offering guests checking in for the week surrounding the holiday a local, personal guide to the fun. The list will contain local happenings, their locations, pricing, and all the information guests need to decide where to sport their green pride. These local guides are part of a company-wide initiative of Kokua Hospitality, the hotel management company that oversees DoubleTree Magnificent Mile. The participating properties will share these guides in an effort to offer guests local connections to their hotels’ surrounding neighborhoods throughout the U.S.
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Posted on August 15, 2016 by Westley Blum
CoastWood Capital Group, Chartres Lodging Group and KKR have announced plans to open Hyatt Centric Waikīkī Beach in the former Waikīkī Trade Center. The new hotel is slated to open this winter and will offer modern accommodations, including 230 upscale, oversized rooms and suites with state-of-the-art amenities, spa-like bathrooms, and signature services.
“We’re pleased to bring this exciting Hyatt Centric hotel to the State of Hawai’i,” said Cordell Lietz, President, CoastWood Capital Group. “We’re confident that the new Hyatt Centric Waikīkī Beach, coupled with its central location near the reimagined International Market Place, will contribute greatly to the revitalization taking place along Kūhiō Avenue and, in turn, support the health of Hawai’i’s tourism industry.”
Hyatt Centric Waikīkī Beach will be the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Hawai’i, and will place guests in the center of the action allowing easy options for exploration. The new destination hotel will feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering magnificent views of Waikīkī, as well as on-site amenities like an outdoor pool and entertainment deck, upscale bar and restaurant, and 24/7 fitness facility. Upgrades are also being made to the four-story, 400-stall parking garage, and to the public space immediately surrounding the property.
The addition of a new, 34,000-square-foot, two-level Nordstrom Rack to the redeveloped Waikīkī Trade Center was announced last year and will open in the fall of 2016. Several other retailers will also open at the street level in newly renovated spaces, including Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and American Savings Bank.
“Hyatt Centric Waikīkī Beach and surrounding retail will bring new life to the heart of Waikīkī along Kūhiō and Seaside Avenues,” said Maki Bara, President and Co-Founder of Chartres Lodging Group. “We’re pleased to provide a compelling lodging option easily allowing both guests and locals to experience all that Waikīkī has to offer.”
“We are thrilled to work with CoastWood Capital Group, Chartres Lodging Group and KKR to bring the Hyatt Centric hotel to Waikīkī,” said Steve Haggerty, Global Head of Capital Strategy, Franchising, and Select Service, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “One of the brand’s missions is to put our guests at the center of the action in the best destinations in the world, and we feel we have found the perfect fit with this new location in Hawai’i.”
The Hyatt Centric brand was introduced in 2015 as a new, full-service lifestyle brand within the Hyatt family. Hyatt Centric hotels were created for the millennial-minded traveler who wants to be in the heart of the destination and allows for easy exploration and discovery. From the artwork and furniture, to the food and beverages, each element of the hotel allows guests to more deeply experience the destination.
The idea to repurpose the Waikīkī Trade Center—which was previously an almost-empty office building with a few nightclubs—into an upscale hotel destination was driven by the need to provide more much-needed hotel rooms in Waikīkī, which has seen the loss of more than 5,000 hotel rooms since 2000.
A valuable land asset of Queen Emma Land Company, the redeveloped Waikīkī Trade Center will directly support The Queen’s Medical Center, the state’s largest private, nonprofit hospital.
“Hyatt Centric Waikīkī Beach is located on a valuable parcel of land belonging to Queen Emma Land Company. The new hotel and adjacent retail will not only deliver a vibrant new addition along Kūhiō Avenue, but will also create a sustainable income source to support The Queen’s Medical Center and our mission of providing quality health care to Hawai’i’s people,” said Eric Martinson, President, Queen Emma Land Company.
Since launching a dedicated real estate platform in 2011, KKR has committed over $2.7 billion in equity and debt across 70 real estate transactions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia as of March 31, 2016. The global real estate team consists of over 40 dedicated investment professionals, spanning both the equity and debt sides of the business.
Posted on September 22, 2016 by Westley Blum
HONOLULU - Kokua Hospitality announced that Charles Young has been selected as general manager of Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach. In his new role, Young will spearhead all hotel operations, overseeing 230 upscale, oversized rooms and suites at the first Hyatt Centric-branded hotel in the state of Hawai‘i.
“I am thrilled to help introduce the Hyatt Centric brand to Waikiki and provide guests with everything they need to get out and explore this fantastic city,” said Charles Young, general manager of Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach. “The Hyatt Centric brand is experiencing very exciting growth, and I look forward to helping position the hotel for success in this great community.”
Young has more than 20 years of hospitality experience and an extensive portfolio in hospitality management. He has overseen several mid- to large-scale properties across the globe in locations such as Hawai‘i, Australia, and Florida. He has also helped open a number of hotels, most notably O‘ahu’s own Vive Hotel Waikiki.
Young earned his degree in hotel and restaurant management from Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School. An active community and industry leader, Young is also on the board of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association - O‘ahu Chapter, serving as a member of the organization’s government affairs committee.
Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach is expected to open this winter in the former Waikiki Trade Center, placing guests in the center of the action. The full-service, lifestyle hotel will feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering outstanding views of Waikiki, as well as on-site amenities like an outdoor pool and entertainment deck, upscale bar and restaurant, and 24/7 fitness facility. Several retailers will also join the property at the former Waikiki Trade Center, including a new 34,000-square-foot, two-level Nordstrom Rack, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and American Savings Bank.
High-Tech Hotels Go Mainstream
Constant connectivity, guest-driven content and seamless transactions are top trends in high-tech hotels as savvy operators capitalize on the appeal of high-touch service to millennials and Gen Z guests.
“‘Bring your own content’ is the trend of today,” says Kirk Pederson, president of Kokua Hospitality, which manages San Francisco’s tech-forward Axiom Hotel. “Additionally, more people travel with multiple devices requiring increased bandwidth, and today’s traveler does not want buffering.”
Addressing these needs, Axiom equips each of its 152 guest rooms with a 48-inch Smart TV allowing guests to mirror their device, streaming content directly into their room. Each room also has an individual router providing up to 15 Mbps of bandwidth to maximize productivity on multiple devices.
Similarly, the 242-room Godfrey Hotel in Boston introduced InnSpire, a sophisticated guest media-streaming technology, upon opening last year. InnSpire allows guests to use mobile devices to stream photos, email, videos and music directly to their 55-inch Samsung HDTV without downloading any special app. “We believe well thought-out and executed technology within the hotel enhances the personal touch and service our guests look for,” says Paul Sauceda, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.
Guests at Aloft New Orleans Downtown take advantage of similar content-streaming technology through Google Chromecast’s RoomCast technology. “Our guests are tech-driven, travel with three to five devices and want high-speed Wi-Fi in all public spaces,” says Kristi Taglauer, general manager of the 188-room hotel. “RoomCast makes use of a room-specific private IP address and is easy to use.”
Another tech amenity making inroads is the ability to bypass the front desk altogether and check in remotely through a mobile device. The Godfrey offers this feature with OpenKey. “Guests use the app to check in and select or upgrade rooms based upon availability,” explains Sauceda, who likened the experience to mobile airline check-in.
If quicker is better, the new 452-room LondonHouse Chicago takes that to heart by nearly eliminating elevator lines. The hotel’s Destination Dispatch elevators expedite travel time using smart technology to group guests by floor request. LondonHouse guests also have the latest in high-tech fitness with Technogym equipment, which have screens functioning as both entertainment centers and workstations.
Hotel meeting facilities are upping their tech game as well. Meeting rooms at the Axiom, for example, have giant 70-inch flat-screen smart TVs allowing up to 15 presenters using Crestron wireless technology. Attendees also find workstations with multiple USB charging ports in meeting rooms, plus fully integrated audiovisual systems for remote attendees.
Meeting planners and travelers don’t need to look too far into the future to explore voice-enabled cognitive hotel room and robot concierges.
At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Harman and IBM’s Watson showcased how artificial intelligence and voice commands can be used to control everything from lighting and thermostats to alarm clocks, TVs and music. Guests ask questions to the device (it looks like an upscale clock/radio), such as, “What room is my meeting in, and what time does it start?” The device learns from repeated use, is multilingual and provides efficient services like wake-up calls and opening the blinds.
“Guest room control solutions with remotes and voice command are becoming standard expectations,” says Adam Holladay, director of hospitality solutions and marketing for Harman. “Even more significant is the ability to interface with hotel operating systems to enhance the guest experience beyond their room, such as having the valet bring the car up or texting your room to optimize the temperature when you return for the day.”
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The DoubleTree Hotel & Suites in Houston, Texas, is part concept hotel, part apartment building – with the newly renovated Houston location serving its guests every bit the comfortable experience they would expect from a Hilton hotel, with just that little bit extra you wouldn’t expect. I was greeted with a fast check in, complete with a warm choc chip cookie – something signature for the DoubleTree brand internationally.
I was lucky enough to stay in one of the hotel’s large suites, which is basically a one bedroom apartment – the sort of size that would cost you an arm and a leg in Australia (or anywhere for that matter). A kitchen with all the facilities (full sized fridge, microwave et al.) is included in the suite, plus a couch, TV (two of them to be exact – 32 inch in the living room space and 37 inch in the bedroom), dining table and full work desk facilities in the bedroom (with excellent wi-fi to boot).
I could imagine people staying here for extended periods of time due to work, and feeling very comfortable here indeed. The King bed – with its 400 thread count sheets – was as inviting as it looks in the photo, as were the pillows. And the Air Conditioning was perfect – which is important in a city that gets as hot as Houston.
Also worth noting for a city like Houston is that fact that everyone drives (you don’t want to be relying on public transport if you come here – I can’t speak for the fact there even is public transport to be honest), so the hotel’s large car park accommodates the city’s car dependence, and valet parking is available for $30 (or you can self park for $24). Both the parking and the location of the hotel itself is good, situated on a major road (5353 Westheimer Road to be precise) – but you wouldn’t go so far as to call Houston a “scenic” city – so you don’t have to worry so much about the view. I was on the fourth floor and had a view of the park outside.
While the view may not be anything to get excited about, the location certainly is. Among many other restaurants within easy reach, you’ll find a steakhouse next door if you need a good meal, or you can eat on site at the McKinley’s Bar and Grille, which serves a stand out hot and/or cold buffet breakfast starting from $12.95. And if you’re wondering why the hotel has “Galleria” in the name, that’s because you’re located just one block from the Galleria Mall, featuring over 400 shopping and dining outlets.
All rooms are non-smoking and getting to the hotel from Houston’s airports will take you roughly 30 (Hobby) or 45 (George Bush Intercontinental) minutes. Oh – and with a check out time of 12pm, the ability to stay with your pet, conference facilities and plenty more – this festival seems to have flexibility for the needs or just about any traveller.
To book a night and for more details about the hotel head to their official website.
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HOUSTON, May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Kokua Hospitality announced today The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Houston by the Galleria has completed the evolution of the hotel and proudly unveils its newly updated design. Originally built in 1982, the DoubleTree hotel operated as a 380-key all-suite hotel for more than 33 years. The refreshed hotel now features modern and beautifully designed interiors offering guests a choice between 238 guest rooms and 238 suites. The hotel now has more suite selections to choose from than any hotel in Houston.
"We are very committed to maintaining a quality experience for our guests and after noticing an increasing trend of international travelers to the Galleria area with a need for varying room types, we thought it was important for the hotel to evolve", said Phil Tufano, a partner and Chief Operating Officer at Kokua Hospitality, the hotel's management firm. "This is one of the reasons why we completely redesigned the rooms and now offer both guest rooms and suites. With the new variety of options available, we took the opportunity to rename and rebrand the property, changing the name from 'The DoubleTree Suites' to 'The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites.' We are so proud of the hard work the design team put into delivering a fresh, contemporary aesthetic aimed to enhance our guests' experience while staying with us, from the new check-in area and lobby to the public spaces and guest rooms."
The Public Spaces
The arrival begins with a welcoming lobby featuring clean lines and modern lounge seating areas. Natural tones beautifully compliment the lobby's extensive use of wood and the featured art pieces were specifically commissioned to accentuate its new urban ambiance. Weary travelers will appreciate the relaxed and social atmosphere of the new and improved lobby and its bar that allows for an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine, a cocktail, "Bar Bites", or dinner. In addition to a grab-and-go section, a high-tech lounge area has been incorporated into the lobby spaces to accommodate the needs of the sophisticated travelers that frequent the Galleria area.
The Mezzanine has been completely re-purposed and now includes a variety of seating arrangements, a breakfast bar as well as a casual restaurant where breakfast offerings include an elaborate American Breakfast Buffet, as well as delicious a la carte selections prepared to the preference of guests.
"The new food and beverage venues will attract international clientele and the locals, both as a one-of-a-kind place to conduct business, as well as a place to enjoy the social atmosphere that is the Galleria area," assures Sam Kapadia, the General Manager of the hotel. "We also believe the new meeting facilities will suit the needs of business travelers looking for convenience and comfort and function while visiting Houston. The hotel has been a favorite destination of business planners for years, and now they will have even more reasons to hold their meetings and events whilst staying at the hotel and enjoying the convenience of the facilities."
All 9,000 square feet of meeting rooms and conference spaces have been completely revamped to accommodate a variety of guest requests, including the latest in technology in lighting, sound, and visual components. The stylish meeting spaces also offer a range of menus to compliment any type of gathering, from collaborative events among colleagues and social gatherings, to family events. Also available for events and soirees is the hotel's pool deck, the largest in the Uptown Houston/Galleria area.
The Guest Rooms and Suites
All accommodations are equipped with amenities and furnishings curated to enhance a modern lifestyle. The design team focused on editing the sizes and styles of the original guest room and suites with a focus on the modern needs of experienced travelers. Today, the new hotel features 476 stylish options via 238 guest rooms and 238 suites, perfect for both short visits and extended stays. All rooms and suites not only feature a contemporary design, they are also updated with individual climate controls, Wi-Fi access, in-room safes, as well as On Demand movies with premium television channels on oversized 48 inch LCD TV's. In addition, the redesigned suites offer full-size kitchens with residential amenities, several of which have balconies offering panoramic city views. Overnight guests have access to the hotel's various services and amenities, including same-day valet laundry services, self-laundry facilities, a 24-hour tech lounge, a car rental facility in the lobby, and a 24-hour fitness area by Precor.
About DoubleTree by Hilton
With a fast-growing, global collection of more than 440 upscale hotels in gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations across six continents and nearly 40,000 rooms in the pipeline, every little thing we do at DoubleTree by Hilton inspires us to create a rewarding experience for our hotel guests, our Team Members and the communities we proudly serve. Our hospitality begins with a warm chocolate chip cookie welcome upon arrival and continues with the award-winning Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program, an array of fine services and amenities and our longstanding CARE Culture tradition that empowers Team Members to provide the special comforts and acts of kindness that make the traveler feel human again.
About Kokua Hospitality, LLC
Kokua Hospitality, LLC is an independent hotel management firm founded in Chicago with the mandate to become the operator of choice for strategic institutional and select private lodging investors by producing superior results as turnaround specialists. Created by veteran lodging investment and management experts to appeal to an investor's sensibility, Kokua Hospitality blends best-in-class operating practices with an owner's DNA. Kokua Hospitality manages a growing portfolio of hotels and resorts nationwide. For more information on Kokua Hospitality, please visit KokuaHospitality.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook .