HONOLULU – July 13, 2016 – Pacific Beach Hotel has announced plans for a $115 million redevelopment that will completely transform the legendary Waikiki hotel. The hotel’s exterior façade, 839 guest rooms and suites, and public areas including a 280,000-gallon lobby aquarium will be re-conceptualized, and a destination pool deck with two new pools will be added. Two new restaurants by celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto will be created exclusively for the hotel. Acclaimed design firm, Rockwell Group, and architectural firms WATG and Pacific Asia Design Group have been enlisted to reimagine the guest rooms and public areas.
Following the transformation, the hotel will enter the market as ‘Alohilani Resort at Waikiki Beach. Renovation of the guest rooms is underway with a select number of new rooms available to book. Work on the public areas will commence in the coming weeks. The hotel will remain operational during the 18-month transformation with expected completion in fall 2017.
“Our team is delighted with the opportunity to welcome guests to an all-new experience next year,” said Rob Robinson, general manager, Pacific Beach Hotel. “We’re committed to honoring our unique history and the Hawaiian culture in a thoughtful and authentic way which will serve as the foundation for everything that we do; from our cultural programming to our elevated levels of service.”
ALOHILANI RESORT AT WAIKIKI BEACH Hawaiian for “the heavenly brightness,” the name ‘Alohilani Resort at Waikiki Beach was chosen to honor Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch. The area surrounding the hotel was once known to house the highest concentration of royal residences, including Queen Liliuokalani’s home and beachside cottage that she fondly referred to as Kealohilani – the Royal Light or Heavenly Brightness. The hotel currently sits on land held by the Queen Liliuokalani Trust.
GUESTROOMS & SUITES Situated steps from world-famous Waikiki Beach and boasting unrivaled ocean and Diamond Head views, the hotel will meld distinctive Hawaiian style with a fresh aesthetic to reflect a modern beach house ambiance. Rockwell Group’s design concepts are inspired by Honolulu’s culture and the island’s lush landscape to create a tranquil oasis in the midst of a bustling city. Natural materials, including wood, stone and concrete, and a tone-on-tone palette of white and beige, accented by hues of blues and greens, create a light, airy guest environment. From lava stone mosaic accents, to woven columns, to the artwork, thoughtful design touches that pay homage to the native Hawaiian culture are woven into the interior.
PUBLIC SPACES The extensive plans for the hotel’s public spaces include a completely reimagined hotel exterior and lobby that will feature an open floor plan, new guest services and concierge areas, lobby bar, an exclusive group arrival lounge, as well as a business and education center. Guests will arrive via a landscaped porte cochere leading to the resort. Four oversized louvered shutters flank the entry. Designs include numerous ‘pocket’ gardens to bring the island’s lush tropical landscape and natural rock formations indoors. Rockwell is designing custom furnishings to complement the serene space; a limestone reception desk, white slip-covered sofas, organic live-edge tables and light fixtures that invoke a tropical, yet refined island aesthetic.
DESTINATION POOL DECK The stunning pool deck will feature a new saltwater infinity pool overlooking the pristine shoreline, a pool bar, tiered day beds, and stepping stones leading to exclusive cabanas perched above a new shallow water pool for kids. Guests will bask under lush palm trees for an unparalleled experience, lounge by custom teak furniture, driftwood sculptures, lanterns, festoon lights and glowing fire pits.
OCEANARIUM The hotel’s famous oceanarium will also undergo an extensive upgrade with the interior of the aquarium boasting new coral that will mimic the coral reef formations found in the waters of Waikiki Beach. The saltwater aquarium, which has a one-of-kind replenishment system that filters directly from the ocean, will serve as the home to more than 1,000 protected marine animals. “Education will play a key role in our new oceanarium experience and we look forward to offering unique programming to our guests that will promote greater awareness and appreciation for the ocean,” added Robinson.
DINING The hotel will boast contemporary dining concepts ranging from a farm-fresh buffet breakfast to fine Asia-Pacific cuisine. Conceived by internationally acclaimed chef Masaharu Morimoto, the hotel will feature two Morimoto concepts. Located on the second floor, Morimoto Asia will serve as the hotel’s signature restaurant featuring Chef Morimoto’s world-renowned dishes, which seamlessly integrate Western and traditional Asian ingredients. For a more casual dining experience at street level, Momosan Waikiki will feature yakitori, ramen, and a wide variety of small plates for lunch and dinner, along with a beer garden.
“Oahu is a place where I have always had a great affinity for the island's people and culture, and I consider it to be a home away from home,” said Chef Morimoto. “I have enjoyed working with the Highgate and Pacific Beach Hotel team to develop Morimoto Asia and Momosan Waikiki and on behalf of myself and my team, we look forward to opening these two beautiful restaurants at the ‘Alohilani Resort in fall 2017.”
“We are thrilled to be working on the redevelopment of the Pacific Beach Hotel,” said Shawn Sullivan, partner, Rockwell Group. “Influenced by Kuhio beach, we are blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor to connect guests to the ocean. The Morimoto restaurants and pool deck will have stunning views of the water, while neutral hues and organic forms will transform the lobby, retail areas and guest rooms into warm, welcoming spaces.”
Pacific Beach Hotel is managed by Highgate, a leading real estate investment and hospitality management company whose growing portfolio includes more than 100 properties in gateway cities worldwide.
For more information on the transformation or reservations visit www.pacificbeachhotel.com/transformation or call 808-922-1233.
ABOUT ROCKWELL GROUP Rockwell Group is an award-winning, cross-disciplinary architecture and design practice based in New York with satellite offices in Madrid and Shanghai. The firm crafts a unique narrative for each project through the intersection of theater and architecture. Projects include Nobu restaurants and hotels worldwide; The New York EDITION and The Clocktower restaurant; Chefs Club by Food & Wine (New York); Gato (New York); the renovation of Newark Airport Terminal C dining venues; TED Theater (Vancouver, BC); W Hotels (New York, Paris, Singapore, and Vieques); NeueHouse (New York, Los Angeles and London); OMNIA (Las Vegas and San Diego); set design for She Loves Me, Kinky Boots and Hairspray, and the Academy Awards (2009, 2010).
ABOUT MASAHARU MORIMOTOChef Masaharu Morimoto—known to millions as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America—has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients. In 2001, Morimoto opened his first restaurant in Philadelphia, which was later followed by restaurants in New York, Napa, Honolulu, Boca Raton, Mumbai, New Delhi, Mexico City, Tokyo and Maui. Morimoto Asia Disney Springs, Orlando, opened in 2015 followed by Momosan Ramen and Sake NYC this spring 2016. Since 1998, Morimoto has competed on the Japanese television show, Iron Chef and also appears on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. His first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, won two IACP awards--in the “Chef’s and Restaurants” category and the “First Book: The Julia Child Award"--and it was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. His second cookbook, Mastering The Art of Japanese Cooking, introduces readers to the healthy, flavorful, surprisingly simple dishes favored by Japanese home cooks. For more information about Masaharu Morimoto, visit Facebook, Twitter or www.ironchefmorimoto.com.