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Hapuna Beach Resort, Waimea, Hawaii [to become a Westin Spring 2018 after renovation]

Hapuna Beach Resort, Waimea, Hawaii [to become a Westin Spring 2018 after renovation]

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Old Jan 16, 18, 4:19 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by soliloquy View Post
Have you seen the pics on trip advisor?
I have reviewed Trip Advisor as I use them extensively especially in Europe and have looked at the daily webcam, but have not seen any recent (like within the last 2 days) photos of the construction status. Have you seen some and can provide a link? Thanks!
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Old Jan 17, 18, 9:03 am
  #32  
 
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The link in my post 8 above shows photos posted about a stay in January. Seems recent to me, although within the last 2 days no.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 1:59 am
  #33  
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Just finished a short stay here. Terrible experience, but the place has a lot of potential. I had made a reservation for Sheraton Kona a year ago, but as the trip approached, my SO and I talked about it, and it turned out that both of us dreaded going back there. I looked at Marriott options – cash rates were trough the roof, and the only places available on points were the Courtyard and Mauna Kea (with a $200 cash copay, gulp!). So despite the warnings on this thread, and encouraged by several recent posts on TA, which suggested that the construction was no longer as major as it had been, we decided to book the Westin.

The first thing we learned is that it’s not a Westin. It’s not even a real Starwood hotel yet. You arrive at the hotel driveway, and the signs refer to the Prince. You drive up to the gate and tell the attendant that you’re here to check in to the Westin, and he chuckles and says, we’re not a Westin yet, we still need to finish a little bit of construction. You make your way to the front desk, where you are greeted by deafening construction noise, and employees in Prince uniforms, who welcome you to the Prince.

The front desk agent we had at check-in was very friendly, and told me with wide eyes and great excitement that I was “so, so lucky” because I booked a partial ocean, and was upgraded to a premier ocean, and then “extra extra lucky” because I was also given one of their brand new remodeled rooms. (I am not sure I got the room types exactly right; there were several dozen workers producing any kind of construction noise imaginable – wood and tile being cut, jackhammers blasting, although in fairness the giant excavator seen in some pictures on TA was no longer there). The agent then searched for the breakfast card – her counter, the adjacent counter, the back room, and finally, someone else came out and brought it. I was also given a card explaining the resort fee, and opted against starting an argument about my alternate amenity – clearly, given the staff’s level of familiarity with the SPG program, this wouldn’t have led anywhere. I was, most importantly, provided with a map that explained how to get to the beach/restaurants/parking without getting entangled in one of the many construction zones.

We went to the room, and were pleasantly surprised. Unlike the “light remodels” often found in Hawaii, this room was brand new and very nicely done. Comfortable bed, seating area, huge TV, excellent bathroom with Japanese toilet, and a large balcony with a daybed, seating area, and great view. The problem was that stepping on the balcony during daylight hours meant being subjected to the cacophony of construction noise. I had to work for 3-4 hours a day and would have loved to sit outside – it just wasn’t possible. Cooped up in the room with the doors closed, I merely had to deal with occasional jackhammering inside the building.

The lowest pool level is now available, and it looks pretty nice. The beach is fantastic. There are a lot of remnants of the old Prince that still need to be brought into the current century – the beach loungers, for instance, are threadbare beyond belief.

The pool area also is home to Naupaka Beach Grill, which is the hotel’s only open and viable dining venue (in addition to Piko, a bar/grab-and-go/test your tolerance for construction noise place located in the lobby). We had our Plat breakfast twice at Naupaka. There’s a temporary buffet set up next to the pool, and by North American standards it’s pretty nice (scrambled eggs/bacon/sausage/potatoes, smoked salmon, pancakes/waffles, miso/rice, fruit/pastries/yoghurts, and an omelet station). We hadn’t been instructed by the front desk what the Plat breakfast entails, and the first morning, our server told us we could have the buffet. When we came back with omelets, she said, oh, I didn’t mention, omelets are $10 extra. I hate arguing over this kind of stuff, so we paid. The next morning, we skipped omelets and just took stuff from the buffet, and when we sat down, another server told us, oh you can only have what’s listed on the card (pastries/yogurt/etc), it’s a $10 charge for the full buffet. This kind of inconsistency of course happens at hotels all over North America, but here the staff seemed unusually out-of-touch with SPG policies. We also had dinner at Naupaka, and it was pretty terrible. We had the audacity of showing up 18 minutes before closing time (which is at 8.30pm), and the server slammed the menus on our tables and tried to ignore us. Food was lackluster – fish and chips ok, fish tacos bland, Chinese chop salad inedible. The other night, we had room service, and the food was ok (I suspect it also comes from Naupaka, so we ordered as basic as possible – Cesar salad, club sandwich). The room service pricing appears to be one of the few things that have been Westinized; unfortunately, the printed menu was still Prince, so the check held a small surprise.

Here are my takeaways for SPG members considering a stay here. If you’re thinking of coming here soon, don’t! We thought the disruptions wouldn’t be so bad, but the construction is major and everywhere. It’s grinding when you’re on vacation. I am frankly shocked that they would keep the hotel open during this major project, and disappointed that SPG fails to properly warn of the magnitude of the chaos. I would expect the pool and lobby to take another month or two, but based on what we were told, most of the rooms are not done yet. You may only experience minor disruptions from late spring onward, and I’d think Thanksgiving would be safe. The new rooms are very nice, the beach is great, and at Cat 5 this place will be a steal compared to other hotels in Hawaii, once construction is finished. I think the play here is to give the hotel a wide berth for another half year, but to book far out while it’s reasonable on points. Some pictures:





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Old Feb 4, 18, 1:51 pm
  #34  
 
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Sorry about your experience. I was told by Plat Concierge that Hapuna Beach will become Westin on 2/19. So I think you gambled on early timing and lost.

I have a 5 night stay on award booked for Dec., expecting all transition pains to be over.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 4:47 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by CIT85 View Post
Sorry about your experience. I was told by Plat Concierge that Hapuna Beach will become Westin on 2/19. So I think you gambled on early timing and lost.

I have a 5 night stay on award booked for Dec., expecting all transition pains to be over.
It also said it on the website when we booked for March. That whole TA thing scared the heck out of me, so I cancelled. They didn't automatically refund my deposit even though we cancelled months before the cancellation date. I had to file a claim with Amex to get my money back!
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Old Feb 5, 18, 8:14 pm
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by jpdx View Post
Just finished a short stay here. Terrible experience, but the place has a lot of potential. I had made a reservation for Sheraton Kona a year ago, but as the trip approached, my SO and I talked about it, and it turned out that both of us dreaded going back there. I looked at Marriott options – cash rates were trough the roof, and the only places available on points were the Courtyard and Mauna Kea (with a $200 cash copay, gulp!). So despite the warnings on this thread, and encouraged by several recent posts on TA, which suggested that the construction was no longer as major as it had been, we decided to book the Westin.

The first thing we learned is that it’s not a Westin. It’s not even a real Starwood hotel yet. You arrive at the hotel driveway, and the signs refer to the Prince. You drive up to the gate and tell the attendant that you’re here to check in to the Westin, and he chuckles and says, we’re not a Westin yet, we still need to finish a little bit of construction. You make your way to the front desk, where you are greeted by deafening construction noise, and employees in Prince uniforms, who welcome you to the Prince.

The front desk agent we had at check-in was very friendly, and told me with wide eyes and great excitement that I was “so, so lucky” because I booked a partial ocean, and was upgraded to a premier ocean, and then “extra extra lucky” because I was also given one of their brand new remodeled rooms. (I am not sure I got the room types exactly right; there were several dozen workers producing any kind of construction noise imaginable – wood and tile being cut, jackhammers blasting, although in fairness the giant excavator seen in some pictures on TA was no longer there). The agent then searched for the breakfast card – her counter, the adjacent counter, the back room, and finally, someone else came out and brought it. I was also given a card explaining the resort fee, and opted against starting an argument about my alternate amenity – clearly, given the staff’s level of familiarity with the SPG program, this wouldn’t have led anywhere. I was, most importantly, provided with a map that explained how to get to the beach/restaurants/parking without getting entangled in one of the many construction zones.

We went to the room, and were pleasantly surprised. Unlike the “light remodels” often found in Hawaii, this room was brand new and very nicely done. Comfortable bed, seating area, huge TV, excellent bathroom with Japanese toilet, and a large balcony with a daybed, seating area, and great view. The problem was that stepping on the balcony during daylight hours meant being subjected to the cacophony of construction noise. I had to work for 3-4 hours a day and would have loved to sit outside – it just wasn’t possible. Cooped up in the room with the doors closed, I merely had to deal with occasional jackhammering inside the building.

The lowest pool level is now available, and it looks pretty nice. The beach is fantastic. There are a lot of remnants of the old Prince that still need to be brought into the current century – the beach loungers, for instance, are threadbare beyond belief.

The pool area also is home to Naupaka Beach Grill, which is the hotel’s only open and viable dining venue (in addition to Piko, a bar/grab-and-go/test your tolerance for construction noise place located in the lobby). We had our Plat breakfast twice at Naupaka. There’s a temporary buffet set up next to the pool, and by North American standards it’s pretty nice (scrambled eggs/bacon/sausage/potatoes, smoked salmon, pancakes/waffles, miso/rice, fruit/pastries/yoghurts, and an omelet station). We hadn’t been instructed by the front desk what the Plat breakfast entails, and the first morning, our server told us we could have the buffet. When we came back with omelets, she said, oh, I didn’t mention, omelets are $10 extra. I hate arguing over this kind of stuff, so we paid. The next morning, we skipped omelets and just took stuff from the buffet, and when we sat down, another server told us, oh you can only have what’s listed on the card (pastries/yogurt/etc), it’s a $10 charge for the full buffet. This kind of inconsistency of course happens at hotels all over North America, but here the staff seemed unusually out-of-touch with SPG policies. We also had dinner at Naupaka, and it was pretty terrible. We had the audacity of showing up 18 minutes before closing time (which is at 8.30pm), and the server slammed the menus on our tables and tried to ignore us. Food was lackluster – fish and chips ok, fish tacos bland, Chinese chop salad inedible. The other night, we had room service, and the food was ok (I suspect it also comes from Naupaka, so we ordered as basic as possible – Cesar salad, club sandwich). The room service pricing appears to be one of the few things that have been Westinized; unfortunately, the printed menu was still Prince, so the check held a small surprise.

Here are my takeaways for SPG members considering a stay here. If you’re thinking of coming here soon, don’t! We thought the disruptions wouldn’t be so bad, but the construction is major and everywhere. It’s grinding when you’re on vacation. I am frankly shocked that they would keep the hotel open during this major project, and disappointed that SPG fails to properly warn of the magnitude of the chaos. I would expect the pool and lobby to take another month or two, but based on what we were told, most of the rooms are not done yet. You may only experience minor disruptions from late spring onward, and I’d think Thanksgiving would be safe. The new rooms are very nice, the beach is great, and at Cat 5 this place will be a steal compared to other hotels in Hawaii, once construction is finished. I think the play here is to give the hotel a wide berth for another half year, but to book far out while it’s reasonable on points. Some pictures:





My wife and I completed our 6 night stay last Saturday and we experienced many of the same issues. While we were there, they still had the heavy crane operating, but had it removed 2 days before we left and were laying sod and cleaning up around the new pool area. At the end, the noise was bothersome at times, but by the pool or beach, it wasn't that bad. The main construction that was still going on was at the center restaurant being built below the coffee shop area and the walkways down to the pool restaurants on the left side. The full breakfast buffet for $10 was a good deal and my wife and I were able to be satisfied enough that we were able to go out for early dinners at some very nice restaurants near the Hilton Waikoloa and Mauna Lani such as Roy's and Lava Beach. We tried dinner the first night at the pool restaurant and it was not worth it. The resort was fairly empty so the pool and the very nice beach were uncrowded and not crazy unlike with a full house. We agreed that we want to come back when everything is completed and they have a good onsite dinner restaurant. Golf courses at Hapuna Beach and Mauna Kea were excellent and fun to play. We were in an ocean view room, newly decorated on the 8th floor (main floor) with the Japanese toilet as mentioned above. Room was excellent.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 8:47 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Planning a 6 night award stay here end of August so all construction should not be an issue. Is there a Club Lounge? No resort fee? Just parking?

Rooms certainly look spacious.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 8:12 am
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by stevengodfrey1 View Post
Planning a 6 night award stay here end of August so all construction should not be an issue. Is there a Club Lounge? No resort fee? Just parking?

Rooms certainly look spacious.
Looks like there is $30+tax/day resort fee. Other sites say that includes self parking, but there doesn't seem to be any mention on the hotels site of what that includes. They just expect you to fork over the money.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 12:51 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by CIT85 View Post
Sorry about your experience. I was told by Plat Concierge that Hapuna Beach will become Westin on 2/19. So I think you gambled on early timing and lost.

I have a 5 night stay on award booked for Dec., expecting all transition pains to be over.
I think December will be perfect! We're planning another trip for Thanksgiving. The problem is that the window of opportunity is likely to be pretty narrow -- you want to be here when construction is over and when the property is still Cat 5, but before Marriott takes over and screws it up. Looking at the reports in the Marriott forum about the Mauna Kea makes me sad -- no upgrade, no benefits.

Originally Posted by stevengodfrey1 View Post
Planning a 6 night award stay here end of August so all construction should not be an issue. Is there a Club Lounge? No resort fee? Just parking?
There was no club lounge when we stayed, and I can't imagine there will be one. Doesn't seem to be a Marriott thing (and also isn't a Westin requirement afaik).

Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
Looks like there is $30+tax/day resort fee. Other sites say that includes self parking, but there doesn't seem to be any mention on the hotels site of what that includes. They just expect you to fork over the money.
There was a resort fee which included self-parking. We were given a card at check-in that listed what else the fee includes -- as is the case at most hotels that charge such a fee, there was nothing we'd actually pay for ala carte, apart from internet (which should be free for SPG Plats anyway).
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Old Feb 20, 18, 5:04 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by jpdx View Post
There was no club lounge when we stayed, and I can't imagine there will be one. Doesn't seem to be a Marriott thing (and also isn't a Westin requirement afaik).
No, but most or all legacy Sheraton and Westin properties in Hawaii have a lounge. I just finished an extended stay at the Moana Surfrider Westin in Waikiki, Honolulu. I thought the lounge was pretty good for a domestic property, let alone a resort property. I'm guessing it's because 75% of everyone in the lounge is Japanese and in Asia lounges are good. Plus, the hotel sells access, though at $75 a day it isn't really worth it unless you're a heavy drinker.

I would like to stay at Hepuna, but what concerns me is the property staff and management haven't changed since the Westin affiliation and, as a result, may not be trained or accustomed to providing benefits to SPG elites. The staff and management seem to be holdovers from when this was flagged as a Prince hotel.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 6:18 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
No, but most or all legacy Sheraton and Westin properties in Hawaii have a lounge. I just finished an extended stay at the Moana Surfrider Westin in Waikiki, Honolulu. I thought the lounge was pretty good for a domestic property, let alone a resort property. I'm guessing it's because 75% of everyone in the lounge is Japanese and in Asia lounges are good. Plus, the hotel sells access, though at $75 a day it isn't really worth it unless you're a heavy drinker.

I would like to stay at Hepuna, but what concerns me is the property staff and management haven't changed since the Westin affiliation and, as a result, may not be trained or accustomed to providing benefits to SPG elites. The staff and management seem to be holdovers from when this was flagged as a Prince hotel.
It wasn't officially changed until 2/19 even though it was available for booking on the SPG website. It's still under heavy construction and my understanding is Westin will not make major changes until that construction is complete. They do not want the heavy construction associated with their brand name. If you ask the hotel employees, they will tell you "we aren't Westin yet."
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Old Feb 23, 18, 8:24 am
  #42  
 
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When is construction supposed to be finished?

I'm assuming by mid-August I should be good for a "Westin" stay?
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Old Feb 23, 18, 10:43 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by stevengodfrey1 View Post
When is construction supposed to be finished?

I'm assuming by mid-August I should be good for a "Westin" stay?
The website just says "Spring 2018." Of course, it used to say February 2018.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 5:52 pm
  #44  
 
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We didn't stay there but dropped in for lunch 3 or 4 days ago. It looked truly gorgeous and the public areas, pools and restaurants seemed to be functioning from what we could see. We actually stayed at the Sheraton and were a little disappointed that we hadn't risked the Westin. Then we looked at the most recent TA reviews from just a day earlier and I suspect that we had timed it perfectly for our visit, so perhaps the Sheraton was still the right choice. All of the rooms in at least 1 wing seemed to be undergoing major renos, with no glass in place etc but in the hour or so we were there on a mid afternoon we certainly heard no construction noise. Given our limited time and exposure take that with a huge pinch of salt. I think it will be a gorgeous property when finished.
As for SPG we asked to add our SPG number to our meal receipt but the server said that wasn't possible. The amount was small enough and there are no points on alcohol purchases anyway , so it wasn't worth asking further.
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Old Feb 26, 18, 11:24 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Fizzer View Post
...As for SPG we asked to add our SPG number to our meal receipt but the server said that wasn't possible. The amount was small enough and there are no points on alcohol purchases anyway , so it wasn't worth asking further.
Our apologies for the inconvenience, but if you still have the receipt and it was for over USD$10 before taxes, you can ask Program Services to post the points by sending it to [email protected]. In the meantime, we'll have the SPG Hotel Coordinators visit with their SPG Champion regarding earning Starpoints for meals only. The only time that should be an issue is if the restaurant does not have a charge agreement in place with the hotel.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts LLC

[email protected]
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