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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]

 
Old Apr 9, 18, 3:01 pm
  #76  
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Originally Posted by TravelGuy35 View Post
Accordingly, I was hugely disappointed when emailing the property, asking about their SPG benefits, only to receive a reply noting the elite point bonus. That's a terrible answer because that's a simple point adjustment from SPG -- nothing to do with the property itself. In my opinion, that's just laziness from the property/management. Basically they're saying "we'll let SPG give you some extra points on your cash nights, and otherwise, you're just a regular guest."
This property does give upgrades to very nice ocean-view rooms and suites. For a lot of people, that's a key benefit of SPG Plat status. Admittedly, the $10 copay for breakfast is weak (and when we were there, inconsistently administered), but most Hawaii Starwood hotels have dabbled in various breakfast options at various times -- continental only with no option to buy up (on plate delivered to table or take from continental part of buffet), buy up with cash supplement, free full buffet. The Big Island is a completely different market than Honolulu (where lounges are also widely offered by other brands). The Starwood alternative to the Hapuna is the Sheraton, which is old and run-down, has no beach, and a dreadful lounge. Or you can stay at one of the Marriotts, where benefits are minimal -- good luck getting an ocean view upgrade at the neighboring Mauna Kea. I agree that it would be nice if the Hapuna were to offer the full buffet for free, and maybe throw in a couple welcome drinks, but IMO these benefits are not deal-breakers: for 12k points per night, you're getting a large, newly refurbished room with an ocean view, on a beautiful beach in an amazing location. The Hapuna is far ahead of anything else SPH has in the islands except SR Princeville -- enjoy it while it's a steal and don't fret about the lack of a lounge or a $10 breakfast copay.
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Old Apr 9, 18, 3:35 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Originally Posted by jpdx View Post
This property does give upgrades to very nice ocean-view rooms and suites. For a lot of people, that's a key benefit of SPG Plat status. Admittedly, the $10 copay for breakfast is weak (and when we were there, inconsistently administered), but most Hawaii Starwood hotels have dabbled in various breakfast options at various times -- continental only with no option to buy up (on plate delivered to table or take from continental part of buffet), buy up with cash supplement, free full buffet. The Big Island is a completely different market than Honolulu (where lounges are also widely offered by other brands). The Starwood alternative to the Hapuna is the Sheraton, which is old and run-down, has no beach, and a dreadful lounge. Or you can stay at one of the Marriotts, where benefits are minimal -- good luck getting an ocean view upgrade at the neighboring Mauna Kea. I agree that it would be nice if the Hapuna were to offer the full buffet for free, and maybe throw in a couple welcome drinks, but IMO these benefits are not deal-breakers: for 12k points per night, you're getting a large, newly refurbished room with an ocean view, on a beautiful beach in an amazing location. The Hapuna is far ahead of anything else SPH has in the islands except SR Princeville -- enjoy it while it's a steal and don't fret about the lack of a lounge or a $10 breakfast copay.
Well aren't you just the eternal optimist?!

Kidding aside, your comment is appreciated. I just hope that the gauge for quality elite benefits doesn't become a race to the bottom, with comparisons to other brands. I've been a past member of the Fairmont President's Club and found that while the properties are limited, they offer really great recognition (including upgrades) that are meaningful. If the Marriot standard becomes the norm, beginning next year, I think there will be some significant disappointment and brand depreciation.

Based on your comments, I take it that you've stayed at the property since its refurbishment. A few questions:
  • Can you explain the co-pay? I'm assuming we get a vouchers for a continental breakfast that can be upgraded/supplemented for $10 per person for a full breakfast?
  • How would you characterize the guest experience, overall (i.e. how were the staff; was your status recognized at check-in, etc.)?
  • You mention that the property is far ahead of anything SPG has on the islands, exempting SR Princeville on Kauai. That's a pretty sizable claim...is it really a step-up over the time share properties on Maui or the Waikik properties? I'm REALLY curious for your view, if that's the case (i.e. why do you rate it that highly)?
Cheers!
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Old Apr 9, 18, 4:08 pm
  #78  
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Originally Posted by TravelGuy35 View Post
Well aren't you just the eternal optimist?!

Kidding aside, your comment is appreciated. I just hope that the gauge for quality elite benefits doesn't become a race to the bottom, with comparisons to other brands. I've been a past member of the Fairmont President's Club and found that while the properties are limited, they offer really great recognition (including upgrades) that are meaningful. If the Marriot standard becomes the norm, beginning next year, I think there will be some significant disappointment and brand depreciation.
Sadly, we are in a race to the bottom, and programs as generous as FPC don't really exist anymore. There's no telling what Marriott will do going forward -- today's rumors about breakfast being available at resorts under the new combined program would be good news -- but at present, the Hapuna is a much better option than Sheraton Keauhou, Mauna Kea, and Marriott.

Originally Posted by TravelGuy35 View Post
Based on your comments, I take it that you've stayed at the property since its refurbishment. A few questions:
  • Can you explain the co-pay? I'm assuming we get a vouchers for a continental breakfast that can be upgraded/supplemented for $10 per person for a full breakfast?
  • How would you characterize the guest experience, overall (i.e. how were the staff; was your status recognized at check-in, etc.)?
  • You mention that the property is far ahead of anything SPG has on the islands, exempting SR Princeville on Kauai. That's a pretty sizable claim...is it really a step-up over the time share properties on Maui or the Waikik properties? I'm REALLY curious for your view, if that's the case (i.e. why do you rate it that highly)?
We stayed in February, and I wrote a long-ish review upthread. When we were there, there was major construction, and the staff were not at all trained in the SPG program, but when those kinks are ironed out, it'll be a spectacular property. IMO, the Waikiki properties are nothing special, and I wasn't impressed with any of the Maui properties (with the caveat that I've never stayed at the Nanea Ocean Villas, and not recently at Kaanapali Ocean Villas). The Hapuna location is beautiful, and this is a much more thorough remodel than any of the other properties have seen in a long time -- everything is sparkling and new. I would certainly say that the Hapuna and SRP are the only aspirational SPG properties in the islands ... and it's worth keeping in mind that the Hapuna costs 12-16k points per night (low/high season), while the bland and busy Waikiki properties are 20-25k and SR Princeville is 30-35k.
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Old Apr 28, 18, 7:33 am
  #79  
 
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Looking at June 11 to 14th stay on points. Will construction still be an issue? Already booked at the Mauna Kea but may change to Westin if remodels are done
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Old Apr 28, 18, 9:00 am
  #80  
 
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I was there a few weeks ago. Half of the rooms are finished, and we rarely heard construction noise. The grounds are finished, and the adult pool is very nice. Both pools are much better than the Mauna Kea. Premium rooms are just one floor higher than regular rooms, and a slightly better view over a building that is becoming condos.

I agree with others that the staff is not yet fully trained in all things SPG.

The rooms had some issues- we were in two. An accessible room that had the toilet hooked up wrong so it wouldn't flush. Also, both toilets had missing "seat feet."

Breakfast is okay at best, and it's a $10 upcharge for the full buffet.

I'd stay there again just for the adult pool.

Also, St. Regis starting another renovation this summer- they will be redoing the pool and adding an adult pool near where they have weddings... Cannot wait! (also redoing all the rooms- hope they keep the jr suite layout with shower views)
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Old Apr 28, 18, 4:35 pm
  #81  
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Planning our first visit to the Big Island this fall (been to Maui & Kauai 3 times each, Oahu 4 times for pleasure, 2 for business).

In any event, I initially booked points for the Sheraton because it looked like a tremendous value (I'm cheap with my points) and it had a lounge. That being said, I called and spoke to one of the managers at the Sheraton and asked her to give me an honest, objective assessment of the Sheraton vs the Westin. She convinced me to trade up to the Westin. Basically, she said that while the Sheraton is a very nice property, it's quite dated (especially the bedrooms) and there's no beach there (I had missed that from my research). She said she's visited the Westin several times now during the renovation and assured me it's going to be spectacular.

I think her most convincing argument to me was something like this, "if I lived on the mainland and only came over to the Big Island one week a year for vacation, I'd splurge on the Westin"). Well, the Westin isn't actually a splurge (although it's a few more thousand points/night), but based on her evaluation of the two properties, I switched. I am a lifetime plat at Marriott (still not exactly sure what that's going to transfer to in the new program after Aug 1), but maybe we'll get comp resort breakfast and maybe even 5 guaranteed SNA's if I kind of understand some of the new benefits going into effect with the merged program? Regardless of whether or not they'll have a club (I understand the latest is they won't), or whether we get a garden view or ocean room or a free brekkie, we're at the Westin Hapuna and looking forward to our week on the Big Island.
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Old May 13, 18, 3:23 am
  #82  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
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I called Hapuna Beach Resort because I have to move some reservations and was considering this property. Here's my notes.
  1. Some rooms are remodeled, you can try requesting for a newer room upon booking.
  2. Part of the tower was purchased by a new owner so construction for that part is expected to go on until mid-2019. My takeaway is that the website only mentioned Spring 2018 because that's SPG/Marriott's part of the renovations. That's a huge disappointment IMO.
  3. The rep said the construction is quite loud, it's by the pool, and you can hear it from the beach. "Lots of noise, drilling, and pounding" was the approximate wording. I asked if construction went on from 9 AM - 5 PM and the rep said yes.
All in all I have to move next week's reservation from Hilo to Kohala Coast anyway, so I'll be staying at Hapuna and planning to spend 9-5 away from the resort and come back when they're done for the day. I am bummed that the Hapuna beach experience might be spoiled, but I'll have to see when I get there. Also have reservations for Mauna Kea Beach Hotel following Hapuna.
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Old May 13, 18, 10:15 am
  #83  
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I'll be there in August.
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Old May 13, 18, 11:03 am
  #84  
mck
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Returning from a recent week at the hotel.

There is a wing closest to the beach that is being remodeled into condos. The noise is loud enough to be bothersome (think saws and jack hammers). The noise projects directly out onto the beach moreso then the pool but I would bring ear buds or something if you’re planning to lounge. Actual room remodels are very nice, all rooms I saw had small private balcony.

Restaurants are now all open, but it’s confusing why poolside food stops by 4, drinks by 5, bar by 6... The nice restaurant has great sunset view, food worth the price. Breakfast buffet pricey but worth a meal.
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Old May 13, 18, 2:04 pm
  #85  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
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Thanks for sharing! I booked May 15-17. A few questions:
  1. Do you have status with SPG? Any perks/benefits?
  2. Did you get a remodeled room, and if so did you have to ask?
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Old May 20, 18, 12:43 am
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by editedit View Post
Thanks for sharing! I booked May 15-17. A few questions:
  1. Do you have status with SPG? Any perks/benefits?
  2. Did you get a remodeled room, and if so did you have to ask?
Just spent two nights at Hapuna Prince. Looks to me they're still working on adding the "Westin" branding to the hotel signs.

To answer my questions:
  1. I booked through Chase so SPG status didn't matter in my case. The receptionist asked for my SPG number anyway but didn't mention any potential perks for SPG Gold.
  2. I was given a renovated room but did not have to ask for one. They're only placing guests in the remodeled north tower and a handful of remodeled rooms in the south tower.
It is a beautiful property with a great beach and modern renovations. The adult pool is great, as are the hot tubs. When I stayed there, the family pool was also quite empty, often emptier than the adult pool, so I spent a lot of time in there too.

Construction started as early as 7:30 AM and ended as late as 5 PM. I think it's only on weekdays. As previously mentioned the north side's beachfront tower (villas/timeshares) is undergoing major renovations so you can hear drilling and sawing from the beach, pool, and hotel's north tower. In addition there's some work going on in the south side's lower floors, specifically the rooms/facilities near the pool side restaurants Coast Grille and Meridia. We were out during most of the construction hours and hung out at the hotel after 5 PM so it wasn't a big deal, but if you'd like to hang out in the resort all day then the construction can become unbearable. One morning we tried to borrow snorkel gear from the hotel but were denied because the water was cut from the beach/pool showers due to construction, so they couldn't clean the snorkels.

The resort fee is $31.25/night.
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Old May 28, 18, 2:15 am
  #87  
 
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Just booked a weekend after the opening (June 25), was told Plat arrival gift is a bag of Kau coffee. Wonder if they will comp breakfast as well... (probably not)
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Old May 28, 18, 10:41 am
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Old May 29, 18, 6:55 am
  #89  
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Originally Posted by msp3 View Post
Just booked a weekend after the opening (June 25), was told Plat arrival gift is a bag of Kau coffee. Wonder if they will comp breakfast as well... (probably not)
I'm sure the property is still in the process of learning just what they have to provide, but I have a big group going there this summer. I negotiated in the event contract that all elites on the group contract receive their elite status benefits, including upgrades and breakfast, as if they were paying individually.
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Old Jun 25, 18, 10:34 am
  #90  
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Looks like it’s about to officially become a Westin any second now - press release just issued.

khabah

***

Westin Hotels & Resorts to Debut on the Big Island in Hawaii


Mauna Kea Resort LLC will Introduce The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on June 25, 2018, With an Extensive Multi-Million Dollar Transformation
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort will Mark the Brand’s Sixth Hotel in Hawaii, Signaling a New Wave of Well-being among Global Travelers


06/25/2018 – HAPUNA BEACH, HI - Westin Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, in partnership with Mauna Kea Resorts LLC today announced the debut of The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort following an extensive multi-million dollar renovation that will reimagine its guestrooms and suites; introduce four new culinary concepts; and transform the resort’s public spaces with an all-new adults-only pool and enhancements to the existing family pool area.

“The June 25, 2018 opening of The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort reinforces that the brand is continuing to grow in lockstep with the evolving demand of travelers, who are increasingly prioritizing their well-being while on the road – even when on vacation,” said Brian Povinelli, SVP & Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “From our iconic Heavenly Bed and Gear Lending program, to our innovative fitness partnerships with Peloton and TRX, we are thrilled to offer a meaningful wellness proposition for travelers, as only Westin can.”

Perfectly nestled into the bluffs above the idyllic Hapuna Beach, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort will feature some of the largest rooms on the Kohala Coast, 17 new suites that complement 232 guestrooms, each redesigned to be an oasis for well-being and relaxation. The thoughtfully-designed lobby connects guests with the hotel’s unique sense of place (Ha’ena) feeling residential and intimate, yet open and airy: designed with a biophilic-focus, suggesting that a connection to nature enhances well-being. The custom living wall and vertical garden brings the island’s flora and fauna indoors, while interactive check-in pods modernize the arrival experience. Colors found in nature inspired the sophisticated palette coupled with natural materials and patterns that add textural layers to the interior design.

“We are thrilled to bring the Westin brand to the Big Island of Hawaii, where we will welcome guests and the community to an elevated resort that celebrates the wellness as well as the area’s local culture and ease of island spirit,” said Kisan Jo, President of Prince Resorts Hawaii. “As we continue to build on the Westin brand promise of delivering to guests a best-in-class experience, the introduction of our resort signals a new wave of island luxury, furthering the Kohala Coast’s status as a sought-after destination.”

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort will introduce four new culinary concepts:

– A Mediterranean inspired restaurant, Meridia boasts a display kitchen, craft cocktails, expanded al fresco dining and a charcuterie and crudo bar with house-made artisanal bread. Meridia’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine is created with locally sourced ingredients and is infused with the island’s rich bounty. A portion of the new dining room will become a new Hapuna Club/Member Lounge.

– A fun and casual dining experience serving Pacific Rim cuisine, Naupaka Beach Grill is an innovative casual restaurant featuring an extensive list of local brews on tap. Naupaka Beach Grill provides a casual setting for salads, sandwiches and pupus. As the sun sets, this poolside grill is enhanced by memorable ocean views.

– An outdoor seating experience, ‘Ikena Landing is an open-air breakfast venue with expanded seating and nature-inspired shade trellises. Nutritious à la carte options and a sumptuous breakfast buffet showcasing local fruits are complemented by fresh juices by The Juicery and vibrant smoothies.

– And a centrally located barista bar, Piko Coffee + Bar, serves 100-percent Kona Coffee, refreshing libations, a light menu and fresh grab ‘n go selections.

An all-new, exclusive adults-only infinity edge pool offers a sophisticated and serene poolside experience that includes private cabanas, chaise lounges and pool ledge loungers for premium relaxation. Poised on the edge of award-winning Hapuna Beach, the resort’s existing family pool features has also been enhanced.

The idyllic resort also features the Westin Family program, designed to cater to the way modern families travel: with a reinvented Kids Club concept, reimagined family experiences and more meaningful branded amenities for young travelers. Westin Family draws inspiration from nature to promote a sense of well-being, from interactive programming and thoughtful amenities to physical play spaces.

As part of Westin’s mission is to be a partner in guests’ well-being, the hotel offers a CrossFit studio as well as the brand’s signature WestinWORKOUT® fitness studio, featuring Peloton and TRX state-of-the-art exercise equipment in an open, airy and well-designed space. For travelers who wish to take their fitness routines outdoors, the hotel features the popular and pioneering RunWESTIN™ program, offering guests a guided run – led by the hotel’s Run Concierge.

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort joins sister property Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the greater Mauna Kea Resort property, and remains owned and managed by Prince Resorts Hawaii. The two properties comprise a world-class resort and residential experience on the beautiful, sun-kissed Kohala Coast. For more information, please visit www.westin.com; and for reservations call 1-888-977-4623.

About Prince Resorts Hawaii
Prince Resorts Hawaii Inc. is a subsidiary of Seibu Holdings Inc. It operates three luxury hotels and golf courses on two of the Hawaiian Islands: The Prince Waikiki on the island of O‘ahu, and on the island of Hawai‘i, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Golf Course at the Mauna Kea Resort on the Kohala Coast. Prince Resorts Hawaii is unique in offering all-oceanfront locations along with championship golf courses, gracious island hospitality, and award-winning cuisine. Most recently in 2017, Prince Waikiki was named one of the top hotels in Hawaii, while Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was named one of the best resorts in Hawaii by Condé Nast Traveler’s 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards. For more information or reservations, call 1-866-PRINCE6 (866-774-6236), or visit PrinceResortsHawaii.com.

About Prince Hotels & Resorts
Prince Hotels & Resorts owns and operates 42 hotels, Ryokan, Ski and Golf facilities, and aquariums, across Japan and seven others worldwide (Hawai‘i, Taiwan and Malaysia). Prince Hotels & Resorts is committed to environmentally-friendly operations. For more information visit PrinceHotels.com.

About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts, a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than a decade, empowers guests and associates to embrace well-being and be their best selves through the brand’s six pillars of Well-Being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. At more than 200 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, guests can experience offerings that include the iconic Heavenly Bed, RunWESTIN and Westin Gear Lending with New Balance, delicious and nutritious SuperFoodsRx™ and more. To learn more, visit www.westin.com. Stay connected to Westin: @Westin on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/Westin.

Source: Westin Hotels & Resorts to Debut on the Big Island in Hawaii | Marriott News Center
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