Recommend April 2014 - (Page 46)

onsitereview J A N U A R Y 2 0 14 OAHU, Aston-Style The Royal Kai Lani Suite at the Aston Waikiki Beachside Hotel. donna ray Since wading into Waikiki's tourism scene with a single 14-room hotel in 1948, Aston Hotels & Resorts has burgeoned into a Hawaii heavyweight with 24 condominium resorts, hotels, villas and cottages on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island. To say that the hospitality industry icon is aggressively enhancing its portfolio is a bit of an understatement. Over the past five years, Aston has spread its wings to South Lake Tahoe, Lake Las Vegas and Orlando. Within the last year in Waikiki alone, the company debuted its first boutique hotel, upgraded all guestrooms at its flagship and introduced an exclusive 3-bedroom/4.5-bath penthouse suite on Kalakaua Avenue. And that's all within a 2-block area. On a recent visit to this legendary urban resort, we roll up to the company's newest Oahu jewel. A block from Kalakaua and Waikiki Beach, the 9-story Hotel Renew by Aston is easy to miss since its low-key facade is void of flashy signage and a hectic porte cochere. Placing a premium on personalized service, the hotel focuses on pillars to help guests reconnect, rejuvenate, reenergize, refill, replay and refresh. The latter emerges right off the bat with the chilled scented towel and cold tropical juice greeting that hits the spot after flying into and driving from Oahu's Honolulu International Airport (HAL). It's pleasant to ease from Waikiki's high-energy into this oasis of chill. Infused with a spirit of wellness by acclaimed San Francisco designer Jiun Ho, the eco-friendly retreat balances urban chic with coastal casual through natural elements of cool limestone, sandblasted oak woods and a monochromatic color palette. "As the only designer boutique hotel in our portfolio, Hotel Renew by Aston allows us to reach a whole new market of travelers," says Shari Chang, senior v.p. of sales, marketing and revenue. She notes that the 72-room property is an especially good fit for savvy travelers seeking a service-oriented experience and active guests wanting to explore the island. 46 april 2014 46-48 NA Hawaiii.indd 46 Averaging 280-300 sq. ft., stylish guestrooms take full advantage of the space with clever storage nooks and crannies. Each is outfitted with a work station, sitting area, platform bed with high-count linens, 32-inch flat-screen TV, CD player with iPod docking station, laptop-friendly safe and Keurig coffee maker. caption Most add a furnished lanai for soaking in views of the Koolau Mountains, Waikiki or sparkling Pacific. While Lounge Renew and its daily happy hour are among the limited onsite amenities, Club Renew remedies that with access to two neighboring resort swimming pools, a full-service fitness facility and Hawaiian-influenced boutique spa. A daily $25 amenity fee covers those membership perks plus property-wide WiFi access, continental breakfast, newspaper, weekly mixer with hosted cocktails, local/toll free telephone calls and mega-convenient mobile concierge accessible via cellphones and other handheld devices. The "replay" pillar kicks in with beach gear use and PlayStation 3 Blu-ray consoles with unlimited rentals from a lobby kiosk. "We're seeing really positive response to Club Renew and especially its mobile concierge," says Chang. "The concept allows guests to arrange when they'd like their room cleaned, what time for the valet to bring their car around, and other requests in a private and efficient manner so they're never inconvenienced." good neighbors Also sporting a fresh contemporary cool attitude, the adjacent Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel has spruced up accommodations with earthy tones, new photography and storage spaces. Upgrades complement such existing conveniences as a flat-screen TV, mini-refrigerator and PlayStation 3 console. While 85 percent of its 645-room inventory feature full or partial ocean views, all provide a private lanai for gawking at the action that makes Waikiki such a hot destination. continued on page 48 3/25/14 8:29 AM LEE5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend April 2014

The Islands of Tahiti Travel Planner
Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: Commune Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Collette
What's New In Mexico
Fiji: Fantasy Islands
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
RCI’s Vision of the Seas
Florida Keys
Oahu, Aston-Style
3 Isles: The Azores, Canary Islands & Gotland, Sweden
Sun-Kissed Islands: Belize & Peru
Afloat on the Indian Ocean: Zanzibar & Madagascar

Recommend April 2014