Royal Hawaiian Hotel to close for renovations
Waikiki's pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel, one of the most well-known Hawaii beachfront properties, will temporarily shut down on June 1.
The 528-room hotel, built in 1927, is set to undergo a seven-month facelift, estimated to cost $110 million, as part of the larger $750 million redevelopment of Sheraton's four Waikiki hotels by its Japan-based owner Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts LP.
The massive renovation over four years also includes the Sheraton Waikiki, Moana Surfrider and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.
The closure will affect more than 400 workers, including 380 union members of Unite Here! Local 5, said Candice Kraughto, spokeswoman for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which manages the hotel.
Hotel workers were told about the closure yesterday. Hotel executives are planning to meet with the union soon to work out a plan to relocate workers and discuss ongoing medical and welfare benefits.
However, the union was caught by surprise by the news of the disruption to its members, and has yet to receive a formal proposal from Kyo-ya outlining the effect the closure will have on workers, said Cade Watanabe, Local 5 spokesman.
"During this period of temporary closure we need to be able to assure that the workers continue to receive the full medical benefits, that's just so important to our members," he said.
The restoration, which includes an $85 million upgrade to public areas and $25 million room renovation, is intended to reposition the hotel to cater to high-end visitors in the increasingly competitive Hawaii hotel market.
The hotel is planning a soft opening in late 2008 and a grand reopening in early 2009 as part of Starwood's luxury collection of hotels.
Hotel management also is developing plans to relocate hotel reservations and catering functions during the renovations.