The Irongate‑owned iconic landmark is set to bring a fresh identity to its highly acclaimed destination with new management and international design.
HONOLULU, HAWAII – Irongate, a lifestyle-driven real estate firm, and global hospitality leader Hilton announce plans for a monumental transformation of one of Hawaii’s most revered properties. The Trump International Hotel, Waikiki, will be reborn as Wākea Waikiki Beach under the expert management of LXR Hotels & Resorts officially taking place February 2024. LXR Hotels & Resorts is one of Hilton’s three distinctive luxury brands featuring a hand-picked collection of independent and spirited luxury properties celebrating the timeless pursuit of personal adventure.
Overlooking Fort DeRussy Park with views of the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head, just steps from Waikiki Beach and at the heart of Waikiki’s world-class restaurants, shops, entertainment, and nightlife, Wākea Waikiki Beach enters a new era. The 38-story property home to 462 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites, which first opened its doors in 2009, will embark on a reinvigorated chapter featuring LXR Hotels & Resorts as the new management company and a custom design renovation by the internationally celebrated Bryan O’Sullivan Studio (BOS Studio). BOS Studio is celebrated for its remarkable contributions to renowned establishments like Claridge’s and The Connaught in London as well as residential projects across global metropolises such as London, Paris, New York and more.
“We are thrilled to spearhead the revival of what I have always felt to be the ‘grand dame’ of Waikiki with its timeless architecture and unobstructed views. Irongate’s enduring commitment to this property, which dates to its inception with a one-day record-breaking sales success followed by many years of award-winning hospitality, underscores our steadfast dedication to the destination of Waikiki and its residents and visitors,” said Jason Grosfeld, chairman & CEO, Irongate. “Through our collaborative efforts with BOS Studio on design and with Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts as the operator, this iconic edifice embarks on an exciting new chapter.”
“Hawaii has played an important role in Hilton’s history and growth strategy across the Pacific. With more than 20 hotels and resorts open and welcoming travelers across Hawaii, we are delighted to introduce the first LXR Hotels & Resorts property to the destination,” said Greg Hartmann, senior vice president, Luxury and Mixed-Use Development, Hilton. “The signing of Wākea Waikiki Beach complements our Hawaiian luxury portfolio and ensures we continue to meet the needs of our ever-evolving guests in destinations where they choose to be. We are excited about this new era for the resort and look forward to building upon its award-winning reputation.”
The name “Wākea” draws inspiration from the Hawaiian story of Wākea, the Sky Father. In Hawaiian mythology, Wākea and Papahānaumoku, the Earth Mother, collaborated to create the Hawaiian Islands, forming a timeless connection between the earth and the sky. The iconic tower now carries this significant name, reflecting its mission to rejuvenate homeowners, guests, and visitors with the spirit of aloha and ho’okipa, embodying the warmth and hospitality of the islands.
“LXR Hotels & Resorts provides guests access to the most alluring destinations globally and Wākea Waikiki Beach’s oceanfront location in Oahu is no exception. The resort offers an exceptional locale for travelers looking to create their own intriguing adventure,” said Feisal Jaffer, global head, LXR Hotels & Resorts. “Illustrating LXR’s unique approach to hospitality, Wākea Waikiki Beach is the perfect addition to the brand’s growing portfolio and we look forward to welcoming distinguished travelers from around the world to this unrivaled destination.”
As the award-winning property approaches its 14th anniversary, Wākea Waikiki Beach is planning for a comprehensive interior architecture and design renovation with a highly coveted international design firm, BOS Studio. With offices in London and New York City, the design firm is known to create interiors that are timeless yet truly original, sophisticated yet irreverent, and always welcoming. After participating in a multi-day cultural immersion program in Waikiki, the BOS Studio team defined the new design direction by encompassing both cultural integration and luxury enhancements to the overall aesthetic of the building.
Scheduled to start in early 2025 and slated to take place over several months, the renovation will be phased to minimize disruption to daily operations and will encompass upgrades to public areas, including lobbies, pool areas, spa, fitness center, residence corridors, landscaping, and residence interiors. In addition, Wai`olu and In-Yō Café will be reconceptualized, and the destination restaurant on the ground floor will soon be home to an internationally acclaimed restaurateur and chef.
Overall, the redesign will include new finish materials and a furniture collection that consists of pieces tailored specifically for Wākea, as well as updates to modernize building systems. The transformative renovation will have a meaningful impact on the iconic Waikiki property.
As part of the transformation, the hotel management team that has played an integral role in the guest and resident experience since the building’s debut in 2009, will remain with Wākea Waikiki Beach and join LXR Hotels & Resorts. This team was essential to the property receiving the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel designation for ten consecutive years and will continue to play a meaningful role in the property’s future awards and accolades.
“As we celebrate 14 successful years of unwavering commitment to residents, guests and our local ‘ohana, the transition to Wākea Waikiki Beach represents an exciting milestone for our dedicated team and all who have supported us since the beginning,” said Scott Ingwers, managing director, Wākea Waikiki Beach. “I am honored to be a part of our ongoing legacy and evolution and will continue to embrace the Hawaiian values and exceptional culture that have brought us to where we are today.”
Wākea Waikiki Beach is expected to join the LXR Hotels & Resorts portfolio under the brand’s management in February 2024 and will participate in Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s distinct hotel brands.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.