From the luxury Waikiki Edition hotel to The Modern Honolulu to the ???.
Hawaii Aloha Travel made the recent discovery that this posh Waikiki hotel might have changed management once again. In searching for discount rates for clients, our agent went straight to the Aqua Hotels’ website, only to find that The Modern was no longer listed as a property. This surprising news lead him to inquire further. He called the hotel, and they confirmed that Aqua Hotels no longer manages The Modern.
The hotel has been in bankruptcy ever since the Marriott International Inc. was ousted as the management company back in 2011. Aqua Hotels took over, committing to a smooth transition for both employees and guests, according to a release. However, this was apparently not so. This recent discovery potentially reveals the third management change since the troubled property opened.
“The hotel has been struggling to find its way because of its location and the price point,” says HAT owner Bruce Fisher. “I have always loved the concept and am surprised it’s had such a tough go.”
He’s not the only one in the travel industry who’s surprised. None of HAT’s wholesalers knew about the change, including regional sales representative Denton Bangs from All About Hawaii. It’s quite possible that The Modern wants to keep this change in management hushed, as it comes in the wake of recent turmoil for the luxury hotel.
Earlier this month, about 260 hotel workers voted unanimously to authorize a potential strike. While there is no set date for a strike, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the workers were unhappy with employment conditions at the hotel. There were also several charges brought against The Modern, while under management by Aqua Hotels. The newspaper reports that the charges involved unjustified termination for a few employees.
The boutique hotel is meant to combine luxury quality with a tropical setting – something Hawaii has been lacking for years. It’s a shame that such a unique concept has been inhibited from reaching its hospitality potential by being tangled in behind-the-scene politics. While new management may promise a seamless transition, the unrest of such a situation would no doubt be apparent in the hotel’s atmosphere – affecting management, employees and most of all, the guests.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher