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Hawaii hotels repairing tsunami damage

By Star-Advertiser Staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:31 p.m. HST, Mar 14, 2011



Several Big Island hotels are working to repair damage from last week’s tsunami in Hawaii.

The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, which sustained debris damage, will remain closed through March 21.

Guests were evacuated prior to the tsunami; however, water and sand from the storm surge caused minimal damage primarily to landscaped areas and the beach, said Brad Packer, director of public relations at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at historic Kaupulehu on the Big Island. About twelve rooms and suites and a restaurant on the resort were damaged, too, Packer said.

"Ensuring the safety and comfort of our guests is our foremost concern, and in order to do so at our expected level, we determined it best to close while these efforts take place,” Packer said.

Guests with reservations prior to the reopening date are being contacted by the resort’s reservations team to make alternate arrangements, he said.

The Kona Village and Resort, which has 125 luxury bungalows, or hale, for guests, had some knocked from their foundations and at least 20 were inundated with water, said CEO Pat Fitzgerald.

Some of the hale are 30 yards from shore but the tsunami reached as far as 75 yards inland at its height, Fitzgerald said.

"The estimates are $300,000 to $400,000 to repair just one of the hales," said Shelly Ichishita, state Civil Defense spokeswoman.

The entire first floor of the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on Alii Drive in Kailua Village, except for one shop, was damaged.

None of the guest rooms at King Kamehameha sustained water damage.

The resort has removed the carpet from its lobby. Its pool and Billfish Bar are open. Some of the hotel’s guests are choosing to stay at the hotel; however, the resort has relocated others.

The Hilton Waikaloa’s Lagoon restaurant is back open after minor flooding closed the outdoor eatery, said Jerry Gibson, Hilton Hawaii’s area vice president. None of the chain’s other 9 properties sustained damages, he said.

There were not any damages at the eleven Starwood Hotels & Resorts properties in Hawaii, said Keith Vieira, senior vice president and director of operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii and French Polynesia.

Operations at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows have returned to normal following the tsunami. The Ocean Bar & Grill, which sustained water damage, is expected to reopen tomorrow. The resort’s Bay Terrace restaurant is open.






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