The vacant Renaissance Wailea hotel on Maui, which has blighted Mokapu Beach since its closure in 2007, will soon undergo a $90 million redevelopment that will transform it into the Andaz Wailea Resort and Residences. Andaz is Hyatt’s boutique brand.
The new hotel, which is the product of a joint venture between Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Starwood Capital Group, is slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2012. The newest venture is the latest chapter in a saga that began in 2003 when Starwood Hotels paid $86 million to acquire the Renaissance Wailea from Shinwa Golf Group, a Japanese company that was forced to sell the asset to clear up bad loans. Starwood had planned to turn the property into a St. Regis or a W hotel, two of their trendier brands; however, Starwood Capital and Kobayashi Group later acquired control of the property and shifted plans to developing an "ultra luxury" condominium-hotel associated with French crystal manufacturer Baccarat. Plans were shelved after the international credit crisis hit, and the property sat empty.
Now Starwood might finally see its Wailea investment pay off, while at the same time, Hyatt has the opportunity to expand its newer Andaz boutique brand into one of the world’s most sought-after resort destinations.
"The burgeoning Andaz brand is a perfect fit for this vibrant community, and the partnership structure with Hyatt ensures we will bring the best of both companies together to create a stunning property," said Barry S. Sternlicht, Starwood Capital’s chairman and chief executive officer. "Having been intimately involved in the design of the asset, it will be exciting to see it come to life as the Andaz Wailea."
The Andaz Wailea will be located along 600 feet of Mokapu Beach within the Wailea resort master plan, which includes a 1.2-mile-long oceanfront beach path connecting its beaches, a shopping center, restaurants and 54-hole golf club and tennis club.
"Wailea is Hawaii’s premier resort," said Joseph Toy, president and chief executive officer of hotel consultancy Hospitality Advisors LLC. "Hotels there consistently have the highest average daily room rates and earn the most revenue per available room. There is lots of demand for this very well-planned destination."
David Rockwell, the renowned architect and designer behind the Andaz Wall Street in New York City, will have the formidable task of trying to improve on Wailea. In addition to its 255 rooms, 35 suites and six four-bedroom villas, the Andaz Wailea will include specialty indoor and outdoor restaurants, cascading pools, a 15,000-square-foot spa, gym, lobby lounge and meeting space.
"The opportunity to develop a world-class resort along one of Hawaii’s most desirable beaches is unique, and we are delighted to partner with Starwood Capital, a company with a long history of designing and building world-class hotel and resort properties," said Hyatt Hotels Corp. President and CEO Mark S. Hoplamazian. "Andaz Wailea will be a great addition to Hyatt’s resort portfolio and an important new market for Andaz."
Hyatt has five hotels in its Andaz brand: Liverpool Street, London; Andaz West Hollywood; Andaz Wall Street; Andaz San Diego; and Andaz 5th Avenue. Others in the works are Andaz Amsterdam, Netherlands; Andaz Delhi, India; Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica; Andaz Sanya Sunny Bay, China; and Andaz Turks and Caicos.