A joint venture led by a California-based hotel investment firm has bought the 451-room Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki with plans for a management change and extensive renovations.
The Chartres Lodging Group LLC in partnership with a Morgan Stanley investment fund purchased the two-tower property on leasehold land at the corner of Paokalani and Kuhio avenues toward the Diamond Head end of Waikiki yesterday from a company affiliated with local developer Bert A. Kobayashi.
A price was not disclosed.
The Kobayashi enterprise, OR Hotel LLC, bought the leasehold hotel in 2002 for $5 million from Sports Shinko, a Tokyo-based company that sold several Hawaii golf course and hotel assets under distress.
Sports Shinko mainly operated golf courses in Japan and invested heavily in Hawaii in the late 1980s, paying $164 million for three golf courses and three hotels. The firm ended up selling all six properties for less than $26 million.
Chartres is a San Francisco-based firm that owns or manages a portfolio of 15,600 mainly upscale and luxury hotel rooms on the mainland and in Japan.
Other acquisitions by the company, formerly known as Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group LLC, have included the Alivila Nikko Resort in Japan and Radisson Lexington hotel in New York, bought for roughly $100 million each.
Chartres said it anticipates no significant changes in operations for the Ocean Resort Hotel, and that the ownership and management transition should be seamless for customers and the hotel’s 140 employees.
However, parts of the hotel will be closed during renovation work.
Chartres plans to renovate the hotel over 18 months and re-brand the property under management of Kokua Hospitality, a firm affiliated with Chartres that manages upscale hotels in Illinois and Maryland. The Ocean Resort Hotel is presently managed by Castle Resorts & Hotels.
Renovation work will include a redesigned lobby, refurbished rooms and upgraded pool deck. Work on the lobby and 19-story Pali Tower is scheduled to begin in May or June. During this phase the Pali Tower will be closed. Reopening is expected in November, when the 14-story Diamond Tower will close for the second phase of renovation work, expected to be completed by April 2012.
Robert Kline, president and co-founder of Chartres, said the repositioning of the hotel will raise the standard of accommodations and amenities, offering guests a new first-class experience.
"We’re delighted to enter the Hawaii market with the acquisition of the Ocean Resort in the heart of Waikiki, one of the most vibrant destination resorts in the world," he said.