Halekulani To Turn 5-Star Reputation Into Brand Presence

HONOLULU? Building on the five-star reputation of the Halekulani Hotel here, the Halekulani Corp. has formed a brand-management division to expand the name into a chain of luxury properties. The division, called Hotels & Resorts of Halekulani, will be led by Patricia Tam, vp of Halekulani Corp. and former general manager of the hotel. She described the move as “a new strategy that will take us to the next level,” noting that it has been under consideration for some time at the independent property. Initially, the division will reaffirm standards set by the 456-room Halekulani, which has been open since 1983. It will also implement rigorous quality assurance, training and sales and marketing programs that will be used at the new Halekulani hotels as well as the 298-room Waikiki Parc hotel, also owned by Halekulani Corp., which will now be marketed more closely with the Halekulani name, said Tam. The Halekulani Hotel has earned AAA?s Five Diamond Award for 15 consecutive years. As the company looks to expand, it will seek out independent luxury hotels with similar service standards. Whether or not all new properties in the portfolio will carry the Halekulani name is yet to be determined. Research is underway at the company to determine if the name is appropriate for national and international expansion. Both management contracts for existing hotels and new development projects will be considered as part of the expansion plan, said Tam, who noted that “opportunities are numerous and not limited to Hawaii.” As such, Tam and her team will consider adding hotels to the portfolio that are located on the mainland U.S. and in international gateway cities. Specific target markets where the company would like to have a presence have not yet been identified, but are expected to be determined in the fall. Halekulani is currently seeking out partners that will aid its expansion process, via providing development opportunities or single or multiple management contracts, or both. A team of 20 will initially comprise the brand management team which will be based in Honolulu with Tam at Halekulani Corp.?s corporate offices. They will fill various sales and marketing, quality assurance, training and public relations roles. As part of the new group, the sales and public relations departments of the Halekulani Hotel and Waikiki Parc will be combined, according to Tam. A quality assurance team will finalize standards by the fall to serve as the foundation of the Halekulani brand going forward, said Tam. “This is the beginning of the realization of our future vision for the Halekulani brand,” said Yuri Giga, who holds the positions of president/CEO of Halekulani Corp. Tam said she expects the first of the new properties added to the Halekulani portfolio to be local, either on the same island or another in Hawaii. Fred Honda has been named the new general manager of the Halekulani Hotel. He fills the role left vacant following Tam?s appointment as vp of Halekulani Corp. Honda joined the company in 1999 following his appointment as director of operations. He has more than 29 years of experience in the hotel industry