CLARIFICATION / CORRECTION: Only the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows will close for a 14 month renovation. The resort and its services and facilities – hotels, beach parks, golf and shopping – will remain open.
(BIVN) – A month after announcing the Mauna Lani Hotel on the Kohala Coast will close in October 2018 and reopen in late 2019 after a $100 million renovation, partners are revealing a glimpse of what the reborn hotel will look like, and have announced the resort will join Auberge Resorts Collection.
Big Island Video News interviewed Pat Fitzgerald, partner in DiamondHead Land, which purchased the Mauna Lani Resort in August of 2017. DiamondHead Land is a joint venture between San Francisco-based ProspectHill Group and Fitzgerald, a Hawaii-based hotel executive, in partnership with a major institutional investor. “We’ve always told the employees that they would be the first ones to know of any kind of significant changes to the hotel, and promised them that we would always be honest and transparent with them,” Fitzgerald said. “So on May 1st we told the employees that, given the extent of the renovation, we would have to close the hotel. We want to give them a lot of advance notice and do it in a way that gave them the opportunity both to have potential transitional jobs, that we can help them find, as well as make sure they understood that everyone would be recalled back when we reopened in October of 2019.”
Here is the media release shared by the resort announcing the new deal with Auberge:
KOHALA COAST, HAWAII. (May 23, 2018) – Auberge Resorts Collection will welcome Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, the famed resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, to its portfolio of award-winning luxury resorts, residences and clubs. Under the direction of a world-class development team, Mauna Lani will undergo an extensive redesign and revitalization and will be reborn as Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, the premier resort destination in Hawaii.
The development and ownership team is DiamondHead Land, a joint venture between San Francisco-based ProspectHill Group and Hawaii-based hotel executive Pat Fitzgerald, in partnership with a major institutional investor. With plans already underway, the re-launch and re-opening of Mauna Lani is planned for late 2019.
“Among the many distinctive qualities of Mauna Lani are its exceptionally beautiful natural setting and iconic place in the history of Hawaii,” said Dan Friedkin, Owner and Chairman, Auberge Resorts Collection. “We are excited to elevate the great heritage of Mauna Lani with the Auberge sense of intimacy, world-class service, local adventures and a fresh contemporary aesthetic that will allow guests to experience the best that Hawaii has to offer.”
“Auberge Resorts Collection shares our vision for providing a style of luxury and service that resonates with guests on a personal level,” said Pat Fitzgerald, partner, DiamondHead Land. “Auberge’s experience capturing the unique lifestyle of each destination and setting in a captivating way is what we sought for the transformation of Mauna Lani. We are thrilled to collaborate with Auberge to create a truly inspiring Hawaiian resort.”
Set on 32 oceanfront acres marked by sacred royal fishing ponds, natural lava plains, lush tropical gardens and bordered by pristine white-sand beaches, Mauna Lani offers the island’s premier location for relaxation, adventure and immersion in the authentic culture and traditions of Hawaii. A great respect for the ancient concept of aloha āina – love of the land – and a deep connection to land, sea and Hawaiian heritage will inform every aspect of the resort’s physical and experiential transformation.
Plans are well underway for a hotel renovation in excess of $100 million, which will completely re-envision the guest experience, bring to life the legacy, character and spirit of the Kohala Coast and celebrate the natural and active lifestyle of the Island of Hawaii.
Award-winning interior design firm Meyer Davis is orchestrating a dramatic redesign of the public areas and guest rooms. World-renowned land planning and architecture firm Hart Howerton will lead the complete re-imagining of Mauna Lani’s iconic architecture and oversee the extensive renovation and refurbishment of the resort’s storied gardens and grounds, respecting and preserving the ancient and sacred royal fishing ponds, native plants and the many archeologically important features of the coastal site.
As part of the hotel redesign, the total number of hotel rooms will be reduced, and dramatic ocean-front and ocean-view suites offering panoramic coastal views will be added. The ultra-luxury Mauna Lani Bungalows, with their private pools, butler service and private resort-within-a-resort setting, will be enhanced to provide the ultimate insider getaway.
Auberge’s acclaimed culinary expertise and the Island of Hawaii’s abundance of organic farms will inspire rich and varied dining experiences, from starlit dinners overlooking the ocean, to fun-filled family meals on the beach. The signature waterfront CanoeHouse restaurant, an unrivalled setting for watching the sun slip beyond the horizon, will serve artfully prepared local dishes, hand-crafted cocktails and premium wines. The existing Bay Terrace Restaurant will be transformed and re-imagined as a new three-meal restaurant with a lively bar to enjoy daily sunsets.
Anchoring the extensive and lush landscape of the resort will be brand-new adult and family pools and a variety of gathering places for playing, relaxing and indulging in the warm embrace of Hawaii’s magical year-round sunshine. A brand-new infinity-edge Adult Pool and Lounge is being built with private cabanas and scenic views of the royal ponds and the Pacific, and a completely redesigned Family Pool will be active with daily programs centered around sun-soaked fun.
Auberge will introduce its signature Auberge Adventures program, which will take full advantage of the resort’s 32 acres and the Island’s natural playground. Whether together or independently, ‘ohana (families) will enjoy active programs, from a kids club for keiki, to stand-up paddle boarding, outrigger canoe adventuring and after-hours bonfires.
Home to the original IRONMAN Triathlon, the Island of Hawaii offers a fitness culture that’s second to none. Mauna Lani will cater to active guests with a 5,000-square-foot fitness facility that includes an expansive fitness garden, personal trainers and classes tailored to all levels. Complementing the rich menu of fitness programs indoors and out will be a signature Auberge Spa with its commitment to lokahi – harmony and balance – as interpreted by the Hawaiian tradition of healing arts.