December 3, 2023

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Premier Hawaii Property Cuts Ties With Trump Hotels, Will Be Rebranded

Laurie Baratti

The Trump International Hotel Waikiki is set to undergo a significant transformation as it severs ties with the Trump brand and its controversial namesake.

The 462-room hotel first opened in 2009 on Oahu near Waikiki Beach. Now, Trump Hotels and property owner Irongate have jointly announced that the companies have, “come to a mutual agreement for a significant buyout of the hotel management and license agreements.”

The hotel will be rebranded as the Wakea Waikiki Beach and be added to Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts collection in February 2024, becoming the brand’s first property in Hawaii.

Plans are underway to perform a comprehensive redesign of the hotel starting in early 2025. The phased renovation project will take several months to complete and extend to various aspects of the property, including lobbies, pool areas, spa, fitness center, interiors, corridors and landscaping.

The hotel’s culinary offerings will also be revamped, with the Wai’olu restaurant and In-Yo Café being reimagined, and a ground-floor destination restaurant added that’s said to be developed in partnership with an as-yet-undisclosed restaurateur and chef. 

“We are incredibly proud of our performance at Trump Waikiki since the opening of the iconic tower in November 2009,” said Eric Trump, executive vice president of Trump Hotels’ parent company, Trump Organization. He added that since its opening, the property has “achieved some of the highest ADRs in Waikiki year after year.”

The hotel’s overhaul and renaming coincides with an escalation of legal challenges being faced by the Trump Organization, including a civil fraud lawsuit being waged in New York against former President Donald Trump.

The lawsuit is just the latest issue to confront the beleaguered Trump Hotels franchise, which has found itself struggling since Trump’s election to office in 2016. The number of properties in its portfolio have dwindled in recent years, as it has lost various hospitality locations in places like Panama City, Toronto, Vancouver, Manhattan and Washington, D.C.

With the reflagging of the Waikiki hotel, Trump Hotels’ footprint will have fallen from 14 global properties in 2015 to just eight.

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