Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai on the block for first time since 1997

For the first time since 1997, the oft-sold Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai in Wailua is in escrow pending its sale.

But if General Manager Ron Kikumoto has his way, management of and the vision for the hotel, located near the Wailua River and Lydgate Park, will remain the same.

“We would like to continue to own it and maintain it,” said Kikumoto, who personally leads historical walking tours of the grounds that are smack in the middle of some of Kaua’i’s most sacred places, birthplaces of the ali’i (ruling kings, queens and chieftains).

Potential new owners have the sale of the property in escrow, and are completing duediligence work, Kikumoto said.

The current owners are those with Kauai Beachfront Hotel, LLC (Limited Liability Company), and managers are people with Equinox Hotel Management, both owned by San Francisco-based Abdul Suleman, a former Hyatt Hotels & Resorts executive.

He could not be reached for comment as to why he wants to sell the property.

The hotel has 237 rooms on 10 acres, with around 100 employees.

Counting the potential new owners, who have not yet been identified, the hotel will have had five owners since 1986, when principals of Charles River Hawaii, Ltd. purchased the property. They sold to owners of Maruko Hawaii, Inc. in 1989, who sold to those at Alta Hawaiian Limited Partnership in 1994, who sold to Suleman and his Kauai Beachfront Hotel, LLC in 1997.

Kikumoto hopes the new owners will continue with his desire to tell the story of the sacred and historically rich Wailua area to visitors and residents, and “embrace the history and culture of sacred Wailua,” he said.

Kikumoto has forged partnerships with leaders of local schools, and fourth graders from Wilcox, Kapa’a Elementary and King Kaumuali’i Elementary schools are invited to the property to see Lono’s Garden, where the 24 “canoe plants” Polynesians brought to Kaua’i and Hawai’i are planted.

In addition to food plants, there are medicinal plants, and others that are used to make rope and other items.

The students also learn Hawaiiana, and tour a nearby heiau.

Kikumoto offers up cultural presentations regularly in the hotel lobby.

The land under the Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai is owned by leaders of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and those at Kauai Beachfront Hotel, LLC hold a 65-year lease on the parcel that runs through July 5, 2029, said Deborah Ward, DLNR spokesperson.

By conditions of the lease, the current owners are supposed to notify DLNR officials of intent to sell the improvements (hotel buildings, etc.) on the leasehold property, and file an application to assign the lease or leases to the new owner, she explained.

Members of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, including Kaua’i representative Ron Agor, must approve of any move to consign the lease or leases from Kauai Beach-front Hotel, LLC, to any new owner, Ward said.

Farther down Kuhio Highway, owners of the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach have informed officials in state government of their intent to sell that property by late February.

Near the Coconut Market-place off Kuhio Highway, the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach has 311 rooms on 10.5 acres, and is owned by those at Presidio Kauai LLC, a subsidiary of the California-based Presidio Hotel Group.

The flurry of end-of-the-year hotel sales continues a trend of brisk buying and selling of residential, commercial and resort parcels on the island.

Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua’i Visitors Bureau, said the island’s robust economy is a key factor in the hotel purchases.

“The strength of the economy has gotten people interested in sales and purchases that we hope will benefit the island regardless of who the owners and managers are, and we look forward to working with whoever they are,” said Kanoho.

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