Hyatt to operate Coco Palms Resort

LIHUE — The Honolulu-based developers seeking to revitalize the Coco Palms Resort in Wailua said that global hotelier Hyatt Hotels Corporation will operate the iconic Kauai landmark once it reopens in 2017.

“Our endeavor to revitalize the grounds and rebuild, all while preserving the soul of the iconic resort, is an ambitious project,” Coco Palms Hui, LLC Principal Tyler Greene said in a statement released Wednesday. “Hyatt is the perfect leader to steer a thoughtful, honorable and rejuvenated guest experience at The Coco Palms Resort.”

The Coco Palms Resort, which served as a backdrop for the 1961 romantic comedy film “Blue Hawaii,” starring Elvis Presley, has been shuttered since Hurricane Iniki buffeted the island on Sept. 11, 1992.

News of talks between Coco Palms Hui, LLC and two prospective hotel operators, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, were made public in November when Greene and fellow Coco Palms Hui, LLC Principal Chad Waters were seeking to extend a county planning ordinance instituted after Hurricane Iniki devastated the island. 

A two-year ordinance extension that allows the developers to reconstruct the hotel to its condition prior to Hurricane Iniki was granted by the Kauai County Council in December.

Construction on the 363-room hotel, according to Coco Palms Hui, LLC and Hyatt officials, is slated to begin in early 2015. Developers estimate that it will take two years to reconstruct the hotel.

The resort’s redevelopment plan, according to Hyatt officials, will preserve the original footprint of the property and signature lagoon but require the rebuilding of about 331 guest rooms, 32 bungalows, multiple restaurants, lounges and swimming pools. 

Current plans, they added, are in progress for the catalogue and potential restoration and reuse of historic and unique elements of the hotel. 

A community center highlighting the cultural significance of the site is also slated to be located on the hotel’s property.

“The iconic Coco Palms resort embodied hospitality with a commitment to the Hawaiian culture,” Kauai Visitors Bureau Executive Director Sue Kanoho wrote in an email. “We are excited to hear the Hyatt will be responsible for the brand of the new Coco Palms Resort and look forward to the return of the popular resort for all to enjoy.” 

When completed, the Coco Palms Resort will become the second hotel on Kauai to hold the Hyatt brand name. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Poipu, which opened in 1991, was the first hotel on the island to be operated by the global hospitality company.

“We look forward to welcoming a new generation of visitors to The Coco Palms Resort along with our owners Coco Palms Hui, LLC., all the while recognizing and honoring the spirit and history of the resort,” said Jordan Meisner, senior vice president of operations for Hyatt. 

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