AC Marriott Honolulu

Twelve New Honolulu Hotels Planned As Vacation Rentals Vilified

Fickle Honolulu has a quandary about Hawaii visitors, how many there should be, where they are to stay, and who should profit from them. On the one hand, they are still hoping to remove additional vacation rentals to eliminate non-vacation rental zone inventory for visitor use. For example, some short-stay vacation rentals we used before in the Kaimuki neighborhood are deemed illegal and are now gone. Others we have used that required us to pay for 30-nights (even if we stayed less than 30) are facing the prospect of a 90-day minimum.

Yet, at the same time, there is an unprecedented amount of easier-to-regulate hotel development being approved and built and about to come online. Honolulu is already so congested that we aren’t sure how this will work. And at least two hotels will be replacing parking lots.

The State’s Oahu Destination Management Plan calls for “Decreasing the total number of visitors to Oahu to a manageable level by controlling the number of visitor accommodations and exploring changes to land use, zoning and airport policies.”

Vacation rentals are a pariah in Honolulu.

While all these hotels and likely more are in the pipeline, vacation rentals are being shuttered. The latest ordinance, which was set to be effective last month, would decrease vacation rentals further. That called for all rentals that had been set for a 30-day minimum to require a 90-day minimum. That, however, has been hamstrung by a judge’s ruling, which will, for now at least, keep minimum vacation rentals outside of tourist areas to 30 days.

The law’s back-and-forth status has upset and confused vacation rental owners, guests, and residents, who have repeatedly commented about this. Owners operating illegal vacation rentals are subject to a $10,000/day fine.

This is the most Honolulu hotel development happening at one time in the past half-century.

We know of other hotels being planned, but for now, the twelve below are very much in the process. Could anything derail their completion? Yes, of course, that’s possible during an uncertain financial climate. But our take is that most, if not all of these, will come to fruition sooner or later. The hotel companies seem to have free reign.

AC Marriott – 112-room hotel on Bishop Street in downtown Honolulu. 2024 opening.

Pictured above. The first AC Hotel brand in Honolulu. A current office building will be converted to a hotel starting next year. We’ve seen the room count vary between 204 and 212.

Element Hotel Oahu – 204-room hotel in Kapolei. Opening date 2024.

Kapolei isn’t where most visitors think of staying on Oahu. However, in recent years, a number of other hotels have sprung up there, including Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Residence Inn. This new Marriott-branded hotel will be the fourth recent addition. The developer said that demand is high enough to warrant yet another property. Most of the rooms also feature kitchens, although some have access to a shared kitchen.

Hale Lauula – 16 unit hotel on Lauula St.

The new boutique hotel will be located near the current Ritz-Carlton Waikiki Beach, where there is a parking lot now.

Koa Ridge Hotel – final name and number of rooms unknown). Dual-branded hotel in central Oahu.

From Alexander & Baldwin, the development is coined “urban,” meaning hybrid urban and suburban. In addition to the new hotel, this central Oahu community is set to have 3,500 homes and commercial development.

Hilton Hawaiian Village – 515 room AMB Tower. Opening in 2026.

Hilton Hawaiian Village new tower

The enormous 3,386-room Hilton Hawaiian Village will expand further inside Waikiki on Ala Moana Boulevard with this new 515-room tower.

Homewood Suites by Hilton – 240-room hotel near Honolulu Airport. Opening 2025.

The new extended-stay hotel at HNL will be located where a parking lot now stands. This will be the first Homewood Suites property in Hawaii, with 15-stories. The number of rooms estimated has been from 240-257. It was originally planned to open in 2021.

Hyatt Place Ewa Beach – 240-room hotel and first at Ewa Beach. Opening date 2024.

This will be the first hotel located in Ewa Beach.

Mandarin Oriental – 125-room hotel near the convention center. Opening 2023-2024.

The iconic brand returns to Hawaii with this 36-story, three-quarter-million square-foot tower at Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive adjacent to Ala Moana Center. 19 of the floors will be the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, while the top 17 floors will be comprised of 99 condominiums.

Renaissance Hotel – 187-room hotel near Ala Moana Center. Opening 2023.

The new Renaissance Honolulu Hotel & Spa, a Marriott-branded property, is located in the East Tower of Sky Ala Moana.

Residence Inn – 162-room hotel. Waikiki, near the convention center. Opening in 2025.

The popular Marriott brand will offer flexible suites with the comforts of home.

Chinatown Hotel  – 240-room hotel in Chinatown. Opening 2025.

This hotel will feature 210 standard rooms and 30 suites. The developer says it is “well-situated to provide business and leisure travelers with an upscale option outside of Waikiki.”

Wo Fat Hotel – 23-room hotel located in Chinatown. Opening in 2023.

Wo Fat Hotel Chinatown

A 90-year-old iconic structure is set for a remake with the hotel prominently featured. It has been seen as a catalyst for the renovation of the entire Chinatown area.

What’s your take? Are you interested in staying at these new hotels, or are you a vacation rental-type person? Let us know in the comments.






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115 thoughts on “Twelve New Honolulu Hotels Planned As Vacation Rentals Vilified”

  1. It’s mind-boggling that urban planning rules (if there are any) and environmental impact studies would allow for so many hotels to be built in Honolulu. Maybe those out of town would be okay, but not all those in Honolulu. And building two of those on parking lots is insanity! Honolulu needs more parking, not losing parking lots.
    I dunno. People complain about too many tourists, then there are more high rises built to accommodate them.

    Thank you, BOH, for keeping us informed.

  2. If I were native Hawaiian, I would be so bitter right now. There were plenty of reasons to be bitter before, but it is really out of control now. If you look at the elected officials, hardly any are native Hawaiian. If you look at what happens here, like the rail, like all of these massive buildings in Ala Moana, many owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation, like the massive build out in Ewa Beach and Kapolei….do they have any say in all of this? I used to think that it provides jobs, etc. but really most of the hotels and restaurants are staffed by outsiders, not locals, and even if local, not often native Hawaiians. There should be some control on the growth, really.

    1. These hotels have to import staff, no one wants to work here, and no one especially wants to commute to waikiki. The hotels do provide jobs and open up for anyone that wants to apply. There is a nationwide shortage of help, I’m not sure how people are paying their bills anymore. People want to also work from home if they can, we’ve become an odd society, work ethics have changed.

      1. I agree with Beni, our world has changed in alot of ways , as far as labor, I don’t understand how people survive either , it is so hard to find people to work anymore.

    2. It’s quite difficult for these “protectors of the public trust” to keep their eyes on everything while counting colored paper and approving all of those permits. It doesn’t matter Who is in office, everyone is turned into the same type, and protecting the Islands is probably third most compared to the needs of the importance.

  3. Lisa, your concerns are quite valid and others have pointed out the same. Either the “Fix Is In” and the End of STR Properties have been predetermined which would be my guess or that Industry is expecting an Incredible Influx of Tourists. The Expenditure of Money is Incredible with the amount of New Construction occurring and it’s Not the Typical “Speculatory” type. These people expect to make it all back with profits very quickly. What are They Certain Of 🤔 that We aren’t aware of? I would say February 2023 must be looking good for Their Investments!

    1. Yep, politicians and Big hotels aim was to put the mom and pop STR’s out of business so they could charge double, it’s worked on the local population hating STR’s not even thinking twice about the consequences of massive hotels.. the hate was propelled all in the name of hate the people with 2nd homes, they’re taking your affordable housing away. they all ate it up hook line and sinker, and now they’ve gotten massive hotels, go figure, how easily people are manipulated

      1. Beni the Manipulators knew their Audience all too well, the people don’t take much cajoling to believe what they are told. Even if it is against their own Best interests they will mobilize behind those with an agenda, and so goes the Foolish believing the STR Lies. Now, after seeing the Construction and Destruction of the downtown, some begin to question the motivation of those leading the charge against STR, a bit late I would say. Nothing like consistency in choosing to be wrong at every turn, then try and attach blame without looking in the mirror! When will things change?

  4. My family has traveled many times to Hawaii buy only once have we stayed in hotels preferring to stay on the north shore. The idea that hotel industry is chomping at the bit to expand tells you all you need to know

  5. I can’t fathom even more high rises on Oahu. The infrastructure is not improved to accommodate the number of cars (rentals) added to the streets. Traffic is already horrendous. Parking is a nightmare. What about water supply? Energy supply? Where’s all the trash and sewage going? There needs to be a building moratorium until you can resolve those issues.

    1. We have been going to Oahu for over 20 years & our parents for over 30. We have seen the traditions of Hawaii disappear every year.The old shows, resturants,shops and Hawaiians in general.Things only Hawaii had.Now it is like every other city only crazier. Traffic is terrible, you can’t see the island because half your vacation is spent in the car. Our kids spent their vacation with us in Hawaii not anymore unless its on another island.We are getting away from Oahu also.The last thing that you need is more high rises and hotels.The old Hawaii is what brought people there!


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