Ka Lai Waikiki Beach Hotel, is the latest name for the now twice quickly re-branded prior Trump International Hotel Waikiki. This is part of the upscale Hilton LXR Hotels & Resorts.
The 38-story iconic hotel comprises 462 guest rooms and suites. The hotel is about to undergo a series of substantive $100M renovations to guest rooms and public areas, due for 2025. The property features rooms/suites including those with complete kitchens, a 24-hour fitness center, spa, infinity pool, and two restaurants.
Room rates including taxes and fees start at about $650 per night.
Rebranding a Hawaii hotel is never easy. Doing it twice is unusual.
The hotel’s owner, Irongate, and its management company, LXR Hotels & Resorts, discovered that with the Trump International Hotel in Waikiki. The property is still listed under the Trump brand on the Irongate website.
The complication arose when the hotel first rebranded to the name Wakea Waikiki Beach.
The hotel underwent a second name change in just a few months time, transitioning from its first re-branding choice, Wakea Waikiki Beach, to its new name, Ka La‘i Waikiki Beach.
What was the problem with the name Wakea?
In Hawaiian culture, Wakea is an important figure in mythology and genealogy. He is revered as the Sky Father, responsible for creating the heavens above and overseeing celestial matters. Wakea is often depicted as a god associated with the sky, clouds, and the realm above the earth.
According to tradition, Wakea and his Earth Mother wife, Papahanaumoku are considered the ancestors of the Hawaiian people and these islands, with their union creating Hawaii.
The name Wakea is rooted in Hawaiian culture, representing concepts of creation and lineage. Wakea is honored in rituals, chants, and important traditions.
When the hotel used the name Wakea, it received unanticipated community reaction that came to the attention of the owners and management company. A decision evolved, together with Native Hawaiians, and the HVCB, to quickly choose another name that would benefit both the local community and the hotel stakeholders.
What’s in the new name: Ka La‘i.
Ka La’i translates to the peace or the calm, while representing serenity, and tranquility. The renaming speaks to the ongoing sensitivity and importance of understanding cultural significance in Hawaii.
Another blessing ceremony took place to mark the 2nd recent new chapter for the hotel.
What’s your take on the second rebranding of the Trump International Hotel Waikiki?
Photos courtesy Irongate.