Hawaii wholesaler Condominium Connection sees condominium and hotel rates for 2014 in the Hawaiian Islands increasing 4% to 18%, including ballooning ancillary resort fees. According to officials, due to some property closings on Oahu and reduced inventory on Hawaii’s Big Island, access may also be limited and continue pressure on pricing.
Joseph Fienberg, president of Condominium Connection, says, “In 2014, we expect to see less inventory in Hawaii as hotels are becoming more aggressive in raising rates, especially during peak and high demand travel periods. The Las Vegas-style pricing being used allows higher rates to be changed in a keystroke, so booking early and locking in prices will continue to be important to travel agents and their clients.”
He notes average prices on Oahu are currently up 4% to $224 per night, Maui rose 6% to $325 nightly, Kauai is 11% higher at $223 per night, and the Big Island soars 18% to $258 per night. Additionally, ancillary fees for such services as parking, cleaning and resort amenities are raising actual costs to even higher levels adding an extra $10 to more than $35 per night.
Fienberg says travel agents are becoming increasingly aware of ancillary hotel fees and are now factoring these costs into their selection process. “Our Ancillary Fee Calculator helps agents locate and compare often-hidden add-ons and has quickly become a valuable planning tool for agents. In fact, we are seeing a growing number of travel professionals now refusing to book properties with exorbitant fees.”
According to Fienberg, some 1,500 rooms on Oahu alone will be taken out of inventory during the year with the redevelopment of the International Market Place and with the closing of the Miramar in January and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani in August. To offset these room losses, Condominium Connection has added the Hotel Renew by Aston, Pacific Beach Hotel, Royal Hawaiian, Moana Surfrider and the Sheraton Waikiki on Oahu. On the Big Island, the company is bringing on the Hilo Naniloa Hotel.
Further, Hawaii is seeing a flurry of hotel management company changes. Castle Resorts assumed management of most of the units at Paki Maui. Aqua Hospitality took over Pacific Monarch, Luana Waikiki, Hokele Suites and the Hilo Naniloa Hotel. In January, The Waikiki Wave is to be managed by Pyramid Hotel Group. Condominium Connection has already taken steps to ensure its clients are protected and unaffected by any changes to their bookings that could occur during the changeovers.