Hotel chain Marriott is no longer taking reservations for the Waikiki Edition hotel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a room. In a late-night raid last weekend, the chain was kicked out by the hotel’s owners, who changed the locks and brought in new management without even calling to say goodbye first.
The hotel’s owners have been battling Marriott and developer Ian Schrager since at least May, when they filed a lawsuit complainng that “the abysmal performance of the hotel is attributable in large part to the failed Edition brand and concept.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, the hotel is now managed by local company Aqua Hotels, and has been renamed the Modern Honolulu. Marriott, which says it had a 30-year contract to manage the hotel, calls the takeover illegal, reports USA Today:
The hotel’s owners, M Waikiki LLC, took over the hotel at around 2 a.m., “forcibly taking over the property and threatening our employees with dismissal unless they immediately agreed to a change of management,” Marriott chief operating officer Arne Sorenson says in the statement.
The surprise takeover came a year into what is supposed to be Marriott’s 30-year-long management contract.
“Marriott has demanded that the owner’s partner vacate the hotel and return control to Marriott. Marriott will also seek substantial damages from the hotel’s owner and its partners for their conduct in damaging the operation and reputation of the hotel, Marriott and the EDITION brand.”
The owners, however, contend that Marriott hasn’t done a good job managing the hotel or the brand since it opened, and that their property continues to lose money as a result.
Guests staying at the hotel won’t be kicked out and the owners say “all facilities” will remain open. But Marriott warns that you shouldn’t expect to keep getting points on your rewards card for staying there.
Marriott ousted from hip Waikiki hotel, WSJ says [USATODAY.com]