Among the thousands of ocean-view condominium apartments in Waikiki, only a relatively small number offer totally unobstructed views across Kalakaua Avenue to the beach and ocean. These condominium residences occupy choice locations in the eastern sector of Kalakaua opposite Kuhio Beach Park. Consequently their views and easy beach access are protected in perpetuity.
One is a unique property with a dual identity as the Waikiki Beachside Hotel, operated by Aston Hotels and Resorts, and Royal Kai Lani, a residential condominium in progress.
Two years ago, RKL Beach-side LLC announced plans to transform the building into one of Waikiki’s most luxurious residences with only one apartment to a floor. Sales agent Patricia Choi of Choi International is currently marketing a 3,000 square foot apartment on the 11th floor for $4.88 million. The three bedroom three and a half bath unit has been custom designed and completely renovated, built out and furnished by the design team of the Royal Kai Lani. Quality finishes include Peruvian travertine flooring, custom cabinetry, granite counters, and top-of-the-line appliances by Wolf, Sub Zero, and Bosch. The master suite includes a custom entertainment center, walk-in closet, and deluxe his / hers bath with Jacuzzi tub and separate shower system.
“The apartment is “move-in ready” and the ocean view is spectacular…from Di amond Head, across the full expanse of Waikiki, and all the way to West Oahu,” Choi said. “You have a front row seat for sunrises, sunsets, the spectacle of the city lights flickering on in the evening, and the fireworks displays at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Ala Moana Beach Park.
“Within walking distance are world-class shops and restaurants, Kapiolani Park, and the exciting night life of Waikiki. The beach is only steps away across the street. We expect a great deal of interest from our Asian buyers who will appreciate the elegance of the building, the privacy and security of only one apartment to a floor, and the resort environment.”
Choi noted that additional floors will be converted from hotel rooms to single floor residences as the sales program progresses. A model apartment on the 11th floor is available for viewing. The 10th, 9th, and 8th floor apartments are listed with Choi International at $4.88 million each and will be built out.
The lobby area is reminiscent of those in European boutique hotels. Concierge services will be offered as additional Royal Kai Lani apartment units are renovated. The parking stalls for the Royal Kai Lani are located in the adjacent Waikiki Beach Tower parking lot. Two stalls are available per apartment and three for the penthouse.
The 12-story building at 2452 Kalakaua Avenue was originally developed as a Motel 6 on property acquired from a local landowner, George Chrones, in 1960. In 1974, it was purchased by Hawaii hotel developer Andre Tatibouet who operated it as the Waikiki Surfside. The property was and continues to be managed by Tatibouet’s Aston Hotels & Resorts, which he originally founded as Hotel Corporation of the Pacific.
“In 1990, my wife Jane and I decided to undertake a massive renovation and upgrading of the property,” Tatibouet said. “We worked with one of Hawaii’s leading interior designers Max Davis to transform it into an elegant boutique hotel, one of the first in Hawaii. We incorporated antiques and finishes reminiscent of upscale European properties. We also also changed the name of the hotel to the Waikiki Beachside at this time to emphasize the location…still one of the