Kimpton Expands to Hawaii with Coco Palms Resort on Kauai

by joeheg

We’ve been intrigued by the complex history of the Coco Palms Resort on Kauai since we drove past the site several times during our 2022 visit to the island. We were curious how an abandoned hotel could be situated at a central location in a popular tourist destination. As we learned more about the hotel’s past and its closure after being damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, we were surprised to find that the property remained in a dilapidated state, covered in graffiti. Soon after, we began reading about the hotel’s potential reopening.

Redevelopment of the site has been attempted previously, most recently with plans to join the Hyatt Unbound collection and a scheduled opening in 2017. However, the project faced delays, and the developers defaulted on their loan in 2018, causing the plans to fall through.

In 2022, Utah-based developer Reef Capital Partners won the auctioned property as the only bidder. Removal of the old buildings started in March 2024.

Coco Palms To Become A Kimpton Resort

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced that its Kimpton brand will partner with the Coco Palms Resort to open its first Hawai’i luxury and lifestyle destination. This property is a perfect fit for the Kimpton brand.

We’ve stayed at several Kimpton properties, and they’re one of our favorite IHG brands. Their trademark is to take historical buildings, such as banks, office buildings or even historic hotels and restore them to their past grandeur. Who better to bring back the Coco Palms to Kauai?

Leanne Harwood, SVP, Managing Director for Luxury & Lifestyle Americas at IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “We are incredibly excited to establish our luxury and lifestyle presence in Hawaii with Coco Palms, A Kimpton Resort. Hawaii beckons travelers seeking both relaxation and discovery, and this wholly reimagined resort will welcome not only visitors, but also the local community, with unique, culturally respectful experiences all within an inspiring boutique luxury setting. We’re pleased to partner with Reef Capital Partners, who is committed to being responsible stewards of this historic landmark.”

When it opens, the Coco Palms will be the West Coast flagship resort for Kimpton in the Americas. Joining properties like the  Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman and Kimpton Aluna Tulum in Mexico.

Final Thought

While we loved our visit to Kauai, there’s a limited number of luxury resorts on the island. This has led to hyperinflation at locations like the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Having another option will take the pressure off some of those other resorts, and I’m excited to see what Kimpton has in store for this property.

As an added perk, guests to the resort will appreciate Coco Palms’ close proximity to Lihue Airport, which is just five miles away. If you’ve visited Kauai before, you know what traffic can be like when driving from one side of the island to the other.

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Carl FLA June 22, 2024 - 12:17 am

I was there in the early 80s. Cool place then. I wonder if the clam shell sinks survived.

lars June 22, 2024 - 8:08 pm

Place your bets: which opens first: Kimpton Grenada or Kauai?


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