The Resort Group of Hawai’i and Canada’s Premier Developer Westbank Join with Top Global Hotel Brand to Diversify O’ahu’s Tourism Base
O’ahu, Hawaii – 28 October 2014 – The Resort Group (TRG) and Canada’s premier luxury hotel and residential developer Westbank and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts now confirmed plans for Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina, an integrated luxury beach resort and private residences that will be the jewel in the crown of the master-planned Ko Olina development.
Jeffrey R. Stone, TRG’s founder and master developer of Ko Olina, and Westbank founder, Ian Gillespie, will oversee the development of Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina, which will encompass a reinspired Ihilani Resort. The new resort will introduce the first Four Seasons-branded private residences in Hawai’i, offering the unparalleled service that has made the luxury brand famous throughout the world.
“This is the fulfillment of a long-held dream for Ko Olina,” Mr. Stone said. “Four Seasons previously explored bringing its quality, elegance and prestige to O’ahu as the company has done so well on Maui, Hawai’i Island and Lana’i. We will oversee this new development with the same stewardship, integrity and sustainability that have made Ko Olina a lasting success. This project will generate substantial, long-term economic benefits to the area for future generations.”
Isadore Sharp, Founder and Chairman of Four Seasons, noted that island royalty and the world’s elite have long enjoyed Ko Olina, or “Place of Joy” in Hawaiian, as an exclusive gathering place. “Ko Olina on O’ahu, with its pristine natural beauty, is an ideal place for Four Seasons to create a world-class resort and residential experience that exemplifies Hawaiian hospitality at its best,” continued Mr. Sharp.
Four Seasons President and Chief Executive Officer J. Allen Smith added, “Four Seasons is committed to Hawai’i, with our existing four hotels on three islands, and we are thrilled with the opportunity to bring the brand to O’ahu, the travel and business hub of the Pacific.”
With the reacquisition of Ihilani from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers complete, Westbank will take the development lead on Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina. Known for its unique design expertise and high-quality developments throughout North America, Westbank has assembled an internationally acclaimed team to transform Ihilani into one of Hawai’i’s finest luxury resorts. Westbank’s design team for this project includes James K.M. Cheng Architects, 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito, Group 70 International, Philpotts Interiors, and SWA Group.
“Ihilani has the classic architecture of Edward Killingsworth, the property’s original architect. He is still recognized as one of the most accomplished architects in the world,” Mr. Gillespie said. “This property was the last newly-built hotel on O’ahu, and architect Toyo Ito, also a fan of Killingsworth, has been inspired by the potential to enhance the natural lushness and breathe new life into this beautiful resort and tropical setting.”
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, “We welcome the very first Four Seasons Hotel and Resort to O’ahu. The addition of this world-renowned hotel brand will enhance O’ahu’s tourism base and support economic growth on the leeward coast. The city looks forward to working with Four Seasons on their expansion plans and the growth opportunities they bring to Ko Olina.”
Ko Olina is located on the sunny west side of O’ahu. Originally conceived in the mid-1980s, the resort has been reaffirmed many times over the years, most recently by the notable success of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, which debuted in 2011. The 650-acre master-planned community also features Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club; several private resort residential communities; Hawai’i’s only private deep-draft marina; the award-winning Ko Olina Golf Club; four oceanfront white sand lagoons connected by 1.5 miles of shoreline pathways; access to a diverse selection of ocean and outdoor activities; and the island’s best weather, all located 17 miles from the Honolulu International Airport.