It’s been a while since we got our last Atlantis Hawaii update, but finally, we have some info on the project. Plus, more Hawaii airports are getting WiFi and the Big Island is getting its first Westin property.
Atlantis Hawaii Update
Back in 2016, China Oceanwide purchased 26.3 acres of property next to Disney’s Aulani at the Ko Olina Resort. The developer then announced their plans to construct a 1,324-unit Atlantis Resort at the site. It will be the first Atlantis property in the U.S. and one of the few that don’t also have a casino.
However, not much has taken place since the initial announcement. And, guess what? That continues to be the case today. According to Wilbert Yao, VP of China Oceanwide’s Hawaii operations, the project is still in the design and engineering phase, with no construction start date in sight.
When complete, the Atlantis Hawaii Resort will boast 800 guestrooms, 524 residential units, an acquarium, water park, restaurants, a wedding chapel, conferences spaces, outdoors spaces, a gym, and a spa. China Oceanwide will also build two other hotels and a condo tower on a separate plot in Ko Olina that it acquired three years ago.
Hawaii Airport WiFi
Last December, the State of Hawaii tested complimentary WiFi service in some of the waiting areas at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). But now, the service is (finally) available throughout Terminals 1 and 2 of the airport. Which is to say, WiFi is now available in all terminals except Mokulele’s joke of a terminal.
Even better, the Hawaii Department of Transportation says it plans to expand the service to Kahului, Lihue, Kona, and Hilo this year! Oh, and what I didn’t know is that Hawaii’s airport WiFi service is provided by Boingo.
The Big Island’s First Westin
The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is currently wrapping $46 million renovation. And, when the resort reopend on June 25, it’ll emerge as the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. The transformed property will features all-new guestrooms and suites, a new adult-only pool, public spaces, a cross-fit studio, and four new restaurants.
Though it’ll now be a Westin, the Hapuna Beach will continue to operate under Prince Hawaii Resorts. This is the case with its sister property, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, which is a Marriott Autograph Collection property.
Atlantis Hawaii Update, Hawaii Airport WiFi, and More, Final Thoughts
I’m sure the slow development process of Atlantis Hawaii is a releif to many. The new mega resort will undoubtedly change the face of Ko Olina forever. What was once a quiet escape on Oahu’s Leeward Coast has become noticibly more crowded and noisy with Disney’s Aulani. And, I’m sure Atlantis will double this effect. But for now, things out there will remain the same, so enjoy it while you can. I just hope the Ko Olina location will look more like the Sanya, China one, and not the older resorts.
As for WiFi in Hawaii’s airports, it’s about damn time. Our airports are so outdated, it’s embaressing. And the lack of WiFi, which was compounded by the poor cellular reception in the airport, is simply unacceptable today. So I’m glad this is changing now, but could they not come up with a less sketchy name? It’s currently HNL Free WiFi, which sounds like something someone running a fake network would name it.
And, finally, the Westin Hapuna Beach. I’m not going to lie, this property looks great. How good? We’ll have to see when it officially reopens. But if I had the time and money to go, I would. And you should too if you can. After all, the Big Island is having a tough time right now and could really use our help. Tourism is the lifeblood of the island, and without it, the residents of the Big Island will only suffer more.