|NEW YORK, April 23, 1999 - Halekulani in Honolulu,
Hawaii has been chosen as the number one hotel in the world according to
Gourmet's "Rooms at The Top," a comprehensive survey of readers. The results
of this survey are published in the May 1999 issue. The Halekulani also
won in the category of best guest rooms. U.S. properties commanded five
winning places in the listing of the 10 best hotels in the world. In addition
to Halekulani, they were: The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida; The Boulders
in Carefree, Arizona; The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia;
and The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The other leading hotels are scattered across the globe. Italy, France,
Hong Kong, Thailand and the West Indies each have a place on the list.
More than 150 hotels, resorts and inns in 27 countries were ranked in the
published report which hits newsstands on April 27th. This is the third
year Gourmet magazine has released its annual influential readers' survey
on the hotels of the world.
The survey determined preferred hotels for special-interest travel as
well: Readers chose Disney's Grand Floridian Resort Spa as their favorite
family resort, while naming The Regent Hong Kong as the best for business.
For romance, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California
was tops. For the best pool in the world, the Hotel Ritz in Paris was tops.
The Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo in Ireland ranked the highest in
design/architecture, outpacing properties in the United States and Italy.
And the Chateau Lake Louise was voted
number one for view and grounds.
Readers chose The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia,
as their top choice for golf and tennis. They also named the workout center
as the best in the world. The Hyatt Regency Beaver Creek in Aspen, Colorado
was chosen as the top hotel for skiing and the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in
Hawaii for the best beach.
The readers' favorite spa is the Sonoma Mission Inn Spa in Sonoma, California,
and their choice for a hideaway is the Inn at Little Washington in Washington,
In the area of food, readers named The Oriental, Bangkok as tops for
room service and bar. The top award for restaurant dining was given to
The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas.
Following are the Top 10 in the World, in order
United States, by region or city:
Halekulani, Honolulu, Hawaii
The Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand
Villa D'Este, Cernobbio, Italy
The Regent, Hong Kong, China
Hotel Ritz, Paris, France
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida
The Boulders, Carefree, Arizona
The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
The Phoenician, Scottsdale, Arizona
Four Seasons Resort Nevis, Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies
Regions and nations of the world:
New England - Four Seasons Hotel Boston, Boston, MA
New York City - The St. Regis
Mid-Atlantic - Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
The South - The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, FL
The Southwest - The Boulders, Carefree, AZ
The Midwest - Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Chicago, IL
Pacific Northwest Mountain States - The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO
Northern California - The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
Southern California - Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles
Hawaii - Halekulani, Honolulu, Oahu
Eastern Canada - Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, Quebec
Western Canada - Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise, Alberta
Bermuda - Horizons Cottages, Paget
The Caribbean The Bahamas - Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies
Mexico - The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun
Great Britain Ireland - Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo, Ireland
France - Hotel Ritz, Paris
Italy - Villa D'Este, Cernobbio
Other Europe - Ciragan Palace Hotel Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey
China Japan - The Regent Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Southeast Asia South Pacific - The Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand
Africa Middle East - Mount Kenya Safari Club, Nanyuki, Kenya
History of Halekulani
|The original Halekulani began in
1907 as a residential hotel owned by Robert Lewers. It consisted of a beachfront
home and five bungalows.
In 1917, Juliet and Clifford Kimball purchased the hotel,
gradually expanded it, and established it as a stylish resort for wealthy
vacationers. In the late 1920s, they tore down the old Lewers home and
replaced it with a plantation mansion-styled Main Building.
The Main Building, originally completed in 1932, has
a distinctive style characterized by a high pitched hip-roof, reminiscent
of open-air houses in the South Pacific. Designed to catch the cooling
trade winds, this feature soon came to be known informally as the Dickey
roof, after C.W. Dickey, the architect.
|Following the Kimball's passing,
the Norton Clapp family of Seattle bought Halekulani with its Main Building
and 37 one-and two-story bungalows located on five acres of prime oceanfront
property on the beach of Waikiki. Rising property taxes made the low rise
hotel operation economically unfeasible and the hotel was sold to Mitsui
Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. in 1981. The new owners formed the Halekulani
Corporation to rebuild the hotel in a modern mode, while retaining its
spirit of island hospitality.
In 1983, Halekulani re-opened as an oasis of luxury and
fine service with 456 rooms. The refurbished Main Building, which was tastefully
preserved and upgraded, serves as the hotel's primary dining and gathering
spot. The Living Room of the Main Building was carefully restored when
the hotel reopened in 1983. The skylight over the fireplace provides a
warm glow on the original eucalyptus floors, lending to the residential
feeling guests enjoy when staying at the "house befitting heaven."
Today, Halekulani has remained faithful to the spirit
of the former Halekulani, preserving the charm of the property while maintaining
and enhancing its level of comfort. During the past 15 years, Halekulani's
reputation as a five diamond oasis of tranquility in Waikiki has brought
this unique property to its current status as one of the nation's --and
the world's--top luxury resorts.