|By Andrew Gomes, The Honolulu
AdvertiserMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 17--The luxury hotel-condominium tower Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk opened yesterday after nearly three years of construction.
The event featuring a traditional Hawaiian blessing and live music was a soft opening. A grand opening is planned for January.
Initial guests -- a mix of unit owners and hotel rental customers -- occupied about 50 rooms in the 462-unit property at 223 Saratoga Road.
"We're ramping up," said Scott Ingwers, managing director of the property. "Everything fell into place. It went really well."
Opening yesterday in the 38-story tower was a spa, an ocean-view lounge in the tower's sixth-floor lobby and In-Yo, a restaurant serving Italian and Japanese cuisine for dinner and American and Japanese cuisine for breakfast and lunch.
BLT Steak, one of several restaurants from Laurent Tourondel, a New York-grounded restaurateur who was once the chef to a French navy admiral, is slated to open in mid-December.
Trump Waikiki is the fourth hotel under the Trump Hotel Collection brand, an affiliate of Donald J. Trump's New York-based real estate empire managing the property under a licensing agreement with California-based developer Irongate Capital.
Irongate in November 2006 locked in sales for all Trump Waikiki units for a collective $700 million, with unit prices ranging from about $460,000 for a 400-square-foot studio to about $9 million for a three-bedroom penthouse.
Purchases are being completed through mid-December. Any units with sales that don't close will be offered to a waiting list of buyers, Ingwers said.
Introductory room rates per night through Dec. 21 range from $255 for a studio to $8,000 for a duplex unit overlooking Fort DeRussy. Published rates for January start at $340, though a special for a free fifth night is available.
Yesterday's ceremony was attended by Jim Petrus, chief operating officer of Trump Hotel Collection, and Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
It is not certain whether Donald Trump will attend the grand opening, as he may be busy filming his reality TV show, "The Apprentice."
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