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THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN, A LUXURY COLLECTION RESORT, CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING WITH HAWAII’S PARTY OF THE CENTURY

Celebrities, fashion, and fireworks illuminate the “Pink Palace of the Pacific’s” regal gala

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WAIKIKI BEACH, OAHU, HI—The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, ushered in a new era of luxury, Saturday, March 7, 2009, with a gala celebrating the property’s majestic history and illustrious reopening. Orchestrated by master event planner David Beahm, the night featured entertainment by Grammy® nominated trumpeter Chris Botti, celebrity appearances by Heather Graham, Hayden Panettiere, Justin Long, Lt. Andy Baldwin (ABC’s “The Bachelor”), Darin Brooks (“Days of our Lives”), Chris Kemoeatu from the Super Bowl Champion Steelers, and Michael Emerson and Daniel Dae Kim (ABC’s “Lost”). The gala, a benefit in support Hawaii’s only acute-care medical rehabilitation organization—the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific Foundation (REHAB)—also featured an extraordinary two-part exhibit curated by Louis Vuitton: The Luxe Voyage suite and Evolution of Travel timeline. The exhibits featured vintage photographs of travel throughout the 1900s as well as antique Louis Vuitton trunks and accessories along side the classic and still current merchandise.

The gala event opened with a captivating traditional hula by Tihati Dancers, and was followed by a historic performance by Bill Tapia, a 101-year-old ukulele player who performed at the original grand opening gala of The Royal Hawaiian in 1927! A progression of culinary delights and handcrafted libations flowed throughout the property as live lotus blossoms bloomed in the pool (Iona Contemporary Dance Theater). Chris Botti, and his nine-piece band, played two incredible sets, and the Ka’ala Boys and Makana continued the night’s live entertainment.

“The night was an overwhelming success,” says General Manager Kelly Hoen. “We were honored by the many returning guests and friends that attended and helped us celebrate the new Royal Hawaiian. The Pink Palace holds a special place in the history of Hawaii, and we could not more thankful for the community’s support as we re-imagined and reopened the resort.”

For more information on the gala celebration, or to book a future stay, please contact The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort at 808.923.7311 or www.royal-hawaiian.com.

About The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki
The famed “Pink Palace of the Pacific” has set the standard for luxurious and glamorous travel for more than 80 years. The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, the hotel that mesmerized Hawaii’s early travelers, re-opened its doors as Waikiki’s most fashionable destination on January 20, 2009. Emerging from a multimillion-dollar re-imagination with a radiant new face and an entirely new attitude, The Royal Hawaiian offers discerning travelers a redefined luxury experience filled with rich tradition, customized services, exclusive settings and amenities, as well as the brand new Azure restaurant and rejuvenating Abhasa Spa. Set on 14 beachfront acres, with 529 guest rooms, including 35 suites, The Royal Hawaiian will capture the imagination with its opulent architecture and majestic and storied history amid Diamond Head’s picturesque setting. The Royal Hawaiian has again redefined luxury.

About The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts
The Luxury Collection® is a selection of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent décor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Today, The Luxury Collection is a glittering ensemble of more than 70 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning hotels that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class in some of the most desired destinations in the world. Most recently, Mystique, a Luxury Collection Resort, was honored with the 2008 Travel + Leisure Design Award for Best Small Resort in the world. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world’s finest. For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 930 properties in approximately 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched AloftSM, and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP owns the two Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian and the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort as well as the Sheraton Maui in Kaanapali, Maui. Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP is one of Hawaii’s largest employers, with nearly 3,000 hotel associates in its workforce. The hotels are a part of the 12-hotel group of Starwood-managed properties in Hawaii.

Media Contacts:

Jessica Rodriguez
Wagstaff Worldwide, Inc.
323 871 1151
[email protected]

Daniella Weinberg
The Luxury Collection
Public Relations
212 380 4005
Daniella.weinberg[email protected]