Wyland Opens Waikiki Hotel
Dressed in his signature baseball cap and surrounded by beauty queens, Robert Wyland welcomed guests this weekend to the grand opening gala of the newly renovated Wyland Waikiki.
The 400-room boutique hotel, formerly the Ohana Waikiki Surf, is far from the surf, three blocks off the beach. What it lacks in ocean frontage, it now makes up for in Wyland’s ocean art.
Wyland, of course, is famous for his 95 large, outdoor “Whaling Wall” murals. There’s no “Whaling Wall” here. But there are Wyland paintings in the lobby, bronze Wyland whales, dolphins, and sea turtles in the garden, and even a flagstone entryway shaped like a whale’s tale.
The hotel’s received $30 million in upgrades, including plasma screen TVs, iPod-ready clock radios and art in all the rooms. Rates begin at $179 a night, though some opening specials may be available.
Wyland himself remains a minority owner in the newly stylish property. “Think of me as Donald Trump,” he laughs. “Without the comb over.”