Ever wonder what it would be like to own a second home in Hawaii? Well, if you are not quite ready to pull the trigger, but would like to experience Hawaii without being confined to a hotel room, it is possible to have a homeowner-like experience by staying in a luxury condo or home managed by Destination Residences Hawaii.
Destination Residences Hawaii, which was founded in 1986 and is based in Lahaina, Maui, is a part of Destination Hotels, which are is owned by Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Destination Residences Hawaii partners with homeowners associations and individual owners of luxury residences. “We generally take a second seat, which is great because it allows us to be very agile and be great partners,” says Mike Cuthbertson, area managing director of Destination Residences Hawaii, who adds that nothing the company does is cookie-cutter. “We take a brand-new business opening approach to every property that we get involved with,” he says. “This allows us to tuck under the strength of the existing brand and use that to leverage an excellent hospitality product.”
Currently, Destination Hotels manages 40 upscale and luxury independent hotels, resorts and residences across North America. Each property under management is intentionally diverse and true to its location, transcending status quo in fresh, authentic and unforgettable ways. Destination is able to do this by capturing the unique essence of each location through authentic experiences, immersive programming and genuine service.
Destination Residences’ Portfolio of Luxury Properties In Hawaii
Destination Residences Hawaii has an impressive portfolio of more than 650 vacation rental properties including a collection of luxury residences, condominiums and penthouses on Maui, the Island of Hawai’i, and the South Shore of Kauai. “We represent as many rooms as the large hotels on Maui,” says Mike Cuthbertson, Area Managing Director, Destination Residences Hawaii.
Destination Residences combines spacious ocean-front residential-style living with hotel-inspired amenities and attentive guest services and in turn provides the best of both worlds. Its portfolio includes spectacular oceanfront villas with panoramic views of the Pacific as well as luxury homes in an exclusive private club setting. Some of its residences are located at world class golf communities, such as the private club Kukui’ula on Kauai, while others are steps from a beach, such as the Pu’unoa Beach Estates or Lahaina Shores Beach Resort. Provide a grocery list before you leave home and the Destination Residences Hawaii team will stock your refrigerator before your arrival. There will be no need to take home dirty clothes at the end of your stay because most residences are equipped with an in-unit washer and dryer.
Destination Residences Hawaii guarantees that each of the properties it manages is maintained to meet its high standards. It is constantly working with its owners on an annual basis to make sure there are certain standards met that provide a continuity of experience for its guests, including the audio-visual experience, seating capacity at the dining room table and enough seating in the living room. “Our reservations process is very involved,” explains Cuthbertson. “We probably have some of the longer call averages within the industry because of our attention to walking people through the expectations of what they are going to get and find out what they want from their rental.” Destination Residences Hawaii assigns an annual rating to each of the properties it rents, which affects the price of the rental.
“The legacy of Destination Residences in Hawaii as a local operator and having these relationships and having very unique properties that we operate in their own individual style as a brand of one is very important,” explains Cuthbertson. “The appreciation we have for each property and each destination and island is very important.”
Over the past year or so, Destination Residences Hawaii’s growth in terms of the number of units it manages, has been nothing short of meteoric. “This has really set us up for defining Destination as a really significant player in Hawaii,” says Cuthbertson.
Most recently, Destination Residences Hawaii has made it even easier for guests to enjoy the best of the islands with the debut of #DestinationBucketList, a collection of once-in-a-lifetime, authentically Hawaiian experiences. Exclusive to guests of its Maui and Island of Hawai’i properties, these offerings are highly customized for those seeking a turnkey way to discover Hawaii’s true “bucket list” adventures in a different way while enjoying the best of each island.
Excursions span everything from a luxury whale watching cruise to a doors-off sunrise helicopter photo tour with renowned local photographer, Daniel Sullivan. “Destination Residences Hawaii has a deep passion for these islands, and we want to create a way to authentically share the spirit of our island home via our favorite, hand selected Hawaiian adventures,” said Cuthbertson. “Travel is all about enriching experiences. Destination Residences Hawaii provides travelers with a gracious ‘home away from home,’ and #DestinationBucketList’s experiences were designed to truly connect people to the islands in an authentic manner. Our team worked with local experts and guides to create these packages, and in addition to delivering an unprecedented Hawaiian experience, we want to make it easy and seamless for our guests ultimately allowing our guests to spend less time planning and more time making memories.”
Wailea Beach Villas On Maui
At Wailea Beach Villas, a gated residential community, which ranks as the third top resort in all of Hawaii according to Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards' 2019, Destination Residences Hawaii manages 35 units including two- and three-bedroom penthouses and villas, with each offering full kitchens, private lanais and spectacular views. Located on Wailea Beach and facing the Wailea Coastal Walk, Destination Residences Hawaii’s guests stay in fully furnished, turnkey residences with daily housekeeping.
Similar to staying at a five-star hotel, upon the guests’ arrival, they are presented with a lei and a welcome cocktail. There is onsite management helping with guest services, including a front desk staff as well as a concierge who can arrange for a wide range of daily activities. “It is exactly like staying in a luxury hotel,” says Cuthbertson. “Which is a very different experience compared to renting from a typical management company.”
Wailea Beach Villas provides a luxury experience at a fraction of what it would cost to stay in a suite at a five-star hotel on the same beach. Indeed, stay at The Four Seasons (located on the same beach) over spring break and it will cost as much as $15,000 per night for the “Elite” two-bedroom suite which is 1800-square-feet in size ($934 per night (plus tax) for a standard 600-square-foot room per night and $1,350 per night, plus tax, for a standard room with an ocean view). Compare that to staying in a three-bedroom penthouse at Wailea Beach Villas which will cost $1,234 per night (plus tax and resort fees). At Wailea Beach Villas, guests get a lot more value, however, especially considering the units there feature multiple bedrooms (three bedrooms in this case) plus a living room, laundry, private lanai and full kitchen and 24-hour management on property.
Wailea Beach Villas also offers multiple swimming pools (stocked with towels and sunscreen), a large fitness center, a business center, designated chaise lounge chairs on the beach and secure access to the beach. Even better, unlike nearby hotels, its pools and designated beach area is rarely crowded. Adjacent from Wailea Beach Villas is The Shops at Wailea can be reached via a private gate. The shopping center offers a wide variety of high-end boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and a grocery store. It is no wonder Wailea Beach Villas remains one of the most in demand places to stay at in Maul. “Our repeat guest rate is off the charts,” says Cuthbertson. Indeed, at approximately 50%, its substantially higher than the average repeat guest rate of 30% at hotels throughout Hawaii.
In addition to Waliea Beach Villas, Destination Residences manages many other luxury properties on the island of Maui, including Grand Champion Villas, Wailea Ekolu, Makena Surf, Wailea Ekahi Village, Waliea Elua, Polo Beach Club, Ka’anapali Ali’i, Lahaina Shores Beach Resort and Pu’unoa Beach Estates. Regardless of the location, all Destination Residences Hawaii guests have access to daily housekeeping, a front desk staff and concierge (which for some properties may be located off-site).
The Lodge at Kukui'ula on Kauai
On the island of Kauai, Destination Residences Hawaii manages The Lodge at Kukui’ula, which is located in the Kukui’ula community. A private club, Kukui-ula is so exclusive that only members (who are required to own property), guests of members and guests who stay at The Lodge at Kukui’ula have access to its impressive array of world-class amenities. (See Forbes’ recent article “Nirvana in Hawaii: Kukui’ula on Hawaii” at this link.)
Here, Destination Residences manages 40 Club Villas, Cottages and Bungalows, which are plantation-style cottages featuring island furniture, laundry facilities, open kitchens and porches. Rates for a one-bedroom one bathroom bungalow with 1,257-square-feet of space start at $756 (sleeping two), $941 a night for a two-bedroom two-bathroom unit with 1,787-square-foot unit (accommodating four guests) and $1,319 a night for a spacious 2,475-square-foot bungalow with three bedrooms three bathrooms that will sleep six. Rates may vary depending on the season and views. Compare these nightly rates to what it would cost to purchase a home at Kukui’ula. Custom homes start at $4.9 million while a villa starts at approximately $2.25 million—-plus there’s the cost to maintain a property including property taxes, homeowner association dues, membership dues, etc.
Guests who stay in a bungalow, villa or cottage managed by Destination Residences Hawaii at The Lodge at Kukui’ula have access to all of the club’s facilities including a full-service spa, 18,000-square-foot fitness facility, multiple dining options, multiple swimming pools, an onsite outfitter for outdoor activities and a 10-acre upcountry organic farm that offers fresh, complimentary produce.
Lodging guests also have access to Kukui’ula’s private 18-hole golf course was designed by British Open winner Tom Weiskopf. The 216-acre par-72 course is 7,052 yards long and features panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding mountains, coffee fields and fruit orchards.
Booking A Rental Through Destination Residences Hawaii
So if you are planning a trip to Hawaii, consider booking a residence managed by Destination Residences Hawaii. Its properties, newly integrated into World of Hyatt, can be booked through Hyatt or through the Destination Hotels website at www.destinationhotels.com/destination-residences-hawaii.