Hawaii’s iconic Coco Palms Resort to be revived under Kimpton brand

by Ruth Hogan

IHG’s luxury and lifestyle brand Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants is set to expand to Hawaii with the opening of its first location in 2026 following a historically sensitive restoration of Kauai’s landmark Coco Palms Resort.

Located in the natural surroundings of the valley of Wailua, Coco Palms gained status as a premier destination during the golden era of Hollywood, with renowned guests such as Elvis Presley, Rita Hayworth and Gene Autry, but in 1992, Hurricane ‘Iniki struck Kaua‘i causing significant damage to the property. It has since remained untouched and fallen into a state of neglect.

The transformed property, Coco Palms, A Kimpton Resort, which is owned by Reef Capital Partners, will be operated by Highgate, will represent the west coast resort flagship for Kimpton in the Americas.

“We are incredibly excited to establish our luxury and lifestyle presence in Hawaii with Coco Palms, A Kimpton Resort,” said IHG Hotels & Resorts Luxury & Lifestyle Americas SVP, Managing Director, Leanne Harwood.

“Hawaii beckons travellers seeking both relaxation and discovery, and this wholly reimagined resort will welcome not only visitors, but also the local community, with unique, culturally respectful experiences all within an inspiring boutique luxury setting.

“We’re pleased to partner with Reef Capital Partners, who is committed to being responsible stewards of this historic landmark.”

With its expansive rainforests and deep valleys, Kaua‘i is often referred to as the “Garden Isle”. The restoration will be guided by Native Hawaiian advisors within the local community to ensure an authentic, culturally rich experience. An evening torch-lighting ceremony – a celebrated Coco Palms tradition – will be continued at the new property.

Coco Palms will also feature an onsite cultural centre and museum honouring Kaua‘i, which will host exhibits, lectures and activities of cultural significance to educate both visitors and residents of the native culture, rich history and flourishing artistic community of the area.

There will be 350 rooms spread across three low-rise hotel structures as well as cottages, an onsite spa, three outdoor swimming pools, a rooftop bar, pool bar as well as a restored shoreline restaurant.

Guests will have access to the resort’s 15-acre coconut grove, and everything from meditation and movie nights to wedding ceremonies will be hosted on site.

“It’s a true privilege to bring the first Kimpton resort to Hawai‘i,” said Reef Capital Partners Chief Financial Officer, Jon Day.

“IHG shares our belief that the history and culture of this site, especially the pre-contact history, is what distinguishes Coco Palms from other properties and makes it such a magical place.

“They’re just as committed as we are to preserving its legacy and sharing it with the world. I can think of no better brand to fulfill this vision.”

As with all Kimpton properties, the hotel will feature brand perks such as the Kimpton Kickstart morning coffee and tea service, Kimpton Social every evening, a “Forgot It? We’ve Got It!” program, in-room yoga mats and pet-friendly policies.