The number of Trump Hotels continues to dwindle, with the chain’s Hawaii resort the latest to ditch the tarnished name for a less politicized brand.
The Trump International Hotel Waikiki is joining Hilton and will no longer have the former president’s name attached to it. In February 2024, the 38-floor hotel will be called the Wākea Waikiki Beach, as part of the Hilton LXR collection of high-end resorts.
The rebranding comes after the Trump Organization announced that it has reached a “mutual agreement for a significant buyout of the hotel management and license agreement” with Irongate, the hotel’s owner.
Opened in 2009, the Trump Organization said it was “incredibly proud” of the resort’s performance, noting that its nightly rates were “some of the highest” in the Hawaiian city and it was “consistently ranked in the top 3 Waikiki hotels on TripAdvisor.”
“With the support of the Trump team, we have achieved great things in 14 years of operation, commencing with our initial real estate sales offering in 2006, and continuing with Trump Hotels’ stewardship of the hotel program since 2009,” said Irongate CEO Jason Grosfeld in the release, despite the change.
It’s not just getting a new name: Irongate and Hilton announced that the 462 guest rooms and common areas, such as its pools and restaurants, will also be remodeled beginning next year. The hotel will remain open during the “monumental transformation.”
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
With the departure of its Hawaiian hotel, the number of Trump Hotels and Resorts is down to just eight across the world.
In the past few years, Trump’s hotels in New York (SoHo), Toronto, Washington, DC, and Panama City, Panama, have all been stripped of the Trump name for more traditional branding. The Vancouver hotel closed in 2020 just three years after it opened.
In addition to his polarizing politics that might scare off tourists, some of his hotels have also come under legal scrutiny. The Las Vegas and Washington hotels are part of a civil fraud lawsuit brought on by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
In more than 200 pages, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants were involved in an expansive fraud lasting over a decade that the former president used to enrich himself and that the fraud touched all aspects of the Trump business, including those two properties.
In Washington, the lawsuit from James accuses Trump of using allegedly doctored financial statements in his and Ivanka Trump’s personal pursuit to open the hotel in the years before he ran for the presidency. The hotel became a Waldorf Astoria in 2022.
The Trump hotel in Las Vegas — a hotel condominium of which Trump owns half — had misleading financial statements between 2013 and 2021, the suit alleges, due to income projections based on the sale of residential units that assumed prices much higher than what units were selling for, among other reasons.