HONOLULU, Hawaii — According to Travel Hawaii LLC, Hawaii’s hotels are still adjusting to the comprehensive smoking ban that the State of Hawaii put in place in November of 2006. One of the outcomes of these adjustments are high and often mandatory cleaning charges, imposed by many hotels should a guest light up in a non-smoking hotel room. Online database tracks evolving smoking policies at hawaii hotels. “The Aqua Palms & Spa in Waikiki has the highest charge we know of at present,” said John Lindelow, owner of Travel Hawaii, a Hawaii-based Internet retailer (http://Travel-Hawaii.com).
“They charge a $500 cleaning fee should they find that a client has been smoking in one of their rooms.” Other Aqua hotels in Waikiki charge a $200 to $300 cleaning fee, sometimes adjusted for the “severity” of the offense. Outrigger, with 25 hotels and condos in Hawaii, charges a $250 cleaning fee, and ResortQuest (29 hotels) charges $425.
Travel Hawaii maintains an online database of smoking policies at Hawaii Hotels, which can be found at http://Travel-Hawaii.com/smoking.html. “This is a rapidly changing area of hotel policy, so we make a lot of phone calls to stay on top of what the hotels are doing,” said Lindelow. Some hotels have no smoking in any room or in any other part of the hotel. Others ban smoking in rooms but allow it in designated areas around the hotel, for example the Waikoloa Marriott, which allows smoking “next to the luau area, next to tennis courts, and at the cabana.”
In addition to continual changes, said Lindelow, there’s sometimes significant variance between the stated policy of the hotel chains and the reality on the ground. “For example, ResortQuest has a corporate-wide non-smoking policy for all their hotels. However, we found that two of their hotels, when we call them, do offer smoking rooms, these being the Waikiki Joy in Waikiki and the Aloha Beach Hotel on Kauai. I guess they didn’t get the memo.”
Travel Hawaii has had to change their database to accommodate the evolving situation with smoking policies at Hawaii hotels. Formerly, they simply tracked whether a hotel allowed smoking. Now they track whether smoking is allowed in some rooms, whether smoking is allowed in other areas of the hotel, additional details on either of these policies, and any cleaning fees hotels may assess on violators.
“Our Japanese clients – more of whom are smokers – have shown a keen interest in our smoking database,” said Lindelow, “so we’ve translated the entire database into Japanese on our Japanese site.” The Japanese version of the database can be found at http://Japan-Hawaii-Travel.com/smoking.html.
About Travel Hawaii LLC
Founded in 1997 by computer scientist John Lindelow and travel agency owner Roz Rapozo, Travel Hawaii has become a leading Internet booking service for consumers wishing to vacation in Hawaii. Travel Hawaii maintains sophisticated online booking systems and databases focused on Hawaii travel.