History of Aston Hotels & Resorts
It all began decades ago, when a shipwrecked sailor whose travels had brought him from France to the middle of the Pacific found love with a Hawaii girl. The two married and in 1948 opened a small 14-room, two-story walk-up hotel in Waikiki, creating what would grow into one of Hawaii's best-known hospitality companies, serving visitors to Hawaii's islands from around the world.
1948: A MODEST BEGINNING
The Royal Grove Hotel opens. Built in a grove of palm trees that once belonged to Princess Kaiulani, heir to the Hawaiian monarchy, the hotel offered 14 rooms at an average rate of less than $5 per night and hosted close to 250 guests that year.
1959: THE COMPANY DOUBLES IN SIZE
Hawaii becomes the 50th State and the company built the four-story Cleghorn Apartment Hotel in Waikiki, named for Princess Kaiulani's father.
1968: A MANAGEMENT COMPANY IS FORMED
Hotel Corporation of the Pacific is established to manage current and future hotel and condominium projects.
1969: CONDOMINIUM HOTEL EMERGES
Considered a major project for its time, the 360-room Pacific Beach Hotel is completed by Hotel Corporation of the Pacific. In addition, the company's 100-room Kuhiolani Hotel becomes Hawaii's first condominium to be managed as a hotel.
1978: ANOTHER INDUSTRY FIRST
Hotel Corporation of the Pacific signs its first large condominium management contract.
1979: PIONEERS OF AN INDUSTRY
Hotel Corporation of the Pacific pioneers all-suite condominium resort hotels with the blending of two concepts: hotel services and spacious accommodations, highlighting the value and convenience of resort condominiums. Expansion now begins to Neighbor Islands of Kauai and Hawaii Island.
1980: EXPANSION TO MAUI
The Aston Kaanapali Shores opens on Maui and Hotel Corporation of the Pacific now manages condominium resorts on all four major Hawaiian Islands.
1986: A NEW NAME AND NEW SERVICES
Hotel Corporation of the Pacific launches a new name as ASTON Hotels & Resorts and becomes one of the first resort condominium companies to operate its portfolio under a common brand name.
ASTON becomes one of the first resort condominium chains to offer a central toll-free 800 number for reservations service and to match the hotel industry commission structure for travel agents. ASTON hosted more than 500,000 guests this year.
1987: REACHING SENIORS
ASTON was one of the first companies in Hawaii to offer a special discount for the rapidly expanding seniors market. Founded as ASTON'S SUN CLUB, the program offered special deals for seniors. Today the program is recognized as Hawaii 5-0.
1988: ONE MORE INNOVATION
ASTON partners with American Airlines to feature the first Air-Inclusive Condominium Resort Vacation packages in Hawaii.
1990: ADDED VALUE SERVICE PROGRAMS
ASTON was one of the first hotel and condominium companies in Hawaii to offer 24-hour toll free reservation service and the first hotel company to provide added value with the ASTON Fun Book, complete with certificates for discounts on gifts, meals and admissions from area restaurants, stores and attractions. ASTON also developed Reach for the Stars, a travel agent incentive program for Hawaii hotels and condominium resorts.
1997: HONEYMOONERS LOVE ASTON
A 1997 survey of travel agents for MODERN BRIDE magazine ranked ASTON Hotels & Resorts as the leading resort condominium/villa chain for honeymooners.
1998: U.S. MAINLAND EXPANSION
ASTON joins 12 other hospitality companies to form ResortQuest International (RQI), the largest vacation rental company in North America. ASTON welcomes more than 750,000 guests this year.
2003: A NEW DIRECTION
Gaylord Entertainment purchases RQI. ASTON was at the forefront in the redevelopment of Waikiki with the renovation, re-positioning and re-launch of the Waikiki Beach Hotel.
2007: NEW OWNERSHIP, AMBITIOUS FUTURE
ResortQuest Hawaii, now separate from the mainland ResortQuest, becomes an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: IILG), a leading global provider of membership and leisure services to the vacation industry.
2009: A IS FOR ASTON HOTELS & RESORTS
Celebrating 61 years in the travel industry, the company revives the iconic brand in its strategic repositioning efforts.