Travel is an opportunity for exploration and discovery. Finding something new and unfamiliar. But more than resorts, more than stops along the way—travelers seek out destinations. Places people look forward to with anticipation and dream of experiencing. Waikīkī has been an object of travelers’ desire for nearly a century, since Westerners first started coming in droves to the pristine, palm-lined, white-sand beaches that line this tropical island getaway. The Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort & Spa has been part of this destination’s story for centuries. Its grounds were once a summer home to the late Queen Liliʻuokalani. Almost a century later, this site became the Hawaiian Regent Hotel, opened in 1973. Today, the Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort & Spa carries on these rich traditions as a focal point of leisure and curiosity that draws in guests from all over the world.
So when Marriott wanted to reimagine the resort’s pool deck food-and-beverage concept, we were excited to leverage our expertise in brand and storytelling.
In building out this concept, it was imperative that we craft an experience that would appeal to tourists from all over the world while acknowledging and paying respect to the magnificent history of Waikīkī and the site of the hotel. We uncovered the insight that Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is more than a hotel or a place; it’s a destination. Giving purpose to the journey. Somewhere guests, associates, and even Queen Lili’uokalani could unwind and feel at home, if only for a little while.
With the idea of destination as our north star, we named the pool deck food-and-beverage experience Queensbreak, calling to mind both the queen that summered on the same land in Waikīkī and the surf break called Queen’s just outside the resort’s walls.
We then crafted an entire world around this name, starting with the icon. Visually, our brand symbol was modeled after the tī leaf haku lei, a Hawaiian headpiece traditionally worn during ceremonies to signify nobility. Reminiscent of sun rays, we used the raised edges of this lei shape to communicate a bursting of energy and created rules for using these forms in photos, patterns, and textures. We applied this rustic look and feel across the rest of the brand identity. A handmade aesthetic was incorporated into the wordmark and its accompanying typographic system to complement the lei, alongside a welcoming and relaxed voice and tone for branded communications. And ultimately, this signature Queensbreak hospitality came to life in the experience itself, from printed collateral to programming.
Through this collaboration, we were able to elevate Marriott’s reimagination of its pool deck food-and-beverage concept through the power of brand storytelling, allowing the resort to reemerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with a new perspective and promise for guests. As people continue to seek out special moments in special places with their loved ones, Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort has cemented itself as a space for community togetherness, and a destination for guests and locals alike.