Host Hotels & Resorts buys hotel in Honolulu

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- Host Hotels & Resorts has purchased the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach in Honolulu for $138.5 million, giving the lodging real estate investment trust access to a popular travel destination.

Host said Monday that there is difficulty gaining entry to the Waikiki market. With travelers from all over the world visiting, Waikiki has an occupancy rate of almost 90 percent, the company added.

The Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach is 1.5 blocks from Waikiki Beach and near the Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo and Kalakaua shopping/entertainment district.

Host is buying the property from an affiliate of Chartres Lodging Group LLC and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund VII Global. Kokua Hospitality will continue to manage the 426-room hotel under a franchise agreement with Hyatt.

Host currently owns 104 properties in the U.S. and 15 properties overseas. The Bethesda, Md., company also holds non-controlling interests in a joint venture in Europe that owns 19 hotels and a joint venture in Asia that owns one hotel in Australia, a minority interest in two hotels in India and five hotels that are in various stages of development in India.

Last month, Host reported a strong first-quarter performance on a sustained increase in room rates. Results topped Wall Street expectations.

Shares of Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. closed Friday at $17.79, up about 13.5 percent since the start of the year. The stock has changed hands between $13.58 and $18.87 in the past 52 weeks.