Hotel of Hawaii Five-0 fame closes


The recession has officially touched paradise with the news that an iconic Hawaiian resort is shutting its doors. The distinctive, Y-shaped Ilikai, made famous in the 1970s thanks to its role in the opening sequence of Hawaii Five-0, has closed after a long period of financial trouble. The privately-owned condominium portion of the property is not being affected by the hotel shutdown.

The hotel had been purchased by a developer in 2006 with big plans to pour $60 million worth of renovations into the property and restore its status as a Waikiki icon. The Ilikai's current owner formerly held that developer's loan; when the developer defaulted, the lender picked up the hotel at a foreclosure auction back in May but wasn't able to pull the money-losing property back into the black. According to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the owner plans to relocate guests currently at the resort as well as those with future reservations, to other properties.

While it's unfortunate, this situation might also make travelers think: Could this happen to me? Many hotels around the country right now are in default or bankruptcy; while most of those stay open (in fact, guests may never even be aware that the place is having trouble paying its bills), there is a slim chance that you could book -- or, worse yet, already be staying in -- a hotel that's closing its doors.

Walletpop asked Alexander Anolik, San Francisco-based travel attorney and author of Traveler's Rights: Your Legal Guide to Fair Treatment and Full Value to give some advice on what travelers should do if their getaway goes away.