Grand Pacific Hotel, Fiji

Grand Pacific HotelPlans to renovate Suva's Grand Pacific Hotel are on the table again. The Union Steamship Company erected the Grand Pacific in 1914 to serve the needs of passengers on the company's transpacific routes. Since the aging hotel closed in 1992, there have been several attempts to refurbish the property. In the late 1990s, a redevelopment scheme announced by Outrigger Hotels of Hawaii collapsed after much fanfare. Meanwhile, the building's empty shell has been a sorry sight facing Albert Park in South Suva.

In 2002, the Government of Fiji purchased the property from the moribund Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust, and the current owners, the Fiji National Provident Fund and the Fiji Investment Corporation Limited, are now making serious noises about five-star renovations and an expansion. The management contract has been awarded to the Intercontinental Hotels Group, and the rejuvenated hotel will be rebranded as the Grand Pacific Crowne Plaza. Construction isn't to begin until early next year, but if all goes well, the Grand Pacific may again be one of the South Pacific's great hotels.

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