Vacation Holdings Hawaii (VHH) has named Benjamin Rafter president of Aston Hotels & Resorts. Rafter also serves as president and CEO of Aqua Hospitality and Aqua Hotels and Resorts in Hawaii. He will continue to report to Kelvin Bloom, president of VHH.
Aston and Aqua are subsidiaries of Honolulu-based VHH, which acquired Aqua in late 2013.
Rafter has served as president and CEO of Aqua since 2008. Under his leadership, Aqua has grown from a mid-size, Oahu-centric hospitality operator to one of the largest management companies in the region with 29 hotels and resorts on six Hawaiian Islands and Guam. Prior to Aqua, Rafter spent more than 15 years guiding and founding successful technology companies. Previous roles included directing Cambridge Technology Partners' Innovation Center and NewCo Solutions practices and helping found Innerlinx (renamed LiveBid), which was acquired by Amazon.com. Rafter began his career in the marketing and distribution department of Westin Hotels & Resorts in various roles, including emerging technologies manager.
"Recognizing the combined strength and market penetration that Aqua and Aston offer with their dynamic collection of hotels and resorts, I'm confident that Ben is the right person to lead both companies and meet the growing demand for accommodations in Hawaii as well other destinations," said Bloom.
In addition, Matt Bailey has been appointed chief operating officer of Aqua. He joined Aston earlier this year as its COO. Bailey has over three decades of experience in the hospitality industry, most recently serving as managing director at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa on Maui, where he was responsible for overseeing more than 1,500 employees. He previously worked for three years at Aston as senior vice president of operations, and has held key management positions at hotels and resorts throughout Hawaii, Utah, California, Texas and Nevada. He also has held numerous professional memberships, currently serving on the board of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association.
"With Ben and Matt serving in these key roles, my focus will be on new business development and continuing to expand our management portfolios domestically and internationally," Bloom added.
Aston Hotels & Resorts operates a diverse range of condominium resorts and hotels with accommodations from hotel rooms and condominium suites, to villas and cottages that suit any lifestyle, taste or budget. Based in Honolulu, the company manages over 4,100 units in 27 properties on the four major Hawaiian Islands, South Lake Tahoe, California, Lake Las Vegas, Nevada, and Orlando, Florida
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.