Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Halekulani Vision: A Deeper Experience of Hawaii

The occasion was the Amazon Rainforest Paradise Paradox multi-media exhibition in Soho, New York hosted by Peter Shaindlin, Chief Operating Officer of Halekulani Resorts, on a stormy day. By reading the introductory press release I had already started to form a question or two. “Why would a Hawaiian Resort be interested in sponsoring an event about the Amazon Rainforest’s progressive destruction? How could two of the most beautiful spots in the world be linked together?

I found the answers while I was enjoying the beautiful, even if sometimes tauntingly cruel, photographs in the show. I was able to interview Mr. Shaindlin, who spent almost half an hour explaining his vision and his motivations.

First of all, it’s important to note that the photographs on display were frames captured from one of the documentaries that will be premiering at the Hawaiian International Film Festival 2012 edition (October 11-21).

But there was more linking Halekulani and the Rainforest. In fact, the first thing Mr. Shaindlin told to me was, “We want to direct a spotlight on something we think is important.” Shaindlin believes that the Halekulani being one of the best resorts in Hawaii has the power to “create awareness” and they want to use this power not only for what’s near and familiar, but also what is far away and often overlooked.  The medium of film allows their message to reach even more people.

I learned more about the impressive renovations that the Halekulani Resorts accomplished this summer. Each of the 453 rooms and suites has been refreshed to further capture the natural light and airy visual expanses on to the sea. Also, an even more focused care has been put into the culinary experience provided for the guests by adding organic and local products to the already varied menu.

Shaindlin adds, “Halekulani’s Renewal is based upon Legacy, Culture, Quality and Service… and reflects our commitment to remain true to the hotel’s original spirit while evolving and enhancing the unique experience for which we have also come to be known; providing our guests with a journey of transcendence and fulfillment that cannot be replicated.”

Halekulani presents guests with the opportunity to enrich their vacation not only with beautiful beaches, the spa or fine accommodations, but also encourages them to explore scenic cultural spots of Honolulu.
Halekulani's "For you, Everything" program invites hotel guests to enjoy the Honolulu Museum of Arts, the Bishop Museum, the Contemporary Museum, the Iolani Palace and the Doris Duke's Shangri La with complimentary tickets for the whole family.

On the same page, families spending their summer vacation at Halekulani can choose to engage their children, at an additional cost, with the Keikilani club summer program, where ages 5-12 are offered fun and learning activities such as crabbing, crafting, visits to the Zoo, the Aquarium or the Bishop Museum, and kite or surf lessons each day of the week.

What struck me most on that stormy afternoon: it is possible to transform a dream vacation into something that enriches vacationers not only with the memories of a stay in paradise, but also with the pleasure of experiencing a new culture.

Contributes by Ambra Malagola via FamilyTravelForum

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