Hawaiian Culture

As “Hawaiʻi's Most Hawaiian Hotel” we take immense pride in nurturing and perpetuating the rich culture of the Hawaiian Islands.

From hotel management to our hoʻokipa (hospitality) staff we receive a wealth of cultural training, including ʻukulele and hula classes, ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) lessons and a deep understanding of our islands’ history and sense of place.

We also boast not one, but a team of cultural experts who specialize in a wide range of Hawaiian subjects. Aunty Malihini—who is well known and loved by our hotel guests—has an extensive knowledge of Polynesian culture and specializes in her passion, Hawaiian medicine. As one of our many complimentary activities, we invite guests to take a cultural garden tour with Aunty Malihini, who will guide you through the medicinal properties of all the Hawaiian plants that grow in abundance across our 11 acres of lush hotel grounds. 

Every year, we host Hula O Nā Keiki, a children’s solo hula competition, designed to educate our keiki (children) in the ways of our ancestors. Our hotel also showcases free hula and Hawaiian music performances nightly, plus a range of daily cultural activities, including ʻōlelo Hawai'i, ʻukulele lessons, lei making, hula and much more.

We look forward to sharing our knowledge and island hospitality with you at Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel, where you can experience Hawaiian culture and aloha at its best.

New Waʻa - Kaleopoʻokela

Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel welcomes their new waʻa Kaleopoʻokela, meaning “the Voice of Excellence”, in honor of Project Poʻokela in effect since 1986. To extend the mission of Project Poʻokela and uphold the hotel’s distinction as “Hawaii Most Hawaiian Hotel”, the waʻa will be used to provide an in-depth and interpretive guided paddle tour to the north past Puʻu Kekaʻa, with crew members telling stories about Polynesian migration, lessons learned from ancient Hawaiians on sustainable living on an island/planet, etc. The tour is expected to launch in December 2018.

More ocean activities, please check Hale Huakaʻi.


Makahiki Season

Makahiki, the annual festive season starting with the appearance of Pleiades over Hawaiian skies and its disappearance 4 months later, was dedicated to the god Lono. In ancient times, all unnecessary work stopped, war was forbidden and temple services were suspended. The people paid their taxes to their chiefs in the form of handicrafts and garden products and were then free to play and dance.

Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel observes this Hawaiian custom by committing to one cultural focus during the entire season. In the past years, the staff of Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel were charged with handcrafting their own Hawaiian implements, from traditional weaponry to a fully functioning Hawaiian waʻa (canoe), Kaʻililaʻāu 


In 2009 Makahiki Season, the entire hotel made one canoe named "Kaʻililaʻāu". The hotel employees cut the tree on November 9, 2009 and launched the canoe on March 9, 2010. It took exactly 4-month joint efforts on building this canoe. Literally Kaʻililaʻāu means the skin of the tree (or bark). However, it was named after a boy who accidentally died at the age of 11 yrs. old. Since we got the tree from his family’s property, the hotel decided to name the canoe after this boy, Ka‘ililā‘au. In Makahiki season 2016-2017, the hotel refurbish the canoe Kaʻililaʻāu and reintroduce it to the water. It is now still situated on the hotel  grounds, next to Hale ʻAkau by the pool. 


2017 Makahiki

Please enjoy 2017 Makahiki Closing Ceremony video:

2018 Makahiki 

From November 2017 to March 2018, each department cultivates native plants on property from seed to seedlings. When the season closes, these plants will be transferred to Mauna Kahalawai (West Maui Mountains) to propagate the beginnings of a new forest, perhaps to be fully enjoyed by their future great grandchildren.


Hawaiʻi Indigenous Plant



F&B / Culinary


Sales & Marketing

Pili grass





HR/Executive Office

Koa (3 stages of koa)

Hale Hoʻokipa/Hale Huakaʻi/ʻOhana Fun Center




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The beach activities you cannot miss
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Making a lei, and dancing hula...
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