Hawaiian Culture

See Why We Are “Hawaiʻi's Most Hawaiian Hotel”

At Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel we are dedicated to perpetuating Hawaiian culture and we take pride in sharing our customs and knowledge with our guests.


As “Hawaiʻi's Most Hawaiian Hotel,” we are continually striving for our commitment to Poʻokela (excellence) in all that we do.

Created in 1986 by hotel general manager Mike White and Dr. George Kanahele, a leading authority on Hawaiian culture, the Poʻokela program includes topics such as Hawaiian geography, religion, mythology, economics, technology and the native Hawaiian diet. A groundbreaking program, Poʻokela is chief among many reasons that the Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel is recognized by numerous industry awards each year, including Travel Age West's "Best Resort for a Hawaiian Cultural Experience" and National Geographic Traveler's "Culture List.”

Hawaiʻi's Most Hawaiian Hotel

As Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel is recognized as “Hawaiʻi's Most Hawaiian Hotel” by the Waiaha Foundation, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has presented us with the “He Kuleana Ke Aloha” award. This honor demonstrates an ongoing responsibility, commitment and dedication to honoring and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture for generations to come and we are humbled to be the only hotel to receive these awards. 

There are over 100 reasons why our Maui hotel received these incredible awards, here are the top 10:

   1    Hawaiian culture activities offered daily
   2    Daily Hawaiian entertainment (music and hula)
   3    High level of customer satisfaction from guests looking for a unique Hawaiian experience
   4    Daily lei ceremony for departing guests
   5    A staff of full-time Hawaiian cultural advisers
   6    Hawaiian artifacts and decor, including canoes, halepahu, and hundreds of employee-made Hawaiian crafts during Makahiki season
   7    Usage of the Hawaiian language throughout property and in hotel brochures and other printed material.
   8    Since 1986, committed to a Poʻokela program to teach employees the Hawaiian culture
   9    Emphasis on serving native Hawaiian cuisine in our restaurant
   10  Custom-made uniforms relating to Kāʻanapali through images and song lyrics

The Cultural Experience

When guests experience our warm island hospitality, immerse themselves in our culture and choose to return year after year, we believe that we are perpetuating the authentic Hawaiian message that aloha truly comes from the heart. 

Once a guest stays at Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel, they become a part of our ʻohana (family) and this forms the inspiration behind our lei kukui ceremony. Beginning with a traditional oli (chant), this ceremony explains the significance of the kukui nut lei that we present to all our cherished guests. It also exists to remind the new members of our 'ohana that we do not say goodbye, instead we say "A hui hou" (until we meet again).