Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel Opens Hale Huaka‘i Activities Center

May 4, 2016, 1:00 PM HST · Updated May 4, 1:00 PM
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Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Courtesy photo.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Courtesy photo.

Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel has expanded its authentic cultural offerings with the official opening of its new water activities center on Wednesday, May 4.

Paying homage to Hawaiian traditions, the center, Hale Huaka‘i, which means “Adventure Center,” and signifies a trip, voyage or a place to start a journey or embark on an adventure, often in a “hui,” or group to build connections with others.

The Hale Huaka‘i offers a Hawaiian perspective on several popular ocean activities, such as surfing, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, conch shell blowing and more.

“The Hale Huaka‘i is simply a means of extending the character of Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel—its genuine aloha and true Hawaiian hospitality—out onto the beach and into the ocean.”said Hale Huaka‘i Manager Iokepa Nae‘ole, known around the islands as Kepa. “It allows us to provide our guests with truly memorable and safe ocean experiences, led by our beach alakaʻi [guides], who are each highly experienced Maui watermen. We also accept the kuleana—both privilege and responsibility—of being stewards of our culture, our ocean and all of its many creatures.”

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Located steps away from the hotel, Hale Huaka‘i offers guests the chance to go beyond their traditional water activity experience through complimentary and paid offerings dedicated to providing an authentic Hawaiian presentation of water sports and oceanside living.

Each guest who visits the Hale Huakaʻi will have the opportunity to learn how the ancient Hawaiians immersed themselves within their environment.

Hale Huaka‘i will be open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Sunday and will offer the following activities:

· Conch Shell Blowing For all ages, conch shell blowing is a complimentary activity teaching guests the use and history of the pū, or conch shell. In ancient times, the sound of the pū signaled the approach of Hawaiian royalty or the arrival of a voyaging canoe from a faraway land. A beach alaka‘i demonstrates basic pū skills and a contest is held where participants take turns to see who can blow the longest or loudest.

· Stand Up Paddle Board Lessons The lesson begins with a discussion on the origin and history of paddle boarding and its rapid growth in popularity around the world. From there, guests receive instruction for the proper use of the paddle, placement of feet and tips for managing ocean conditions. Guests are accompanied by a beach alakaʻi, who provides further guidance and instruction while also offering interpretation on the natural and cultural history of the Hawaiian Islands. The cost begins at $87 per person for a group class (six person maximum) and $105 for a private lesson (two person maximum).

· Snorkel Smart Pool Lessons and Beach Walk Ideal for beginning snorkelers, a complimentary class provides guests with skills and pointers that will help make their first underwater experience enjoyable and safe. A beach alaka‘i will organize pool games using a mask and snorkel to further develop skill and confidence.

· ‘Ohe Hanu ʻIhu (nose flute) In a complimentary session for all ages, guests will learn how to play the bamboo nose flute, a popular instrument that accompanies Hawaiian music and hula practitioners. Originally, the nose flute was used to communicate private messages between romantic partners. By the end of the session, guests will be able to play a short melody of their own composition

· Hula and Haka Guests are invited to learn the art and history of hula through complimentary hands-on guidance and instruction to learn basic foot movements and gestures while also understanding the meanings of each motion. At the end of the class, guests will have learned to perform a hula dance telling a story about Hawaii’s ocean environment. Men can learn the haka, another form of hula, once used in ancient times to challenge or intimidate one’s enemy.

The staff will consist of one kupuna (elder), who will guide the entire staff in authentic cultural practice, and three to four beach alakaʻi, who will bring each cultural program to life.

“The ocean experience at Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel will change the way visitors perceive Hawaiian waters and the way to enjoy it,” said Po‘okela & Ho‘okipa Training Director Dee Coyle. “Our Hale Huakaʻi Alakaʻi is here to promote adventure, encourage relaxation and create memories, all conveniently located in one beach hale. E komo mai; come meet the beach alakaʻi!”

Semi-private cabanas are located on a lawn area overlooking the beach and are available for rental at the Hale Huaka‘i on a first-come, first-served basis.

Guests can enjoy Maui’s sunny beach at the day rate of $35 for non-guests and $30 for hotel guests.

Water sport equipment is also available at the Hale Huaka‘i and includes snorkel sets (mask, snorkel, fins) starting at $12, boogie boards starting at $10 and stand-up paddle boards from $25 for the first hour and $15 each additional hour.

To learn more about Hale Huakaʻi or the hotel, go online or call (808) 661-0011.

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