Maui News

Grand Wailea Opens Pālaha Hawaiian Cultural Center

February 8, 2020, 6:45 AM HST
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Grand Wailea Opens Pālaha Hawaiian Cultural Center

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, celebrated the opening of its new Pālaha Hawaiian Cultural Center.  The center aims to provide an immersive environment for Hawaiian learning, lifestyle and connection.

Pālaha will host daily cultural experiences and showcase cultural works of art alongside collections of pre and post-contact artifacts on a rotating basis.

“For the first time since opening our doors in 1991, Hawaiian Culture has a physical home here at Grand Wailea,” said Kainoa Horcajo, Director of Culture at Grand Wailea. “In ‘olelo Hawai‘i, Pālaha means to spread out, encompass, to share far and wide. From here, culture spreads and permeates throughout the resort and beyond, hosting authentic experiences for guests, integrating and enhancing culture within every department, and encompassing connections into the greater Maui community.”

Pālaha currently boasts the Nā Aloha ‘Āina portrait series by renowned artist Guillem “Avi Molinas” Bort, depicting in great detail and grand opulence, portraits of our Hawaiian royalty and significant figures in history. Complementing the portrait collection are select artifacts on loan from the Hale Ho‘ike‘ike at the Bailey House Museum, including the Dr. Arthur C. Rothrock Oak Bench, a replica of a traditional Chief’s helmet and weapons, and an actual pre-contact Lei Niho Palaoa, one of five in existence from Maui.

“Hawaiian culture and the perpetuation of our ways is not just what defines us and makes us unique in all the world, it is what sustains us,” said Horcajo. “We are honored and humbled to display such precious pieces and iconic portraits within Pālaha at Grand Wailea and beyond grateful to Avi, his ‘ohana, and Hale Ho‘ike‘ike for their partnership and trust.”


Pālaha’s doors officially opened on Feb. 6, 2020 with a Grand Opening reception and intention setting ceremony called Kukulu Kumuhana, led by the Grand Wailea cultural team and invited kumu. The center is open to guests Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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