Keauhou Beach Resort introduces new cultural program

26 Mrz 2010 [12:02h]     Bookmark and Share

Hotel guests, visitors and local residents are invited to participate for free.

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII – Keauhou Beach Resort is pleased to announce a new ongoing cultural program with daily activities that are free and open to hotel guests and the public. The resort’s recently launched Huaka`i department offers a multitude of opportunities for people to immerse themselves in the history, culture and landscape of the area. Property tours, Hawaiian language classes, ancient Hawaiian games, lessons in hula `auana (modern) and hula kahiko (ancient), lei making, ukulele lessons, arts and craft demonstrations by area kupuna (elders), and monthly arts and craft fairs are some of the regularly scheduled free activities that are available to hotel guests, visitors and local residents.

According to general manager, Paul Horner, “Keauhou Beach Resort is truly a special place. Not only do we overlook some of the most beautiful tide pools and coral reefs in all of Hawaii, our resort offers a unique slice of Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage with many sacred sites and native artifacts found right here on our grounds.”

Guiding the hotel’s new Huaka`i department is cultural director Kumu Keala Ching, a well-known Hawaiian cultural educator, composer, song writer, and spiritual advisor to many Hawaiian organizations. Kumu Keala is also a recognized kumu hula (hula teacher/director), having trained under the guidance of hula masters such as the late Darrel Ihi`ihilauakea Lupenui and Loea Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett.

Kumu Keala is fluent in the Hawaiian language, which he uses as the foundation for all of his teachings. A practitioner of Ho`oponopono (an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness), Kumu Keala is also a graduate of the University of Hawaii, Manoa with a degree in early childhood education.

“The story of Keauhou is a rich and sacred one,” says Kumu Keala. “I am thrilled to have the privilege of guiding the Keauhou Beach Resort’s new cultural program and providing our guests and visitors with a deeper connection to our land and its people through a full schedule of hands-on activities and property tours. I truly believe once people have had the opportunity to learn more about the history, culture and landscape of this very special place, they will return to their own homes with a better understanding and more complete appreciation of Hawaii.

Daily activities include a morning property tour, Hawaiian language and lei making sessions, ancient Hawaiian games and beginning hula.

In ancient times, the Keauhou area was known for its royal fishponds, freshwater bathing pools and as a landing site for canoes. Hawaiian royalty once lived and played in this area, and it is said women of the chieftain class would hold birthing rites at the Hapaiali’i Heiau, one of two ancient temples located on the Keauhou Beach Resort’s property, in order to instill great spiritual power within their children.

Nearby are two massive ku`ula stones, reputed to have been transported over a hundred miles from a neighboring island.  Early canoe-faring people believed that prayers and offerings left at such ku`ula stones would bring luck to their fishermen. 

The hotel grounds also include a replica of King David Kalakaua’s summer cottage, which was rebuilt on its foundation after the original home was destroyed in the mid-1900s.  Fresh water springs, believed to have once been used as bathing pools by members of Hawaii’s royal families, surround the area.  Native plants including kukui, niu, kou, noni, hala and ki are landscaped throughout the resort.

All this and more can be found at Keauhou Beach Resort. Currently the hotel is offering rates beginning at $139 per night for a partial ocean view, which includes a complimentary self-service full breakfast buffet daily for all hotel guests, plus complimentary Internet access.


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