A traditional Hawaiian blessing with pule, or prayer, and untying of a maile lei were held along with an awa ceremony with Native Hawaiian community members and leaders along with stakeholders and hotel officials. At least 100 people, including politicians, resort staff and community members, attended the private blessing. The cultural blessing ties into the hotel’s commitment to Hawaiian culture as it intertwines the use of local Hawaiian art and other features throughout the resort into its decor, programs and food.
Maui’s newest resort, the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas in Lahaina, is a charming mix of the new and the old. Located on 16 acres of Maui’s north Kaanapali Beach, the design and overarching theme of this recently opened retreat reflects all things aloha and ohana. While these condo-like rooms are a perfect retreat from the sun, visitors may also choose to spend their time lounging by the lagoon-style pool or dining at the resort’s two main eateries, Inu and Mauka Makai. The courtyard, which was designed to resemble Hawaii’s ancient land division system called an ahupuaa, has beautiful waterfalls and a wide-range of Native Hawaiian vegetation.
At the heart of the resort lobby is tiled artwork in the floor depicting the piko, which hotel officials said represents Hawaiian ancestors and ties to Hawaiian genealogy. In the ceiling and in the four pillars in the lobby are wooden designs depicting hina’i, or the ancient Hawaiian fishing basket, which represents the collection of stories from ancestors.
“It’s our kuleana to share those stories now to those that come to visit us,” he added. “When they leave, they have a better understanding of Maui and our culture.” – The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas General Manager, Chris Rabang