Outrigger marks return of Kaua‘i Beach Resort with traditional Hawaiian ceremony

by Ruth Hogan

Outrigger Resorts and Hotels has welcomed Kaua‘i Beach Resort and Spa back to its portfolio with a special ceremony held at the property recently to mark the change of ownership.

Located in the picturesque town of Līhu‘e, the 25-acre beachfront property was first managed by Outrigger in the 1990s.

Enhancements will be made to the 350-room resort to improve the experience for both Outrigger’s employees and guests.

A traditional Hawaiian Blessing was led by Kumu Blaine Kamalani Kia – who started his career with Outrigger 25 years earlier at this resort – and included a “mele kāhea” chant, asking permission for to return to this special place and was reciprocated by a “mele komo” chant of acceptance and invitation.

A moment of silence was observed for the sister island of Maui, where wildfires caused mass devastation last month.

“Outrigger feels the heartache of the Maui fires deeply; many of our employees lost their homes and loved ones,” said Outrigger Hospitality Group President and CEO, Jeff Wagoner.

“But in times of sorrow, there is a certain healing in embracing new beginnings and being intentional to lift people up. [The] tying of the maile lei was about bringing people together, not only here, but across Hawai‘i and across the world – it is an important symbol for us to be able to link ourselves together and move on into the future.”

“It’s that unity of coming together – like no like, kekahi i kekahi – one with each other, and trying to make sure that we raise our consciousness in the aloha spirit,” Kumu Blaine Kia shared.

“I feel strongly, without a doubt, that Outrigger Resorts and Hotels carries that spirit… that I want to make sure we sustain and perpetuate for many generations.”