Since 1947, Outrigger has shared the
“spirit of aloha” with our guests to Hawai‘i
and throughout the world. In honor of
Outrigger’s 70th anniversary, we’re o;ering
over TRIPLE Outrigger Expert Agent
Reward Points for stays at our beautiful
resort properties on iconic Waik;k; Beach.
O;er valid for quali;ied stays of 5 or more nights at Outrigger Reef
Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. Book by
12/31/17 for stays through 3/31/18.
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to receive exclusive offers and benefits,
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FAM invitations and booking bonuses.
fake and won’t settle for an experience that
intentionally misleads guests into a false
view of Hawaii. I take that into account
when creating experiences, and instead of
creating a new world for them, I try to bring
them into my world.
Q:What cultural offerings/activities does the Grand Wailea offer?
A:We offer daily, weekly, monthly and an- nual activities. Weekly, I lead a cultural
walking tour that is less a scripted tour and
more an opportunity to discuss Hawaiian
culture and history alongside taking into
view amazing Hawaiian art, viewplanes and
native concepts. I do this every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Our keiki center, the Rock
and Camp Grande offer daily activities for
children of all ages to do lei making, fish
identification and all sorts of other cultural
activities. We have a great Hawaiian outrigger canoe experience that takes people out
onto the ocean to learn concepts of Hawaiian sustainability, Hawaiian chant and how
to responsibly view native marine life. May
Day and Kamehameha Day are an opportunity to celebrate different parts of Hawaiian culture through lei and flowers and the
honoring of our Mo’i Kamehameha with
hula, chant and offerings of lei.
I also create events and activities centered around the Kaulana Mahina, the
Hawaiian calendar system. My favorite is the Malama dinners done by myself and Mike Lofaro, chef de cuisine at
we brainstormed an idea to do a monthly
dinner based on the Hawaiian moon calendar. We looked at the lunar month and
the moon phase for that time period. We
researched what was available to fish, hunt
and gather based on the traditional cycles
and ancient environmental protections and
then weaved a story through each dish that
brought the diner into our world. We did
the dinners on a Thursday and would take
the whole work week prior to actually go
out and dive for fish, gather from farms and
hike into the mountains to pick ingredients
for the dinner.
Q:What are you seeing in other segments of the travel industry, such as with tour
A:I remember seeing a survey from an in- ternational travel magazine that rated
the top two reasons people travel as culture
and adventure. I think we absolutely have
the ability to provide that to guests to these
islands and to do so in a way that reshapes
the dominant narrative about Hawaii, al-
lows our people to tell our own stories and
empowers our people to take great pride in
ourselves, our culture, our history and our
future. Almost all operators I see today are
trying to find ways to better incorporate au-
thentic Hawaiian culture into what they do.
Some are doing this better than others, but
the desire and the demand are there. The
combination of having an educated guest
base, an empowered local community and
proactive, responsible businesses is a win-
win for our islands.
Q:What does the future hold for cultural ambassadors?
A:From my perspective, having a posi- tion such as this is not the end goal. It
is a stopgap in the journey toward a truly
culturally integrated Hawaiian hospitality
industry. My dream is that there will be a
time when we do not need cultural ambas-
sadors for hotels in Hawaii. We will not
need them because the hotels will be large-
ly owned and operated by people from and
with knowledge of Hawaii and Hawaiian
culture. … I look forward to a time when
my position is no longer needed. For now,
positions like this, executed well, are criti-
cally important to the industry in order to
maintain cultural correctness and factual
consistency as well as infusing and inte-
grating Hawaiian culture into every aspect
of hotel operations.
Kainoa Horcajo, cultural ambassador of the Grand Wailea.