Our Commitment to Cultural Authenticity

We did not become Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel overnight. For everyone at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, it’s been a long journey of growth and learning – one that’s taken years and much effort. We’re proud of the knowledge that we’ve gained, but more importantly, it’s given us a foundation of wisdom and a purpose for what we do.

Through this website, we hope to give you some insight into what it takes to put ho'okipa (hospitality) into practice. And how it translates into being "Hawaii's Most Hawaiian Hotel."

Why are we Hawaii's Most Hawaiian Hotel?

There are many reasons why we call ourselves Hawaii's Most Hawaiian Hotel. If you're interested in seeing our Top 12 List of why we are the “Most Hawaiian Hotel”, please click here.

Or see the entire list of 110 reasons to really understand our point.

In Hawaii, Kaanapali Beach Hotel (KBH) has been recognized as the “Most Hawaiian Hotel” by the Waiaha Foundation based on over 100 criteria. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has presented the “He Kuleana Ke Aloha” award to the hotel for demonstrating an ongoing responsibility, commitment and dedication to honoring and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture for generations to come. We are the only hotel to receive either of these honors.

Our staff of full-time Hawaiian cultural advisors and others continually offers their knowledge of Hawaii with guests by hosting 30 fun Hawaiian cultural activities with different options every day. Taking advantage of these complimentary offerings will assure that your visit to Hawaii will be most enriching and memorable.

KBH employees have been singing Hawaiian songs at our Ohana Welcome Breakfast to greet new guests on their first day. Then on Fridays, they sing again in the lobby, an ongoing tradition since our housekeeping department requested permission to do so back in 1991. And upon your departure, you will again be serenade at the Kukui Lei Ceremony when you will receive your very own kukui nut lei, making you an official member of the KBH family.

If you’re looking for Hawaiian entertainment, KBH has been featuring nightly Hawaiian music with hula for more than 20 years. And new in 2009, experience the joy of watching students from Maui halau (hula schools) who share their talents and enthusiasm for their culture in dance and song every Friday night. What’s even better, the entertainment is free - no cover charge, no drink minimum.

Each and every KBH employee truly enjoys sharing with our guests their wealth of knowledge of Hawaii’s history and culture enhanced by attending classes here on property. Since 1986, this hotel has been committed to education and preservation of the Hawaiian culture. On company time, employees have attended over 65 four-hour classes covering the many aspects of Hawaiian life.

Through landscaping, art and artifacts, the modest hotel surroundings provide a relaxed and true Hawaiian atmosphere reflecting our ultimate respect for Hawaii’s natural resources. If you are looking for the heart, warmth and authenticity of Hawaii, KBH will fulfill that Hawaiian dream. KBH has never been a “brass and marble” hotel and you won’t find Asian art or foreign exotic animals here.

Traditions are created and sustained at KBH. Since 1990, the hotel has sponsored and hosted Hula O Na Keiki, a signature youth solo hula competition that hosts halau (hula schools) from all over the world. The annual event is held during the month of November and is presided by a panel of noteworthy and famed hula judges. It is a weekend of hula, arts and crafts, entertainment and lots of fun for everyone.

KBH constantly strives to be better at being Hawaiian. Unlike other hotels, we observe the traditional Hawaiian Makahiki throughout a season, not just a day event. Starting with the rise of the Pleiades, all employees pledge to manufacture traditional Hawaiian implements in the most authentic form. By the time Pleiades wanes into another season, the handiwork of each employee is complete and ready to be presented in a colorful pageantry of Hawaiian protocol. 100% of all employees participate in this annual tradition.

Nationally, KBH has been named to the National Geographic Travelers magazine “Stay List” of the 150 most authentic and sustainable resorts in North America, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. TravelAge West Magazine and a vote by travel agents recognized KBH as the “Best Resort for a Hawaiian Cultural Experience.”

This hotel is operated by local-born and native Hawaiian management teams. Our General Manager and 90% of the other members of the Executive Committee were born and raised in Hawaii and 50% are Native Hawaiians. In other words, your Hawaiian experience is guaranteed to be authentic starting from the top.

In a truly Hawaiian way, we have long respected the need to conserve and protect the natural resources of Hawaii and have done our part. Along with other efforts, we have been recycling for more than 22 years, and KBH uses 60% less electricity per room than the average used by Maui’s 15 largest hotels.

Sharing and giving is a Hawaiian philosophy of life. Making the community a part of the KBH family is a responsibility that goes beyond the hotel property. KBH is an active provider of donations, manpower, fund raising, and advisory leadership in the Maui Community as well as in state of Hawaii programs and initiatives. Hospitality is a sense of duty that reaches beyond the boundaries of our hotel. In recognition of our community efforts KBH was named the 648th Point of Light by President George H. W. Bush.