Traditional Hawaiian Blessing Marks Start of Hoʻomaka Hou (A New Beginning) Transformation Project

group of people in traditional garmets

On March 9, 2022, Fairmont Kea Lani hosted a gathering at the resort’s ʻŌhiʻa Grove to recognize the beginning of the Hoʻomaka Hou (A New Beginning) transformation project.

The Hoʻomaka Hou project represents a 12-month, multimillion-dollar transformation of the resort’s collection of suites and villas along with a redesigned lobby, new food and beverage venue and creation of an immersive and engaging cultural center.

aerial of fairmont kea lani

The scope of the Hoʻomaka Hou project goes far beyond the physical features of the reinvestment into the Wailea property. It marks a cultural renaissance for the resort where, led by a hui (group) of practitioners, Fairmont Kea Lani’s cultural heritage will come to life in new ways for colleagues and guests.

man standing in the ocean at sunset

The project begins with the reimagination of the 413 one-bedroom suites and 37 two-story villas to create luxurious spaces that evoke stories of pre-contact Maui and the ahupuaʻa (land division) of Palauea as well as the waterways of the ʻAlalākeiki and Kealaikahiki channels. These channels are the prime waterways connecting South Maui with the nearby island of Kahoʻolawe. In August, 2022, an impressive makeover to the grand entrance and lobby will commence. The design notes include dramatic water features symbolizing the moʻolelo (story) of Wai a Kāne, along with enhanced guest experience touchpoints and immersive gardens. Positioned as a conduit for sharing the vibrancy of Hawaiian culture, a dynamic and interactive Cultural Center will be positioned in the southwest area of the lobby. A brand-new expansive food and beverage venue will seamlessly transition from the lobby into a space of its own commanding arguably some of the best views of the resort.

a group of people doing a traditional Pōmaika‘i kūkulu kahua

The March 9th event opened with a traditional Pōmaika‘i kūkulu kahua, a Hawaiian protocol focused on blessing the foundation of the building with an eye towards the future. Led by resort cultural advisor, Kumu Kapono Kamaunu, the Pōmaika‘i kūkulu kahua began in the lobby with a blessing of the Pikai (water), Pa‘akai (salt) and Pūlo‘ulo‘u (ti leaf). Kumu Kapono Kamaunu was joined by two additional kahu (cultural leaders) and resort leaders in a procession across the entire 22 acre property from the four furthest corners of the resort to each guest floor corridor of the 450 key all-suite and villa resort.

traditional hawaiian drum blessing

Following the Pōmaika‘i kūkulu kahua, the kahu were joined by key project leaders representing Host and construction partners to acknowledge the connection and commitment being made together in the Hoʻomaka Hou project. This private ceremony was centered around understanding the importance of three Hawaiian values: Kuleana (right, responsibility, privilege), Laulima (cooperation, working together) and Mālama (to care for, to tend).

ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia. – No task is too big when done together by all.

-If everyone contributes to the task, it lightens the load. Ōlelo No‘eau # 142

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