The tagline for Waikoloa Beach Resort is “The Gathering Place of the Kohala Coast,” and it is well earned. With more shops, restaurants, and cultural activities than anywhere else along the stretch of coastline from the airport to Kawaihae, there really is a lot going on at Waikoloa.
Over the years everything from taping television’s “Wheel of Fortune” to concerts by world-renowned musicians; and from culinary festivals to professional golf tournaments have been staged at Waikoloa Beach Resort.
But the resort is also a place where families can spend quality time together, play together, and create lasting memories.
“Waikoloa was designed with kids and families in mind,” says Scott Head, vice president operations. “The vision of the developers more than 40 years ago was to create a place where families could relax, recreate, and enjoy each other’s company while discovering the wonders of the Hawaiian culture.
We have preserved and enhanced that vision over the years, and there is a lot more still to come. As we evolve into the next phases of our development, we are very proud to offer such ties to our rich past. Waikoloa is really very unique on Hawai`i Island, as it is in the entire state.
“The range of activities we offer is what sets us apart,” Head says. “From learning to dance hula to a trek through historic petroglyph fields, Waikoloa Beach Resort offers something fun for everyone. You can even arrange a helicopter tour to fly over the lava flow at Kilauea … now that’s an experience everyone remembers.”
CELEBRATE JULY 4TH
One long-running event that brings smiles to faces is the annual Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race, held on July 4 at Kings’ Shops. This year, more than 10,000 “bathtub cuties” will be competing for victory for their adoptive owners, with the first 50 finishers and the last place duckie winning prizes, which include resort stays, rounds of golf, gift baskets, and more. It’s all for a great cause, as all proceeds benefit United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawai`i.
In addition to the Rubber Duckie Race, Kings’ Shops will offer a full day of fun. There will be a watermelon eating contest, shave ice eating contest, music, a magic show, and lots of food and shopping. Expect much the same at the Queens’ Marketplace, where live music, face painting, fun food, and entertainment will be taking place.
Food is always a highlight at Waikoloa Beach Resort. No matter how good the beaches, how fun the golf, how colorful the sunsets, if the food isn’t great, you might not return to a given destination. Indeed, memorable cuisine adds greatly to a memorable vacation, and in Hawai`i, dining is one of the true pleasures of your stay.
For guests staying at Waikoloa Beach Resort, delightful cuisine is easy to find and not far away. There are more than 30 dining options scattered throughout the resort, serving everything from deliciously prepared and exceedingly fresh seafood to pizzas and burgers to local-style barbecue to ethnic favorites. Venues range from sit-down meals in scenic settings, to graband- go snacks and tasty fast foods.
IN TUNE WITH THE ISLANDS
Music and dance tell you as much about the people, culture, and traditions of a place as any guidebook ever could. In Hawai`i, it is the hula dancers, ‘ukulele and guitar players, and the falsetto singers who reflect the cultural depth and poetic soul of the Hawaiian Islands. At Waikoloa Beach Resort, the beautiful sounds and sights of island-style music and dance are seen and heard every day of the year.
Events over the years have included the annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival and the Kindy Sproat Falsetto competition, both of which brought some of the best musicians and singers in the state for performances and workshops, while special concerts throughout the year have included bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, or America.
And of course hula, which has become beloved around the world, is regularly seen at Waikoloa Beach Resort, as talented local halau showcase their talents, including several keiki troupes. As with the dancers, the musicians who have performed at Waikoloa over the years enthusiastically share their music with resort guests.
John Keawe, for instance, is a slack key guitar player from Hawi in the North Kohala district of the Big Island who has toured throughout the state and the Mainland U.S., but says he particularly relishes his regular performances at Waikoloa.
“My songs are very reflective of life on the Big Island,” Keawe says. “When people hear me sing — particularly on songs such as “The Big Island … Is My Home” — I hope they get just a little better understanding of what a special place the Big Island is.”
The Inaugural Waikoloa Lei Day Festival
A festival to celebrate the art and history of lei making in Hawaii On May 1, in celebration of the Waikoloa Lei Day Festival, the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa hosted lei making workshops, awarded five lei contest winners, and hosted 15 craft vendors on the hotel’s intimate Aka`ula Lanai. The lei making workshops focused on the history and technique of the haku lei and the wili lei. These two workshops were fully attended by guests and the local community, with some participants even entering their final product in the day’s lei contest.
Kyndra Nakamoto, Miss Kona Coffee 2022, graced the crowd with a hula performance, while Katiana Amafala-Marquard, Miss Aloha Hawaii 2022, sang, closing Waikoloa Beach Marriott’s Lei Day Festival festivities. Proceeds from the Waikoloa Beach Marriott’s workshop registrations, contest entries, and vendor fees, will benefit the Visitor Industry Charity Walk.