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Hawaiian Culture

Step into the story of Hawaiʻi’s rich culture, steeped in fascinating customs, legends and lore. Learn ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language. Dance hula, the heartbeat of Hawaiʻi. Our one-of-a-kind cultural offerings are designed to facilitate a deeper connection between you and our beloved Hawaiian culture. This sense of connection is vital to understanding what it means to mālama (take care of) Hawaiʻi and as you embrace this sacred place we’re honored to call home.

 

Hula Leʻa Wale – Hula Lesson

Join us and learn the history of a dance that is the heartbeat of Hawai‘i.

close up of flowers for lei making

Haku Lei Making

Learn a traditional style of lei making and make yourself a beautiful lei to wear and enjoy, or present to a loved one.

Two men sitting and weaving palm fronds

Advanced Coconut Frond Weaving

Learn how to weave a bowl, platter, or purse with guidance from our Hui Holokai Beach Ambassadors. These are great keepsakes to take home and commemorate your trip to Hawai‘i Island.

man handling beehives

Aloha ‘Āina – Botanical, Chef’s Garden and Bees Tour

Come discover our chef’s garden, botanicals collection and four onsite hives containing 80,000 honeybees which produce raw, white, monofloral Kiawe honey—one of the rarest varieties in the world. This special tour features an in-depth exploration of several tropical plant species and is led by the property’s Director of Hawaiian Culture, Ka’iulani Blankenfeld who shares the Hawaiian legends and lore behind pollinator-friendly plants such as the naupaka. Learn how to care for the ‘aina (land) as it cares for us.

woman picking from the garden

Ulu Pono Garden Experience

An immersive experience in the property’s Chef’s Garden awaits. Join Fairmont Orchid’s Director of Hawaiian Culture, Ka’iulani Blankenfeld, on a special tour of the garden, and hear the stories of the plants and people that make Hawai’i Island so special. Learn about a variety of native plants and trees while harvesting fruits, vegetables and herbs. Taste select items & understand the importance of Hawaiian plants to our culture and culinary landscape.

Close up of hands stringing a plumeria lei

E Mau Nā Lei To Perpetuate the art of lei making Lei Making Series

Fairmont Orchid invites guests to learn the many styles of lei making during a series of classes hosted throughout the year. Lei is one of the most iconic images in Hawaiʻi. Each lei made and presented to honor a loved one or friend is a symbol of an unending continuum of love and aloha

family listening to a storyteller on the beach

Mo’olelo time – Storytelling on the Beach

Learn about the legends and lore of Hawai‘i Island.

two people walking towards a hut

Na Mea Waiwai O Milokūkahi - Cultural Walk

Mauna Lani Resort and Fairmont Orchid sit on ancient and spiritual land named Kalāhuipua‘a. Take a walk with our Hui Holokai to explore this storied place.

Kukui nut lei on towel

Kukui Kupe’e – Kukui Nut Jewelry Making

Make your very own kukui bracelet or anklet as you learn about our treasured kukui plant and all it provides.

Woman and man walking down hallway

Hawaiian Culture and History through Art

Tour the grounds of Fairmont Orchid with our Director of Hawaiian Culture and learn about unique Hawaiian history and cultural practices as you view art displayed on property.

woman playing with kids

‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i – Hawaiian Language Basics

Learn Hawaiian language basics to be able to pronounce the many Hawaiian places, street names and much more.

hands holding a pū΄olo (bundle or container)

Aloha Friday at Ahuakupuna

Join us to honor our kūpuna (ancestors) past and present in a moving ceremony.

Man standing by the ocean blowing a conch shell at sunset

Torch Lighting

Witness a time-honored tradition in Hawaiian culture as our Hui Holokai Beach Ambassadors light torches around the property at sunset each evening to signify the ending of another beautiful day in paradise.

Happening daily, this event begins at the hotel lobby terrace at sunset.

Fairmont Orchid

This luxury resort is just a short drive from top attractions, such as renowned beaches, Pololū Valley and much more.

Pool Shack

Before diving into our 10,00 square foot pool, check in here for towels, sunscreen and poolside cabanas.

Beach Shack

Perched right above Pauoa Bay, the Beach Shack is home to our Hui Holokai Beach Ambassador program. Check in here for your beach equipment rentals, morning canoe adventures and fishing excursions.

Mauna Lani Golf

Experience the award-winning 45-hole championship Mauna Lani Golf Course.

Hawai'i Tennis Center

Have some fun and improve your game at our 10-court, full-service Hawaiʻi Tennis Center.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Explore one of the most unique geological landscapes in the world at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. This magnificent park encompasses the summits of two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Filled with 150 miles of hiking trails and awe-inspiring sights for you to see, it’s definitely a must-see when visiting Hawai’i Island.

Liliʻuokalani Gardens

Stroll through historic downtown Hilo and you’ll find Lili’uokalani Gardens. Here you’ll find the largest, authentic Edo-style ornamental garden outside of Japan. The enchanting garden is named after Queen Liliuokalani who donated the original five acres of land to create a public park in 1907. If you’re plannig to spend a day in Hilo, the serenity of the gardens are sure to brighten your day/

Wailuku River State Park

Take a trip to Wailuku River State Park where you can bask in the beauty of its wondrous waterfalls and the mysterious boiling pots. The boiling pots are a succession of big pools connected by underground cascades whose waters appear to roll and bubble as if they were boiling. On misty mountains, you might even be able to see a rainbow under the reknowned Rainbow Falls (Waiānuenue) that is said to e the home of Hina, mother of the demigod Maui.

Manukā State Wayside and Nature Trail

Located within the Manukā Natural Area Reserve, you’ll find the Manukā State Wayside and Nature trail. Here hikers can enjoy trails leading through a forest of native Hawaiian plants and animals. taking in sights that comprise Hawai’i Island’s natural history.

Lava Tree State Monument

Stop by a unique sight at the Lava Tree State Monument and find molds of the tree trunks that were formed when a lava flow swept through the forested area in 1790. An easy trail, here you’ll have a chance to witness the work of Pele (the volcano goddess) and her lava garden.

Lapakahi State Historical Park

Immerse yourself into traditional Hawaiian culture at the Lapakahi State Recreation and Nature Trail. Here you’ll find a large area of ruins from an ancient Hawaiian fishing village in North Kohala along with a short one mile hike where you can view numerious artifacts. The name of the park, Lapakahi, means “single ridge” and refers to the ancient ahupuaʻa (land subdivision) that existed here some 600 years ago.

Kalōpa State Recreation Area and Nature Trail

Bring the family out for a nature hike at the beautiful Kalōpa State Recreation and Nature Trail. With a 0.7 loop trail, your family can delight in an easy walk that passes through a arboretum of Hawai’i’s native plants.

Mālama Trailhead

Enjoy a captivating hike through the Puakō Petroglyph Archaelogical Preserve at Malama trailhead. Take in spectacular views of the ancience Petroglyphs alongside the rocky shoreline of Holoholokai Beach Park. Hikers of all skill levels can enjoy the 1.38 mile trail at an elevation gain of 171 feet, meaning this will be a flat and simple walk throughout Hawaiian culture allowing you to soak in more of your surroundings.

Puakō Petroglyph Park

Take a short trip and visit the ancient Puakō Petroglyph Archaelogical Preserve. This sacred site features petroglyphs or kii pohaku, lava rock carvings etched into stone that date back to 1200 AD. Follow the designated viewing paths and gaze at the wonder of these historical carvings, taking in the cultural writings of early Hawaiians. Try to visit this area in the early morning or late afternoon for better lighting as the shadows add extra depth to the petroglyphs.

'Akaka Falls State Park

The trip might be short, but the payoff is big at this lush state park on northeastern Hilo Coast. It’s less than a half-mile and 75 feet up, and you’ll amble through bamboo, feathery ferns and wild orchids en route to two rushing waterfalls. Kahuna Falls measures 100 feet, while ‘Akaka is a classic chute falls blasting 442 feet down into the steep gorge and Kolekole stream. You’ll see why it’s the Big Island’s most famed cascade. This easy trek along a paved trail is ideal for families. Go on quieter weekdays before 11 am to see the sun lighting up the falls.

Pololū Valley Lookout

This enchanting, volcano-carved valley at the end of a quiet road really feels like a postcard of quintessential Hawaii. Take in what reviewers rank as one of the top Big Island panoramas: 500-foot-high cliffs of the northeastern coast carpeted in a velvety green, dramatic gulches and gorges, craggy rock outcropping silhouettes rising from the sea, grazing horses and breakers hitting the shore far below. Then descend the steep trail through the ironwood trees for about half an hour to the valley floor. Picnic on the black sand beach “at the end of the world,” as one reviewer calls it, and watch for humpbacks from December to March. Go early in the day and bring ample water. Stop in at the artsy town of Hawi on the way in or out.

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park

This history-filled coastal park situated on the lava flow has it all — petroglyphs, temples and historic settlements — plus it’s conveniently close the airport, making for a perfect departure day excursion. Take a guided tour or sign up for a special program spotlighting the engineering prowess of native Hawaiians. Explore cleverly constructed kaloko (fishponds) and four ahupuaʻa (mountain-to-sea land divisions in the traditional format), watching out for honu, Hawaiian green sea turtles, seals and native birdlife.

Kealakekua Bay

If you’re going to snorkel and scuba dive or kayak off the resort, do it here. This clear turquoise bay near Kailua-Kona is teeming with sealife — and considered the best snorkeling in all of Hawaii. Add to that the abundance of archaeological and historic sites, and it’s a day trip in paradise. Swim past spinner dolphins, healthy coral reefs, graceful manta rays and schools of colorful tropical fish. In addition to an ancient temple built for human sacrifice, Hikiau Heiau, see where Captain James Cook, the first westerner to arrive on the Islands, landed in 1778 — and was infamously killed just a year later.

Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park

Meet the royal Hawaiians — or at least get fascinating glimpses of how they once lived. In South Kona, this is a 180-acre park, once royal grounds, as well as a refuge for lawbreakers lucky enough to make it past the daunting black lava shoreline and seek asylum. See one of Hawaii’s most sacred historic spots on a self-guided walking tour: the immaculately restored Great Wall, kii (larger than life wooden carvings of gods), thatched work house, fish ponds and temple (heiau) housing the remains of the alii (chiefs), one of the park’s oldest remnants. Visit at sunset if you can.

Ohaiula/Spencer Beach Park

Snorkel and splash at this family beach, a popular sandy shore and great stop on your last day enroute to the airport. An outside reef provides shelter for calm waters, making this the west side’s best swimming spot for little ones. Picnic at a park pavilion or under the shade trees, barbecue up some fresh catch and walk to Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site and its famed 1810 war temple for a little educational touring. Also close is Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona), just a 30-minute drive north.

Holoholokai Beach Park

Read, nap, relax, repeat. Snap a few pictures. This rocky coast lined with black lava and white coral is a study in color contrasts. Serene and unusual, it’s small and intimate, with sea creature-filled tidepools and scenic walks. It’s also close to Fairmont Orchid. Bring a picnic and pair your beach day with a tour of some 3,000 ancient lava rock carvings at Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, just a short amble away.

Hapuna Beach Park

World renowned for good reason, this is the island’s biggest white-sand beach, known as one of its finest. But don’t worry, there’s lots of room to claim your spot on the soft sand with a good book or picnic basket, plus ample parking, facilities and a lifeguard. It’s vast: a half-mile long with clear aquamarine water, a continuous shore break and perennially sunny weather, plus views all the way to Hawaii’s Haleakala. Come for primo body-boarding, swimming and snorkeling. In winter and spring, look for migrating whales just off the shore. Arrive early to beat the crowds and lay your towel in the shade.

Anaehoomalu Bay

Sugary white salt-and-pepper sand and some of the Big Island’s loveliest pink and purple sunsets (on the southern side) are the draws of A-Bay, both quiet and family-friendly. The crescent-shaped strand is situated at Waikoloa Beach Resort in a calm bay optimal for swimming. Explore two ancient fishponds along the shore and watch for Hawaiian sea turtles. Rent boards, hydro bikes and kayaks. Scuba past blue parrot, trigger and puffer fish, windsurf, hike the area or nap on the sand. Bring a picnic.

Driving Distance: 1 minute
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