Paradise! What do you think of when you hear that word? Paradise is a place of luxury, rest, relaxation, and fun. For many people, Hawaii is the definition of paradise. When you think of Hawaii, images pop into your head of sun, beach, and ocean. One of the most iconic beaches in Hawaii is Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu. Standing prominently in the center of the Waikiki strip is the beautiful Sheraton Waikiki. The Sheraton’s view of the beach and Diamond Head is featured in many vacationers’ photographs.
Sheraton Waikiki is part of the Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, a family-owned management company with six properties in Hawaii and California. Thelma Kehaulani Kam, Director of Cultural Services, started her journey into hospitality the day the Sheraton Waikiki opened in 1971. Thelma weaves mo’olelos, the Hawaiian word for myths, legends, and history, as she details the role of the Hawaiian people and the guests of Kyo-ya properties.
While the landscape and hotel have changed since 1971, bringing aloha to vacationers hasn’t. Sheraton Waikiki guests return year after year and become Ohana (family) with the team at the Sheraton. One family has visited every year for the last 36 years.
Wahi pana, the Hawaiian word for a very special place, describes the Sheraton Waikiki. Whether it is a vacationer from the mainland US, a foreign country, or a local Hawaii resident, it is a place to go, relax, rejuvenate, and hear the mo’olelos about the Hawaiian culture.