OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger® — BY NIEL MASON
The Monkey is number 9 of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac and of the five elements, metal, water, wood, fire and earth, this year marks fire and is the 4713th Chinese year.
We are blessed in Hawai‘i with a long and deep-seated respect for culture and a sense of place and although a Chinese celebration, Chinese New Year was proudly celebrated by all nationalities represented by both hosts and guests!
At midday on Feb. 11, hosts joined guests outside the front of the hotel to take part in the celebration and the traditional lion dance; many offering gifts in red for good luck. The lion dancers then led guests up to the Princess Kaiulani conference room where they were met by many of our Chinese hosts offering a variety of traditional foods (including a whole pig), handmade ornaments and Chinese calligraphy and artifacts. This opportunity provided hosts and guests to talk casually together as friends. I was fortunate to catch up with three separate families who are all longtime return guests of the OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger® and all highly complimentary of our hosts and their amazing service delivery.
Mahalo to Executive Housekeeper Yuet Oy (Ella) Au for her leadership in this festive tradition and to all our housekeeping hosts for their participation. They are a wonderful reflection of our company mission in providing distinctive hospitality. Traditions and beliefs define us as individuals and I can think of no better way to celebrate than together with hosts and guests. Enjoy many more photos and videos on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OHANAWaikikiEast/.
At the Embassy Suites by Hilton™ – Waikiki Beach Walk® hosts were acknowledged for the many successes achieved in 2015, and Chinese New Year was the perfect theme as we look forward to a new year that will bring prosperity and good luck!
Laughter began with fun photo opportunities and escalated to the amazing Lion Dance performance at the luncheon’s conclusion.
Holiday Inn® Waikiki Beachcomber Resort — BY DEBBIE MURAKAMI
The Holiday Inn® Waikiki Beachcomber Resort (OBC) lobby was decorated in colors of red and gold to celebrate the Year of the Fire Monkey. Red Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling, and bamboo, palm fronds and colorful blossoms complemented tall golden vases. The festivities began at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 13, with delicious Chinese sweets sampling for our guests and hosts. Deep-fried and delicious jin dui filled with coconut or sweet bean paste signifying luck and fullness (large return on a venture and growing happiness) were a big hit. Candied coconut, strawberry, mango and sweet potato representing a sweet start in the coming year were also very popular.
Calligrapher Chuck Tsui and his wife Eva were on hand producing fai chun (lucky red paper) for success, prosperity, health or whatever you were looking forward to in 2016.
The highlight of the event was the exciting lion dance by the Sing Yung Dragon and Lion Dance Association. The crowd eagerly gathered in the porte cochere with their red lai see envelopes to feed the lions to the sound of pounding drums.
Mahalo to Alan Naito and the hard working OBC staff, the Sing Yung Dragon and Lion Dance Association, Andy Chan from Island Jewelry and all the tenants that participated. Special thanks to volunteers Virgi Asakawa, Evelyn Garcia, Randall Morisako, Gerry Daez, Natalie Caceres, Taryn and Chris Iokepa and daughter Krislyn, Jennifer Frias and daughter Rorie, Michael Feng, Patrick Concepcion, Lauren Yamamoto and Parker Murakami.
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort — BY LUANA MAITLAND
Mahalo to our retail partner Andy Chan from Island Jewelry for hosting the “Chinese Lion Dance Association” at several Outrigger properties. They snaked their way around Waikīkī wowing visitors, guests and hosts.
As is tradition, the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort shops, restaurants, guests and hosts take to the tradition of Chinese New Year, a time to honor one’s ancestors and to celebrate the arrival of the new year.