Waikīkī, Home to Keepers of Tradition


Photo: Luana Maitland

By Luana Maitland

NaHHA would like to share a feature from one of our Lamakū Hoʻokipa, our Beacons of Hospitality, who are making a positive impact through the value of mālama and as a contributing member of the Native Hawaiian community.

Waikīkī, Hawaiʻi’s largest tourist destination and home to the majority of Oʻahu’s hotels, is not often thought of as a place of genuine Hawaiian culture. However, at Outrigger, it is our mission to keep Hawaiian culture and traditions alive for visitors and kamaʻāina alike through music, dance, and traditional practices.

Thanks to Outrigger’s steadfast commitment to uplifting cultural significance, I hold an extraordinary role for this industry; one that is completely dedicated to sharing my Hawaiian culture with my colleagues, visitors and kamaʻāina.

I can say from personal experience that this company goes the extra mile to care for people and place because it gave me the opportunity to remain here in Hawaiʻi and share my passion for our culture without tacking it on to another role or additional scope of work. From the start, this company sought to introduce cultural programming across its properties, rooting them in Hawaiian culture. It has incorporated Hawaiian-rooted design in alignment with cultural partners such as the Bishop Museum and has constructed cultural centers at keystone properties like the Outrigger Reef Waikīkī Beach Resort.

For the last decade, Outrigger has allowed me to share my manaʻo and passion for Hawaiian culture across the portfolio of its properties. It has allowed me to extend my services beyond my corner of the Outrigger Reef Waikīkī Beach Resort, to all Outrigger properties.

I came into my current position as area director of cultural experience because I have dedicated my life to being of service, having held various positions in the visitor industry, from reservationist to customer service to sales. Growing up, I learned about the importance of preserving the traditions passed down from my relatives and ancestors thanks to my grandmother who always shared her stories and taught me about my heritage.

I truly appreciate Outrigger’s dedication to uplifting my home and the host culture of these islands. I hold a special place in my heart for Outrigger properties here on Oʻahu, and I have the utmost confidence that our authentic aloha spirit permeates through all properties.

Here at the Outrigger Reef Waikīkī Beach Resort, we are the home of nightly Hawaiian music at Kani Ka Pila Grille and we pay homage to the birthplace of surfing through our multi-platform Surfers in Residence program. And at all our hotels we offer ʻukulele lessons, hula, and lei-making workshops.

It is a privilege to lead programming like this because I get to breathe new life into traditions that have been passed down through my family and community. It may look different to others, but I find beauty in the nuances of our culture.

Luana Maitland is the area director of cultural experience at Outrigger Reef Waikīkī Beach Resort, and Kani Ka Pila Grille. She leads a team that focuses on perpetuating cultural traditions at the Aʻo Cultural Center and Herb Kane Lounge, immersing guests in culturally rich educational opportunities. For more information, contact luana.maitland@outrigger.com