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March 27, 2009updated Feb 07, 2013

The Royal Hawaiian Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, ushered in a new era of luxury with a gala celebrating the property’s majestic history and illustrious reopening. Orchestrated by master event planner David Beahm, the night featured entertainment by Grammy® nominated trumpeter Chris Botti, celebrity appearances by Heather Graham, Hayden Panettiere, Justin Long, Lt. Andy Baldwin (ABC’s “The Bachelor”), Darin Brooks (“Days of our Lives”), Chris Kemoeatu from the Super Bowl Champion Steelers, and Michael Emerson and Daniel Dae Kim (ABC’s “Lost”). The gala, a benefit in support Hawaii’s only acute-care medical rehabilitation organization—the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific Foundation (REHAB)—also featured an extraordinary two-part exhibit curated by Louis Vuitton: The Luxe Voyage suite and Evolution of Travel timeline. The exhibits featured vintage photographs of travel throughout the 1900s as well as antique Louis Vuitton trunks and accessories alongside the classic and still current merchandise.

The gala event opened with a captivating traditional hula by Tihati Dancers, and was followed by a historic performance by Bill Tapia, a 101-year-old ukulele player who performed at the original grand opening gala of The Royal Hawaiian in 1927! A progression of culinary delights and handcrafted libations flowed throughout the property as live lotus blossoms bloomed in the pool (Iona Contemporary Dance Theater). Chris Botti, and his nine-piece band, played two incredible sets, and the Ka’ala Boys and Makana continued the night’s live entertainment.

“The night was an overwhelming success,” says General Manager Kelly Hoen. “We were honored by the many returning guests and friends that attended and helped us celebrate the new Royal Hawaiian. The Pink Palace holds a special place in the history of Hawaii, and we could not more thankful for the community’s support as we re-imagined and reopened the resort.”

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