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History and Culture
The employees and management of the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani are proud to perpetuate the spirit and legacy of Hawaii's most beloved princess. Portraits of the princess from childhood to early adolesence adorn the walls of the lobby.
Princess Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaniuiahilapalapa Kaiulani
The only niece born to King David Kalakaua, Princess Kaiulani was welcomed into the world on October 16, 1875. The princess' parents were Princess Miriam Likelike (sister of King David Kalakaua) and Archibald Cleghorn, a Scottish businessman who would later become governor of Hawaii. The young princess grew up on an estate given to her by her godmother, Princess Ruth. At age 13, Kaiulani was sent from Hawaii to Northamptonshire, England for her formal education. A talented, articulate and beautiful young woman, the princess could converse fluently in French, German, English and Hawaiian. Kaiulani had a natural musical inclination, playing both the guitar and ukulele. The people of Hawaii were saddened by the untimely death of their beloved Princess Ka'iulani at age 23. Her legacy lives on today.
At the Gates of the Ainahau Estate
Princess Ka'iulani was bequeathed ten acres of land, called the Ainahau estate, by her godmother Princess Ruth. Kaiulani's father, Archibald Cleghorn, built a two-story house on this land for the princess that later become the social center of Waikiki. Over 500 royal palms were planted in honor of her birth. The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel now sits at the entrance to the site of the former Ainahau estate. Poet and author Robert Louis Stevenson was a family friend and frequent guest.
Hana Hoohiwahiwa O Kaiulani - October
Each year the hotel honors the legacy of Princess Victoria Kaiulani with a week of Hawaiian cultural activities held during the celebration of her birthday in mid-October. The hotel plans an arts and crafts fair, complimentary hula lessons, cooking demonstrations, ukulele lessons, performances by the Kaiulani Elementary School, live Hawaiian music and poolside performances each night and a traditional royal procession portraying King David Kalakaua, Queen Liliuokalani, Princess Kaiulani, kahili bearers, a conch shell blower and a chanter. The event has grown in popularity over the years and is now enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike.
As part of the Princess' birthday celebration, the hotel will also host the Annual Princess Kaiulani Keiki Hula Festival in the Ainahau Showroom. This popular festival showcases performances by keiki (children) ages five to 12 years old from halau (hula schools) on the island of Oahu. This non-competitive hula festival is open to everyone -visitors and local residents -and admission is free. Princess Kaiulani's birthday will be celebrated with a cake cutting ceremony on October 16.
Creation—A Polynesian Journey
The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani proudly presents Creation—A Polynesian Journey in the Ainahau Showroom. Discover the fascinating story of the Polynesian through an epic journey of song and dance. Take a trip back in time, as ancient worlds forged by the Ocean. Wind & Fire come to life in front of your very eyes. Experience unique cultures and traditions as Tihati Productions and award winning Kumu Hula (teacher) Anson Kamana‘o take you across the enchanting islands of the Pacific. Sit back, relax and get ready to be mesmerized. Dinner and cocktails shows are offered five nights a week, excluding Mondays and Wednesdays.
Hotel Location & Facilities
Design and Construction
Built by the Matson Navigation Company, the Sherato Princess Kaiulani hotel opened on King Kamehameha Day, June 11, 1955. Architectural firm Gardner A. Dailey F.A.I.A., designed the original hotel with 296 guest rooms. The Pacific Construction Company built the hotel for approximately $4.5 million. Matson later sold it to Japanese industrialist Kenji Osano in 1959. Another 210 rooms were added in 1960, followed by the 1970 opening of the 29-story Ainahau Tower, bringing the total number of rooms to 1,142.