Royal Hawaiian has spectacular reopening


POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More than 1,000 guests attended a spectacular reopening of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel Saturday night, complete with celebrities, fireworks and much entertainment that drew mainland and much local media coverage. The reopening of the 82-year-old hotel followed a $60 million renovation. Tickets ranged from $350 each to $10,000 for a table of 10. It was a benefit for the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific. Louis Vuitton partnered with the Royal in the opening celebration. A big thanks goes out to Royal owner Kyo-Ya for buying the property in 1974 and keeping the Hawaii treasure low rise. Royal General Manager Kelly Hoen said, “;We wanted the Pink Palace of the Pacific to have a glorious new debut and to recapture her place as one of the world's most captivating resorts.”; Ko Miyataki, president of Rehab Foundation, said, “;It was an incredible celebration, the celebration of the century. Rehab is totally honored to be the recipient of this historical event.”;

BesideS the Monarch Room, tables were set up for guests on the front lawn and poolside. Taiki Busk took good care of older folks, longtime Royal regulars, in the new Azure Restaurant. Entertainmentwise, Grammy-nominated trumpet player Chris Botti performed in the Monarch Room. He brought a guitarist and wahine singer with him and local musicians made up the rest of the combo. Another highlight was 101-year-old Bill Tapia, who performed at the opening of the hotel in 1927. He played uke and sang at the new pool. He was followed by young guitarist-singer Makana, 23. How about that for the old and the new! Two Iona Pear Dancers graced lotus blossom floats in the pool. Ginai was tearing it up on a stage and dancefloor that were set up on the beachfront lawn. Fireworks were launched from the ocean ...

Hawaii Theatre Center is happy to report that its third Chinatown Chase Feb. 28 drew 400 participants and topped its goal of $50,000. Teams of 10 raced through Chinatown as they tried to solve riddles and complete silly stunts such as putting on an improv act at the new Laughtrack Theatre within a one-hour deadline in order to win a team prize. From ladies of the night to men in tights, some of the costumes were as wild as the team names such as Hu Flung Dung, Chinatown Tail Chasers, Team Cha Ching and Crouching Cookie Hidden Fortune. The team from CB Richard Ellis, the Tiananmen Ten, earned top honors and a one-night stay at The Lodge at Koele. Dustin Sellers of ProService Hawaii and his wife, Lisa, co-chaired this year's Chinatown Chase. Dustin said a highlight for him was getting to play the drums with Sunway and her band. For the second year in a row, Honolulu Magazine's Single Ladies and the Dance Biscuits, with men in tights, took home the Red Thong Award for best interpretation of the spirit and theme of the event, “;Red Light, Red Carpet”; ...