Archive for the ‘Kauai Poipu Beach Accommodations’ Category
Sunday, January 19th, 2014
How an Escape to Kauai Can Improve Your Health
Did you know that just the thought of an upcoming vacation can be beneficial to your health? Picturing a gentle tropical breeze and the sights and sounds of dazzling turquoise waters can instantly bring a smile to anyone’s face, reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
The opportunity to slow down and get away from the chaos of everyday life is likely to leave you feeling refreshed and reenergized and ready to face the world when it’s time to go home. Kauai is known as the best of the best when it comes to an idyllic spot for relaxing, yet you’ll also find outstanding opportunities for hiking and other physical activities to help improve both your physical and emotional health.
Kauai offers a much slower pace of life as compared to the mainland, while here many visitors rediscover what’s really important in life, and bring a more relaxed attitude back home.
Getting away from a fast paced life has the power to melt away stress and fatigue. If you’re feeling frantic and frazzled, take time to de-stress with a holiday on Kauai.
When was the last time you sat back and watched a spectacular sunset, without a care or worry in the world? On the Garden Isle, you can take time to feel the sand between your toes, take in the magnificent scenery and remember what truly living life is all about.
Spending time outdoors in a beautiful place offers a wide range of stress reducing benefits that can support heart health, reduce anxiety and lift away clouds of depression.
By visiting one of the many outstanding spas on the island, you can enhance relaxation even more with a massage or a variety of healing treatments.
Of course with the wide range of opportunities for activities here, Kauai also provides an incredible setting in which to spark inspiration for getting physically fit, or to improve current fitness levels. There are numerous hiking trails that wind throughout the island, with treks suitable for just about every level of fitness. Here, the reward for the effort is often unsurpassed when it comes to breathtaking views.
There is an twelve foot wide oceanside path on the west side of the island (Kapaa), that continues to expand its reach each year. You can walk or bike the mostly flat path, that includes covered picnic pavilions with breath taking views of the ocean. You’ll want to rent a bike with a basket to bring along your picnic lunch and several bike rental shops are located along the path.
Other land activities include bike riding, horseback riding and even yoga on the beach. Of course, taking advantage of the warm waters that surround Kauai is practically a must. There are numerous fun activities that also promote fitness, including kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling, surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving and more.
Delicious, nutritious foods
You don’t have to worry about blowing your diet here; there are many delicious and healthy food options on Kauai. Of course you’ll find an abundance of fresh seafood, as well as heavenly fresh fruits like mangos, sugarloaf white pineapples, sunrise and strawberry papaya, rose and mountain apples, rambutan, mangosteens, litchis, guava and more. You’ll also find a number of markets and cafés that specialize in healthy, organic foods. You’ll also find many of these fruits at the farmers markets located around the island
Papaya’s Natural Foods is a family-owned store in Kapaa with a large natural selection. It features an organic salad bar as well as hot entrees, including vegan dishes. Living Foods Market in Poipu offers an expansive selection of organic, sustainable and locally grown produce as well as specialty gourmet foods and organic wine.
Who knew that a vacation could be so good for you?
Sunday, January 12th, 2014
Packing Essentials for Your Kauai Vacation
“What to pack?” is a question that is on the minds of almost every traveler. It’s an important part of any travel experience, no matter what the destination. There are few travelers who have ever returned from a vacation wishing their bags had been heavier, but what is really necessary for a holiday on Kauai?
The Garden Isle is a very casual, relaxed place. Unless you’ll be attending a wedding or part of the ceremony, there is no reason for ties, sports jackets or formal dresses.
There are several items that every Kauai vacationer should bring.
Sun and bug protection
In Kauai as well as throughout the Hawaiian Islands, sun protection is a must. The islands are located near the equator which means the sun can be intense, even on days that are cloudy. This includes a strong, water-proof sunscreen that is 30 SPF or higher, sunglasses and a light hat. Of course, these items are all available on the island, but they tend to be quite a bit pricier than they are on the mainland.
If you plan to hike – and you should with much of the island inaccessible by vehicle, bring a mosquito repellant that contains Deet.
Beach sandals or flip-flops are the standard footwear in the islands, including Kauai, although they are referred to as “slippers” here. For any serious hiking into the Island’s spectacular rainforest areas, hiking boots are also a necessity. You may also want to bring comfortable, casual walking shoes for exploring Kauai’s towns or taking a stroll on one of the scenic walking paths.
You should probably leave your high heels at home, the odds are they’ll just take up room in your suitcase and never be used. Blisters can quickly ruin a vacation and there is just way too much to see on this beautiful island. You shouldn’t chance wasting the opportunity to enjoy it all by ending up forced to stay off your feet.
If you plan to spend a lot of time in the water, bring at least two bathing suits. They don’t take up much room in the suitcase and this way you’ll have a dry suit to wear when the other is wet. You might want to spend time swimming or snorkeling in the ocean and then visit one of Kauai’s fabulous spas to take a dip in the pool or relax in a hot tub.
Pack light, comfortable clothing like shorts, sundresses and sleeveless shirts that allow the body to breathe in the tropical heat. Men might want to bring a polo shirt and khakis for going out at night as well. Bring one sweatshirt or light jacket and a pair of long pants for cooler, breezy nights. A light, long sleeve cover-up to wear when you feel like you’ve had too much sun is also a good idea.
A camera, of course, is a must. There are practically an endless amount of picture-perfect opportunities on Kauai. If possible, put it into your carry-on bag so that it’s easily accessible when you need it as well as in the rare chance that your luggage is lost. A pair of binoculars is handy for whale-watching and other wildlife viewing.
Sunday, December 15th, 2013
Hideaway Cove’s Big Kahuna Sleeps 14–An Ideal Space for Family Reunions, Wedding Parties and Large Groups.
When making the decision as to where to hold your family reunion, some of the things many people consider are the weather, the surroundings, available attractions or activities, and the type of accommodations available.
We might just have the perfect solution. The tropical climate of the Hawaiian Islands makes it an ideal destination for a family reunion any time of the year, and on Kauai’s stunning South Shore, there are a wide variety of adventures and activities to suit all ages and tastes. Of course you’ll also be surrounded by spectacular scenery including unsurpassed sunsets, picturesque beaches and dazzling turquoise waters.
When it comes to available accommodations, Hideaway Cove offers the ideal option for large groups with the 3,650 square foot “Big Kahuna.” This 5-bedroom, 4-bath ocean view vacation rental sleeps up to 10 in beds, or up to 14 with 4 additional aero beds. The unique feature not found in any other five bedroom vacation rental in Poipu, is that the Big Kahuna combines a 2300 sq. ft. three bedroom two bath upstairs with a 1650 sq. ft. two bedroom two bath downstairs by means of an internal staircase. Both the upstairs and downstairs also have entrances to the outside and can be rented individually as well.
This gives large groups the convenience and privacy of having four to six guests downstairs with their own master suite, kitchen, living and dining areas and outside covered lanai. Upstairs is much larger, so six to eight guests can sleep there while also enjoying their own master suite, kitchen, living and dining rooms.
The upstairs indoor dining table seats eight and the outdoor table seats six, so everyone can enjoy meals together. This arrangement provides two master suites, one with a Jacuzzi tub and the other with a deep soak tub and two shower heads–unusual features in a five bedroom home. Both living rooms have fifty inch HDTVs and there are HDTVs in all five bedrooms. They will never be any arguing here about who gets to watch which program.
The Big Kahuna is ideal for any group that wants to save money on accommodations and spend a little time together while still having room to spread out and enjoy some privacy.
Home away from home
The Big Kahuna offers a “home away from home” environment – much more comfortable than forcing everyone into individual stuffy hotel rooms. With two fully equipped kitchens completely stocked with everything you need, you can choose to save money on dining out by making your own meals too.
Of course, many celebrations include grilling out, and we haven’t forgotten that detail either with two BBQ gas grills. If the kids want to watch cartoons or a member of your party can’t miss that big game, there are no worries here with plenty of TVs for all.
Worried that with so many people there will be piles of dirty laundry that will need to be taken to the Laundromat or hauled back home? That won’t be a problem here, with a laundry room with two washers and dryers in the building, complete with detergent and fabric softener sheets.
With so many people finding it difficult to leave work behind these days, guests love that Hideaway Cove offers high speed wireless Internet at no extra cost as well as access to our business office 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A desk complete with supplies, computer, printer and fax machine are all available for use which is especially handy for printing boarding passes.
Centralizing your destination by having all family members stay in the Big Kahuna, or throughout Hideaway Cove’s property for larger parties, helps to promote the feeling of togetherness and reconnecting that reunions are all about. Being split up at a large resort or hotel defeats the purpose and usually costs more too.
Staying at Hideaway Cove is usually much less expensive than paying for individual rooms; here costs can be shared evenly and you’ll get a lot more amenities too.
Are you ready to include Hideaway Cove in your reunion, wedding or family vacation plans? Give us a call on our toll free line at 866-849-2426 and ask about availability.
Sunday, December 8th, 2013
Planning a Wedding on Kauai
The Garden Isle provides a spectacular setting for a wedding; it’s famed for its natural beauty as well as uncrowded, pristine beaches and breathtaking views. Many consider it to be Hawaii’s most romantic island, and with a ceremony here, you’ll be just steps away from an idyllic honeymoon too.
Getting married in the state of Hawaii is fairly simple. The easiest way to get started is to visit https://emrs.ehawaii.gov/ and complete the online application and make the $60 payment by credit card. The application is available for the issuance of a marriage or civil union license by an agent in the State of Hawaii for up to one year from the application date.
Once you’re on Kauai, you’ll visit one of the licensing agents on the island to obtain the license. Sandra and Alan Matsumoto are located in the Koloa District on the South Shore of Kauai, closest to Poipu Beach and can be reached at 808-332-7133. There are a number of agents throughout the island; a listing can be found on the government site.
When you’ve obtained your license, it’s good for 30 days. The only requirements for obtaining a marriage license is that both parties are 18 and older and are not more closely related than first cousins. Couples who are 15 to 17 years old can be married but must have proof of age as well as written consent of both sets of parents and written approval from the judge of the family court. Although Civil Unions are legal in Hawaii, currently couples of the same sex cannot yet marry in the state of Hawaii.
Planning the Ceremony
The great news is that Hideaway Cove offers accommodations that may be a great fit for the entire wedding party. Options include everything from studios to two-bedrooms and even a 5-bedroom, 4-bath, the “Big Kahuna.” If the entire property is booked with 24 guests, a tented reception can be provided onsite for up to 50 guests. A wedding planner is necessary, but there are many excellent choices available and staff at Hideaway Cove is happy to provide recommendations.
For those that prefer a simple ceremony on the sand, Hideaway Cove owners Herb and Gale Lee were married right on the beach on Kauai and are able to provide referrals for everyone and everything needed from the officiant to flowers, the photographer, and more. Some wedding parties have booked the entire property and decide to go to a luau instead of attending a rehearsal dinner; we’ve helped charter a bus for them. Others have had a ceremony right on the property, at nearby Plantation Gardens, or Beach House Restaurant followed by a reception at the prospective establishment.
Once the ceremony is over, you can relax and enjoy your honeymoon along with Kauai’s glorious sunsets, towering waterfalls that cascade down emerald-colored mountains, gorgeous beaches that sit at the edge of warm, turquoise waters, and much more.
Hideaway Cove also offers the ultimate honeymoon stay by ensuring that couples have an unforgettable and unsurpassed experience with rooms that include elegant furnishings as well as Jacuzzi tubs and rainfall showers, perfect for two.
What more could you ask for in a wedding ceremony and honeymoon on Kauai with a little help from Hideaway Cove?
Sunday, December 1st, 2013
Spas of Kauai
If you’re seeking a relaxing getaway you probably already know that Kauai offers the chance for the ultimate in relaxation, but treating yourself to a day, or more, at the spa can help heighten your tranquil experience while visiting the Garden Isle. Here you can enjoy treatments that are uniquely Hawaiian – something that you probably can’t do back home, and all among a spectacular tropical setting.
What better way to recharge and reenergize?
Three South Shore Favorites
The Anara Spa is widely known as the very best on the island. This award-winning day spa is located at the Grand Hyatt Resort, just a few minutes’ drive from Hideaway Cove. It’s the largest on Kauai, recently almost doubling its square footage to massive 45,000 square foot area, offering a wide range of Hawaiian healing therapies. There are nearly 70 different treatments available, from Lomi Lomi massage to an all-day package that include massage, a facial, wrap, lunch, and more.
The atmosphere is uniquely Hawaiian, combining island traditions with the soothing powers of nature resulting in the ultimate of relaxation. A fitness center, swimming pool, steam sauna, whirlpools, open-air lava showers and full-service salon are all available for guests to take advantage of.
The Spa at The Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort
Located at Poipu Beach, this luxurious spa offers five treatment rooms, including a romantic couples’ suite. It offers a peaceful atmosphere and a variety of relaxing massages, facials and wraps. Services can be provide at ocean side, in-suite or inside the spa.
There is a focus on using natural and indigenous ingredients like pineapple, seaweed, awapuhi root, coconut and Red Kauai clay.
Hawaiian Rainforest Spa
Also in Poipu Beach you’ll find the Hawaiian Rainforest Spa located inside Koloa Landing, A Wyndham Grand Resort. The Spa reflects the island’s geographic wonders and embraces a strong respect for the Aina, or land. A number of its signature treatments incorporate the Garden Isle’s indigenous botanical products. Treatments use purifying body glows combined with herbs as well as Hawaiian sea salts. A variety of massages are available, including the popular Lomi Lomi massage, aromatic foot baths, Swiss facials, and more.
On The East Side
This spa is located about 24 miles north of Poipu Beach in Kapaa. Here you’ll find a number of natural healing therapies, including the spa’s specialty, raindrop therapy, designed to positively transform mind, body and spirit. Pohaku Lomi and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage is available and can be combined with Ka Mapuana Aromatherapy to experience the healing aromatic properties of essential oils. Facials, body wrap and beachside massages are all available as well.
On The North Shore
This Kauai spa can be found at the St. Regis Princeville Resort on the north end of the island, offering over 10,000 square feet with 12 treatment rooms including a couples’ room and a VIP room. There are a variety of treatment options available; the Taro Butter Pohaku massage incorporates hot stones with taro butter for deep muscle relaxation and is a favorite of many visitors.
Many of the Halele’a Spa treatments incorporate the Hawaiian healing properties of the indigenous plants and flowers as well as the essence of the tropical environment.
Hideaway Cove In Room Massage
If you’re the type of person that prefers not to go anywhere, let us know and we’ll arrange for a trained professional to come to you at Hideaway Cove. In room couples massages are very popular and should be arranged days in advance due to high demand.
No matter where you decide you have your treatment, you can be certain it will be a relaxing day spent on our garden island.
Sunday, November 24th, 2013
Rejuvenating the Mind with a Kauai Vacation
If you’re dreaming of a vacation in Kauai, there is one more reason on an already long list not to put it off. You probably know that island holidays symbolize the ultimate in relaxation, with the calming of the waves, the salty air and the feel of the sun on your skin, but did you know that studies have shown that spending time near the water offers benefits to your mental health?
Researchers have found that there is a huge link between the water and improving how we feel. Life’s problems can quickly seem rather insignificant and stress often magically melts away. Watching a glorious sunset or just spending time outdoors in a beautiful location among nature has been found to reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system and even improve the mood.
Simply knowing that you’ll be vacationing on Kauai and looking forward to it causes the brain to release endorphins known as “feel good” or “happy hormones.” Once you’ve arrived, the warm weather and plentiful sun provides comfort, especially for those coming from a cooler climate.
Spending a holiday on Kauai, known as Hawaii’s most relaxing island, can help you escape your busy everyday routine and experience its natural beauty and serenity, among a spectacular landscape of rain forest, mountains and beaches. It can allow you to completely rejuvenate and even rediscover yourself in such a pristine, peaceful environment.
A Canadian study found some of the benefits of an island vacation include rest and recuperation from work, the opportunity for new experiences that can expand the mind and promote cultural exchange, personal and social development and increased overall well-being.
If you want to enhance the many benefits to your mind that a vacation on Kauai can bring, there are many other opportunities as well. Hiking to one of the many magnificent waterfalls found throughout the island, and just taking time to watch the water cascade over a cliff can be a meditative and highly relaxing experience. Just taking a stroll through one of the four botanical gardens found on our Garden Island is sure to help reduce stress and calm the mind.
If you enjoy yoga, consider joining a class out on the beach. “Kauai Yoga on the Beach” offers yoga classes right on the sand. Sunrise and sunset classes are offered which can provide one of the most gorgeous backdrops you’ll find for your practice. Allow the sights and sounds of the ocean to wake and revitalize your mind, body and spirit by connecting with the energy of the sun. This can truly be a transforming experience. Here, the land is alive with energy that can be traced back to the ancient Hawaiians.
Healing workshops by the day, weekend, or even longer retreats can also be found on the island for those who are interested.
Give your mind and your body a much needed rest and restore by visiting the island of Kauai.
Sunday, November 17th, 2013
5 Must-Visit Beaches on Kauai
The Garden Isle is famous for its over 50 miles of magnificent sandy shores, more than any other Hawaiian Island. Not surprisingly, you’ll find all sorts of picturesque beaches, some practically untouched by human development.
Visitors really shouldn’t miss experiencing at least one of these five beaches while on Kauai.
Tunnels Beach, also known as Makua, is found on the north shore. It stretches for two miles from Hanalei Colony Resort to Ha’ena Beach Park, offering unsurpassed scenic beauty as well as some of the best snorkeling on the island during the summer months. A half-moon shaped reef can be found just an eighth of a mile offshore, teeming with all sorts of marine life.
In the winter time, surfers line up on the outside break. Some say the beach gets its name from the divers who have found the deep water caverns, tunnels and arches, while others believe it came from the surfers who were, and remain, impressed by waves that form a perfectly shaped tunnel.
Even if all you do is come to this beach to relax and watch the spectacular sunsets, you’ll leave happy.
Hanalei Bay Beach
Hanalei Bay Beach may be Kauai’s most well-known. It’s even been named the No. 1 beach in America due to its breathtaking beauty. Waterfall laced mountains provide the backdrop for this wide stretch of sand with picture-postcard views from every angle. Locals and tourists come here to surf, swim, walk, or just relax and take in the scene.
Poipu Beach made the list of No. 1 beaches in the U.S.A. for three consecutive years, drawing locals and tourists with its excellent swimming, opportunity to explore tide pools as well as outstanding reefs for snorkeling and diving. A lava-rock jetty protects a sandy-bottom pool, providing an ideal spot for children to swim. This is also a great spot to watch for endangered Hawaiian monk seals.
Inside Polihale State Park lies a remote 3-mile long stretch of sand that is part of Hawaii’s largest beach, the 17-mile long Barking Sands Beach. The bumpy drive down to the westernmost point of Kauai is well worth the reward, including gorgeous views and a tranquil setting that feels completely untouched by humans.
This isn’t a great spot to swim, however, as the beach is unprotected from the ocean with a severe shore break and rip currents that make swimming dangerous. Polihale is one of the best places to enjoy a walk along the sand – you can stroll for miles and miles before you have to turn around.
Kalapaki Beach is considered the best beach on Kauai’s east coast. This is the beachfront at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, with its beautiful half-moon of golden opening out to Nawiliwili Bay and the Hoary Head Mountains.
The quarter-mile long bay is partially protected by a jetty, making it safe for swimmers. The waves are good for surfing during a winter swell; windsurfing, bodysurfing and boogie boarding are popular here while surfing lessons, catamaran cruises, kayak tours and sailboat rentals are all available nearby.
Sunday, November 10th, 2013
Have you ever tried to save money on accommodations only to realize that you ended up spending more and getting less out of the experience? Many travelers have found that the nightly rate isn’t the only thing that should be considered when comparing values.
A stay at a hotel generally means that you won’t have access to many of the comforts of home. Craving a frozen exotic drink? You’ll have to go out and find a bar to make it for you without a blender. Would you prefer toasting some bread in the morning for breakfast to get a head start on the day’s activities? You can’t do that either. There is probably no toaster or other standard kitchen appliances, so you’ll not only have to take the time to go out to eat, it’ll cost you more. Have you ever checked into your room, looking forward to enjoying a glass of that good bottle of wine you brought for the occasion? You get the picture. No corkscrew either, which means a trip to the convenience store to pay for yet another bottle opener.
But it’s not just the little things. Going out to a restaurant for every meal really adds up. Of course you’ll probably want to enjoy some of the wonderful eateries available on the island, but paying to dine out for breakfast, lunch and dinner can cost a lot more than what you’ll pay for accommodations each night.
At Hideaway Cove, guests have frequently mentioned what a pleasant surprise it is to have everything they need to make it feel as if they were in a “home away from home.” The kitchen is fully-stocked with supplies including gourmet pots, pans, water and wine glasses, plastic glasses and a water pitcher, cutlery, plates, all of your necessary kitchen gadgets, a dishwasher, detergent, and even things like sweet and low, sugar, and creamer for your coffee.
Of course bath amenities are included too. You’ll find a hairdryer, shower cap, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion, plush towels, face towels, washcloths, and even a shoe cleaning cloth. You don’t even have to go out and buy laundry detergent when it’s time to wash those dirty clothes; we’ve got you covered with Shout, bleach, and even Bounce dryer sheets too.
Guests have also commented on how much they love having free high speed wireless Internet access at no cost. Many hotels charge extra for this, which is something else you should always consider when comparing value. Hideaway Cove guests also have access to our business office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the combination provided to a lock box in order to enter when staff is out. A desk with supplies, computer, printer, and fax machine are all available for use.
Not only is Hideaway Cove usually a better value, but it can also significantly enhance any vacation with the ability to come back after a hard day at play on the island and completely relax in comfort. Bonus: There are no doors slamming down the hall all night either!
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Visiting Kilauea Lighthouse is one of the most popular activities for travelers to Kauai. It was recently renamed the Daniel Inouye Lighthouse in honor of the late senator, so you may hear it referred to by either name. Visitors have been coming to Kilauea Point, where the lighthouse has been situated since 1913, in order to enjoy its stunning surrounding beauty and explore the light that served as an important navigational aid for ships that sailed the Orient run.
The lighthouse is part of the 203-acre Kilauea Point National Refuge which includes expansive views of the breathtaking, rugged coastline, a seabird sanctuary and a National Marine Life Sanctuary.
This is where you’ll find the biggest colony of seabirds across all of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. Just some of the brilliant and unique birds you might see include:
- Red-footed boobies
- Great frigate birds
- Laysan albatrosses
- Wedge-tailed shearwaters
By visiting Kilauea Lighthouse you’ll have access to an incredible vantage point to view the incredible marine mammals in the area including humpback whales from December to April. The dazzling surrounding waters are also home to Hawaiian monk seals and green turtles year round, while spinner dolphins can sometimes be glimpsed as well.
Explore the visitor center
The Visitor Center sits high atop the bluff above the surging swells of the Pacific at the site of the refuge. Here, travelers can learn about native ecosystems, wildlife and the history of the refuge as well as Hawaii through a number of exhibits.
At the Contact Station, you’ll find more exhibits on the history of Kilauea and Light Station and find the opportunity to view daily videos about the area.
Pick up a “Watchable Wildlife” brochure at the entrance and embark on a self-guided tour along a short ¼ mile walkway enhanced by interpretive panels on the birds as well as marine mammals, native plants and geology.
Borrow a pair of binoculars at the Visitor Center to get a better view all that the area has to offer. Visiting Kilauea Lighthouse is sure to be one of the highlights of your time on Kauai.
What you should know
- There is an entry fee of $5 per person for those 16 years of age and older.
- Pets, food and beverages other than water are prohibited.
- The Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except on major federal holidays.
- To get there, turn off of the Kuhio Highway at the entrance to the town of Kilauea and follow the signs to the lighthouse.
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Hula dancing is a traditional art of movement with smooth body gestures as well as vocals. The movements are extremely fluid and are said to tell a story with its chants preserving epic tales, myths, history and philosophy. Movements often represent nature, such as fish swimming through the ocean or trees blowing in the wind.
Before westerners arrived, hula was danced to tell stories as well as for social enjoyment. The dancers’ rigorous training was taken quite seriously and was paid for and supported by the ruling class. It has been a part of Hawaiian culture since ancient times, with some believing it began even before there were people living in the islands who are now called Hawaiian – the multiplicity of traditions of its origins may confirm this.
The Hawaiian Goddess Lake is prominently associated with hula and symbolized in hula school, or halau, as a block of lama wood placed on an altar and swathed in yellow kappa. She separated her dancers into two groups, including the Olapa, or Agile ones, representing the younger generation of dancers with more energy, and Ho’o-paa, or Steadfast ones, representing the elders who sang and played musical instruments.
The beginnings of hula
There are many tales that tell the mythic beginnings of hula, with one of the most common featuring Pele and her sister, Hi`iaka. In this story, the dance is born when Pele begs her sisters to dance and sing for her with only Hi`iaka stepping up to perform, dancing using movements that she had practiced with her friend Hopoe. Of course, this is just one of many tales representing the ancient people’s attempts to answer where hula came from with efforts to decide which is correct considered a waste of effort – to some degree all may be the right answer.
Hula dances originate from a series of just six traditional moves with a wide range of interpretations and different ways of using those basic movements to create unique and beautiful performances.
After Captain Cook’s arrival in 1778, several of his crew wrote about the hula performances they had seen. The expedition artist drew a male dancer wearing possibly a kupe’e made from dogs’ teeth that used a single uli uli. The english translation of kupe’e and uli uli needs to be added in parenthesis after each word.) The accounts are said to be the first and only records of hula that were made by outsiders during their first contact with Hawaiians.
In Captain Cook’s journal he wrote, “Their dances are prefaced with a slow, solemn song, in which all the party join, moving their legs, and gently striking their breasts in a manner and with attitudes that are perfectly easy and graceful.”
Missionaries attempt to eradicate hula
Unfortunately, not all foreigners appreciated the dance like Cook. When Protestant missionaries and English settlers arrived in 1820, they believed it dangerously promoted old heathen beliefs and celebrated physical enjoyment.
Hiram Bingham, the leader of the first group of missionaries to introduce Christianity to the islands wrote, “The whole arrangement and process of their old hulas were designed to promote lasciviousness, and of course the practice of them could not flourish in modest communities. They had been interwoven too with their superstitions, and made subservient to the honor of their gods, and their rulers, either living or departed or deified.
The missionaries did the best they could to eradicate hula and were even supported by some of the most powerful rulers who had converted to their religion. Traditionally, men and women wore knee level skirts made of palm leaves as well as flower leis around their arms, lower legs and heads. Prior to 1820, women wore skirts that were much shorter and men simply wore loin cloth. . With the arrival of the missionaries, they were forced to wear a less revealing wardrobe.
Ka`ahumanu, who was the wife of Kamehameha I and regent after he died, was accepted to the church; in 1830, she forbade public hula performances. After her death in 1832, some chiefs ignored the ban but the hula continued to be hidden for many years to come. Public hula performances became regulated in 1851 with a licensing system that required a steep fee for each performance.
Evolution of hula
Through the 19th and 20th centuries under Western influence, hula evolved quite dramatically. In the early 20th century it began to be featured as a tourist spectacle such as in the Kodak Hula Show as well as being seen in Hollywood films. A more traditional hula was still maintained in small circles.
A revived interest in the dance took place in the 1970s, with two main types of Hula performed today, the hula kahiko, or ancient hula, and the hula auana, or modern hula. It still remains an incredibly beautiful dance to watch and perform, with its ancient roots seen in the movements symbolizing nature and all of its contrasts.