Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa Creates Director of Cultural & Leisure Activities Position
Alaka’i Ho’oluana is Developing Cultural Tours and Activities to Enhance Guest Experiences and Sense of Place
Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa recently promoted executive administrative assistant Lily Dudoit to the newly created position of Alaka’i Ho’oluana, Director of Cultural & Leisure Activities.
Dudoit has worked at Sheraton Keauhou Bay for more than six years. From the beginning, she took it upon herself to seek out and establish a relationship with area descendent Mama Lily Kong. Using Mama Lily as a resource Dudoit researched archival documents to learn more about Keauhou and piece together important information including information about the Village of Keauhou that once stood where the resort is now located.
“From her first day on the job six years ago Lily has helped strengthen our staff’s level of understanding as it relates to Hawaiian culture and the rich history of Keauhou,” said Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa General Manager Steve Lindburg. “As our new Alaka’i Ho’oluana, she now shares her cultural knowledge and infectious spirit of Aloha with our guests as well.”
Dudoit’s programming development includes two complimentary twice-weekly guided tours. The 40-minute Kaukulaelae Historical Tour is offered at 11am each Tuesday and Thursday. Guests see the remnants of Kaukulaelae along the Keauhou Bay shoreline at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa; a canoe shed, a cattle pen, house platforms, a fishing shrine and more. At 8:00am each Tuesday and Thursday the Holoholo Keauhou tour is a unique opportunity to learn the rich history of Keauhou during a 1.5 hour hiking tour along the Kings’ Trail to historic Lekeleke burial grounds where the Battle of Kuamo’o took place.
Dudoit concludes each tour with a chant, or ‘oli, as a way of giving thanks to the place for allowing her and the guests to be there. Hawaiian tradition holds that you never go to someone’s home or place empty handed. The ‘oli is a way of giving a gift to the place and saying mahalo, thanks, for allowing the visit.
“Acknowledging the culture and history of Keauhou is honoring those that were here before us,” Dudoit explains. “It is our kuleana, or responsibility, to take care of this place - we are the caretakers of today. Connecting to our Kupuna and sharing their stories is a vital part of keeping our culture alive. Kupuna like Aunty Lily are treasures so by learning from them and continuing to take care of this place we honor all Kupuna.” Dudoit elaborates that each and every time she is on a tour on the property the Kupuna are on her mind. She is humbled by the opportunity to connect people to the land, to culture, and to themselves. Born and raised on Hawaii Island, Dudoit has always felt keenly connected to her culture. She is a graceful hula dancer currently training to become a kumu hula (hula instructor) to operate her own halau (hula school).
Further program development by Dudoit includes island orientations three times weekly and daily poolside activities which may include lei making and hula lessons. These activities, new locally-sourced menu focus at Kai and Manta Ray Bar & Grill, and a $16 million resort renewal which will begin before the end of the year launches a new beginning at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa.