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Press Room

Nakoa Foundation

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa Partners with Nakoa Foundation
Partnership Expands Experiential Learning Opportunities for Guests 

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, a 22-acre oceanfront resort on Hawaii, the Big Island,  has introduced an ocean experience aboard a Hawaiian sailing canoe to provide visitors an enriching cultural activity focused on experiential learning.

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is working with the Nakoa Foundation to provide this place-based learning opportunity. Working with Lily Dudoit,  the resort’s Alakai Hooluana (Director of Cultural Activities), an excursion has been developed so guests might discover historic Keauhou Bay by land and by sea.

The Nakoa Foundation has connected with more than 4,000 students in the Hawaii Island community since it was formed three years ago. The Foundation’s mission is to help participants examine the Hawaiian sailing canoe from its forest origin to the ocean while inspiring a thirst for knowledge, promoting good decision making, self-reliance and sustainability, and ultimately helping participants become competent future leaders. The Foundation’s focus is to create a sense of place  through each experience to help develop skills and cultural values needed to navigate life's challenges.

“This focus aligns perfectly with Sheraton Keauhou Bay’s direction to better connect people – our guests, with place – Keauhou” said Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa Area Managing Director and General Manager Steve Lindburg.  “We have wanted to do more so that guests could truly understand what a special place Keauhou is. This canoe excursion coupled with guided tours of historic sites on-property and nearby allows visitors to develop an awareness and connection that may not otherwise be realized.” Lindburg added that the Nakoa Foundation relationship also means the Foundation brings participating children on property as part of their learning experience. “It is a two-way relationship and we are fortunate to be able to be a part of our community in this way.”

A 50-minute complimentary walking tour along Keauhou Bay led by Dudoit is followed by a 1-hour canoe experience, by donation, aboard the Kinikini Hawaiian Sailing Canoe. Nakoa Foundation executive director Kalani Nakoa is aboard the Kinikini. Nakoa is a United States Coast Guard 100-ton Captain, a Dive Master, Rescue Diver, and Lifeguard.  He is a hospitality industry veteran who is passionate about sharing Hawaii’s culture. Guest’s donations help support the mission of Nakoa Foundation; building future leaders and a strong community.

Once aboard the Kinikini and sailing the calm coastline, Nakoa shares stories and legends of historic sites spotted along the way, bringing to life the history of kings and queens that once lived in the Keauhou ahupuaa (land division).

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa guests and island visitors may experience Historic Keauhou Bay by land and sea each Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 8:30am. Fridays a land-only tour is offered. Reservations are required since canoe capacity is limited to just 12 passengers. Call 808-930-4894, email Lily or visit the resort concierge for information and tour availability.