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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Releases Hawaiian Sea Turtles into the Wild

Seventh pair of honu released as part of endangered species protection initiative

11/02/2019

HONOLULU — The Kahala Hotel & Resort and Dolphin Quest Oahu today held a blessing ceremony to release a pair of five-year-old Hawaiian green sea turtles into the ocean. During a traditional blessing by Kahu Laakea Arista. Kamalani and Kaimana crawled past a crowd as they made their way to their new home. These particular turtles have called Dolphin Quest home since 2016. This is the seventh pair of turtles successfully released by Dolphin Quest Oahu since 1999 as part of the Ocean Ambassador program, an initiative to protect the native turtle species.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort hosts baby Hawaiian green sea turtles on property, where they are cared for by Dolphin Quest and serve as ocean ambassadors to visitors and school children. The Ocean Ambassador program seeks to educate the public about the plight green sea turtles face in the wild and provides a protected environment for the young turtles until they are deemed appropriate for release into the wild. The program also gives visitors the rare opportunity to view this threatened species and learn about conservation efforts.

The growing population of Hawaii Green Sea Turtles remains protected by state and federal law as a threatened species. The Ocean Ambassador partnership between The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Dolphin Quest, Sea Life Park, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has played an important role in the conservation of these animals in Hawaii.

“Dolphin Quest’s Turtle Ambassador Program at The Kahala Hotel & Resort is helping to raise awareness of the threats green sea turtles face in the wild, inspiring new generations to help protect them, and directly contributing to green sea turtle conservation,” says Michelle Benedict, Aquarist at Dolphin Quest Oahu.

“We were so happy to host Kamalani and Kaimana over the years. As The Kahala Hotel & Resort celebrates our 55th anniversary, we are thrilled to be a part of their return to the wild,” says Joe Ibarra, General Manager of The Kahala Hotel and Resort.

The public can enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the care Kamalani and Kaimana received at Dolphin Quest Oahu in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEZOEVlQVaE

About The Kahala Hotel & Resort

The legendary Kahala Hotel & Resort is an oceanfront, destination luxury property known for its gracious Hawaiian hospitality. Located just minutes from Waikīkī, The Kahala Hotel & Resort offers an exclusive ambiance of a neighbor island experience. The Kahala Hotel & Resort has been Honolulu’s social address for weddings and gatherings since its opening in 1964. World leaders, royalty, rock bands and Oscar winners call the 338-room resort their Hawaiian home-away-from-home. The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The resort is home to The Kahala Spa, lush tropical gardens and a natural ocean-water lagoon with the hotel’s own resident dolphins cared for by Dolphin Quest. The Kahala Hotel & Resort also has five restaurants: Plumeria Beach House, Seaside Grill, The Veranda, Arancino and the award-winning Hoku’s restaurant. Stay connected with The Kahala Hotel & Resort via www.kahalaresort.com, on Instagram at @kahala_resort or on Facebook at The Kahala Hotel & Resort and Twitter at @KahalaResort. Share your Kahala moment #AtTheKahala.

About Dolphin Quest

Dolphin Quest is an international organization founded by marine mammal veterinarians known for its creative approach to education, commitment to ocean wildlife study and exemplary animal health care. The interactive marine animal programs featured at Dolphin Quest promote a spirit of connection to the marvels of the oceans and inspire people to care about dolphins and their conservation in the wild. Dolphin Quest is accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and Humane Certified by American Humane.


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Families are Forever

With plenty of onsite activities, The Kahala Hotel & Resort is the perfect island getaway for you and your keiki (children).

Day 1: Fun In The Sun

  • Soak up the warm Hawaiian sunshine at our outdoor pool and hot tub. Rent a cabana for the day so you can lounge peacefully while the kids make a splash. With pool toys available for purchase, they’ll never run out of things to do! When you get hungry, there’s no need to go far. Enjoy a light meal at our poolside restaurant, Seaside Grill.
  • In the afternoon, get to know the playful Bottlenose Dolphins who live in our natural water lagoon. This experience is fun for the whole family, and you’ll get to feed, play and swim with these amazing creatures. Learn more about our partner, Dolphin Quest.
  • End the day with an oceanside dinner at Plumeria Beach House. Enjoy fresh island-inspired cuisine as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Day 2: Explore Waikiki

  • In the morning, let the kids indulge their creativity at our weekly Hawaiian Culture Classes, which include lei making, lauhala weaving and more.* View the calendar.
  • While they learn, why not treat yourself to a relaxing Couples Massage at the Kahala Spa? We are proud to partner with Aloha Sitters to offer child-sitting services so you can give yourself a much-deserved break. View spa services.
  • After a quick lunch at Plumeria Beach House, hop on our complimentary shuttle to the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. From there, it’s a short walk to the Waikiki Aquarium or Honolulu Zoo where your family can spend the afternoon marveling at the creatures of the deep or meeting friendly beasts from around the world.
  • Head back to your room to freshen up and enjoy cocktails and dinner service at The Veranda. Enjoy live music from local musicians every Thursday - Saturday from 6:00pm - 9:00pm. Learn more.
    *Activities are subject to change. Please see our events calendar for more information.

Day 3: Snorkel & Beach Adventure

  • Wake up bright and early to go snorkeling at the legendary Hanauma Bay. Please note that reservations must be made in advance to enter the park.
  • Return home to spend a golden afternoon on the secluded beach in front of our hotel, where the gentle waves are safe for all ages. For your convenience, we offer beach gear including snorkels and fins, bodyboards, kayaks and paddle boards.
  • Create lasting memories with a sunset photo session on the beach. As a guest, you can book a 45-minute photo shoot on our grounds with Pacific Dream Photography. Learn more.
  • Afterward, tuck into a delicious meal at Arancino’s, voted Best Italian Restaurant in Hawaii.

Sunset Sweethearts

The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a top destination for honeymoons and anniversaries. Celebrate your love with a romantic retreat to paradise.

Day 1: Discover Kahala

  • Wake up to the relaxing Hawaiian tradewinds blowing through your suite and stunning views of the mountains or sea.
  • Don’t let this luxury go to waste. Order our Grand Breakfast service delivered to your door for one-of-a-kind breakfast in bed. View menu.
  • In the afternoon, rent a pair of our cruiser bikes to explore the beautiful neighborhood of Kahala and soak in the gorgeous views. Stop by Kahala Mall to browse the stores and recharge with a light meal or beverage, or see a movie.
  • Rest a while and freshen up, then change into your evening attire and make your way to The Veranda, our open-air dining room. Visit Thursday - Saturday to sip delicious Mai Tais while listening to live entertainment by Hawaii’s top local talent.

Day 2: Indulge Your Senses

  • On your second day, rent a car at our on-property car rental desk and head west for a leisurely drive around Diamond Head. If it’s a Saturday, stop by the KCC Farmer’s Market to sample fresh produce and browse handcrafted gifts. Afterward, continue on to the eclectic neighborhood of Kaimuki, known for its vibrant art and food scene.
  • After returning for a short nap, head to the Kahala Spa for our signature Romance Treatment, which includes a customized full-body massage, a deep soak tub with rose petals and a soothing facial.
  • At sunset, head down to Hoku’s for a decadent four-course dinner. With views of the ocean and a selection of wine fines, it’s the perfect place end a night a paradise.

Day 3: Lover’s Retreat

  • On your last morning, indulge in a late start to your day.
  • After brunch at Plumeria Beach House, head to the Honolulu Museum of Art for a guided tour of Shangri La, a historic Islamic-inspired estate perched on Black Point.
  • Return back home to rest, or read a good book by the pool.
  • At golden hour, take a romantic walk on our stunning shoreline, hand-in-hand. Have your cocktails hand-delivered from Seaside Grill as you enjoy happy hour on the beach.
  • For dinner, book a table for two at Arancino’s and savor the elegant flavors of Italy over a bottle of wine.