Groups Experience Local Immersion at Starwood’s Hawaii Properties

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Hawaii meetings, corporate meeting planning
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Hawaii properties offer groups a variety of cultural activities and indigenous programs that help connect attendees while educating them about Hawaii’s multicultural community.

The hotel company’s Events With Aloha program takes it a step further by offering attendees volunteer initiatives that bring them closer to the islands’ people and natural resources, which is especially inspiring for environmental groups. Attendees can work with local community and nonprofit organizations to help preserve Hawaii’s oceans and watersheds or care for hydroponic vegetable gardens and lo‘i (taro patches). They can also repair fishpond walls, maintain heritage trail markers and landscaping, restore habitat for native birds and even eradicate invasive species.

Active groups will want to participate in outrigger canoe paddling, the official team sport of Hawaii and an essential part of Polynesian culture. Attendees can work together to paddle a six-person outrigger canoe, which not only allows them to discover the islands in an authentic way, but also helps built camaraderie among groups. Having a guide will make it easy to learn about ancient Hawaiian traditions as well as the area’s marine life.

At the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, attendees can participate in the Hui Ho’ala, a Hawaiian ceremony dedicated to the renewal of the mind, body and spirit. It begins in the morning with the Ho’ala, the practice of getting into the correct mind space, as attendees line up along the seashore while reciting traditional Hawaiian chants. At their own pace, attendees are then encouraged to wade into the ocean in silence, immersing themselves into the calming ocean water. They then return to the sand and get together to welcome the new day with another Hawaiian chant. The experience symbolizes a cleansing of the body, mind and spirit and is especially ideal for work retreats or wellness conferences.

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