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Halekulani’s Yellow Umbrella Welcomes You to Hawaii

As you daydream of your next Hawaiian vacation, picture this… your flight is almost ready to land at the Honolulu International Airport and you happen to notice the Pacific Ocean’s calming blue colors and the light blue sky. As you begin to look closer, you notice a buttercup yellow dot amid all the blues and whites on the island.

Enter Halekulani’s iconic yellow umbrella, a subtle yet distinct mark for guests flying in and out of Hawaii that Halekulani will always be their home.

Located by the hotel’s Orchid pool — celebrated for its spectacular mosaic of a Cattleya orchid, comprised of 1.2 million pieces of imported South African glass tiles — this yellow parasol stands out among its fellow white umbrellas. While the umbrella’s gentle, buttercup yellow complements the distinctive Halekulani blue and the white of the other umbrellas, it wasn’t chosen just for design purposes.

The history of the sole, yellow umbrella dates back to the turn of the millennium when one of the company's executives saw the power that a change from the expected could bring during a trip to the South of France.  He noticed the impact that the beach umbrellas had on defining a property and how a break in color could serve as a mark for guests strolling along the Mediterranean.  Seeing the one, recognizable umbrella was a quiet reminder that they had returned to their hotel.

“Halekulani’s beachfront property has always had a sense of tranquility and hospitality,” says Patricia Tam, Chief Executive Advisor, Halekulani Corporation. “We believed that one change to the pattern of color would provide guests with a subtle yet memorable welcome…When we first put in the yellow umbrella, guests would compete to sit under it.”

Few hotels use yellow in their color palette, so an umbrella in a buttercup shade defined Halekulani across all of Waikiki Beach, in the same way that one umbrella defined the property in the South of France that originally inspired our company executive.  

One small change, and Halekulani calls you home from the beach, the ocean, or even, some say, from the air.