As you daydream of your next Hawaiian vacation, picture this: your flight is almost ready to land in Honolulu. You gaze blissfully at the Pacific Ocean’s captivating hues and the light blue sky. While you begin to look closer, you notice a buttercup yellow dot amid all the blue and white on the island.
Enter: an iconic yellow umbrella, a subtle reminder for guests flying in and out of Hawaii that Halekulani will always be their home.
Located at the hotel’s 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 gentle, buttercup yellow complements the soothing Halekulani blue and the white of the other umbrellas, it was not chosen simply for design.
The history of the sole yellow umbrella dates to over twenty years ago when one of the company’s executives saw the power of incongruity during a trip to the South of France. He noticed the impact the beach umbrellas had on defining a property and how a break in color could serve as an eye-catching 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.
On your next visit to Oahu, see if you can spot the yellow umbrella as the plane heads towards Waikiki.
Do you have any photos of the iconic umbrella? Please share with us on social by tagging @halekulanihotel.