Hotel Moloka’i embodies the character of the “Most Hawaiian” of the islands. Hotel Moloka’i is a Polynesian retreat, a compound of thatch-roofed accommodations perched in the curve of Kamiloloa Beach. General Manager Michael Drew, who is African American, had worked in Key West, Florida, for 15 years when his employer tapped him to transfer to Moloka’i. He arrived in 2007, sheparding through a major renovation that significantly upgraded the guest rooms.
In addition to standard rooms, the hotel offers Garden View and Oceanfront Deluxe units that include kitchenettes. And to paraphrase a member of our group, the second floor of the loft suites are so close to the water that you could fish from the balcony. The hotel’s Hula Shores Restaurant and Lounge opens to the ocean on one side and to the pool on another. The menu includes a wide variety of dishes, and each that I tried was delicious – from fried wontons to ahi poke (raw fish, pronounced “po-KAY”) to quesadillas to the especially flavorful prime rib.
A highlight of the evening was the regular “Aloha Friday Sunset Celebration.” Almost two dozen Kupunas (respected elders of the community) play ukulele, sing Hawaiian songs, share legend and lore and gracefully dance the hula.
With the voices of the Kupunas harmonizing in the background and torches lighting the sky at dusk, Michael offers his opinion on why tourists should visit the island. “If you’re looking for the pure, authentic Hawaiian experience, Moloka’i is the place to be. It takes you back 50 or 60 years to the way the Hawaiians were,” he says. “This is what Hawaii was all about back in the day. Don’t come with expectations. Have an open mind.”
Kamehameha V Highway
Kaunakakai, HI 96748
Phone: 877-553-5347 x300
A few more Molokai hotel listings at Priceline
Though hotels are few on Moloka’i, rental condominiums abound. For more information, contact:
Dayna E Harris, R
Molokai Vacation Properties
Property Management/Real Estate Sales
HC 01 Box 28- #8 Hio Place
Kaunakakai, HI 96748