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Maui’s Newest Resort, Honua Kai Resort & Spa is Serious about Sustainability

Environmental Programs Appeal to Ecologically-Minded Guests Visiting Honua Kai

Kaanapali North Beach, MAUI (September 29, 2009) – The newest full service hotel development on Kaanapali Beach unveils details of its comprehensive sustainability program as part of Honua Kai Resort & Spa’s commitment to the traditional Hawaiian concept of “malama aina,” (caring for the land). Honua Kai is a hospitality leader in environmental stewardship with malama aina practices that begin in the ocean, protect the surrounding beach and extend to every room on the top floors of property.

Honua Kai, which opened in January 2009, even has its own Director of Sustainability, Lance Gilliland. “We call it ‘Eco-nomics,’ – practices that are ecologically sound and economically feasible,” says Gilliland. “It just makes sense to conserve energy, re-use, recycle and protect the beautiful natural environment for our homeowners and the resort guests that visit the property.”
Water Conservation
A new two-tiered water-conserving program is designed to keep the nearly 40 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds healthy and green without wasting precious water. Honua Kai worked in partnership with the county waste water department to develop a landscape irrigation system that is fed solely by recycled “R1” water, which provides the highest quality of recycled water.  
That water is then enhanced through a process known as “fertigation,” which delivers small daily doses of organic fertilizer through the irrigation system. Computers monitor ambient moisture at key locations around the resort to activate the sprinklers that keep the grounds and gardens healthy. Unlike traditional broadcast or drop fertilizer methods, fertigation allows increased nutrient absorption by plants, and the daily feeding reduces the amount of fertilizer and chemical needed, while also reducing water usage.  Fertigation can also distribute pest repellants.  The combination of daily micro-dosing combined with organic products insures no negative impacts to ground water or from run off.

Environmental Conservation
Reef Awareness and Honu Protection
Hawaii’s reefs provide a home for over 7,000 species of marine plants and animals, 25 percent of which are unique to our islands. Honua Kai helps malama (care for) these many species with signs posted at each bridge leading to the ocean.  They explain how a healthy reef depends on exploring it respectfully, snorkeling over and around the coral without damaging it, and watching the fish, not feeding them.
Signs along the shore inform guests about the endangered honu (green sea turtles) that sun themselves in front of the resort. Honua Kai further protects the honu and their latest visitor, a Hawaiian monk seal, with educational materials and awareness campaigns to prevent the public from getting too close.
Guests will also notice the retention ponds that have been landscaped into the property to protect the ocean against soil run-off during an unusually heavy rain storm. Fertigation also helps contain run-off by producing a denser root mass that traps water.
Wetlands and Dunes
Being the only resort on Maui with a wetland pond, Honua Kai has restored this micro-ecosystem with native shoreline plants. Already, several species of seabirds, including the aukuu (black-crowned night heron) and kolea (Pacific golden plover) have begun stopping here to preen and rest.
The resort protects the sand dunes because they form the first line of defense against coastal storms and beach erosion, and provide a supply of sand to the beach when erosion occurs. Non-native trees have been removed and replaced with low-lying indigenous plants that spread their root systems to hug the sand and protect the dunes from wind and ocean erosion.
Energy Conservation
It’s really no big surprise why this year Honua Kai received Maui Electric Company’s largest ever rebate for energy savings. Some of the resort’s initiatives:
  • Heat generated from the air conditioning cooling system is captured and used to heat the pool water.
  • Honua Kai installed the solar powered restrooms at North Beach.
  • The resort’s green compactor is only the second one on Maui, and is run on soy oil and solar power.
  • The BOSCH appliances in each suite have the highest energy efficient ratings.
  • The air conditioning system allows for the monitoring of every unit installed in the resort including suites via a central control, ensuring energy efficiency without sacrificing personal comfort.
  • Honua Kai uses energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs wherever advisable.
Honua Kai has established a recycling program that begins with training for all employees, and extends throughout the resort, including encouragement for guest participation. Other ways that Honua Kai practices and promotes recycling:
  • Recycling centers are located throughout the resort, including the employee lounge, offices, public areas and each guest floor. These centers capture paper, cans, bottles and glass.
  • Honua Kai partners with local company, Aloha Waste, to recycle aluminum, glass, plastic, green waste and paper.
  • Biodegradable trash bags are used throughout the resort.
  • Each guest floor also has a designated chute for trash, as well as a recycling center.  This allows for guest participation. The “donations” go to the Resort Recycling Center where the trash is separated for recycling.
  • The beach walk planks fronting the Resort, are made from 50-percent recycled and reclaimed plastic and 50-percent reclaimed wood. Using these materials significantly reduces landfill impact.
  • The binder for the in-room compendium is made from 100-percent recycled materials.
In ways large and small, Honua Kai Resort & Spa is both cutting-edge and firmly grounded in local island values – because in Hawaii, to malama (care for) the environment is a tradition as solid as a sand dune – and as modern as Maui’s newest resort.
Green Clean
An information card is placed in every room to show guests how they can easily participate in Honua Kai’s environmental stewardship efforts. It explains why bed linens are changed every third day, and towels are changed upon guest request.
About Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Honua Kai offers a uniquely contemporary Maui experience. Nestled on 38 oceanfront acres of Kaanapali’s pristine North Beach, the resort is designed as two U-shaped buildings with ocean and mountain views, lush landscaping and expansive open spaces. This openness is mirrored in each of the 628 guest suites (one-, two-, and three-bedroom) with professionally equipped kitchens, spacious and homelike floor plans, and luxury resort services. An imaginative aqua network of pools, hot tubs, natural pond bridges, waterslide, waterfalls and fountains allows for privacy and play.
Honua Kai Resort & Spa is opening in phases through early 2010:
OPEN – Hokulani building (318 guest suites, `Aina Gourmet Market, pool, fitness center, concierge desk, Family Fun Club, pool & beach activities operation)
Late 2009 – Duke’s beachside restaurant
Early 2010 – Konea building opens (310 guest suites, lobby café, two pools, spa)
For reservations and information, please contact a travel professional, or call the Resort directly at 1-888-718-5789 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hawaii Time, or visit

Yvonne Biegel
Biegel Communications
P 808.875.8466
C 808.276.6452


Also See: Intrawest Joint Venture Set to Open First Phase of Honua Kai Resort & Spa on Ka’anapali Beach, Maui / November 2008

Brian Collins Named President at Intrawest, Reporting to Recently Named CEO Bill Jensen / June 2008

Intrawest Preparing The Westin Verasa for Opening; Napa's First Condo Hotel Will be the Fifth Westin Property Managed by Intrawest / June 2008

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