The Waikiki In­sider

Waikiki Magazine - - ILOVE WAIKIKI - By Mona Wood-Sword

What is the true mean­ing of ALOHA? We see and hear it all around us—at the air­port, in busi­ness names, in a song, on a sign…but what is the real mean­ing be­hind the most fa­mous of all Hawai­ian words? Most of us know that aloha means love, hello and good­bye, but it really is so much more than that—it’s a feel­ing and way of life. Lit­er­ally, alo means pres­ence and ha means breath, so to­gether they com­bine to mean hav­ing life. Aloha is a life­style, the ba­sic Hawai­ian value of treat­ing each other with love and re­spect. So, the next time you say “aloha,” it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber its true mean­ing: A is for AKAHAI - Kind­ness L is for LOKAHI - Unity, Har­mony O is for ‘OLU ‘OLU - Pleas­ant­ness H is for HA‘A HA‘A - Hu­mil­ity A is for AHONUI - Pa­tience, Tol­er­ance


Speak­ing of ALOHA… You see them walking or bi­cy­cling around Waikiki in their flu­o­res­cent green-yel­low shirts ev­ery day—the Aloha Am­bas­sadors. Th­ese aloha-spir­ited men and women serve as hosts, giv­ing di­rec­tions or an­swer­ing ques­tions about Waikiki, re­port­ing crimes or qual­ity of life con­cerns, pro­vid­ing an ef­fec­tive street pres­ence to de­ter crime, ad­min­is­ter­ing first aid and even pick­ing up lit­ter.

Aloha Am­bas­sadors are cho­sen based on their per­son­al­i­ties and nat­u­ral aloha spirit. They are trained to meet the pub­lic’s need for in­for­ma­tion and as­sis­tance, and to de­liver gen­uine hos­pi­tal­ity to res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to en­hance the over­all Waikiki ex­pe­ri­ence. They are like hav­ing a lo­cal friend for first-time vis­i­tors, and a qual­ity of life sup­port sys­tem for re­peat vis­i­tors and res­i­dents who work, live and play in Waikiki.

Op­er­a­tions Man­ager Can­dace GrovesO’Neal said there are cur­rently 21 Aloha Am­bas­sadors, and 13 of them on the streets of Waikiki ev­ery day. Many am­bas­sadors are bilin­gual, speak­ing English and Ja­panese, Chi­nese, Korean, or Span­ish—they even have an am­bas­sador from Bel­gium and an­other from Kaza­khstan.

Look­ing for a spe­cific restau­rant? Need di­rec­tions for catch­ing TheBus to Hanauma Bay? Need some­one to walk you to your car? Just ask an Aloha Am­bas­sador. A com­mu­nity ser­vice pro­vided by the Waikiki Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District As­so­ci­a­tion (WBIDA) since 2007, the Aloha Am­bas­sador pro­gram is op­er­ated by Block-by-Block—a com­pany that spe­cial­izes in pro­vid­ing ser­vices for busi­ness im­prove­ment dis­tricts across the coun­try. Find out more at



Share aloha with your spe­cial some­one in Waikiki. It is one of the most ro­man­tic spots on earth, and whether you choose to watch the sun­rise from Di­a­mond Head, en­joy a pic­nic or walk on the beach, or spoil your­self with a lux­u­ri­ous din­ner and a bot­tle of Dom Pérignon at sun­set—make it a spe­cial time to rekin­dle your love.

And for­get the dozen roses—this is Hawai‘i! Present each with a flower lei in­stead. Pikake (my fa­vorite) or pikake with baby roses, white gin­ger, pua kenikeni, tuberose, plume­ria and or­chid are good choices for her. Maile, ti leaf with kukui nuts, ci­gar, he‘e berries, and kuku­naokala are pop­u­lar picks for men. Ask your ho­tel concierges where you can buy or or­der a lei. You may also want to check out the Co­conut Hut Lei Stand at the Royal Hawai­ian Cen­ter, Waikiki Beach Leis & Flow­ers at the Pa­cific Beach Ho­tel, or Waikiki Vil­lage Flow­ers & Gifts at Hil­ton Hawai­ian Vil­lage Beach Re­sort & Spa.

Or, make your own lei for your loved one at lei-mak­ing classes pre­sented at As­ton Waikiki Beach Ho­tel, Hy­att Re­gency Waikiki Re­sort & Spa, Mana Hawai‘i at Waikiki Beach Walk, Westin Moana Surfrider, Outrig­ger Waikiki on the Beach, Outrig­ger Reef on the Beach, Sher­a­ton Waikiki, Sher­a­ton Princess Ka‘iu­lani, or Royal Hawai­ian Cen­ter.

photo: tWain ne­Whart

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