For nearly 30 years, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows has received environmentally threatened honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) from Oahu’s Sea Life Park and raised them in on-site saltwater ponds until they are large enough to be released back into the wild.
The releasing of the turtles, which are viewed as a symbol of wisdom and good luck, takes place on July 4th every year, a.k.a. Turtle Independence Day to those who participate in the occasion. The groups that meet here along Hawaii’s Kohala Coast can experience this environmental stewardship and flair firsthand, whether turtle releasings or feedings, morning tee time amid jet-black lava and lush greens, quiet time at the edge of the Kalahuipua’a Fishponds, historic tours of petroglyphs, or Hawaiian weaving classes.
The seven on-site fishponds are considered the spiritual center of Mauna Lani as bottom samples taken from the ancient aquaculture system date as far back as 250 BC when the land and sea supported royalty. (On the island of Honolulu, groups of up to 8,000 can meet in and tour Iolani Palace, regarded as a sacred place to the Hawaiian people.) And like the area’s ancestors themselves, when the moon is full, groups can gather at the resort’s oceanfront Eva Parker Woods Cottage with a cultural historian for a night of storytelling—myths, legends and music included.
Mauna will rebrand next year as Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection following an extensive renovation.