Aloha Oe Coco Palms – mahalo…mahalo very much

coco-palms-postcardMade famous by Elvis and Blue Hawaii, most of us who grew up on Kauai remember Coco Palms as a place where we went  for brunch on Sundays after church with our family. We fished for Talapia with bamboo poles as our parents socialized with friends after lunch. We wandered through the maze of coconut groves to the tennis courts where we would spend hours being wildly entertained by the monkeys and peacocks, the residents of  Kauai’s only zoo.  The tennis courts, the little road that connected the Homesteads to the Wailua Houselots, the little church where Aunty was married, having lunch with the queen of hospitality, Grace Guslander and hearing her stories about running the resort and the history of the property.  These are the memories to highlight and share with Kauai keiki.  For anyone born after September 11, 1992, the only memories of  Coco Palms is that of a deteriorating piece of history.

Today the Kauai Planning Commission affirmed the order of Hearings Officer Richard Nakamura to revoke permits held by Coco Palms Ventures LLC’s to rebuild the property which was damaged in 1992 during Hurricane Iniki.photo

Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. stated, “I am very pleased to hear of the Planning Commission’s action today to accept the Hearings Officer’s recommendation to revoke the permits currently held by Coco Palms LLC.   The property has languished for much too long, and with no alternate plan being proposed by the owners, it’s time to move on to new opportunities.”

coco-palms-2013The mayor added, “I plan to arrange for a community discussion very soon so that we can all envision what the future could hold for this site of such historic and cultural significance.  Let’s put our hopes and dreams on the table, and work toward a collective vision of Coco Palms that will do justice to this special place and will result in a community resource of which we can all be proud.”

 

16 replies
  1. Diana Soper
    Diana Soper says:

    Hello! I was on vacation in Kauai this past Oct. 2013, for 2-fabulous weeks! I’m a huge Elvis Presley fan & it was wonderful to visit Coco Palms & hear the history on the huge coconut plantation. Lots of movies have been made there & lots of good times had by many! That would be great if that place was restored to what it was, to continue on & hold all of the history that made it to what it was!!

  2. Carol Burns
    Carol Burns says:

    I agree with everyone about the Coco Palms resort. My husband and 2 young sons stayed in the Kings Cottage at the Coco Palms in 1987 for a week, and it was the most wonderful experience we had. We also stayed in 5 star hotels on the other Islands in Hawaii but nothing could compare to how it felt to stay at the Coco Palms. The Coco Palms made you feel like you were experiencing the real Hawaii with the quaint cottages with their outdoor showers and all the palm trees. Not one of those 5 star hotels could ever compare to the feelings that you had when staying at the Coco Palms. It will be a shame if they do not rebuild it and restore it to it’s original setting, just so many others can experience the true Hawaii as it was in the past. Not one of those expensive hotels on any of the Islands can make you feel like your in Hawaii as much as the Coco Palms did.

  3. Pam
    Pam says:

    I was married in the little chapel at the Coco Palms in 1986. I have wonderful memories of my honeymoon, I can’t think of a more beautiful place to be married. We went back for our third anniversary and had just as much fun during our second stay. I was hart broken to see the damage after the storm. I have been back to Kauai six times ,every time I hope to see it restored to it’s former beauty. I am so happy to hear that there is finally hope for some kind of restoration. I would love to see it back the way I remember it. No place feels like the Hawaii of our dreams like the Coco Palms did. I will keep my figers crossed!

  4. Suzanne
    Suzanne says:

    I have been to Kauai twice now and visited Coco Palms, it’s a shame it’s so run down. I wandered amongst the coconut trees and sat by the lake just looking at everything , it was awesome. It still holds a really good vibe but such a shame to see the shambles it has become. If someone could “mend it ” , it would be a gold mine of a hotel – right opposite the ocean at Kapaa, where you could just sit and watch the waves all day!!

  5. MAUREEN
    MAUREEN says:

    I HAVE SPENT MANY A WONDERFUL NIGHT AT COCO PALMS. AS A TRAVEL AGENT OF 40 YEARS I HAD SENT MANY A CLIENT THERE AS WELL. MATTER OF FACT I HAD SOME MILITARY THERE FOR A REUNION WHEN THE STORM HIT. I HAVE BEEN BACK A FEW TIMES SINCE AND FELT SO SAD BY WHAT I SAW. COCO PALMS HAD THE BEST SHOWS, THE BEST TORCH LIGHTING, THE NICEST ROOMS WITH THE SHELLS AS SINKS AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GROUNDS OF ANY HOTEL ON ANY OF THE ISLANDS. A PERSON REALLY FELT THEY WERE IN HAWAII WHEN THE STAYED THERE. ISN’T THERE ANY HOTEL THAT IS WILLING TO RESTORE IT?

  6. Sandy
    Sandy says:

    I agree with Liz. My son and I were in Kauai in March and thought how sad it was that such beautiful place had not been restored. Kauai has such a diverse history and I think it is important to maintain it. Having said that, I think that those that live there and hold the island close to their hearts, should ultimately be the ones to decide what happens. Mahalo!

  7. LINNEA SCHAUER
    LINNEA SCHAUER says:

    Kauai is so beautiful that anything done to preserve it’s historic awesomeness has to be done.

  8. cindyp
    cindyp says:

    The natural beauty of Kauai should be preserved! I hope they bring it back to the way it was so future generations can enjoy it! Kauai stays in my heart ever since I went there!!!

  9. Daniel Costales
    Daniel Costales says:

    1992-2013 is a long time to languish. My memories of that place are huge. I hope they can get something done soon so a new generation of children can start building new memories.

  10. William K. Bucasas
    William K. Bucasas says:

    I loved the Coco Palms while growing up. My wife’s family lived a few miles up the road from the Coco Palms. Her father, Kimo Gilman Watson, entertained there as well as some of my wife’s siblings. I had the privilege of staying there a few times. The last time was for a retreat where we were taught the Oness of the Aina and the Sacredness of Wailua. The experience was remarkable. At dinner, the laulau could not have been prepared or presented any more precise as it was. The Coco Palms was not only made famous by Elvis Presley and the movie, Blue Hawaii. It was made famous by the Spirit of genuine Aloha displayed by those who loved and cared for that wonderful place.With modernization and the shift in the attitude of the newer generation, it would be a challenge to bring back the Spirit and Beauty of what the Coco Palms was known to be. But, all we can do is try.

  11. Janelle Mills
    Janelle Mills says:

    We just got back from Kauai this last Sunday……My husband and I asked about the Coco Palms…..it’s so sad to see it in this bad of shape! I hope that the people of Kauai make the right choice, it would be so nice to see something with that kind of history come back to life. I look forward to hearing how it all turns out!

  12. wendy cantwell
    wendy cantwell says:

    I also think that it should be the community that decides what happens. They are the ones that have the memories and know what would be best for the area.

  13. Peter Richard
    Peter Richard says:

    I did wonder if anything was going to happen there, I saw it in 08 and said why don’t they rebuild. Whatever is done should be up to the community to decide.

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