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The Yellow Umbrella calls you home to Halekulani

When you arrive at Halekulani, calming shades of white and blue surround you. Yet by the water, something is different.

Around the oceanfront pool — celebrated for its spectacular mosaic of a Cattleya orchid, comprised of 1.2 million pieces of imported South African glass tiles — is a collection of sun umbrellas. Each one is white, providing a consistent color palette as guests view the pool from their suite. Amid the rows of white, one umbrella stands out in a burst of buttercup yellow.

This one yellow umbrella is said to be so distinct that it can be seen from a plane as you leave, and is a visual reminder that Halekulani is inviting you to return.  

The history of the sole, yellow umbrella dates back to the turn of the millennium when one of the company's executives saw the power that a change from the expected could bring during a trip to the South of France.  He noticed the impact that the beach umbrellas had on defining a property and how a break in color could serve as a mark for guests strolling along the Mediterranean.  Seeing the one, recognizable umbrella was a quiet reminder that they had returned to their hotel.

“Halekulani’s beachfront property has always had a sense of tranquility and hospitality,” says Patricia Tam, Former General Manager, Chief Executive Advisor, Halekulani Corporation. “We believed that one change to the pattern of color would provide guests with a subtle yet memorable welcome and was a way to help us bring our neutral color palatte into the new milennium..”

We chose a gentle, buttercup yellow, to complement the distinctive Halekulani blue and the white of the other umbrellas. Yellow hibiscus was also planted around the property, to extend the color theme.

“When we first put in the yellow umbrella, guests would compete to sit under it,” says Patricia Tam. “They loved how it stood out.”

Few hotels use yellow in their color palette, so an umbrella in a buttercup shade defined the property on Waikiki beach, in the same way that the one umbrella defined the property in the South of France that originally inspired our company executive.  

One small change, and Halekulani calls you home from the beach, the ocean, or even, some say, from the air.