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Kauai

Coco Palms, Aloha In Action – Will There Ever Be Another?

Coco Palms—A wonderful piece of Kauai history that is missed by all. You may be gone, but not forgotten!

So many visitors to Kauai ask about Coco Palms and share their memories of times spent there. Some of them were married in the wedding chapel, some spent their honeymoon there, and many more were guests that simply looked forward to their annual return visit to Coco Palms.

Kauai’s own Larry Rivera performing in front of the Coco Palms wedding chapel

People got acquainted with each other at the manager’s nightly cocktail hour and then planned their return trips so they would be there the same time the following year. Long friendships developed over these nightly cocktail gatherings, the famous torch lighting ceremony, and the gracious hosting of Grace Guslander. It was a place to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. Mrs. Guslander made every guest feel how glad she was to have them back—and she genuinely was!

On October 23, 2010, Grace would have celebrated her 100th birthday. While she is gone, she still lives in the lives and hearts of her employees who adored her, and her guests that will never forget how good she made them feel on their trips to Kauai.

Have we all gotten so busy with our lives that even while we are on vacation, we can’t kick back? Is it that today’s hotels simply don’t provide the settings for this type of fellowship where friendships can thrive? Or perhaps it is as author of the book The Story of Coco Palms Hotel, David Penhallow, and life long friend of Mrs. Guslander’s states, “Coco Palms wasn’t a place. It was a time, and that time is over.”

Place or time—it is missed. Perhaps Kauai will be blessed with “another place in time” with a birth of a new memory maker like Coco Palms.

While Coco Palms is still at rest, remember Kauai’s beauty is abundant, so if you are looking to sell or buy real estate in Hawaii, I am here to help. I look forward to any memories you may have to share about your visits to Coco Palms!

lucyadams@hawaiilife.com

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Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

January 30, 2011

Aloha Lucy – Is the Coco Palms that brown hotel near Kapa’a on the mauka side of the road that has been abandoned for years?? I was not fortunate enough to visit in her glory days, but it certainly sounds like the kind of place I would have LOVED! Hope you get some stories about it here – would love to read those!

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

January 30, 2011

Aloha Lucy – Is the Coco Palms that brown hotel near Kapa’a on the mauka side of the road that has been abandoned for years?? I was not fortunate enough to visit in her glory days, but it certainly sounds like the kind of place I would have LOVED! Hope you get some stories about it here – would love to read those!

lucyadams

January 30, 2011

Yes, that is the hotel. It was damaged during Hurricane Iniki and has never been rebuilt but the memories remain. There have been books devoted to Coco Palms and its operator, Grace Guslander. Many “traditions” now used in Hawaiian Hotels were originated by Grace ie. Torch lighting ceremonies, conch shell ceremonies and nightly Hawaiian music.

She was sought after by Hotels Internationally as a consultant because of the ground breaking ideas and attention given to her guests, and she did this all very naturally.

It was a wonderful time for Kauai.

lucyadams

January 30, 2011

Yes, that is the hotel. It was damaged during Hurricane Iniki and has never been rebuilt but the memories remain. There have been books devoted to Coco Palms and its operator, Grace Guslander. Many “traditions” now used in Hawaiian Hotels were originated by Grace ie. Torch lighting ceremonies, conch shell ceremonies and nightly Hawaiian music.

She was sought after by Hotels Internationally as a consultant because of the ground breaking ideas and attention given to her guests, and she did this all very naturally.

It was a wonderful time for Kauai.

Gary Siracusa

January 30, 2011

It was a special place in time and unfortunately time does move on and one generation’s reminiscence although honored for what it is and meant to them, is more than likely not valid nor should be with the current generation that will find its own special time and place. Kauai certainly affords many such opportunities as I doubt CP in whatever its next iteration, will ever be what it was. Grace did just that … graced the property with her presence.

Gary Siracusa

January 30, 2011

It was a special place in time and unfortunately time does move on and one generation’s reminiscence although honored for what it is and meant to them, is more than likely not valid nor should be with the current generation that will find its own special time and place. Kauai certainly affords many such opportunities as I doubt CP in whatever its next iteration, will ever be what it was. Grace did just that … graced the property with her presence.

Ilona Coffey

January 31, 2011

A special place where so many special memories were created. What a time that must have been!

Ilona Coffey

January 31, 2011

A special place where so many special memories were created. What a time that must have been!

Sarah klusczinski

February 2, 2011

I’d love to be married at the Coco Palms. Can it still be done? Every e-mail I write, doesn’t respond. I’ve written to three for Larry Rivera, and all came back! Before I give up, I’d like to know it really can’t happen. Thanks.

Sarah klusczinski

February 2, 2011

I’d love to be married at the Coco Palms. Can it still be done? Every e-mail I write, doesn’t respond. I’ve written to three for Larry Rivera, and all came back! Before I give up, I’d like to know it really can’t happen. Thanks.

Lucy Adams, RS

February 8, 2011

Sarah, I put a call into Larry Rivera who usually performs the weddings at Coco Palms. He left me a message saying “yes he does Weddings at Coco Palms and that he would call me when he got back to Kauai as he is currently in Las Vegas.” I will contact you with the contact information once I get it from Larry.

Hopefully you will be able to have your Wedding as you had hoped at the Chapel at Coco Palms. Thanks for your inquiry. Lucy

Lucy Adams, RS

February 8, 2011

Sarah, I put a call into Larry Rivera who usually performs the weddings at Coco Palms. He left me a message saying “yes he does Weddings at Coco Palms and that he would call me when he got back to Kauai as he is currently in Las Vegas.” I will contact you with the contact information once I get it from Larry.

Hopefully you will be able to have your Wedding as you had hoped at the Chapel at Coco Palms. Thanks for your inquiry. Lucy

Skip Soden

February 15, 2011

Dear Lucy,

I worked for Coco Palms parent company, Island Holidays. Was fortunate to be able to attend Grace’s 100th at Smith’s and got to see quite a few old friends, Including Larry Rivera, David Penhallow, and Big John.

Have been staying at Islander on the Beach on recent visits and would like to know why so many of those units are for sale, and some so cheap? Same with CPR there at the Coconut Market Place.

Has that area become undesireable if ANYTRHING IN KAUAI COULD
BE considered that?

Looking for a VERY AFFORDABLE fixer-upper to retire to in the near future.

Thanks,
Skip Soden

Skip Soden

February 15, 2011

Dear Lucy,

I worked for Coco Palms parent company, Island Holidays. Was fortunate to be able to attend Grace’s 100th at Smith’s and got to see quite a few old friends, Including Larry Rivera, David Penhallow, and Big John.

Have been staying at Islander on the Beach on recent visits and would like to know why so many of those units are for sale, and some so cheap? Same with CPR there at the Coconut Market Place.

Has that area become undesireable if ANYTRHING IN KAUAI COULD
BE considered that?

Looking for a VERY AFFORDABLE fixer-upper to retire to in the near future.

Thanks,
Skip Soden

Lucy Adams, RS

June 13, 2011

Skip, Kauai has not totally escaped the decline in property values, and while Hawaii has not experienced the same depreciation, we do have many properties that are selling for much less than their last owner paid. It’s a really good time to be looking for that retirement property!

Lucy Adams, RS

June 13, 2011

Skip, Kauai has not totally escaped the decline in property values, and while Hawaii has not experienced the same depreciation, we do have many properties that are selling for much less than their last owner paid. It’s a really good time to be looking for that retirement property!

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