You might pass by it every day and never notice it's there. It's a place where time stands still as the clock is dialed back to the Hawaii of yesteryear, where the stately architecture shines in sharp contrast to the nearby neighborhood developments, and where old-style hospitality is the standard. I'm talking about the Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono.
This hidden treasure, just steps away from downtown Wailuku, was the perfect setting for last Saturday's "Lei of Aloha 3" fundraiser for Hokulani Holt's Pa'u O Hi'iaka halau hula.
Owners Tom and Janice Fairbanks open the doors to their nostalgic bed and breakfast just once a year in support of the halau. The niele (curious) were given the green light to peak into the themed bedrooms, marked by floral patterned quilts reflecting each room's theme, like lokelani, mokihana or lehua.
U‘i Naho‘olewa, Malie Unabia-Verkerke, Mikahala Helm and Kathy Kaohu
Organizers reported a record crowd this year as around 250 guests poured in to celebrate in the style of 1930s Hawaii with music and hula by halau members, readings of Don Blanding's poetry and traditional craft demonstrations.
Adding to the old Hawaiiana feel were women dressed in vintage mu'umu'u, their impeccably coifed hair accented by tropical flowers and their neck draped in lei.
More than just a fundraiser, the day was a chance for guests take a step back from the hectic holiday season and another step back in time.