Thursday, February 17, 2022

World famous art creates intriguing walk-through museum in resort

This larger-than-life-size chariot with driver is among 1,800 stunning artworks at Hilton Waikoloa
Village. The resort acquired a multi-million dollar collection of fascinating multi-media artwork.


Editor's Note: This story was written and
photographed days before the writer and 
photographer experienced the tragic loss
of their brother, Patrick. They plan to 
resume travels, including a trip planned 
with Patrick to Ireland. Now, his ashes
will accompany them.

A classic selection of art pieces includes a variety of
oars and weapons. Here, Bruce Keller admires them.


A RESORT WITH its own museum.
That's an apt description of Hilton Waikoloa Village, where a unique art collection awaits.
We found the 1,800 pieces of the hotel's "Museum Walkway" so enticing that we spent an hour of each of our days there discovering and appreciating it.
Like many of our readers, we're museum aficionados, true devotees, having toured many of the world's great art houses --  from Russia's Hermitage to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Madrid's Prado, London's National Gallery, the Louvre in Paris,  Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, and more.
A horse greets visitors by the ice machine
on this floor of the Makai Tower. Makai is a
direction, meaning towards the sea.
But even in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Singapore, we had never experienced such an immersive look at Asian, Western and Oceanic cultures. While the emphasis is on Asia and the Pacific, there's a nod to classical European art in bronzes, sculpture and elegant fountains.
We've not seen a more artful and beautifully displayed collection anywhere in our travels.
IT HELPS TO have a background of palm trees, waterfalls, orchids, perfectly manicured hedges, ponds and pretty buildings. All that and more form an enhancing backdrop for this splendid collection.
Island batik and silk artworks are elegantly
hung throughout the resort complex.

We discovered this eye-popping art bonanza during a brief visit a few years ago and vowed to return to give it more 
time.  The collection includes more than 1,800 unique pieces with emphasis on celebrating the cultural heritage of the Pacific Island life. In so doing, it encourages an appreciation of all the world's great art, helping tourists gain specific insight into life in the islands whose people and culture settled in Hawaii.
Like great museums, the pieces are thoughtfully placed in separate areas.  Four divisions are skillfully woven together so that one gets a cohesive experience.
THE "MUSEUM WALKWAY''  demands a good three or four hours to enjoy it all.  We divided our "tour" over several days. We spent an hour with the Oceanic Art, which features art and artifacts from the Oceanic Region: Polynesia and Melanesia. It was right out the door of our Makai Tower, beginning near a modern train that navigates the resort from the main lobby. We also enjoy stays at Palace and Ocean Towers, all with art to admire.
The Asian and Southeast Asian Art tour covers works from China, Thailand, Burma and Indonesia, plus a variety of Hawaiian galleries. Again, we spent nearly an hour beginning at the lobby and walking toward Palace Tower, another building in the center  
Keller and Cookie near Palace Tower, with
its own Italian inspired fountain.

of the 62-acre resort.  Located as it is on the renowned Kohala Coast, this gorgeous playground -- Hilton Waikoloa Village -- is more an elegant theme park than a hotel.
EAST MEETS West in another portion of the exhibition with art from Asia, Japan, Polynesia and Europe. Again, 45 minutes to an hour to fully appreciate the collection between Palace Tower and Ocean Tower.
Finally, the "Side Trips" tour includes artwork found along the Ocean Walkway along such stopping places as Buddha Point. A grand staircase and entrances to the resorts restaurants are also tastefully accented with artwork -- bronzes, paintings, sculpture, wall hangings, musical instruments, oars, clothing.
 EVERYTHING in the Makai Tower, the tower with prime beachfront, is designed to incorporate the elements of island life.  Dark lava rock tile
floors, cheery coral bathroom counters, with wall paper to mimic tapa -- the delicately designed Hawaiian paper bark cloth.
Musical instruments and ceremonial drums
are on view in the resort's slate walkways.
A stroll from Ocean Tower to the lobby is
a pleasant 10 minutes, and offers beautiful
art. The train is an option and a boat winds
leisurely through the canals past sculptures. 
The showpiece of all the hotels within the complex is Makai Tower. Here Polynesian heritage and Hawaiian life are artfully honored. We in turn were honored to be part of this magnificent art -- if only for a few treasured days.

"One lion to another."  Christene "Cookie"
Meyers, a Leo on the astrological chart,
stopped each day to admire a lion inspired
by Indonesian folklore.


UP NEXT: If you've not experienced the
wonders of the "Big Island," as the
On the volcano trail, Keller and Cookie pose for a selfie by
the barren landscape and steam of Hawaii's active volcanoes.
Visitors enjoy changing wonders each day. Since the Park
service began keeping records in the 19th century, eruptions
irregularly occur. 
frequently at Mauna Loa and Kilauea.

island of Hawaii is known, you're in for a treat. We'll take you there to view two of the world's most active volcanoes. You'll soon see why tourists, scientists and students have been making it a research, holiday and vacation stop for decades. Both Kilauea and Mauna Loa are located on the island, largest in the Hawaiian chain, thus its moniker.  Both volcanoes are on the Big Island and well worth investigating.  Remember to explore, learn and live and catch
us weekly for a fresh look at nature, family, travel, the arts and more:


  1. Our favorite hotel in the world. It really is a "Disneyland museum." Resort of the highest order.Thank you for sharing its marvels.

  2. San Francisco Museum GoersFebruary 19, 2022 at 5:46 PM

    Wonderful place, fun story.

  3. Great look at a truly magnificent collection. Love the way you explain its meaning.

  4. We booked this place based on your story! Thank you