The love and loss of stylish resorts

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by Cathy Rae Smith
founder of Culture Magazine

There are places in this vast world of ours that simply cause me to linger and soak in the beauty. One of those places is the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It is resort style that harkens back to the glamour age of ocean liner travel. Built in 1927, it has served as a welcome haven to a glittering host of celebrities and dignitaries over the decades. Known as the Pink Palace, it was the first location to be dubbed the Western White House when President Franklin D. Roosevelt would make extended visits, which included conducting presidential business during his stays.

In my youth, I always loved going out to eat with the family, when I was typically treated to a Shirley Temple “cocktail,” complete with a maraschino cherry skewered by a colorful paper umbrella. Upon her visit to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, this fanciful drink was initially created there for the child starlet.

Though Honolulu’s days as a pristine, natural paradise has sadly long since given way to a crowd of hotels and high rises, this property holds on to a small haven of tropical elegance, situated between its tropical garden and sugary white sand beach against the turquoise waters of Waikiki. Though many of the hotels are very nice, the history and stately elegance of this hotel, (along with the Moana Hotel, built in 1901), holds a special ambiance.

American personal-success author Napoleon Hill asserted, “We begin to see, therefore, the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted.” Italian film director Frederico Fellini once said, “Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that.” And my closing statement would be to seek out (or create) the environment that feels most at home, because environment both affects us and reflects who we are.