One of the questions that I get asked the most is, “What venue would you recommend for…?”
We certainly don’t know all of the venues, but I think that one of the things we do very well is give people insight into a particular venue, starting with first knowing that it is available for events, and then knowing the layout, the infrastructure, and many other details about the property. Sometimes new properties open up and begin to get popular. Sometimes established properties change their policies to allow for more (or less) accommodation of client needs. Sometimes old properties get sold or just stop doing event. A few times during the course of this year, I’ll do a quick post on a venue and maybe toss in some comments on it, talking about it from more subjective perspective. Check back often to see if maybe we’ll preview a venue that YOU’LL fall in love with!
Many moons ago, we did an article on our old website that we called “Location, Location, Location”. They were three locations that, at the time, were virtually unknown, but because we had done events there, we thought they were so amazing that people needed to know about them! The first three locations we previewed were Hale Treasure Island, the Bayer Estate, and Lanikuhonua. We posted a few photos, and provided a quick writeup on each of the venues, some of their features and what made them amazing, and provided some contact information so people could get in touch with them.
Well, fast forward 11 years, and it’s amazing to see how well-established two of the three have become!
The only venue of the three that faded quickly was Hale Treasure Island. The property, which was truly incredible because it sat right on the rocky peninsula just above Laniakea beach (a well-known turtle beach where sea turtles always frequent the sandy shoreline), quickly sold to a new homeowner who wasn’t interested in continuing to do events. And I don’t blame them, because I’d almost want to keep that view all to myself too!
The Bayer Estate went from an idyllic, quaint little cottage in the middle of a sleepy Aina Haina neighborhood to becoming one of the top wedding destinations in Hawaii. In fact, they were voted the Top Party Venue in 2014 by the Honolulu Star Advertiser in their “Hawaii’s Best” Awards. The home has also been used many times in the filming of the current Hawaii 5-0 Television series, as the childhood home of lead character Steve McGarrett, played by Alex O’Loughlin. Homeowner and Business Owner Susan (“Sooz”) Mirikitani is the sweetest, nicest, most passionate person you’ll ever meet. She will book your event date (not necessarily a wedding, although most of their events are), and whisk you through the process from initial inquiry to day-of-the-wedding, taking care of you every step of the way. She cares for this place from deep within her heart, and it shows in every little detail. For a long time, it was a dream of hers to have a property like this to share with the world, and now that it has become reality for her, she truly takes the time to make sure it can be a special place for many people. The Bayer Estate has certainly become a very in-demand destination for any event.
Contact: Susan Mirikitani, The Bayer Estate
Back in the old days, Lanikuhonua was simply a gorgeous cultural grounds, set aside for some events here and there, but not very popular mostly because it was so far out on the West side of the island. And “town” people just didn’t want to drive that far. As the H1 freeway widened, and the second city began to build out (Kapolei), and – perhaps most importantly – destination weddings became en vogue, the jewel that is Lanikuhonua began to glitter and shimmer, and quickly changed from an unknown beautiful landscape to one of the most popular event destinations on Oahu. Lanikuhonua is actually made up of THREE Phases, each with it’s own unique features. Phase I is broken up a bit by beautiful soaring coconut trees, which are scattered across the lawn here and there, providing shade and character to the property. It also has a sacred hula mound on one edge, which cannot be used for ANY commercial purposes, or even have guests so much as walk across it. There is also a beautiful little Hale on the ocean end of the Phase, overlooking it’s own private lagoon. Phase II is much more spacious, having a bigger open area of lawn space, and having its own hula mound (which you CAN actually use for bands, dj, etc). It also has an interesting canopy of trees on the ocean side of the property, which people often use for cocktail areas, or lounge seating, or even smaller events that want a more woodsy feel. Phase III is the least known of the three properties, and for good reason – it actually is reserved for use by the owners of Lanikuhonua. The Kahu on property is Aunty Netty, and she ensures that the grounds are well taken care of, both physically and culturally. She has lived on property her entire life, watching her mother care for the property and taking over for her when it was her time. Her personal stories about the property and what she has seen when it’s just been her, the land, and the sea, are incredible to listen to, and you just feel transported to a time where modern life didn’t exist; a time where Hawaii was old and natural. Lanikuhonua, “where heaven meets the earth”, is truly an incredible choice for a venue.
Contact: Hoku Naone, Lanikuhonua
It was nice to review the three venues from this article written so long ago… brings back great memories for me, about when we were just sprouting up, along with these venues… and to look at how far we’ve all come. How amazing. Well, soon we’ll start revealing some new venues, and who knows… maybe one or two of those will end up being the next hot properties… and one you’ll fall in love with for your next special event. Stay tuned!!