Jackie: We want to talk about the people who made our Sheraton Maui anniversary an indelible experience. So, if you have a chance to take advantage of the special seasonal bargains, seek out these folks and stock up on a lotta aloha. Starwood star power starts with the general manager Chip Bahouth. A child of the Sheraton, his father was resident manager; Chip’s first position was a cliff diver! Now he has climbed up to the top job, managing this 510-room oceanfront resort. This genial young man is full of Sheraton history and is proud to share stories with the guests.
David: We met Chip Bahouth while heading to the pool side bar to watch the historical cliff diving ceremony. We shared this experience with a lovely young woman, Jocelyn Brucker, who is the resort’s public relations manager. She embellished our time with Sheraton history and myths. Many resorts reveal an island’s beauty — but few unveil its soul. Maui’s name evokes myth because Maui is the demigod and mischief-maker. He once captured the Sun, making it promise to linger in its journey across the sky, long days ending with blazing sunsets. Vigils were held at Black Rock. This promontory came to be designated as one of three great “Uhane Lele,” a sacred point where souls of the dead leaped into their ancestral spirit land. The diving ceremony honors this. So, the location had the personality, all Sheraton had to do was build on it. Sixty years ago and still growing and going strong.
Jackie Accentuates: Jocelyn is a mid-western girl who loves her job and her life in Maui. Recently married she, and Mr. Brucker just bought their island first home. Her affection for the hotel spills over on the staff. As the president of “Starwish,” Jocelyn oversees this non-profit fund raising by motivated Starwood associates of the Sheraton Maui. In its 6th year of helping the needy via creative events, Starwish is a prime example of the Aloha spirit.
David: The wait staff is gracious morning, noon and night. We really enjoyed our server, Bruce Catalano, at The Black Rock Steak and Seafood restaurant. He gave superb suggestions with a joyful attitude and made the dinner a pleasure. Tantalizing ahi tuna, snapper with pineapple-papaya sauce, great salad luscious dessert and Bruce. What could be better?
Jackie: A massage at the Spa at Black Rock? I was lucky to get Michelle Hebert for a “massage with loving hands,” the Lomi Lomi, which flowed through my mind, body and spirit. Michelle’s spirit and talent with a little reflexology tossed in made me want to adopt her. She’s also a writer and I’m waiting to read her first novel.
The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is more than a destination. It is an experience of Hawaiian culture for the entire family. Everyday, Aloha Ambassadors invite guests to take part in cultural activities that perpetuate the Hawaiian experience. Learn to play a song on the Ukulele, dance the Hula or decorate a souvenir coconut. From my balcony, I watched guests learning to throw a spear, enjoying the Luaus, and the corporate partying that made me want to work for Nike. Beautiful. And just beyond, the perfect Pacific.
All the high tech doodads in the universe leave a hotel stay ho-hum if the staff is under par. Not a problem at the Sheraton Maui.