From medical services to therapy dogs: West Maui hotel tries to think it all for their new guests

The Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali is one of the properties serving as temporary housing and helping with relief efforts.
Published: Aug. 26, 2023 at 6:29 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 27, 2023 at 12:48 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows is one of several hotels housing displaced Maui wildfire victims, and the hotel’s general manager says he’s happy to welcome them.

“The first couple days were pretty difficult I think for everybody,” said Stephen Hinck, resort general manager.

“It’s all about people and taking care of the people. And we were one of the first groups to kind of just ante up and wasn’t about the business. It was about taking care of people. That’s what we do.”

FEMA contracted the hotel to house displaced Lahaina families in 375 rooms.

The hotel is also housing 75 of its own employees and their families.

In an interview on HNN, Hinck shared a heroic story about an employee who left the resort to rescue his family. “He jumped out of his truck. He was screaming and yelling for his kids. And actually, he found them by whistling and he found them in the drainage ditch,” Hinck said.

“It was definitely an act of heroism.”

Besides accommodations, the hotel has multiple donation centers that provide essential supplies from clothing to food, children’s toys, pet supplies and more. Other on-site resources include ILWU member support, HMSA support, Department of Health, therapy dogs, and school enrollment services.

“They’re committed for 45 days, and we’re feeding them breakfast, lunch, dinner, in their own restaurant, Red Cross is set up, Queen’s Medical Center is set up. Kaiser is set up. There’s mental health, pretty much anything anybody would need on property, which is really, really cool,” Hinck said.

“Last night, we set up slides and a little movie night for them just to kind of keep them occupied.”

Highgate says it’s following direction from the state to restrict non-essential travel to West Maui until Oct. 17.

Through their “LOVE MAUI program,” the hotel group is donating $10 for each booking, raising donations through their website, and supporting employees, such as covering their medical and dental insurance.

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