Fireworks and fanfare painted a colorful grand opening at Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa on April 16, with the seamless integration of Hawaiian and Mauritian cultures making this celebration a true milestone in Outrigger's 66-year history.
The Republic of Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean, located 1,200 miles off the southeast coast of Africa. Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa is the company's 46th property now open or under development in a total of eight countries. The festive celebration was a capstone to a nine-month, multi-million dollar renovation of the 181 all sea-view room beachfront resort.
Outrigger senior executives and the company's founding family members flew in from Hawaii for the occasion, including Dr. Charles R. Kelley, chairman of the board of Outrigger Enterprises Group, David Carey, president and CEO and Bitsy Kelley, Outrigger VP corporate communications.
David Carey said that the spiritual and emotive island links between Hawaii, Outrigger and Mauritius were palpable. He told the guests: "Outrigger is excited to be in Mauritius. We believe we can bring a special brand of hospitality where the culture, the employees and the place are valued and translate into a special experience for guests."
David Carey presented a handcrafted koa wood ornamental box to the event's guest of honor, the Mauritius minister for tourism, Mr Michael Sik Yuen. The tourism minister told the audience: "I'm very proud to see Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa joining the league of the best hotels in Mauritius. There is no doubt that Outrigger will bring a new dimension to the tourism industry here."
Outrigger's cultural ambassador, Kaipo Ho, delivered four Hawaiian chants and blessings to show gratitude to the Mauritian hosts and the inclusion of Mauritius into the Outrigger ohana. He presented a koa wooden canoe paddle to the resort's general manager, Mr. Frederic Chretien, symbolizing the partnership between ocean islands, strength, unity of purpose, and the start of a journey together.
Dr. Charles R. Kelley gave a brief overview of Outrigger hotel history, starting with the arrival of his grandparents in Hawaii in 1929. Now in 2014 the family-run business, still headquartered in Hawaii, owns or manages dozens of properties across four continents.
"The third generation has expanded the business. Today, everywhere we go we supply genuine, authentic hospitality with a local culture experience," said Dr. Kelley.
The special night was characterized by a chic mix of Mauritian, Hawaiian and international sensations and attended by 350 VIP guests from China, Australia, South Africa, France and UK. The vibrant evening included acrobats, dancers, live music, mime artists, a sumptuous variety of cuisines, a spectacular firework display over the sea, and guests dancing barefoot on the beach.
"With the opening of our Mauritius property we hope to benefit the greater Hawaii visitor industry by lending visibility to the unique brand that is Hawaii," said Carey. "In the next five years, Outrigger will continue to grow our global profile and expand operations beyond Hawaii's shores to new international markets."
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