Coco Palms Resort is an once famous resort hotel in Wailua, Hawaii. The resort was visited by numerous movie stars and was also the scene of Elvis Presley's Blue Hawaii. The resort has been closed since being hit by Hurricane Iniki. However, rumors persist that the resort will once again open and as of 2006, could soon come true
On January 25, 1953 the resort opened with only twenty-four rooms. However, the resort would expand greatly in the 1970s to around 400 rooms. This made Coco Palms the premier resort hotel on Kauai. The secluded island of Kauai and its ripeness in film making brought famous people like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, royalty of Japan, and countless other celebrated personalities to the resort.
The Coco Palms resort had many traditions, one being the ceremonial torch lighting "Called to Feast" that happened every evening at 7:30 p.m. until Hurricane Iniki in September 1992. Many resorts in Hawaii now take on that tradition, too. To this day, one tradition still stands as wedding ceremonies continue once or twice a week. The draw is, in part, fueled by the film Blue Hawaii. Before closing, the Coco Palms hosted over 500 weddings annually.
The Coco Palms suffered the enormous wrath of Hurricane Iniki on September 11, 1992 as storm surge hit the lower floors of the hotel. The resort failed to open after the hurricane due to the resort's location, sitting on the flood plain of the Wailua River, in which insurance does not cover. The resort has not been looted in respect for the islanders who left the hotel intact. A few years ago, the owners sold off furniture from the resort that sat in the rooms in the years following Iniki. However, the items sold very quickly to customers who wanted a piece of the Coco Palms.
Today, there are current rumors of the hotel being sold to developers who will return it to glory. Finally in mid-2006, the hotel was sold and is to be rebuilt to conform to flood standards due to the location of the flood plain. The resort will open again in 2008.