The Spirit of Aloha

January 17, 2017

Aloha Spirit to Serve - Kehaulani KamIf you’ve read my blog before, you know that I believe culture is everything. It’s the foundation to all that we do—in the interaction with our guests, associates and communities. And while Starwood didn’t have the multi-decade legacy of Marriott, they did have a belief in the importance of service excellence to shape the guest experience and a commitment to serving the world.

So, it was no surprise to me to hear of an associate at our Starwood properties in Waikiki who embraces not only the culture of Hawaii but also the culture of our company.

For the past 45 years, Kehaulani Kam has been dedicating her life to taking care of guests and associates. She started her career as a key room clerk (. And now, she is the Director of Culture for the four Starwood properties in Waikiki.

The Waikiki resorts employ more than 3,500 associates and Kehaulani has personally welcomed and helped train almost every member of the team. She is passionate about training and developing the best in every associate—helping them see the importance of service excellence.

She’s also committed to the culture of Hawaii. Every week she joins guests before sunrise on Waikiki Beach to bring in the sun for a Ho’oala Ritual. And she is always finding new ways to immerse guests and associates into the culture of her island with hula classes, cultural celebrations, Polynesian sporting events for children and a number of educational programs.

Kehaulani is also the driving force behind the properties’ community events. Under her leadership, the hotels raise more than $200,000 each year for the United Way, as well as support local schools, charities and hospitals. 

I am so impressed by Kehaulani’s dedication and passion for her job. I hope you’ll visit her in Waikiki and experience for yourself her warm spirit of aloha!

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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Thanks for sharing Mr. Bill Marriott ! A very inspiring lady indeed !!

Joanne Bilodeau
Platinum Desk YZRRC

What a wonderful blog about such a wonderful person. Tita as I have grown to know her during my month Taskforce at the Sheraton Waikiki in December, was the ultimate soul of Aloha and what a wonderful ambassador of Hawaii and Starwood/Marriott she is.

From the moment that I met Kehaulani, she embraced me with her welcoming spirit and ensured that I had the ultimate experience in Hawaii with going to the sunrise morning rituals chanting E Ala E, getting in the water, and even having the Kumu Kalama there on Wednesday mornings.

She would always have a smile on her face welcoming everyone she would encounter with Hello Brother, or Hello Tita, and you know that she was truly authentic and genuine.

Mr. Marriott - thank you for highlighting Kehaulani and her outstanding achievements in her growth within the Sheraton Waikiki complex.

Next time you visit, make sure you say 'ALOHA' and stop to see her. You will feel like you have just seen your long lost family member who has been waiting years to see you.


Lynsay - HR Manager - Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, ON

I love this story. Yes, I know the hotel chain stands for service and that it's their culture. But, what I love is that Kehaulani has been promoted and promoted - to a VERY important job. Did she ever think that she would be running the culture for four hotels? Promoting people from within is a powerful motivating message for other employees/team members to see and hear.

In my Acronym of T.E.A.M.S. R.O.C.K.

My "C" stands for 'Culture is CORE and the foundation to the success of any business and in the hospitality business that culture must be around the service to customers.

This is why I have been a loyal Marriott Rewards member since the inception in 1983 when it was called the Marriott Marquis program and welcome the incredible service of people like Kehaulani Kam and how she embodies the 'Spirit to Serve' culture of Marriott.

Thank you sir for sharing this with us -- I invite readers to go back to your blog from February 4, 2009 when you blogged about Alex Shane and here incredible service she provided me on one very long and painful night.

Gregg Gregory, CSP

Looks so nice to work in Marriott.
Yes, culture is very important.
Could you tell me , how to join your team, to work in marriot?
Happy new year 2017! (01/28/2017 will be Chinese New Year,
This is culture. :)