Hawaii’s Treasured Time-Warp Hotels – WSJ

For the Time Capsule sequence, we highlight a cherished restaurant, resort or landmark that’s modified remarkably little through the years. This week, we go to the Manago Hotel in Hawaii.


In 1917, Kinzo Manago and his spouse, Osame, immigrants from Fukuoka, Japan, borrowed $100 to purchase a small, roadside home in South Kona on Hawaii Island. They divided it into two rooms: one for sleeping and the opposite for making and promoting udon, bread, jam and occasional to secure staff and occasional pickers from close by farms. The cafe and constructing expanded because the Managos’ business and household grew—quickly, salesmen shuttling between Hilo and Kona requested to spend the night time. Thus Manago Hotel was born, charging as much as $1 an evening for cots behind the restaurant and futons on the ground. By 1929, a constructing with 22 visitor rooms had changed the unique residence. And within the Sixties, a second, three-story wing behind the property was constructed. Eventually, vacationers started traversing a lush courtyard backyard and passing below purple-corrugated awnings to the newer rooms, which make the most of the resort’s perch on the slopes of Mauna Loa with views right down to Kealakekua Bay.


In 1983, grandson Dwight Manago walked away from a job on the ritzy Mauna Lani Bay Hotel to proceed the household’s business and—at one level—tried to put in TVs in every of the rooms. Regulars “fought back—they didn’t want change,” stated his daughter Britney Manago, who now runs the resort together with her sister Taryn. “Hotel Manago reminds them of childhood and old Hawaii.” Heeding their father’s lesson, the sisters preserve every thing the identical: You’ll discover no TVs within the easy rooms and the costliest (at $100 an evening), in-built honor of Kinzo and Osame, is furnished with tatami mats, shoji screens and an ofuro tub. The resort’s restaurant, which Gourmet journal deemed a legendary “must-visit,” is among the many state’s oldest; other than the costs, the letterboard menu tacked on the wall hasn’t modified for many years (every thing’s nonetheless below $15). Locals return for the fried fish comparable to akule and opelu, and well-known pork chops, cooked in a sq. cast-iron pan that’s rumored to be as outdated because the restaurant.

Small and Stalwart

Three different outdated-guard Hawaiian motels

On Maui, Lahaina’s Pioneer Inn—the place Frank Sinatra and Spencer Tracy filmed “The Devil at 4 O’Clock”—dates to 1901. The Hawaiian Plantation exterior stays, whereas the rooms have been up to date and Top Chef alum Lee Anne Wong lately rehauled the restaurant menu from about $200 an evening,

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