The name Aluli strikes a familiar chord in Hawaii. Irmgard Aluli
was a renowned storyteller and famed island composer who left
behind an enduring legacy at her death in 2001. Some 400
Aluli-penned songs still drum up strong memories of “Auntie
Auntie also produced eight children including two sets of twins
with her husband of 27 years. Today, Nane Aluli, the eldest child
and his father’s namesake, helps perpetuate his family’s musical
roots with die-hard support of isle musicians.
Aluli hopped into the hospitality industry in 1965 as a sales
representative with Hawaiian Airlines. Holding a resume running
deep with industry expertise, he left Village Resorts in 2000 to
manage his family’s hotel, the Mauian. When the property was sold
in 2003, its new owners asked Aluli to remain manager.
“The Mauian was developed by my uncle back in 1958,” noted Aluli.
“I visited the property often growing up, but only stayed there
about half a dozen times. One of my earliest recollections of a
Mauian visit was when I was 15, and our entire clan came to
celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. The Mauian had just
Property-wise, not much has changed since then. The Mauian still
features an Aluli as manager and appeals with its local-style
atmosphere.Aluli recalled how favorable it was to have his mother
as such a notable musician as he was growing up.
“It was wonderful! Our household was always filled with music.
Family gatherings were busy with lots of singing and dancing,” he
One of Aluli’s most memorable moments was working with his mother
on one of her albums.
“It was a Christmas album called ‘Santa’s Gone Hawaiian,’” he
explained. “I was the mynah bird that ‘squawked’ on the song.”
Naturally, Aluli’s stories run deep.
“Another fond time I recall is watching my mother and sisters
perform at the Willows Restaurant on Oahu,” he recalled. “Mom did
that for many years and everyone loved her there.”
Admittedly, he’s a better spectator than contributor in the
“My abilities are limited,” Aluli said. “I play a little ukulele
and have been told I have a wonderful voice. I don’t think it’s
that great, so I’ve never really done anything with it although I
did some entertaining with Hawaiian Airlines.”
Aluli was an occasional member of a Hawaiian Airlines’ group that
would entertain at mainland promotions.
“Hawaiian didn’t even fly to the mainland when I was performing
with the group,” Aluli noted.
While his outings are fewer these days, Aluli’s recommendations
“Right next door to the Mauian, Napili Kai Seahouse Restaurant has
sunset music with great pupus,” he said. “And the slack-key show at
the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua shouldn’t be missed. It’s a theater-style
Another Aluli favorite is the Hula Grill at Whalers
Village where live Hawaiian music plays until 9 p.m. most
“It’s a great atmosphere with tables and chairs in a sand-pit area
with a stage on the ocean side,” he said.
On Oahu, Aluli keeps it family-focused by dropping in to enjoy
sister Mihana on Thursday nights at Duc’s Bistro in downtown
“It’s a small, cozy restaurant and Mihana fills it with her unique
style and personality Hawaiian music, with a touch of blues,” Aluli
He also catches cousin Pakala performing with Paahana at
Halekulani Hotel’s House Without a Key.
On Kauai, Aluli has other sure bets.
“Duke’s Canoe Club, Happy Talk Lounge and Keoki’s Paradise all
offer good local entertainment on a regular basis,” he advised.
“There are just so many great local talents here. Any time I have a
chance, I’ll try to catch Olomana, Kealii Reichel, Willie K, Eric
Gilliom, Barry Flanagan and Hookena.”
Hula Grill Kaanapali
2435 Kaanapali Parkway,
Kaanapali Beach Resort
Mulligans on the Blue
100 Kaukahi St., Wailea Resort
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
One Ritz-Carlton Dr.,
Napili Kai Beach Resort
5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd.,
1188 Maunakea St.,
Brothers Cazimero Annual May Day Show, Waikiki Shell
2805 Monsarrat Ave., Waikiki
House Without a Key,
2199 Kalia Rd., Waikiki
Duke’s Canoe Club, Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club
3610 Rice St.,
Happy Talk Lounge,
Hanalei Bay Resort
5380 Honoiki Rd., Princeville
Keoki’s Paradise Restaurant
2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr.,
Poipu Beach Resort