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At Hilton Waikoloa Village, cultivating a homegrown aesthetic


TUG Lifetime Member
Jan 2, 2016
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Resorts Owned
Tradewinds, Divi, Quarter House, Casa Ybel
At Hilton Waikoloa Village, cultivating a homegrown aesthetic

By Tovin Lapan / Hawaii Insight / Travel Weekly / travelweekly.com / October 17, 2019

“Raymond Keenan, director of landscaping at Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Island of Hawaii, lives in a tropical paradise spotted with dense jungles and forested mountain slopes. You would think it would be a horticulturist's dream, but Keenan struggles to find what he's looking for: native plants.

So his quest to transform the Kona coast property from a home of exotic plants from all corners of the globe into a celebration of Hawaii's native flora has been a gradual one.

"We are starting to put stuff together," he said. "It's not a wholesale pulling out of exotics. We're going section by section and planning out what will put where depending on availability and suitability."

Native plants are not in high demand, and local nurseries do not dedicate much real estate to them. The incursion of plants and trees from around the globe have fundamentally changed Hawaii's forests, with few native areas still in existence....”


Raymond Keenan, director of landscaping at Hilton Waikoloa Village, is steadily introducing native plants to the property.
Photo: Travel Weekly