Coco Palms Resort was a resort hotel in Wailuā, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi, that was noted for its Hollywood connections, Hawaiian-themed weddings, torch lightings, destruction by a hurricane, and long-standing land disputes. The resort includes or is near to culturally significant spots and the sites of some of most important legends and historical events for Native Hawaiians.
The land is ancient Hawaiian royal property that has been in dispute since 1866.
Lyle Guslander leased the site of Coco Palms from the Territory of Hawaii in 1952; the resort opened in early 1953 with 24 rooms. The hotel manager, Grace Buscher, took control of marketing the hotel as a Hawaiian-style getaway for tourists.
Coco Palms was the location of the famous outrigger canoe wedding scene from Elvis Presley's Blue Hawaii, released in 1961, the resort was also used in many other films, such as South Pacific, Pagan Love Song, and the TV series "Fantasy Island”.
The hotel made a big business out of Hawaiian-style weddings for decades. Buscher started a tradition, still in use at hotels throughout the islands, known at the hotel as the torch-lighting ceremony. Buscher also initiated a tree-planting ceremony to replenish the old coconut grove and honor individuals of note.
It was the world's most famous Polynesian resort until Hurricane Iniki struck Kauai on September 11, 1992. The Coco Palms was severely damaged by Iniki and the resort was left to decay for decades. The costly repairs and insurance issues left the Coco Palms officially closed with no announced plans to reopen.
In 2016, Honolulu developers GreeneWaters LLC formed a partnership, Coco Palms Hui LLC, to restore the resort. Their intent was to reopen Coco Palms "as part of Hyatt's Unbound Collection." However, in 2019 the project collapsed.