Sheraton Waikiki 12 Days of Christmas in Sandsational Style
Koi in the pond, poke boards, ukulele, beanbags in the pool, surfing Santas, swimming turtles, hula lessons, flower lei, pool towels, kalua pigs, mai tais at RumFire and a menehune with a Christmas tree…are all part Sheraton Waikiki’s sandsational holiday display this year. In what is the largest sand sculpture ever created at the hotel, the display is a festive countdown depicting 12 Days of Sheraton Waikiki Christmas.
Sandsational Sand Sculpting, a company based in Melbourne, Fla., has put the finishing touches on the second of two holiday sculptures at the hotel. According to Jill Harris of Sandsational, the first one was completed on November 9, uses 8 tons of sand, and portrays Santa enjoying mai tais at hotspot RumFire, as well as a menehune with a Christmas tree as the second and first day of Christmas, respectively. These are in the main lobby, while the second sculpture in the Sheraton Waikiki Porte Cochere took 50 tons of sand and features the third through 12th days of Christmas.
This year, Harris and Thomas Koet, who have been the main architects of the sand sculptures at Sheraton Waikiki, were joined by another artist, Susanne Ruseler, for the larger sculpture and both sculptures took more than 250 hours over nearly three weeks to complete.
Since 2006, Sandsational has been creating visually stunning masterpieces in the Sheraton Waikiki lobby. Past sculptures have been a tribute to the Mālama Honua voyage by the Hōkūle’a canoe and a Samoan warrior’s knife dance, performed before battle with the nifo oti, or “tooth of death” with the sculpture titled “Fireknife Dancers.” This past year featured Nāmaka, the sea goddess, and older sister of fire goddess Pele.
“Being on Waikiki Beach during the holidays is a dream for many and these sand sculptures capture the fun and magic of the most wonderful time of the year,” says Area General Manager Kelly Sanders, who is credited with bringing Sandsational to the Sheraton Waikiki, which remains the only hotel in Hawaii to feature sand sculptures of any kind.
The sand sculptures are huge draws for the thousands of guests who come to Sheraton Waikiki for holiday events and gatherings. The sculptures are expected to remain at the hotel through early 2018 when a new sculpture will be made in the lobby.