Situated at Pu'u Keka'a, aka legendary "Black Rock," in Kaanapali, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a host of events and dining activities.
The best part is: You don't need to be a hotel guest to join in the fun. Here is the lineup through the end of the year.
* Gingerbread Village: At 6:30 p.m. Friday, the longstanding holiday tradition of lighting of the resort's gingerbread village will transpire. Enjoy caroling by Sacred Hears School Choir. Holiday drink specials will flow.
Operations Manager Kelly Robinson (from left), second-generation Sheraton employee Sous Chef Les Barayaga and Director of Purchasing Roy Takahashi (at the resort since 1964), toast to a host of year-end parties.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
* Breakfast with Santa: Starting at 8 a.m. on Christmas Eve, this full breakfast buffet features cookie decorating and a chance for kids to tell Mr. Claus their wishes. Those 21 and older may indulge in champagne. Cost for adults is $45; and keiki 6 to 12 is $34.
* Christmas Day dinner buffet: Black Rock Steak & Seafood restaurant will set a festive stage from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday with seasonal salads, seafood and sushi stations and herb-crusted prime rib of beef carving station, Chef's signature dishes which also include slow-roasted Farmer John ham, roasted herb turkey with corn bread dressing, fresh Hawaiian catch, Pacific seafood medley stir fry and kambocha pumpkin bisque. Sumptuous holiday desserts top it off. Cost is $68 per adult and $34 for children ages 6 to 12.
* Christmas Day luau: Celebrate Hawaiian style starting at 5:30 p.m. with the all-you-can-eat luau feast of island favorites, such as slow-roasted kalua pork fresh from the imu or underground oven, pulehu chicken, grilled Pacific catch, lomi lomi salmon and desserts such as guava-chiffon cake and mango bread pudding. Mai tais, beer, wine and soda are included, along with a cultural song and dance show. Cost is $105 for adults and $57 for kids 6 to 12.
* 50 Timeless Years: The Sheraton will wrap up its yearlong golden anniversary with a party on its Ocean Lawn. Doors open at 4 p.m., and you may tour vintage cars by Maui Classic Cruisers, listen to the trio Leokani, the Danny Kapoi Trio, and watch hula by Na Pua Melia halau.
At 5:45 p.m., the 50-year cliff diving tradition will wow attendees. So will the blessing, along with a time capsule presentation and specialty stations of food by Executive Chef Greg Gaspar.
"It is a privilege to share the rich 50-year history of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa and preserve it for future generations to discover and enjoy," says General Manager Tetsuji Yamazaki.
Since the resort opened in 1963, the event will cost $19.63, while children younger than 5 will get in free. The price includes island-style pupu, one beverage and entertainment.
The menu will feature assorted dim sum and sauces, herb-scented chicken sliders, Black Angus beef sliders, vegetable crudite, artisan cheeses with berries and fruits, edamame hummus with chips and raspberry and milk chocolate mousse. Special room packages are available.
* For reservations: Call (808) 921-4600.