Portrait by Leah Friel

This year at HILuxury, we celebrate our ninth anniversary, and there would be no better way to mark this occasion than to have Richard Branson on our cover! He is a man I have long admired and followed. I also have tried to instill his business practices with our team—to have fun, enjoy what we do, be creative and stick to our instincts, promote from within and help others flourish. My staff always steps up to the plate. They continue to thrive and keep me on my toes, open my eyes and encourage me to think outside of the box—all which in turn gives us all a better life.

Makena Golf and Beach Club’s golf course graces the islands with one of the most extraordinary golf courses in Hawai`i—it’s simply breathtaking. Our team was given one incredible exclusive—the chance to play on the course, and we literally cannot stop talking about it. With stellar views from every hole along with its newly converted “Platinum” Paspalum grass, this golf course is just a taste of the experience of the new Makena Golf and Beach Club to come. Many thanks to Trinity Investments, Discovery Land Company and the Makena team for allowing us the privilege to play and share our experience.

From Maui, we head to Hawai`i Island. Restoring a house can be so fulfilling—to bring back the charm and grace of an older home takes much patience and an eye for aesthetics. Mary Philpotts McGrath and Alice Guild open their Big Island vacation homes to us for our anniversary issue. Both homes are filled with their own unique stories, each with its own graceful beauty, and each with so much history. It’s as if you’ve stepped back into a particular moment in time. The captivating story of these two homes could not have happened had it not been for an impromptu bottle of wine with my neighbor, Siana, and her guest, Bonnie, who just happened to wander over. Their affinity for these two homes were so enthusiastic—the memories and laughter drove piqued my curiosity to have this tale told (and to remember to have more bottles of wine with your neighbors!).

As we venture into the summer months, I always reflect back to how lucky we are to live in Hawai`i.

But our beautiful weather, pristine waters, unique flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world are all subject to disappear due to global warming. At home, I try to take measures to reduce waste, recycle whenever I can, and take cooler showers. It’s hard, but necessary as these islands are my home and hope that they will be here for generations to come. So while we have much to celebrate, it’s also important not to takes these blessings for granted …

With much aloha,

Linda Woo
Group Publisher