Ikaika Parrow – the new Sales & Events Coordinator at Koloa Landing Resort – is chatting with us about what drives him to create such memorable weddings, parties, and events at the resort.
“My family is crazy,” the Oahu native says fondly with a laugh. “It’s HUGE. I am the oldest of six kids. My mom is one of eight so there are countless grandkids and great grandkids. But they are nothing but love. As a kid, my family was always playing games and finding ways to bond.” Dodgeball, relay races, volleyball over fence lines, fun crafts. Any gathering was an opportunity to celebrate. “I have loved every moment with them,” he says.
A favorite memory of Ikaika’s is when he used all of the discarded gift wrappings from an enormous Christmas gathering to dress up his grandmother as Mrs. Claus. “I just laugh now,” he says. “My family is very creative. There’s magic there.”
This artistic bent toward life helped fuel Ikaika’s desire to go into hospitality where he could let his people skills flourish and create special moments for his clients. Whether he’s planning a small corporate training, a multi-course Mayor’s luncheon, a travel agents’ gathering or a once-in-a-lifetime wedding, Ikaika takes his time to deeply understand the clients’ needs and wants. “To me, they are people first and then clients. Always. I love sitting and talking with them and really getting to know them — what they like and what they envision. It’s about building a relationship and making them feel like we are here to make their day special, no matter what the event may be.”
With its spectacular tropical landscape, state-of-the-art ballroom and ocean views, Koloa Landing is a naturally breathtaking venue, but to Ikaika, it is so much more than that. “It really comes down to the feeling and the energy of this place. Everyone on staff at the property really cares that the guests are here — and they are grateful to have them. I think that’s what sets us apart. It’s easy to go to other hotels and check in and sort of getting lost in it as ‘just another guest having an event.’ Here the staff is really good at making sure our clients’ entire stay is special. We become like family.”
Weddings are particularly heartfelt at Koloa Landing Resort, and Ikaika’s favorite nuptial moment is just before show time. “When the wedding party is getting lined up and they’re all standing there ready to go. That’s when the magic starts to happen. We hit that green light, open those doors and the bride comes out. And then you see the groom’s face. He’s just standing there watching his bride walk down the aisle. It’s that moment that really hits home for me. They are entrusting us with all the details, and they are just living in the moment. Nothing else matters. The groom’s face says it all. That’s something I really look forward to.”
Finding the Joy
After 10 years of customer service in the food and beverage industry before arriving at Koloa Landing Resort, Ikaika knows a thing or two about how to make people happy. He started at the Koloa Landing front desk, then moved up to Registration Administrator and was then promoted to events coordinator. He received the resort’s coveted and hard-won “Employee of the Month,” a distinction he found particularly gratifying. “It just felt good that upper management was able to see my flair for helping people and my work ethic. I’ve always been someone who works really hard.”
Ikaika works hard and he plays hard. Something he learned from that huge family of his.
“We are all so close,” he says of his family. “We find the joy together — even in the simplest backyard barbecue. We find a way to come together and to do all the fun things that strengthen our bond. I think that’s where I got this love of special moments — because that’s just how I grew up.
“I think it’s really important for people to know that no matter what you do or who you are, there is love there. And it’s all going to be okay.”
Ready to experience Ikaika’s exciting events? Book a room at Koloa Landing today! We’d love to help you enjoy everything Kauai and our beautiful resort have to offer.
by Erica Karlin — Koloa Landing Resort