After nearly nine months and an investment of over $5.1 million, the complete rebuild of Ko, the signature restaurant at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, is now complete. Ko, which translates to “sugar cane” in Hawaiian, showcases the diverse culinary history of the sugar cane plantation era, serving innovative Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese dishes. Led by Executive Chef Tylun Pang, the menu features family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Pang utilizes the island’s fresh produce, meat and seafood and gives these authentic recipes a contemporary twist. Designed to capture the beauty of Maui’s sugar cane fields, every color, texture and design element in the new space blends effortlessly with the plantation-inspired cuisine.
Supported without exterior beams, the new curved roof appears to be floating like a cloud hovering over a cane field in central Maui. Thousands of small, stainless steel beads are found hanging in fluid designs from the bottom of the roof. As they dance in the breeze, they’re reminiscent of the sun cascading through Maui’s misty rain. Fire elements pay homage to the sugar cane burning during harvest and are incorporated through odorless torches and glowing acrylic sconces. The restaurant also offers new rounded seating banquettes, accommodating both large parties and family-style dining, as it once was in Maui’s plantation days.
The large circular bar sits at the entry of the restaurant and features bar and lounge-height seating, as well as tall cocktail tables. With an extensive new wine list and fresh signature cocktails, Ko bar now offers daily pau hana (happy hour) and live island-style music each night. The Fairmont Kea Lani will also continue to offer the popular Twilight Dinner, a romantic three-course dining experience that includes a bottle of wine and personalized keepsake menus. Situated on the adult pool deck, the intimate Ko dinner is served in a private cabana under the soft glow of hanging lanterns.
Ko is located at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui in Wailea. The resort encompasses 22 acres of tropical landscape and features 413 one-bedroom suites and 37 private villas. The oceanfront resort also offers two lagoon-style pools, an adult pool, multiple dining options, exclusive retail shopping, Keiki Lani for children, spectacular event space, exclusive retail shopping and the full-service Spa Kea Lani.