|Remembering and Reviving the
Coco Palms Hotel
In 1952, cupid struck in Hawaii, bringing the wine-and-food columnist for The Honolulu Advertiser and the manager of the Moana Hotel in Waikiki together. A year later, he bought a quaint 24-room inn on the island of Kauai, and asked her to manage it.
Over the next two decades, she turned the property into the lush, sprawling 396-room Coco Palms Hotel, the most famous and elegant Polynesian resort in the world. She was Grace Buscher Guslander.
Coco-Palms.com is saddened to announce that the legendary Grace Guslander -- the "grand lady" of the Coco Palms Hotel, who worked until the age of 74 -- passed away at her home in Wailua, Kauai on April 5 at the age of 89.
Wrote The Honolulu Advertiser: "She combined fantasy, mystery, Polynesian culture and palm trees to create a world that tourists loved to visit, and thousands of hotel rooms around the Pacific succeeded based in part on that vision."
"She was a grand lady and a truly legendary figure in the hospitality industry," said Kauai Mayor Maryanne Kusaka.
Although she only managed one property, she was known throughout the visitor industry, both nationally and abroad. In 1979, she was the first woman to be named "Man of the Year" at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in New York.
She was born in 1910 in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Her husband, Lyle Guslander, died in 1984. She is survived by a brother, two step-daughters, three nieces, one nephew, four step-grandchildren and numerous grandnieces.
In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be sent in her name to Iolani Palace Friends, the Kaua'i Historical Society Endowment Association, and the American Heart Association.
A 1982 article from The Honolulu Advertiser featuring the legendary Grace Buscher Guslander can be found under Articles on the Coco-Palms.com website.
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