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A canoe and maritime theme inspired by the legendary Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokulea is found throughout Aulani, from artwork to handmade lashings on signs and structures. High arches in the architecture evoke traditional Hawaiian canoe houses.

“We return again and again to this canoe idea because of this whole sense of arrival, journey and also because the canoes are this sort of this quintessential Hawaiian art form,” Mr. Rohde said.

Aulani is expected to attract many of its visitors from the West Coast and Asia.