Are you a fan of the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii starring Elvis Presley? If so, you might be wondering where the movie was filmed, particularly the famous hotel set that was featured in the film.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Blue Hawaii was filmed primarily at the Coco Palms Resort in Kauai, Hawaii.

In this article, we’ll give you a more detailed overview of the locations used in Blue Hawaii and take a closer look at the Coco Palms Resort, including its history, filming details, and current state.

Overview of Blue Hawaii Filming Locations

Blue Hawaii is a classic movie that was filmed in various locations in Hawaii. However, the primary filming location was the Coco Palms Resort in Kauai, which is known for its lush greenery, stunning beaches, and breathtaking scenery.

The Coco Palms Resort served as the backdrop for many of the movie’s iconic scenes, including the famous wedding scene between Elvis Presley’s character, Chad, and his love interest, Maile Duval, played by Joan Blackman. In the movie, the resort is depicted as a luxurious hotel that is surrounded by lagoons, waterfalls, and tropical gardens.

  • Primary Filming Location: Coco Palms Resort in Kauai
  • Other Filming Locations: Oahu and Maui

Aside from the Coco Palms Resort, other filming locations for Blue Hawaii include Oahu and Maui. In Oahu, the movie was filmed in various locations, including the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and the Waikiki Beach. Meanwhile, in Maui, the movie was filmed at the Haleakala National Park, which is known for its stunning views of the island and its natural beauty.

If you’re a fan of Blue Hawaii and want to visit the filming locations yourself, keep in mind that the Coco Palms Resort was unfortunately destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and has yet to be fully restored. However, you can still visit the site and see the remains of the famous hotel.

History of the Coco Palms Resort

The Coco Palms Resort was one of the most iconic hotels in Hawaii, and its history dates back to the early 1800s when the land was used as a coconut plantation. In 1953, Grace Guslander and her husband, Lyle, purchased the land and transformed it into a resort that would host some of the most famous guests in the world.

Over the years, the Coco Palms Resort became the preferred destination for celebrities and politicians who visited Hawaii. The hotel hosted numerous events, including weddings, conferences, and cultural activities that highlighted the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.

Unfortunately, the Coco Palms Resort was hit by a devastating hurricane in 1992 that caused extensive damage to the hotel. Despite attempts to restore the resort, it remained closed and abandoned for many years. In 2014, a fire broke out at the Coco Palms Resort, further damaging the property and delaying any potential renovation or restoration.

  • Early Days as a Coconut Plantation: The land that would become the Coco Palms Resort was originally used as a coconut plantation in the early 1800s. The plantation was owned by a local Hawaiian family and provided coconuts to the surrounding community.
  • Development into a Resort: In 1953, Grace Guslander and her husband, Lyle, purchased the land and transformed it into a resort that would host some of the most famous guests in the world. The resort featured traditional Hawaiian architecture and was situated on 30 acres of land that included a lagoon, gardens, and coconut groves.
  • Famous Guests and Movie Tie-Ins: The Coco Palms Resort was known for hosting numerous celebrities and politicians over the years, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Jacqueline Kennedy. The hotel’s popularity was also boosted by the filming of the classic movie, “Blue Hawaii,” starring Elvis Presley. The movie showcased the beauty of the Coco Palms Resort and helped to make it a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

Filming Details at the Coco Palms Resort

The Coco Palms Resort on the island of Kauai in Hawaii was the primary filming location for the 1961 musical romantic comedy Blue Hawaii, starring Elvis Presley. The resort was originally built in 1953 and became a popular destination for tourists due to its stunning location, lush gardens, and Polynesian-style architecture.

  • Scenes Filmed at the Resort: Many famous scenes from the movie were filmed at the Coco Palms Resort. For example, the iconic wedding scene between Elvis’s character Chad Gates and his love interest Maile Duval was filmed in the resort’s beautiful lagoon. The bungalow where Chad stayed during the movie is still standing, though it has been abandoned since the resort closed in 1992.

Despite the resort’s popularity and significance in the world of film, it unfortunately fell into disrepair over the years and was severely damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Although there have been various attempts to restore the resort, it remains closed to this day.

Fun Fact #1: Elvis Presley actually stayed at the Coco Palms Resort during the filming of Blue Hawaii and reportedly enjoyed his time there so much that he returned several times throughout his life.
Fun Fact #2: The famous “Blue Hawaii” cocktail was invented at the Coco Palms Resort’s bar and became a popular drink among tourists visiting the island.
Behind-the-Scenes Story: During the filming of the movie, Elvis allegedly had trouble with the line “It’s been too much for me, Mai Tai,” which was supposed to be said while drinking a Mai Tai cocktail. After multiple takes, Elvis reportedly changed the line to “It’s been too much for me, pineapple juice,” which is what ended up in the final cut of the movie.

For fans of Blue Hawaii and Elvis Presley, the Coco Palms Resort holds a special place in their hearts. Although the resort may never be restored to its former glory, its legacy as a filming location and cultural icon will live on for generations to come.

Current State of the Coco Palms Resort

The Coco Palms Resort, located in Kauai, was the setting for the famous movie Blue Hawaii starring Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, the resort has been closed since 1992 due to damage from Hurricane Iniki, which was one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit Hawaii. It caused significant damage to the hotel, and the owners were unable to restore it to its former glory.

More recently, the hotel was scheduled to reopen in 2020, but unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed these plans. The resort was also hit by a fire in 2014, which caused further damage and setbacks.

Despite the challenges, the current owners of the Coco Palms Resort have expressed their commitment to restoring the hotel and reopening it to the public. They have been working closely with the local community and government to ensure that the restoration is done in a way that honors the history and culture of the area.

Plans for Restoration and Reopening

The restoration plans for the Coco Palms Resort include rebuilding the hotel to its original design, which was inspired by traditional Hawaiian architecture. The new hotel will feature 350 rooms, multiple swimming pools, and a cultural center that will showcase the history and traditions of Kauai.

The owners have also expressed their commitment to sustainability and plan to incorporate renewable energy sources into the hotel’s design. They are working with experts in the field to ensure that the hotel is as environmentally friendly as possible.

It is worth mentioning that the restoration of the Coco Palms Resort has faced some opposition from local community members who are concerned about the impact that a large, commercial hotel could have on the area. The owners have been working to address these concerns and have made changes to their plans based on community feedback.

On the other hand, the reopening of the Coco Palms Resort is seen by many as a significant step towards reviving the tourism industry in Kauai. The hotel was a popular destination for visitors before its closure, and its restoration could bring much-needed jobs and revenue to the area.

Fact Statistical Data
Cost of Restoration $135 million
Estimated Jobs Created Around 700
Projected Annual Revenue $100 million



Blue Hawaii remains a beloved classic movie, and the Coco Palms Resort is an iconic piece of Hollywood history. While the resort may have fallen into disrepair in recent years, there are plans to restore it to its former glory and welcome visitors once again. Whether you’re a die-hard Elvis fan or simply appreciate the beauty of Hawaii, the Coco Palms Resort is definitely worth a visit.

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