Hogan Hospitality Group PRESSROOM

2019 World’s Best Mai Tai Revealed At Royal Kona Resort

$17,500 in prize money awarded to bartenders from around the world in historic Mai Tai mix-off

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Aug. 18, 2019) – The Royal Kona Resort celebrated its 11th Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival on August 17 awarding the $10,000 grand prize to the new Mai Tai World Champion.

Showcasing 22 of the world’s top bartenders and mixologists, the 2019 Festival crowned Christina Maffei of Liquid Artistry in Pittsburgh, PA the winner of the $10,000 first place prize and coveted title as the creator of the “World’s Best Mai Tai.” This is Maffei’s second win, securing the top honor back in 2011. Cory Starr of Tiki Tatsu-Ya in Austin, TX placed second and received $5,000. Third place prize of $2,500 was awarded to Hawaii contender, Dane Dostert with The Mill House in Wailuku, Maui.

For the past 11 years, the Royal Kona Resort on the Island of Hawaii has been celebrating the popular Mai Tai cocktail gathering hundreds of visitors to cheer on their favorite mixologist. This year’s star-studded event featured celebrity appearances by Aaron Sanchez of the hit series MasterChef, Shawn Ford from the popular Bar Rescue show, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry who was named the most influential cocktail personality, and Hawaii’s own celebrity chef, Sam Choy. The three-hour international contest produced unique recipes paying tribute to the classic rum drink with cocktail creations judged on taste, creativity and name.

For more information please visit http://www.donsmaitaifest.com.

About Royal Kona Resort

Located on the Island of Hawaii’s scenic lava-lined coast, the Royal Kona Resort is an oceanfront landmark in the heart of Kailua-Kona. The resort is centrally situated near renowned Alii Drive and a variety of restaurants, shops, historical sites and activities. The newly renovated Alii, Lagoon and Bay Towers offer spacious guestrooms with sweeping views of the ocean and mountain skylines. Home of the World’s Best Mai Tai, the resort also features a private saltwater swimming lagoon and world-class tennis courts that accommodate guests day or night. For more information on the Royal Kona Resort, visit www.royalkona.com.

About Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts and Hogan Hospitality

As pioneers in hospitality and tourism, Hogan Hospitality is a hotel management company with a growing portfolio of properties. Its flagship business in Hawaii – Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts – manages over 1,200 rooms on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. Capitalizing on a long track record of success in a market driven by hospitality, Hogan Hospitality expanded nationally by acquiring California-based Marin Management, Inc. and increased its portfolio by 22 hotels and over 2,200 rooms across California, Arizona and Texas. Born out of hotel ownership, Hogan Hospitality has a unique understanding of the hospitality industry, offering hotel owners measurable results in profitability and guest satisfaction, and unparalleled management experience. To learn more about Hogan Hospitality, visit www.hoganhospitalitygroup.com.

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The Governor of Hawaii mandated that as of Thursday March 26th, all new arrivals into Hawaii are required to complete a 14-day quarantine. “Stay in Place” policies have also been issued for some islands requiring all non-essential services to be closed. The health and safety of our guests and employees is paramount. We understand that collective action is needed to slow the progression of COVID-19, and because of this, we are joining many other hotels and businesses in temporarily closing the Hawaiian Hotels & Resorts Properties effective March 25, 2020.

We are currently scheduled to re-open on May 1, 2020 and are honoring existing bookings and accepting new reservations for travel from that date onward. We are closely monitoring the situation which has been changing rapidly and will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so, following guidance from the CDC, Hawaii Department of Health and state and local officials.

We will be waiving all fees for any guest reservations that include travel from March 15, 2020 thru December 20, 2020 that need to be cancelled or changed.

During these uncertain times, we are focused on supporting our staff members and community as best as we can. We will continue providing updates on our website and on our social media channels. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Mahalo for your understanding and support.
Stay safe and healthy.
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