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Annalisa “Annalie” Knack Tatibouet

Image of Annalisa “Annalie

Annalie Tatibouet was born in 1913 in Honolulu to German parents. In 1918, counted as German aliens by the Territory of Hawaii, the family was interned on the Big Island, later moving back to Germany. However, Annalie returned to the islands in time to be introduced to a young French Naval adventurer, Joseph Tatibouet, who had shipwrecked at Kalaupapa in 1935. After a whirlwind romance, Annalie left for France, married “Tati” and, with the beginnings of World War II surging across Europe, the young couple sailed back to the islands.

Annalie, destined to become one of the pioneers of Hawaii tourism, became manager of Pensacola Gardens, a small property catering to island visitors. In 1948, based on that hospitality experience, Annalie built her first Waikiki hotel, the fifteen-room Royal Grove, named for its location in a grove of palm trees that once belonged to Princess Ka‘iulani.

Annalie’s vision saw a tourism industry that would ultimately dominate the Hawai‘i economy, and she went out on a limb, borrowing money to participate in that growth. She increased the Royal Grove Hotel to 85 guest rooms giving each room a traditional tropical look however, unlike other hotels of its day, the rooms added a small wet bar and kitchenette. A first in those days.

Fluent in French, German and Spanish, Annalie welcomed travelers from around the world while providing true Hawaiian hospitality and aloha.Owning and managing a hotel was hard work and Annalie was a hands-on general manager – as well as housekeeper, reservationist and engineer! She was also wife and mother; a successful hotelier in an era when hotel management was almost exclusively a male domain.

Annalie’s energy spilled over into her community and professional life. She was a great supporter of The Hawaii Hotel Association, served as a Trustee of the Bishop Museum, was a founder of the Alliance Française of Hawaii, a life-long Soroptomist, as well as a member of Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation.

An avid historian and supporter of the island culture Annalie introduced the concept of “Aloha Wednesdays” to the Hotel Association as a way of preserving Hawaiiana for visitors to enjoy. This you now know as “Aloha Friday!”

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