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What’s New In The Hawaiian Islands – June 2013

July 10, 2013 Destination Hawaii No Comments Email Email


The Royal Hawaiian Center (Oahu), Waikiki’s largest retail complex, is undergoing a five-month makeover to The Royal Grove to enhance the 30,000 square foot garden with ponds, fountains, new landscaping, widened pathways and a new cultural and guest center.

The Royal Grove has become a favorite gathering place for visitors and local residents alike, hosting performances of Hawaiian story telling, dance and music, and as a venue for special events such as Aloha Festivals and private functions. For more information, visit RoyalHawaiianCenter.com.

Following renovations and rebranding, Shoreline Hotel Waikiki (Oahu) is now open for business. Operated by Joie de Vivre Hotels, the former Seaside Hotel is design driven boutique hotel, drawing inspiration from bold 1970’s architecture and designed by California-based designer Anthony Laurino. The renovations include the addition of 10 new guest rooms and a refreshed lobby. For more information, 
visit JDVHotels.com/Hotels/Hawaii/Shoreline-Hotel.

Sheraton Waikiki (Oahu) has opened GIFT, a new amenity shop located near the resort’s front desk, empowering guests to choose their own in-room amenities. This new concept allows customersTAT-www.thailand.net.au to purchase a small, medium or large brown paper gift bag, and fill it as high as possible with the shop’s collection of gifts, including local snacks and drinks, wine and Hawaiian collectibles. For more information, 
visit Sheraton-Waikiki.com.

Turtle Bay Resort
on Oahu’s north shore is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, and has already produced several enhancements to the property, including:
The opening of the North Shore Kula Grille in early April. The redesigned restaurant features natural décor in the spirit of its new farm-to-table breakfast and dinner menus, with wood accents and the cool blues and greens of the nearby ocean and farmland, as well as a new bar.
Reinventing its surfside spa-fitness-wellness center, Nalu Kinetic Spa, a distinctive and energetic environment for the complete immersion in total health. Nearly doubling in size to 11,000 square feet, the enhanced spa provides a multi-sensory experience for guests to submerse themselves in the elements of nature for relaxation, restoration and rejuvenation.
For more information, visit TurtleBayResort.com.

The iconic Volcano House Hotel (Hawaii Island) located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park returned to full operation on June 1, following a multi-million dollar renovation. The restored Volcano House offers 22 historic guest rooms, a dining room, snack bar, lounge and gift shop, along with cultural events and demonstrations, while showcasing the same spectacular crater and rainforest views that have captivated visitors since 1846. For more information, visit HawaiiVolcanoHouse.com.

Raising the bar will become a lofty distinction for a new, modern lounge and tapas bar scheduled to open next spring on the corner of Kalakaua and Seaside Avenues. Hawaii’s highest lounge, aptly named Skybar Waikiki (Oahu), will be located on the 19th floor of the Waikiki Business Plaza and will boast a signature wrap-around outdoor patio. Guests can choose from two full bars; one inside, the second outdoors, set under Hawaii’s vast skies. This indoor/outdoor floor plan measures more than 9,000 square feet and offers distinct guest environments ranging from the serene and intimate to the lusty and lively. The décor is unified by architectural design elements inspired by the natural beauty found only in Hawaii. For more information, visit SkybarWaikiki.com.

The Equus Hotel (Oahu), a boutique property in Waikiki recently underwent a renovation to all of its 67 guestrooms, including new flat-screen televisions, iPhone docks and complimentary Wi-Fi, along with upgrades to the lobby. The owners of the hotel also own and manage a magnificent 100-acre stretch of beachfront property along Oahu’s north shore – home to the Hawaii Polo Club, providing guests access to watch polo matches, take horseback riding lessons and experience spectacular trail rides. For more information, visit EquusHotel.com.

Hanalei Colony Resort (Kauai) has introduced a new North Shore Experience package that provides multiple options for exploring the island’s magnificent north shore. The package includes five or seven nights in an ocean view suite; a special hiking-oriented gift basket, including a Kauai hiking guide book; a guided tour for two at nearby Limahuli Garden and Preserve, part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden network; a picnic basket lunch for two; a self-guided Hanalei River kayak excursion for two; and a zip line and waterfall tour for two. For more information, visit HCR.com.

The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Oahu) is now home to the legendary Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress aka “Swamp Ghost.” In 1942, the bomber participated in a mission attacking ships in Rabaul, a harbor of Japanese-held New Britain. The mission was the first American heavy bomber offensive raid of World War II. The B-17 was thought lost forever after crash landing in a remote swamp on the North Coast of Papua New Guinea, but was discovered in 1972 by Australian soldiers. While funding is being acquired to restore the aircraft, the museum plans to create an exhibit resembling the swamp where the bomber was discovered. For more information, visit PacificAviationMuseum.org.

The Polynesian Cultural Center (Oahu) unveiled a new Island Luau, centered on Samoan culture. The luau features Samoan dishes paired with Hawaiian luau foods, including roasted pig. Admission also includes interactive guest activities, the new Hawaiian Journey interactive theater presentation, Ha: Breath of Life evening show and admission to all seven island villages and exhibits represented at the center. For more information, visit Polynesia.com.

The Maui Humane Society has two new programs for visitors who want to interact with and help homeless animals while vacationing on Maui.
The Helping Paws Visitor Program offers half day sessions every Wednesday and Thursday, where volunteers participate in pre-planned activities such as walking dogs, bathing puppies, brushing cats or playing with puppies and kittens – an important part of their socialization.
The Wings of Aloha Program works with other shelters in the U.S. and Canada to find homes for rescued animals. To help reduce costs, volunteers are asked to accompany animals on their flight home under the same ticket reservation.
For more information, visit MauiHumaneSociety.org.

Paradise Helicopters is now offering tours on “The Chopper,” the original helicopter from the iconic 1980’s television series – Magnum, P.I. at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore. Paradise Helicopters began flight operations at Turtle Bay Resort 10 years ago. Today, Turtle Bay is the only resort on Oahu with a helipad on property. For more information, 
visit ParadiseCopters.com.

Now in its 67th year as one of Hawaii’s most highly regarded and oldest cultural celebrations, the 2013 Aloha Festivals takes place from September 12-28 at various locations on Oahu, sharing the history and traditions of Hawaii and the unique spirit of aloha with both kamaaina (local residents) and malihini (visitors). This year’s Aloha Festivals pays tribute to traditional Hawaiian ocean voyaging with its theme, “Moana Nui Akea – Celebrate Ocean Voyaging.” For more information, 
visit AlohaFestivals.com.

The 43rd Annual Ukulele Festival (Oahu) is a free two-hour concert on 
July 21, showcasing the finest ukulele players, along with national celebrities, Hawaii’s top entertainers and an ukulele orchestra of more than 800 students mostly comprised of children. The festival also offers food booths and informational displays. For more information, 
visit UkuleleFestivalHawaii.org.

Featuring a roster of internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (Oahu) is co-chaired by two of Hawaii’s own James Beard award-winning chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. Taking place from September 1-9, the event features dishes that showcase the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef, and poultry. For more information, visit HawaiiFoodandWineFestival.com.

Island Air recently began new daily routes between Honolulu (Oahu) and Kahului (Maui) and between Kahului and Lanai. Island Air also recently added a new ATR 72 aircraft to its fleet, which will be used to service the new routes.  For more information, visit IslandAir.com.

Hawaiian Airlines recently announced plans to begin nonstop service between Honolulu, Oahu and Beijing, China in April 2014, pending approvals by U.S. and Chinese regulatory agencies.  Operating three times a week, the new flight will be the only nonstop service between Honolulu International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport. For more information, visit HawaiianAirlines.com.

Honolulu, Oahu (9), Lahaina, Maui (18) and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island (22) made the Top 25 Destinations in the United States on TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Destinations. The Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards honor top travel spots worldwide based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor readers. Award winners were determined based on the popularity of destinations, taking into account travelers’ favorites and most highly rated places. For more information, visit TripAdvisor.com.

The Plumeria Beach House at the Kahala Hotel & Resort and the Prince Court restaurant at Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki represented Hawaii in OpenTable’s 2013 Best Brunch Restaurants. The list of 100 winners is based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit OpenTable.com.

The Hawaiian Islands were well represented in the Gogobot 2013 Travelers’ Favorite Awards. Winners include:
Best Beaches: Lanikai Beach (5), Kaanapali Beach (11)
Best Resorts: Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa (2), Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (4), Hilton Waikoloa Village (7), Westin Maui Resort & Spa (13), The Kahala Hotel & Resort (14)
Best Family Hotels: Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort (4), Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa (9), Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (15)
The awards celebrate the best places that Gogobot members discovered around the world in 2013. For more information, visit Gogobot.com.


The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, for marketing management services in North America. The HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

Edited by : Bill Hurley

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