FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SIZZLIN’ FEBRUARY NEWS FROM THE ISLAND OF HAWAII
Island of Hawaii (February 4, 2019) – With Earth Day right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to celebrate the joys of ecotourism on the island of Hawaii. With a diversity of businesses and community members supporting green and eco-friendly programs and initiatives, visitors to the island have ample opportunities to leave a lasting, positive impact during their vacation. In the spirit of responsible travel and honoring a destination’s sense of place, visitors can also take action by signing the island of Hawaii’s Pono Pledge, a public information campaign created by the County of Hawaii and the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau. Information on eco-friendly programs and events, and exciting updates await below.
Fairmont Orchid, a luxury resort on the island of Hawaii’s Kohala Coast, will “switch off” for Earth Hour on March 30, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., to show support for the planet’s clean energy future. Resort guests are invited to enjoy cocktails by candlelight during Earth Hour in the resort’s Luana Lounge, which recently added bee-human relationship-celebrating Bee’s Box Wines to its menu to further enhance Fairmont Orchid’s sustainability efforts. Ten percent of profits from wine sold will benefit local bee-friendly organizations. For more information, call (808) 885-2000, or visit www.fairmont.com/orchid.
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s new Sustainable Seafood Experience allows guests to explore the resort’s Punawai pond with marine naturalists to learn how fresh oysters are raised, grown and harvested, and taste two species of resort-raised oysters with champagne. Escorted by resort Executive Chef Thomas Bellec, the tour visits a shrimp pond where each participant traps shrimp. The Sustainable Seafood Experience concludes with a five-course oceanfront dinner at the resort’s ULU Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge at sunset incorporating the tour’s seafood catch. The tour is available to resort guests only. For more information, call (808) 325-8000, or visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai.
Aqua-Aston Hospitality’s #ForOurReef program, which provides guests across 40 of its properties throughout Hawaii with reef-safe sunscreen samples, is now offering members of Aqua-Aston’s A-List Rewards loyalty program eco-kits, which include reef-friendly sunscreen, a reusable tote and a refillable water bottle. For its commitment to preserving Hawaii’s coral reefs and ocean waters, Aqua-Aston’s #ForOurReef initiative was recently honored with a 2018 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Adrian Award for being a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility. For more information, visit www.aquaaston.com.
In celebration of the Hawaii community and its own 70th anniversary, Aqua-Aston Hospitality launched its #ShareTheAloha social media campaign, encouraging visitors and residents to participate in random act of kindness for a chance to win free vacation nights at select Aqua-Aston properties. Now through April 16, anyone can enter by following @AquaAston on Instagram and acknowledging – with an Instagram story and image post with the hashtag #ShareTheAloha – someone who embraces the spirit of aloha. Each Tuesday, Aqua-Aston will also feature a Hawaii nonprofit organization on their Instagram page who aligns with the company’s values. For more information, visit www.aquaaston.com/share-the-aloha.
Volcano Art Center’s Hula Arts at Niaulani – a nonprofit educational institute dedicated to nurturing creative discovery, learning and sharing through arts education and artistic development – offers free rainforest tours to visitors. Guests will learn about rare native Hawaiian rainforests, ecological importance and the Volcano Art Center’s role in their protection and restoration. Participants also learn about threats to the integrity native rainforests, how Hawaiian plant and animal species in the forest have closely evolved with one another, how native species have evolved to differ from non-native colonizing species, and ethnobotanical uses of Hawaiian flora. For more information, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai recently launched a new eco-tour featuring a marine biologist experience led by David Chai, the resort’s director of natural resources. Guests on the tour will learn about alkaline ponds found throughout the resort and how they’re key to a balanced eco-system. Guests will get an in-depth look into King’s Pond, home to more than 4,000 tropical fish, and visit the resort’s on-site oyster pond to witness how its denizens, which are served at the resort, are grown and harvested. The eco-tours are available to resort guests. For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai, or call (808) 325-8000.
The 56th annual Merrie Monarch Festival is set for April 21-27 in Hilo. In addition to its prestigious three-day hula competition, the festival features several free events open to the public, including a kick-off hoolaulea (celebration). The week’s public events continue with the Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair, featuring the works of local artisans and crafters alongside live entertainment, and concludes with the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade through downtown Hilo on April 27 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit www.merriemonarch.com.
The 19th annual Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival happens March 2 at the Waikoloa Beach Resort, featuring ukulele giveaways, a workshop by Hawaii ukulele master Roy Sakuma, informational booths and an all-star lineup of ukulele musicians strumming on three stages at the resort area’s Kings’ Shops and Queens’ Marketplace. The musical lineup for this year’s festival includes Sakuma, Alii Keanaaina, John Keawe, Widdy Loo, Brian Vasquez and more. The festival is free and open to the public, and performances kick off at 11 a.m. at Kings’ Shops, and noon at Queens’ Marketplace. For more information, visit www.waikoloabeachresort.com.
The 11th annual Kau Coffee Festival returns April 26-May 5 to celebrate the award-winning coffees of the island of Hawaii’s southeast Kau district with a full schedule of activities, including the Miss Kau Coffee Pageant, recipe contest, stargazing sessions, farm tours and a hike to the highland water systems that irrigate the area’s coffee fields. The two-week festival will culminate with its annual community hoolaulea (celebration), set for May 4 at the Pahala Community Center, featuring live entertainment, hula performances, farm tours and coffee-infused arts, crafts and eats. For more information, visit www.kaucoffeefestival.com, or call (808) 929-9550.
Kokua Kailua, a popular monthly village stroll along historic Kailua-Kona’s Alii Drive organized by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, happens one Sunday monthly, from 1 to 6 p.m. The stroll is a showcase for the work of local artisans, crafters, musicians and merchants, and includes shopping and dining options. On the last Saturday of each month, beginning at 5:30 p.m., Hawaiian Sunset Saturday celebrates Kailua-Kona’s famous sunsets with hula and music performances on the grassy lawn of the Coconut Grove Market Place. For 2019 Kokua Kailua dates and more information on both events, visit www.historickailuavillage.com.
The fourth annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds is set for October 25-28, headquartered at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. The festival’s 2019 theme, “Wanderers and Migrants – Hawaii’s Unique Avian Visitors,” highlights the migratory and accidental avian visitors arriving in the Islands each year. Festival events and activities also include Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument educational sessions, a fest reception, a film festival, guided birding excursions on land and at sea, a bird fair and a gala. The festival’s beneficiaries are the Hawaii Wildlife Center and the Hawaii Island Coast-to-Coast Birding Trail. For more information, visit www.birdfesthawaii.org.
Fairmont Orchid resort’s award-winning Spa Without Walls recently announced two sweet-themed treatments created for the spring season. The Sweet Relaxation Honey Massage and Sweet Honey Mask Facial incorporate locally-sourced honey from the resort’s four on-site flow hives, home to more than 80,000 honey bees. The treatments are high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and rich in conditioning. Spa guests can select an oceanfront or waterfall hale (building) for their treatment, both accompanied by the relaxing sound of water. For more information, or to schedule a treatment, visit www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii/spa.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES
Paradise Helicopters is expanding service to the Waimea-Kohala Airport on the island of Hawaii with the launch of a new air tour of Kohala mountain’s breathtaking valleys and waterfalls. Paradise will offer the half-hour mid-morning and mid-afternoon tours on Mondays and Thursdays, starting at $324 per person. For more information, visit www.paradisecopters.com, or call (866) 876-7422.
Island of Hawaii ocean recreation company Ocean Sports offers humpback whale watching cruises on its catamarans, which include complimentary snacks and beverages. Ocean Sports guarantees passengers will see a humpback whale on their tour or have the option to cruise with the company again for free until they do spot a whale. (Passengers on cruises that don’t spot a whale can also opt to upgrade to a Ocean Sports snorkel or sunset cruise by paying the cost difference in fares). For more information or to book a cruise, visit www.HawaiiOceanSports.com, or call (808) 886-6666.
Wasabi Tours Hawaii recently partnered with Big Island Photo Tours to debut a small-group island of Hawaii photography tour. Big Island Photo Tours offers its guests opportunities to capture the beauty of the island and diversity of its natural wonder, from the waterfalls of Akaka Falls State Park and the Hamakua Coast’s lush valleys to the Kona Coast’s majestic sunsets. For more information, visit www.wasabitourshawaii.com, or call (808) 238-5222.
Hawaii Forest and Trail recently added Hilo passenger pickups for its popular Maunakea Sunrise Experience. The tour offers participants an opportunity to experience the sunrise from the 13,803-foot elevation summit of dormant Maunakea volcano, and learn about the cultural and scientific significance of the mountain as they stand among its world-class collection of astronomical observatories. Maunakea Sunrise Experience guest pickups in Hilo include the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo – A DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilo Seaside Hotel, Hilo Bay Hostel and Dolphin Bay Hotel. For more information, visit www.hawaii-forest.com.
KapohoKine Adventures introduces its new Hike 'n Flow tour exploring Kilauea volcano’s historic 2018 lava flow. According to the outdoor adventure company, the tour follows flow from a 40-foot-tall upland wall of lava that covered an area highway to coastline locations. Guests will see cracks and sink holes seismic activity created in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and visit Puna district’s MacKenzie State Recreation Area and Pohoiki coastline to witness how lava flows encircled both areas. The tour includes moderate hiking, lunch and dinner. For more information, visit www.kapohokine.com, or call (808) 964-1000.
The Volcano House hotel, located on the edge of Kilauea volcano’s summit caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, recently reopened to guest stays. The hotel still offers one of the best vantage points in the park of Halemaumau crater, its landscape now dramatically changed and its dimensions tripled in depth and doubled in diameter due to 2018 seismic activity at the summit. For more information or to book a reservation, visit www.aquaaston.com/hotels/volcano-house.
About the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau
The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau is an Island Chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). HVCB manages Hawaii Tourism United States (HTUSA), which is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), for marketing management services in the continental U.S. The HTA, the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, 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. For more information about the island of Hawaii, visit GoHawaii.com/Island-of-Hawaii.