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SIZZLIN' MARCH NEWS FROM HAWAII, THE BIG ISLAND
SIZZLIN' MARCH NEWS FROM HAWAII, THE BIG ISLAND
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 01, 2016

SIZZLIN' MARCH NEWS FROM HAWAII, THE BIG ISLAND

Hawaii Island (March 1, 2016) – Bring the ohana (family)! That’s the big-picture plan for the outdoor activity, resort and travel deals featured below, all ideal for a Hawaii Island vacation with the kids, with grandma and grandpa invited along, or the extended family in tow. The good news if you’re not a family guy or girl? Many of the deals and activities are awesome for couples and solo travelers, too.   

FAMILY TRAVEL DEALS
Looking for a fun Hawaii activity the whole family will enjoy? Treat yourselves to an “Aloha Day” at the beach with Ocean Sports, Hawaii Island’s premier full-service ocean recreation company. There’s something fun for everyone, with unlimited use of beach toys (kayaks, hydrobikes, stand-up paddleboards, snorkel gear and more), and glass-bottom boat and outrigger canoe rides. The “Aloha Day Beach Package” is offered Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. at beautiful Anaehoomalu Bay for just $35 per person (kids under age 6 get to have fun for free). For more information, call (808) 886-6666, or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com.

Guests of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai are now able to experience the resort’s popular new activity, SNUBA, in the unique setting of King’s Pond, a 1.8-million gallon “aquarium” built into lava rock, and home to more than 4,000 fish from 98 species. King’s Pond connects to the ocean through the groundwater table, blending sea and fresh water without currents, waves or non-friendly fish. Guests can explore the pond at their own comfort level, taking in its incredible perspective, while effortlessly breathing underwater without bulky diving gear. No prior experience is necessary for SNUBA. The activity is fun, easy and memorable, especially with the addition of an underwater photo package! For more information, call (888) 340-5662, or visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai.  

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows is featuring a new “Mauna Lani Family Fun in the Sun” package, which includes two spacious guestrooms – one at full price and a second room at half price. The package includes a sumptuous daily breakfast buffet for up to four people, and a Mauna Lani keiki (kids) backpack filled with welcome amenities. Families will want to get immersed in the hotel’s many interactive cultural activities, including ukulele and hula lessons, exploring the resort on bicycles, or discovering early Hawaiian petroglyphs. A minimum three-night stay is required for guests traveling through Dec. 23, 2016. For more information, visit www.maunalani.com.

Looking to elevate your family’s stay in Hawaii? Beginning April 1, Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay will be offering families a new level of comfort and luxury with its Kaiulu Club Lounge. Experience a delicious island-style breakfast or evening appetizers while enjoying sweeping views of the Kona coastline. Access to the Kaiulu Club Lounge is available to guests staying in a Club room, or by purchase of a daily club lounge upgrade, which accommodates up to four family members at no additional charge. For more information, call (844) 235-6796, or visit www.sheratonkona.com/club.

TOURS AND EVENTS
The fifth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is set for May 13 and 14, with the theme “Lavalicious –A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park” and events headquartered at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Chocolate fun will include a cacao plantation tour at the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a college culinary competition, and foodie and agriculture-themed seminars. Festival activities will culminate with an indoor-outdoor gala featuring sweet and savory tastes from top island chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Also on the menu for the festival is chocolate body painting, a large volcano made from fine chocolate, and culinary booths decorated to celebrate the festival’s centennial theme. For more information, call (808) 324-6100, or visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Celebrate everything that makes Hawaii Island’s rural Kau district special at the Kau Coffee Festival, happening May 13 through 22. The eighth-annual event will spotlight the district’s award-winning coffee with a variety of java-jumping activities and tasty culinary fun, including the new “Kau Coffee Lobsterpalooza.” Festival attendees will find adventure on a rainforest hike exploring historic water flume systems and a stargazing session atop Makanau mountain. The festival’s spotlight event is an all-day hoolaulea (celebration) at the Pahala Community Center on May 21, featuring coffee, food and craft booths; hula, music and kids activities; farm and mill tours; and a guided coffee-tasting tour at the Kau Coffee Experience. Some festival events are free, while others require a fee. For more information, call (808) 929-9550, or visit www.kaucoffeefest.com.

Tours at Greenwell Farms just got a whole lot more exciting, especially for keiki. The sequel to the children’s book Carl the Chameleon has arrived! Authored, as was the first book, by much-loved Greenwell Farms tour guide Daniel Swanson, Carl the Chameleon Goes 2 School is a fun story about a chameleon residing on a coffee farm in Kona. He even has a real-life inspiration – a Jackson’s chameleon named Carl who lives in an orange tree next to the Greenwell Farms Visitor Center. Free farm tours, tastings and Carl sightings happen daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (808) 323-9616, or visit www.greenwellfarms.com.

To visit the Big Island Bees’ beekeeping museum and tasting room – now open on Saturdays – is to enter the wonderful world of bees and beekeeping. Guided by a beekeeper, tours explore actual hives. You’ll learn where in the hive the queen resides, how the hive is organized, and everything that makes bees so special and interesting. You’ll also view tools, pictures and displays sharing the history of beekeeping and honey production. The tour includes free samples of Big Island Bees’ delicious, organic honeys to enjoy while you explore. Admission is free. The museum and tasting room is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For tour reservations, call (808) 328-1315, or visit www.bigislandbees.com.

The Big Island Jazz & Blues Festival is returning to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for the fifth year in a row to celebrate and honor its namesake music genres. Guests will enjoy live entertainment by Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning musicians from Hawaii and around the world. Special room rates will be available. The festival happens on June 4. For more information, visit www.maunakeabeachhotel.com/events.

ACCOMMODATIONS
Multi-generation families are the most frequent guests renting from Hawaii Vacation Rentals, which offers private homes along the Kona and Kohala coasts for families to have fun together. Hawaii Vacation Rentals finds out what activities families want to do on Hawaii Island and links them with vendors able to deliver equipment such as kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to their rental home. Families simply arrive at their home and begin their vacation immediately. All homes are furnished with beach chairs, beach towels and coolers for days on the beach. Services available to families with babies include crib and high-chair rentals. For more information, visit www.vacationbigisland.com.

TASTY TIDBITS
Kona’s iconic oceanfront restaurant Huggo’s has served up island-inspired cuisine alongside epic sunsets for two generations. Now, it adds hBAR to its seaside offerings, with a vibe that makes it Kona’s consummate and coolest oceanfront lounge. hBar’s exciting menu of handcrafted cocktails includes the “Classic Mai Tai” – an authentic, made-from-scratch mai tai, accented by a secret almond syrup recipe – and an eclectic collection of housemade syrups, fresh-squeezed tropical juices, and liquors infused with herbs, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. hBAR opens at 4 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit www.huggos.com/hbar.

ACCOLADES
Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has earned an AAA Four Diamond Rating for the third year in a row. Only six other Hawaii hotel restaurants received similar honors for 2016. AAA Diamond Ratings are determined based on reviews resulting from unannounced evaluations. For more information about the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, visit www.maunakeabeachhotel.com.

For more information on Hawaii Island or a calendar of events, please visit www.gohawaii.com/hawaii-island.