The Islands of Hawaii
Senior Vice President
For Immediate ReleaseOctober 14, 2011
THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING EXCITING AND NEW ON OAHU FALL 2011
OAHU – The island of Oahu, known as the Heart of Hawaii, sets the rhythm of the islands with exciting new improvements, changes and additions on an ongoing basis. Below is a glimpse of the new and dynamic happenings on Oahu:
Hotels & Resorts
The island of Oahu has fabulous hotels and resorts for people of all ages and budgets. Oahu’s hotels are constantly updating and adding an array of activities and packages that are sure to make any trip to Oahu unforgettable.
Renovations at the iconic Rainbow Tower at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort have entered the final phase of its makeover. The $45 million project began in April, and is expected to be completed in December. By the end of the project, each room will have received all new furnishings, carpet, wall covering, bathroom, tubs, fixtures, drapery and artwork.
Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki completed a 521 guestroom renovation with new carpeting, artwork, flat-screen televisions, furnishings and bedding. The signature waterfall fronting Ala Moana Boulevard has been redesigned to allow for more lush tropical foliage, and the Prince Court and Hakone restaurants have also been updated.
The Pacific Beach Hotel has upgraded 300 guestrooms with new carpeting, paint, beds, bedspreads and other amenities. The hotel also renovated two of its luxury suites both featuring a view of Diamond Head and Waikiki. All guests can enjoy new flat-screen televisions, a wide variety of in-room cable channels, movies and Wii game systems by request.
Windward Oahu’s only resort-hotel, Paradise Bay Resort, has undergone extensive renovations and reopened its doors with a new look. The pet-friendly resort features a range of suite accommodations, on-site amenities, water sports activities and panoramic mountain and ocean views.
The Kahala Spa at The Kahala Hotel and Resort has introduced an all-new organic spa treatment. The three-hour “Island Offerings: Inspiration for the Senses” treatment involves a customized mixture of farm-fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables in traditional Hawaiian wooden and coconut calabash bowls; a sea salt, macadamia nut, or sugar scrub; a yogurt-based therapeutic body wrap and scalp treatment; an aromatherapy sachet bath; and a 90-minute, deeply relaxing Hawaiian lomilomi massage.
The Moana Lani Spa, A Heavenly Spa by Westin at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa offers guests a new skin rejuvenating, Hawaiian-inspired spa menu featuring locally-made Kona Coffee and Vanilla Series from Malie. A special Kona Red antioxidant elixir will also be included in each Kona Coffee & Vanilla treatment.
The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort is offering guests a new suite program, “The Royal Experience,” featuring personalized pre-arrival arrangements, VIP transportation to and from the Honolulu International Airport, personal concierge service, VIP guest list for an invitation to general manager’s private cocktail reception each Wednesday night, and more.
Newly opened at Turtle Bay Resort is the HeLe HuLi Adventure Center. The HeLe HuLi team assists guests in scheduling resort activities from surfing and kayaking to horseback riding, hiking and tennis. The Adventure Center also has a selection of electrical bikes, mopeds and segways, as well as shave ice and soft serve ice cream machines.
Activities & Entertainment
The island of Oahu is brimming with fun-filled activities that everyone can enjoy. Visitors to Oahu can choose from a wide variety of outdoor and indoor activities that are sure to energize the spirit, or choose to explore Hawai‘i’s special culture and iconic history.
On Aug. 18, the Waikiki Aquarium opened The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Exhibit, its first major exhibit in six years. The 4,400-gallon tank showcases marine life from the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The new exhibit offers Waikiki Aquarium guests a rare opportunity to view a living reef ecosystem representative of that found in the world’s most isolated islands.
Legends in Concert ® will debut a star-studded show in Waikiki on Dec. 8 at Royal Hawaiian Center. Guests will be captivated by the talents of artists paying tribute to and portraying the likes of such legendary superstars as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Rod Stewart, Madonna and Prince, enhanced by a live band and dancers.
Waikiki Parc Hotel and Hans Hedemann Surf School have partnered to launch a new activity for guests to try standup paddle surfing. The surf school holds daily beachside demonstrations at 9:30 a.m. on Grey’s Beach, fronting their sister property, the Halekulani. The stand up paddle demonstration includes a brief water trial just offshore, where participants can grab a board to test their skills.
The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort has partnered with Matson Navigation Company to present the “Hollywood’s Golden Age in Waikiki” exhibit that showcases a collection of rarely seen photographs of Hollywood’s Golden Age celebrities. The exhibit, which runs until Dec. 31, includes images of Hollywood stars from the late 1920s to the late 1940s and their visits to The Royal Hawaiian and Hawaii.
Guests can experience the thrill of surfing with professional longboard champion Kai Sallas, owner of Pro Surf School Hawaii, at the school’s new location at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Kai and his team of professional surfers will offer surf lessons, stand up paddle lessons and Oahu surf tours to people of all skill levels.
Twogood Kayaks now offers exclusive private guided kayak tours on any section of Oahu. The tour takes guests to deserted beaches and unique coastal geographic formations that most visitors do not get to visit.
On display onboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial is a six-foot sculpture, titled “Unconditional Surrender.” The piece was created by Seward Johnson to represent the iconic moment during World War II in Times Square when peace was celebrated with a kiss. The sculpture is on loan from The Sculpture Foundation.
Restaurants & Cuisine
Oahu is known for its diverse culture, which is exhibited by the island’s assortment of foods. With wonderful choices and a vibrant array of cuisine options, there’s sure to be a restaurant for everyone.
Chef Peter Merriman is planning to open an outpost of his popular restaurant, Monkeypod Kitchen, at the Ko Olina Resort in summer 2012, with construction scheduled to begin in November 2011. The 10,000-square foot, two-story restaurant will be located at Station Square shopping center. This will be Merriman’s first restaurant on Oahu.
This fall, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa will put the finishing touches on the second and final phase of its renovation with the completion of its second signature restaurant, Japengo. The restaurant will showcase Pacific Rim cuisine, rolled-to-order sushi and handcrafted cocktails at its Sake Bar.
Opening soon at the Royal Hawaiian Center next to Island Vintage Coffee is Island Vintage Organic & Natural. The new store will feature their popular acai bowls, shave ice and other healthy treats. The center also recently welcomed Five-O Bar & Lounge, which overlooks The Royal Grove. The full-service bar serves a wide range of draft beers and cocktails, and features live entertainment.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort has launched a brand new all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, “Bounty of the Seven Seas: A League of its Own.” The feast features different exotic dishes from various ports of call around the globe every Friday and Saturday night at the Plumeria Beach House. Throughout November and December the resort will offer a wide variety of holiday dining options and festivities including Thanksgiving and Christmas brunches and dinner buffets, Tea with Santa, a Sugar Plum Fairy Dessert Buffet, Christmas Cookie Exchange, and more.
In November, the Polynesian Cultural Center will unveil its completely redesigned Gateway Restaurant, showcasing a new grand interior and exterior. Its expanded buffet menu will feature all you-can-eat food that includes a variety of island dishes.
The Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa presents a new wine bar, bin1901, which offers a variety of wine flights paired by the resort’s sommelier. bin1901 features several selections of 2 oz. wine trios specifically chosen to enhance the flavors and characteristics of Beachhouse at the Moana dishes. The varieties of flights include red, white, rose, dessert and sparkling wines.
Two new food and beverage venues for guests and visitors opened at the OHANA Waikiki Malia, the Slice of Waikiki and Rivals Waikiki. The Slice of Waikiki is a quick service pizza counter offering delicious super-sized pizza. Rivals Waikiki is a chic Las Vegas-inspired sports bar that transforms into a stylish lounge during the evening hours.
RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki will unveil a new menu featuring Pacific Rim inspired dishes created by Executive Chef Brett Villarmia. Guests can indulge in the spicy hot sizzle of the Pacific Rim of Fire dishes mixed with fresh, cool, tropical touches of thirst-quenching cocktails.
Oahu is home to hundreds of fashionable designer stores as well as markets that carry locally made crafts. Visitors are sure to love the shopping experience no matter where they go.
The Ala Moana Farmers’ Market debuted on the Sears upper deck parking lot at Ala Moana Center on Sept. 3. The weekly market opens at 9 a.m. every Saturday and will include 50 vendors featuring island-fresh produce and healthy foods. Joining the center later this year is Hawaii’s first Diane Von Furstenberg store on Oct. 6 and the popular fast-food chain from the Philippines, Jollibee, opening this fall.
On Oct. 4, The Royal Hawaiian Center will introduce its new Farmers’ Market. Nearly 30 vendors will gather from 4-7:30 p.m. every Tuesday selling fresh produce, tasty food items and more. This fall, the center will also welcome three new merchants to their extensive lineup – Mocchin, a boutique featuring girlie fashion and street wear, and Royal Hawaiian Quilt, which offers handcrafted specialty quilts and gift items. In November, Tory Burch will open its largest Hawaii boutique. This store will feature the entire Tory Burch collection, including ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, eyewear, jewelry and small leather goods.
Festivals and Events
Oahu is home to the largest number of festivals and events in Hawaii. Each year, visitors have the opportunity to connect with the local community and experience renowned events that showcase the island’s rich arts and culture scene, the world’s top amateur and professional sporting competitions and championships, and the many ethnic celebrations that are exclusive to Hawai‘i.
The Haunted Lagoon returns to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Sept. 30 for a fourth Halloween season. The Haunted Lagoon is a full-scale production featuring a ghastly cast of more than 100 special effects and animatronics. This year, the experience has been extended to 45 minutes of exhilarating fun. A keiki (child) version is also available. The Haunted Lagoon is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from Sept. 30-Oct. 22 and Monday through Saturday from Oct. 24-31.
Duke’s Waikiki will host its annual Duke’s Ukes Ukulele Contest on Oct. 15. The beachfront contest is the quintessential Hawaiian style jam session featuring some of Hawaii’s top ‘ukulele players.
Hawaii non-profit organization Music For Life Foundation is inviting ‘ukulele players of all ages and skill levels to participate in “Go For Da Record.” The fundraiser and event to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest ‘ukulele ensemble is scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Waikiki Shell.
The Honolulu Academy of Arts big fall exhibition runs Nov. 3-Jan. 8. “Masterpieces of Landscape Painting from the Forbidden City” features 13th-century works that have never before been allowed to leave China. Organized with the cooperation of Beijing’s Palace Museum, the Academy is holding this exhibition to coincide with APEC, as an example of Asian-Pacific collaboration.
The ARTS at Marks Garage presents Hawaii Glass Artists from Nov. 10-12. Color permeates and saturates the forms and designs like no other material can by Hawai‘i’s most established, noteworthy, and emerging glass artists. Expect a retail selection of gifts hand-made by local glass artists and spectacular Hot Glass Demonstrations.
Kumu Kahua Theatre presents “A Jivebombers Christmas,” in which a group of Japanese American internees, raised on jazz, jive and swing dancing decide to raise the camp’s spirits through music, dance and laughter, with a Christmas show. “A Jivebombers Christmas” will run from Nov. 10-Dec. 11.
The Battleship Missouri Memorial will host a free Veterans Day Sunset Ceremony in honor of all veterans on Nov. 11. Recently designated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as an official Regional Site for observance of Veterans Day, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will bring Veterans Day and Armistice Day observances around the world to a close with this sunset ceremony on America’s last battleship.
Visitors are invited to view the annual Santa’s German Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel from Nov. 24-Jan. 3 in the resort’s lobby. The Gingerbread Village will stand over 14.5 feet high and 24 feet wide and will be constructed with 200 gallons of icing, 100 pounds of dark chocolate, 30 pounds of white chocolate, and 60 sheets of gingerbread.
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing returns to the North Shore of O‘ahu from November through December 2011. Kicking off with The Reef Hawaii Pro from Nov. 12-23, the series continues with The Vans World Cup of Surfing from Nov. 24-Dec. 6, and The Billabong Pipe Masters at the famous Banzai Pipeline from Dec. 8-20. O‘ahu’s North Shore is home to these final events on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) calendar that will crown surfing’s new world champions.
Each winter, the world’s best big wave surfers are invited to Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore to compete in the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational In Memory of Eddie Aikau. From Dec. 1-Feb. 28, wave heights will be monitored for the ideal conditions to hold the contest. “The Eddie” can only be held when surf measures at least 20 feet (Hawaiian scale) for a full day.
A multitude of special events to commemorate the historic 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor will take place at the new $56 million Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, Dec. 2-8. Events include a symposium featuring nationally acclaimed authors, historians and Pearl Harbor Survivors; historic displays; patriotic entertainment; a USO Tribute Concert; movie screenings, Pearl Harbor boat tours and the Pearl Harbor Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration.
A Cazimero Christmas returns to Hawaii Theatre, Dec. 9-11. Robert and Roland Cazimero have been in the music scene for over 30 years performing as The Brothers Cazimero.
Outrigger Hotels & Resorts host several fun, family friendly events this holiday season. Hawaiian Santa will be arriving in an outrigger canoe at Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, on Dec. 10 at 9 a.m. Complimentary photos with Santa will take place in the hotel lobby. On Dec. 20-21, the Outrigger Reef on the Beach will be having a special breakfast event with Hawaiian Santa.
On Dec. 11, thousands of runners from around the world will travel to O‘ahu to participate in the Honolulu Marathon. The 26-mile scenic course includes spectacular views from world famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head.
The Nutcracker, a holiday season tradition, returns to the Blaisdell Concert Hall, Dec. 16-18. This production features over 165 young local dancers and principals from major ballet companies, including this year’s featured artist, Chi Cao, star of the film “Mao’s Last Dancer.”
Experience an island holiday tradition by attending the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24. The Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl pits a team from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) against a team from Conference USA in the annual college football bowl game played at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium.
During the month of December, guests at Paradise Cove Luau will be entertained with special Christmas songs and dances, a tree lighting ceremony, treats for the children and pictures with Santa and Tutu Claus.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is closing out its 50th anniversary with a Hawai‘i favorite this New Year’s Eve. The Local Divas, comprised of renowned signers Carole Kai, Nohelani Cypriano and Melveen Leed are reuniting on Dec. 31 for a special performance.
Allegiant Air announced that it is aiming to add Hawai‘i as a flight destination by summer of 2012. The Las Vegas based airline is known to service small cities and link them with leisure destinations.
Hawaiian Airlines is adding three Boeing 717-200 aircraft to its interisland fleet later this fall, the result of which will be more flights and travel opportunities for visitors and residents between O‘ahu and the Neighbor Islands. The airline also announced that it will add daily nonstop flights between Honolulu and Fukuoka, its third destination in Japan, beginning April 2012. The new flights will add approximately 100,000 new air seats annually to Hawai‘i from Japan.
On Nov. 17, Alaska Airlines will launch daily nonstop service from San Diego to Honolulu. The flight will depart San Diego at 9:15 a.m. PST and arrive in Honolulu at 1:15 p.m. HST. The flight from Honolulu will depart at 3:40 p.m. HST and arrive in San Diego at 11:15 p.m. PST.
Sun Plus, an international charter broker based in Tokyo, will provide 21 direct charter flights from various cities in Japan to Honolulu from Nov. 13-Jan. 3. These flights will provide an additional 6,132 air seats to O‘ahu. The charter flights will mainly operate out of regional cities that do not currently offer direct service to Hawai‘i, including Hiroshima, Sendai and Kumamoto.
Beginning Dec. 28, Delta Air Lines will launch nonstop seasonal service from Fukuoka and Honolulu.
Direct service from Incheon, South Korea to Honolulu will be available through Asiana Airlines from Sept.18-Dec. 8. The flights will operate twice weekly, adding an additional 269 seats from Korea to Honolulu.
All information is subject to change without notice. For more information, please go to www.visit-Oahu.com, follow OVB’s tweets at www.twitter.com/OahuVB, or become a fan of Oahu on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OahuHawaii.