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The Islands of Hawaii

Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, Inc.
Sonja Swenson
Senior Vice President
(808) 523-8802

For Immediate Release

June 28, 2012


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 updates with Oahu’s Hotels & Resorts, Activities & Entertainments, Restaurants & Cuisine, Shopping, Festivals & Events and Miscellaneous information, which includes airline and transportation updates.

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.
• Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach is getting an $18 million facelift. The hotel will boast a new pool and pool-deck area, new elevators and interior upgrades to guest rooms, including beautiful new glass railings to ocean front rooms ensuring unobstructed ocean views; all part of an $18 million makeover.
• Aqua Hotels & Resorts announced that it is managing the 88-room Ewa Hotel Waikiki. One of Waikiki’s best kept secrets, Ewa Hotel Waikiki is located on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki, near Kapiolani Park, Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Beach. The hotel offers comfortable and affordable island-style accommodations with free amenities including WiFi Internet access in-room, daily local newspaper in the lobby, kitchenette facilities and bicycle and surfboard racks.
• Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk has added the art of yoga to its list of complimentary amenities. Enjoy free weekly yoga classes on the resort’s Grand Lanai, taught by a certified instructor. The resort is also unveiling a new in-suite yoga channel featuring Hawaii-based yoga classes streamed 24/7, so the suite’s living-room space becomes a private yoga studio.
• The Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club’s new “Ilima Club” offers discerning guests an extra measure of comfort and service with upgraded rooms exclusively on the 31st  floor of both hotel towers, including a private executive lounge. Ilima Club guests can enjoy perks such as special welcome amenities, upgraded Aveda bath products, daily automatic turndown service, daily continental breakfast in the Ilima Club Lounge, and more.

Activities & Entertainment
The island of Oahu is brimming with fun-filled activities that everyone can enjoy. Visitors to Oahu can explore Hawaii’s special culture and iconic history, or choose from a wide variety of outdoor and indoor activities that are sure to energize the spirit.
• The Battleship Missouri Memorial has unveiled its new Battleship Movie Behind the Scenes Tour. This new tour takes guests on an interactive adventure through areas of Battleship Missouri featured in Universal Studio’s summer blockbuster, Battleship.
• Experience Waikiki beach like never before on board the ultimate ocean playground, the Waikiki Ocean Club. Activities include paddleboarding, kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing, helmet dives, snorkeling and more. In the evening, enjoy the best seat on the island for a panoramic view of Oahu’s breathtaking sunset. Once the sun goes down, the party continues with DJ’s, dancing, drinks and pupu’s.
• The Polynesian Cultural Center will redefine the IMAX Theater experience this summer as it transforms its own theater into a fiery volcano. The upgraded venue will feature state-of-the-art surround sound, special sensual and seat effects, and an engrossing video journey through the more hidden aspects and visual wonders of Hawaii. “Discover Hawaii” at the end of this summer through a journey of sight, sound, and senses.
• The Honolulu Zoo has teamed up with community partners to create the Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest. Visitors can learn about the native Hawaiian forest, cultural values such as kuleana and malama aina, and sustainability, in this otherwise urban environment. The Discovery Forest will feature three demonstration zones: strand vegetation, dryland mesic forest species, and Polynesian-introduced species and cultivars.
• The Pacific Aviation Museum’s newest exhibit, the “Battle of Midway” features a ten-foot high, three-dimensional display that recreates the ocean battle between the Japanese and American fleets. Museum goers can also listen to recorded interviews of Japanese and American soldiers provide narration, along with sounds of aircraft diving, bombs and gunfire.
• Explore an ancient Hawaiian rainforest and set of extinct cinder cones on Bike Hawaii’s hike and bike adventure. The tour includes a guided 2.25-mile moderate hike and 5-mile paved downhill bike ride through the Koolau rainforest.
• “Stroll the Streets,” exclusive to Waikiki Trolley, launched two walking tours, “Honolulu 1941” and “History Through the Eyes of the Queen.”  In “Honolulu 1941,” visitors and locals can experience a rare look into everyday life during Honolulu’s war years; learn about the impact of martial law; and how the island prepared for life during the war. Or take a stroll through Iolani Palace neighborhood on the “History Through the Eyes of the Queen” tour. Examine the life of Hawaii’s last queen, and the final years of the monarchy where she struggled to balance her love for her people, and the uprising of the government.
• E Noa Tours newest exclusive offering takes you on a journey out to the rugged Waianae Coast, to the Historic West Oahu Riding Stables. Visitors can choose from a Day Experience which includes a horseback ride to a centuries old stone corral, a hike to an ancient heiau, and a Paniolo style picnic lunch. Or, choose a Twilight Experience which includes a horseback ride along the beach and a Paniolo BBQ dinner alongside a campfire.

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.
• Beer connoisseurs, or anyone that’s excited about beer, will love REAL a Gastropub, located at Ward Centers. From its wide selection of beers, more than 200 bottled beers and 24 taps, to its tapa-style menu featuring local produce and meats, this unique venue provides a fresh new option for the pau hana crowd and party-goers looking for something new.
• Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Honolulu is Café Julia at the YWCA. Reopened under a new management team, the restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday and breakfast on Sundays. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge after a morning of sightseeing through Chinatown or ‘Iolani Palace.
• Bon Appetit: A Tribute to Julia Child and the Art of French Cooking will be a month-long program of culinary events at The Kahala Hotel & Resort. Throughout the month of August guest can enjoy cooking classes and demonstrations, James Beard Foundation Dinner, Wine Festival, The Veranda Better with Butter Tea, Better with Butter Breakfast Buffet weekend at Plumeria Beach House, Chef’s Grand Experience at Hoku’s, and French regional cuisine featured during the Bounty of the 7 Seas buffet in Plumeria Beach House.
• Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa’s newly rejuvenated Moana Terrace overlooking Waikiki Beach is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. for lunch, cocktails and dinner. The open-air venue is the place to be for live contemporary and Hawaiian entertainment, refreshing “Skinni” drink specials, a new Happy Hour menu, island-style cuisine and panoramic sunset views.

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.
• Downtown Honolulu welcomes its newest funky and fresh clothing shop, Homecoming Boutique. Located at 1191 Bethel Street, this store offers fashion divas another option for bold, unique and trendy threads. From florescent, color blocked dresses to animal print platform wedges, this store has everything a girl could want to revamp her closet.
• Fans of local jewelry designer Caroline Hay, creator of TOR, can find all of their favorite jewelry in one place. TOR Boutique in Kailua is filled with Hay’s signature pieces along with colorful clothing the designer imported from around the world.
• Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest outdoor shopping center, welcomed three new merchants – Boardwalk Treats, Uno de 50 and Lids Locker Room. Shoppers looking for something to satisfy their sweet tooth can stop by Boardwalk Treats and choose from more than 100 bins of delicious treats. Or if shoppers would prefer a little neck and wrist candy, Uno de 50 is the perfect stop for trendy jewelry and accessories. Sports fanatics will love the new Lids Locker Room, a one-stop shop for sports memorabilia and merchandise.
• Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki is now home to several new locally owned shops and boutiques. Island Vintage Organic & Natural offers an array of Hawaii-made food items, organic skin care lines and nutritional supplements, in addition to healthy made-to-order meals in its casual dining cafe. Crazy Fish features easy-to-wear women’s resort attire with bright patterns uniquely hand-painted designs and detailed embroidery. Pipeline Leather offers a variety of fashionable leather goods from business shoes and work boots to the best hiking boots and American-made leather jackets at reasonable prices for both men and women.

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 Hawaii.
• For the 21st consecutive year, on July 4, Ala Moana Center will present locals and visitors with one of the largest and most spectacular fireworks shows in the country at its Fourth of July Spectacular. In addition to the fireworks, the Center will offer a weekend’s worth of live entertainment and a mall-wide shopping savings pass good from June 30-July 4.
• The 13th Annual Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti, the largest Tahitian dance competition in Hawaii, returns to the Polynesian Cultural Center, July 13-14. This event will showcase the skill of dancers dedicated to preserving the art, culture and traditions of Tahiti. Attracting visitors and locals alike, this festival features tamarii (youth) and taurearea (adults) from all over Hawai‘i as they dance to the sounds of Tahiti ranging from slow melodies to rapid beats.
• Don’t miss the opportunity to find the perfect gift from Hawaii at the Hawaii All-Collectors Show from July 20-21. This annual collectibles and antiques show and sale, held at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, features more than 200 booths with one of the largest selections of Hawaiiana under one roof.
• Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa has partnered with Makaha Mangoes to kickoff its Fourth annual “Mangoes at the Moana” event on July 21. Locals and visitors are invited to join in on the festivities including a Mango Farmers’ Market, the Third Annual “Mango Throw Down,” a “Mango Cocktail Mixdown,” and more.
• The 35th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, held July 21 at Moanalua Gardens, celebrates hula kahiko (ancient hula and chant) and also features auana (modern) hula performances.  Dancers will perform on one of the few remaining pa hula (hula mounds) in Hawaii. Attendees can also enjoy a made in Hawai‘i craft fair, cultural demonstrations, local food and more.
• Experience a broad spectrum of traditional, contemporary and ethnic arts at the 15th Annual Haleiwa Arts Festival Summer Event, from July 21-22. This event includes visual artists, musicians, singers, dancers, demonstrations, storytelling, student art displays, historical trolley tours and children’s arts and crafts. Browse and purchase unique works by artists of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
• Local ukulele legend Roy Sakuma and his sponsors help to keep the ukulele alive and relevant with the 42nd Annual Ukulele Festival on July 22. The free five-hour concert showcases the finest ukulele players from around the world, along with national celebrities, Hawaii’s top entertainers, and an ‘ukulele orchestra of more than 800 students, mostly children. The festival benefits Ukulele Festival Hawaii, a charitable non-profit organization.
• Polynesian Cultural Center hosts the Te Manahua Māori Cultural Competition, Aug. 9-11. Immerse yourself in the native culture of New Zealand through song and dance competitions, which will include haka (male posture dance) and poi (a graceful dance implement with the twirling ball on end of string), and visually stunning kakahu (attire). This year’s festival will also include a concert on Friday, featuring two of New Zealand’s top artists – Maisey Rika and Ria Hall – making their Hawai‘i debut.
• From Aug. 17-19, visitors and locals can enjoy more than 400 exhibitors offering a wide variety of items made and grown locally at the Made in Hawaii Festival. Products for sale include art, clothing, food, home furnishings, jewelry, toys, fresh produce, plants, and authentic Hawaiian handicrafts. The festival also includes performances by award-winning entertainers and cooking demonstrations by Hawai‘i’s top culinary artists.
• On Aug. 18, The Kahala Hotel & Resort, in association with Young’s Market Company of Hawaii, will present The Kahala Hotel & Resort’s 2012 Wine & Food Classic: A Celebration of France. Featured wineries will include award-winning vintners from California with a special emphasis on celebrating the French art of winemaking. Guests will enjoy sampling a variety of wines from several vintners as well as gourmet dishes of France. The Kahala’s Executive Chef Wayne Hirabayashi is creating a specialty menu that focuses on culinary cuisine from the French provinces.
• Slack key guitar originated in Hawai‘i in the 19th century with Hawaiian paniolo (cowboys), and continues to gain popularity. The 30th Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival on Aug. 19, will celebrate the cultural importance of the unique acoustic guitar art form of “Ki hoalu,” which means “loosen the key.” The festival takes place at Kapi‘olani Park and features performances by well-known slack key musicians.
• The Greek Festival, held at McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Beach Park from Aug. 25-26, celebrates Greek culture with ethnic food, live entertainment, cultural booths, and more. The popular annual festival is sponsored by the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
• The Hawaii United Okinawa Association presents the 30th Annual Okinawan Festival from Sept. 1-2.  The event kicks off with a mini procession inside Kapiolani Park featuring a taiko drum performance. The three-day festival at Kapiolani Park celebrates Okinawan culture with food, entertainment, arts, crafts, and cultural activities.
• The 2nd Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival will span four days from Sept. 6-9, at The Modern Honolulu, Halekulani, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and Ko Olina Resort with Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa and JW Marriott’s Ihilani Resort & Spa. Over 50 world-class chefs will create innovative dishes inspired by the diverse culinary and cultural traditions of the Hawaiian Islands.  Prepared with Hawaii’s enviable bounty of locally-sourced produce, seafood, beef, poultry and other ingredients, this destination event will also promote the importance of food security and supporting local farmers, ranchers and fisherman to ensure Hawaii’s sustainable future
•  Ala Moana Center presents a celebration of all things fashion at The Fall Fashion Event, Sept. 6-9. Shoppers can enjoy a weekend filled with stunning fashion shows, a stylish
gift-with-purchase, luxurious giveaways, opportunities to give back to the community, and more. In addition, participating merchants will offer chic in-store demonstrations, exclusive products, promotions and deals.
• Aloha Festivals, the largest Hawaiian cultural celebration in the United States, takes place on Oahu on Sept. 15 and 22. The festival celebrates Hawaii’s music, dance, and history, and is intended to preserve the islands’ unique traditions. Festivities include a Waikiki Hoolaule‘a on Sept. 15 and a floral parade on Sept. 22.

• On June 4, Hawaiian Airlines launched daily nonstop flights between Honolulu and New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Hawaiian Flight 50 will depart Honolulu at 3:05 p.m. and arrive in New York City at 6:55 a.m. the following morning; Flight 51 will depart JFK at 10 a.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 3 p.m. The route will add 107,000 new air seats annually. On June 7, the airlines also added a third daily flight to its Los Angeles-Honolulu route, adding more than 70,000 seats annually between the two cities. The new flight will depart Los Angeles International Airport daily at 10:30 a.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 1:10 p.m. The return flight will depart Honolulu daily at 10:20 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 6:45 a.m. the following morning.
• United Airlines launched daily nonstop service between Dulles and Honolulu International Airport on June 7. The new service is expected to generate $135 million in visitor spending and $14 million in tax revenues into Hawaii’s economy. 
• West Coast travelers have another option when it comes to visiting Honolulu. On June 29, Allegiant Air launched flights from Las Vegas to Honolulu and on June 30, launched its flight from Fresno. These initial flights are just the beginning of a series of new flights to Honolulu scheduled to launch in November from Monterey, Calif. (CA), Stockton, Calif. (CA), Santa Maria, Calif. (CA), Bellingham, Wash. (WA) and Eugene, Ore. (OR). 
• For guests staying at any of the four Starwood Hotels & Resorts properties in Waikiki, there is now a roundtrip fee-for-service airport shuttle. Through a partnership with Roberts Hawaii, the Starwood Waikiki Shuttle is an economical option at $20 per person round trip or $12 per person one way. Guests who choose to use the shuttle will also enjoy a lei greeting, baggage handling and an informational video along with discount coupons to use during their stay.

All information is subject to change without notice.  For more information, please go to, follow OVB’s tweets at, or become a fan of Oahu on Facebook at

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