Media site

The Islands of Hawaii

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

For Immediate Release

April 01, 2013


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 & Chefs, Shopping, Festivals & Events and Miscellaneous information, which includes airline and transportation updates.

Hotels & Resorts
The island of Oahu has a wide arrange of 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.
•    Turtle Bay Resort will be embarking on a multi-million dollar renovation of all of its 397 standard and premium guest rooms and hallways, the Spa Luana and fitness center, two restaurants, as well as improvements to the main building. The renovation will be completed in phases to minimize impact on guests, with little disruption expected in public or exterior areas of the resort. 
•    Karissma by Best Bridal Hawaii recently opened the White Beach Chapel, its second chapel at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. The 40-person capacity chapel offers stunning views of the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon and the ocean through floor to ceiling glass walls. Waikiki sunsets provide a picture-perfect backdrop for late afternoon weddings and couples marrying on Friday nights can include the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s fireworks display. 
•    The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation including the award-wining 35,000 sq ft. Ihilani Spa. The Ihilani Spa now offers a new menu featuring new services such as Oxygen Facials and the “Just-for-You Massage” that includes a variety of massage styles.
•    Vive Hotel Waikiki will make its debut this spring, marking it as the newest lifestyle boutique hotel on the island. Friendly service combined with coastal casual design are the hallmarks of the hotel. The 125-room property will feature a business center, meeting space, valet parking, free local telephone calls, complimentary high-speed WiFi and much more. The hotel will also serve complimentary continental breakfast daily in the lobby.
•    Joie de Vivre Hotels introduces Shoreline Hotel Waikiki – a new, serene sanctuary in the heart of Waikiki. To debut with the April opening of the 135-room property, Shoreline is launching the “Sea or Sky Daredevil” package for the adventurous traveler. The package features deluxe accommodations, a sky or shark diving adventure for two, beach towels and aloe sunblock. This is Joie de Vivre Hotels’ second property in Hawaii following the Coconut Waikiki Hotel.

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 Bishop Museum has been selected to be one of seven museums in the country to play host in 2013 to the Congressional Gold Medal awarded in 2011 to Japanese-American World War II Nisei soldiers in recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments. The medal is part of the American Heroes: Japanese-American WWII Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal exhibit going on now through April 14.
•    Polo season kicks off on Apr. 7 at the Hawaii Polo Club on the North Shore with a full day of festivities, including a sky diving exhibition, polo ball-hitting and music. Join the club every Sunday afternoon for an exciting game of polo.
•    The new Hawaiian Journey at the Polynesian Cultural Center is an experience so explosive that only a volcano could hold it. Housed inside of a structure modeled after a volcano, Hawaii’s natural beauty is brought to life through gorgeous cinematography and customized special effects that engage the viewers’ senses. The thrilling story offers a window for guests to experience the Hawaiian peoples’ respect for their sacred lands and the connection that it provides to their beloved ancestors.  Hawaiian Journey is included with general admission or any package that includes daytime activities.
•    The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites have launched three new Pearl Harbor Half-Day Tours, allowing visitors to see more for less. These packages allow visitors to experience the USS Arizona Memorial Audio Tour with a tour of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine or the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, providing flexibility for guests.
•    Each year in May, spinner dolphins gather in the waters swimming in a gigantic spiral pattern. On May 5 and 6, Wild Side Specialty Tours will offer an intimate overnight, six passenger cruise to explore this strange phenomenon, and watch the preceding Eta Aquarids meteor shower.
•    Kualoa Ranch introduced its new Experience PASS, which gives guests unlimited access to Kualoa’s award-winning Movie Sites and Ranch tour, Jungle Expedition, Legends and Legacy, Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond and Garden tour, hula lessons, Hakipuu hike, Secret Island beach and Ocean Voyaging tours. Visitors to the Ranch can also enjoy the twilight hours by pairing the Experience PASS with dinner and entertainment.
•    The Holiday Inn BeachComber Resort welcomed Emmy Award winning show, Benise’s Nights of Fire, Hawaii. The fiery Spanish guitar and international dance troupe, takes visitors on an epic adventure through Spanish flamenco, salsa, Argentinean tango, Brazilian samba, Indian bollywood, the Waltz and more.
•    Dinosaurs are returning to Bishop Museum! Life Through Time: Dinosaurs and Ice-Age Mammals will be on exhibit at the Museum Apr. 27-Sept. 15. Run from a Tyrannosaurus Rex and gaze up on a giant Apatosaurus or chill during the Ice Age with a Saber Tooth Tiger family and a Mastodon. The exhibit includes ten exhibits in all and features a robotic skeleton you can control, crayon rubbing tables, and a dinosaur dig.

Restaurants, Cuisine & Chefs
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.
•    The Kahala Hotel and Resort is proud to introduce Arancino at the Kahala, a new fine-dining restaurant serving up Italian cuisine. The restaurant focuses on food from the Naples region and includes a wood-burning pizza oven, display kitchen and private dining room. For a true Italian dining experience, diners can eat on the outside patios—alfresco style.
•    After closing the popular Chai’s Island Bistro at Aloha Tower, Chef Chai Chaowasaree has opened Chef Chai at the Pacifica Honolulu tower on Kapiolani Boulevard. The restaurant features an intimate setting and upscale modern décor to go with a new and healthier menu focusing mainly on seafood and vegetarian dishes; everything can also be prepared gluten-free.
•    Guests of Japengo Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa can enhance their dining experience by calling upon in-house sake expert Mikio Tomioka. With years of knowledge about sake and Japanese culture, guest can learn about the proper sake etiquette and the beautiful pairings of sake and Japengo’s Pacific Rim cuisine.
•    Turtle Bay Resort's new Kula Grille restaurant brings a fresh new focus to the farm-to-table movement, with cuisine highlighting ingredients sourced from local waters, as well as more than a dozen Hawaii farms, ranches, breweries and distilleries.
•    Nico’s Pier 38, known for its delicious fresh fish, is now open for dinner seven nights a week and has added prime rib to their dinner menu. Enjoy Sunday evenings on the Pier 38 waterfront with live music and cocktails in a laid back atmosphere.
•    Green and Vines, Honolulu’s first full-service raw and vegan restaurant serves up delicious meals using all organic ingredients. Green and Vines prides itself on serving no meat, dairy, grains, sugar, and using no open flames to ensure a raw food experience.
•    The DoubleTree by Hilton Alana Waikiki now features Trees Restaurant & Bar. The restaurant features locally-sourced products for breakfast and dinner, including the popular Doubletree Cookie Pancakes with warm maple syrup and chocolate chip butter. 

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.
•    Sift through the racks of one of England’s most iconic designers at the Vivienne Westwood Waikiki boutique at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Here shoppers will find wearable high fashion and Hawaii-exclusive jewelry and totes. The boutique is one of only two in the entire country.
•    Vintage-inspired accessory boutique, Shabby Room, recently opened in Waikiki. Shoppers can find the perfect gift item here as the shop offers everything from mugs in knitted cozies, antique lamps and kitchy coinpurses to vintage-inspired bags and bath lotions.
•    The Royal Hawaiian Center is welcoming new locally owned merchants this spring. Nalu Storage, a surfboard storage rental facility, opened just steps from Waikiki Beach offering a secure and convenient option for both visitors and locals to store their surfboards and stand up paddle boards. In addition, Fighting Eel whose timeless pieces are designed and made in Hawaii, will open their new boutique at the Center in May. Hand making slippers in Hawaii since 1946, Island Slipper will also join the Center this spring.
•    Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest outdoor shopping center, will be welcoming two new merchants – Microsoft and Kipling. Microsoft’s retail store lets shoppers experience and buy software, devices & hardware, direct from Microsoft. The Ala Moana Center location will be Microsoft’s first Hawaii store. For shoppers looking to increase their bag collection, Kipling offers stylish, colorful high quality handbags, backpacks, luggage, and more suited for the adventures of everyday life.
•    In April Bed Bath & Beyond will be open at Ward Centre. Ward Centre is excited to add this home furnishing super-store to its retail mix providing shoppers with one of the largest selection of home products.
•    Oliver Men’s Shop, a new menswear boutique, recently opened in Kailua. The shop is the manly counterpart to neighboring Olive Boutique which fills its racks with fun, free-flowing, shore-style basics for women. This new menswear boutique offers shoppers new Hamptons-ish style clothing. 
•    Turtle Bay Resort will be opening two new retail experiences on May 21. The North Shore WaterShed plays upon the concept of a North Shore waterman’s accessory shed featuring apparel for men, women and youth, as well as select shoe styles, accessories and gifts. Oakley at Turtle Bay will offer the most extensive range of the brand’s eyewear collections outside of Honolulu, offering styles for both men and women. The store will also offer a broad range of men’s surf, lifestyle and women’s training apparel, including an exclusive resort line of t-shirts created for Turtle Bay.

Festivals & 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.
•    The historic neighborhood of Kaimuki will be hosting Third Fridays Kaimuki, a monthly event showcasing the richness and diversity of the area.  Enjoy great food and entertainment from popular restaurants and find the best deals from local retail stores.
•    From April 5-11, the Hawaii International Film Festival will showcase independent feature films at the Signature Dole Cannery Theatres. The festival is dedicated to the advancement of understanding and cultural exchange among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America through the medium of film.
•    The Waikiki SPAM® Jam, an exciting annual street festival celebrating Hawaii’s love of SPAM®, will take place on April 27 in Waikiki. The event features a variety of Honolulu’s finest restaurants serving up SPAM®-inspired creations. Two entertainment stages provide non-stop entertainment ranging from hula dancers to local musicians, and merchandise vendors sell SPAM®-themed items and Hawaiian crafts. Proceeds from the event benefit the Hawaii Food Bank.
•    The Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists will present the third Annual Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawaii’s music, composers and culture, in May. Mele Mei will encompass more than 30 workshops, concert performances and other events, and will culminate with the 36th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on May 25. 
•    This year marks the 86th anniversary of the Lei Day Celebration in Hawaii. The celebration will feature entertainment, food booths and a lei-making contest at the beautiful Queen Kapiolani Park and Bandstand in Waikiki on May 1. The event is followed by an honoring of Hawaii’s alii (monarchy) at Mauna Ala and Kawaiahao on May 2. Lei Day was created to celebrate the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei.
•    The Polynesian Cultural Center will host the We Are Samoa Festival from May 8-11. The festival features the 21st Annual World Fireknife Championship and High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival. Dancers of all ages showcase their mastery of Samoan fireknives in which acrobatic moves and death-defying tricks combine with ancient Samoan culture. Held in conjunction with the World Fireknife Championship, the High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival features Hawaii high school students demonstrating their own cultural knowledge of Samoan traditions with exhibitions in basket weaving, coconut husking, fire making and more.
•    Join hundreds of dancers from around the world at the International Waikiki Hula Conference happening May 17-19 at the Hawaii Convention Center. This year’s conference celebrates 50 years of the Merrie Monarch with a weekend of hula, crafts and more with topics related to Hawaii Island, Uncle George Naope and Aunty Dottie Thompson, and the Merrie Monarch himself, King Kalakaua.
•    On May 19, thousands of triathletes from around the world visit Oahu to compete in the Honolulu Triathlon. The Olympic distance triathlon features a 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run that begins and ends at Ala Moana Beach Park.
•    Every year on Memorial Day, thousands of people gather at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park for the Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony to honor ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. At sundown, more than 3,000 candlelit lanterns are set afloat on the ocean, a traditional Buddhist rite originating in Japan. The ceremony serves to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in war, pay respect to ancestors and loved ones who have passed away, and pray for a harmonious and peaceful future. The ceremony also features live entertainment by local and international musicians, as well as inspiring speeches. 
•    The Rainbow Film Festival serves to educate and raise community awareness about gay and lesbian culture, arts and lifestyle through independent films shown at the Doris Duke Theatre June 4-9. Locally submitted films are also featured and supported by the festival.
•    The 34th annual Pan-Pacific Festival will take place June 7-9. This international cultural celebration features a weekend of Pacific Rim cultural performances, demonstrations, hula, food, and hoolaulea (block party). The event culminates with a colorful parade with thousands of participants in lively costumes marching down Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki.
•    Don’t miss the 97th Annual King Kamehameha Floral Parade on June 8. This colorful celebration honors the reign of King Kamehameha, who was responsible for uniting the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in 1810. The parade features brightly decorated floats, energetic marching bands and traditional pau riders who represent a Hawaiian royal court on horseback.
•    Outrigger Reef on the Beach will play host to the O Ke Kai Series, Navigating the Way, on June 15 and Sept. 14. The O Ke Kai Series supports the continuing efforts of the Friends of Hokulea and Hawaiiloa to ensure traditional Hawaiian canoe building and restoration skills are passed on the future generations. The event feature keiki (children) activities including tattoo art, storytelling and canoe petroglyph stamping and is free to the public.
•    The Prince Lot Hula Festival will take place on July 20 in the beautiful Moanalua Gardens, features hula halau (troupes) gracing the hula mound for spectators to enjoy. The festival showcases Native Hawaiian culture through crafts, kapa making, lauhala weaving, lomilomi massage, traditional Hawaiian games, and more.
•    Duke’s OceanFest, a weeklong festival from Aug.17-25, features a variety of exciting water sports competitions, including longboard surfing, surf polo, swimming, standup paddling, and other events that pay tribute to the local waterman. The festivities commence with the Duke’s Statue lei draping ceremony on Aug. 17 and includes a birthday celebration on Aug. 24.
•    The third annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival will take place Sept. 5-8. The festival includes culinary-focused events and evening receptions featuring dishes prepared by an all-star lineup of chefs from Hawaii and around the world, using locally sourced ingredients. Co-chaired by chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the festival serves to showcase the state’s bounty of produce and proteins and highlight the islands’ return to a sustainable eco-system of agriculture, environment and economy.

•    On Mar.13, Hawaiian Airlines began nonstop service, three days weekly, between Honolulu and Auckland, New Zealand. Hawaiian Airlines is the only U.S. carrier flying to Auckland and is providing more than 40,000 air seats on the route annually. This summer, the airline will expand its reach into Asia with the launch of service from Honolulu to both Sendai, Japan on June 25, and Taipei, Taiwan on July 9. The airline will offer flights three days weekly on both routes.
•    On Feb. 7 Allegiant Airlines began service between Honolulu and Mesa, Arizona. The new route operates three times a week and opens up access to and from Arizona’s third-largest city. Mesa is the second city in Arizona with direct service to Hawaii.

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, and follow OahuVB on Instagram.

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