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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

July 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 range 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.
• Vive Hotel Waikiki will make its debut this summer, marking it as the newest lifestyle boutique hotel on the island. Friendly service combined with coastal casual design are the hallmarks of this 125-room hotel, which will include a business center and meeting space. The hotel will also serve complimentary continental breakfast daily in the lobby.
• Turtle Bay Resort is currently undergoing 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 receiving improvements to the main building. The renovation will be completed in phases to minimize impact on guests, with little disruption in public or exterior areas of the resort. The expected completion date will be later this year.
• In April, Joie de Vivre Hotels introduced the Shoreline Hotel Waikiki, a new experience in the heart of Waikiki. Only the second Joie de Vivre hotel to open in Hawaii, the 135-room property offers a relaxing yet modern ambiance.
• Park Shore Waikiki, recently emerged from a $10.7 million enhancement. Situated between picturesque Diamond Head crater, Kapiolani Park and the excitement of Waikiki, the Park Shore Waikiki features 221 guest rooms with private lanais and views of the ocean and Diamond Head. Other amenities include an ocean view outdoor swimming pool, two onsite restaurants, tour desk, retail shops and Starbucks Coffee.
• Karissma by Best Bridal Hawaii recently opened the White Beach Chapel, its second chapel at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort. The 40-person capacity chapel offers stunning views of the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon and the ocean through floor to ceiling glass walls.
• Scheduled to open in late fall 2013, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa will boast a new family pool, kids’ splash zone and two new quick-service dining locations to give guests even more to enjoy at the 21-acre vacation paradise.
• Aston Hotels & Resorts is expanding its collection of eight Waikiki properties with its first designer boutique hotel. Hotel Renew, which first opened in 2008, has been rebranded as Hotel Renew by Aston. The property offers a luxurious getaway feel and tranquil atmosphere featuring 72 rooms with ocean, mountain or city views.
• The Kahala Hotel & Resort has updated its Veranda Lounge with furnishings, which include items from the ‘Tommy Bahamas’ Royal Kahala Collection, jazz on Mondays and other entertainment treats. Arancino opened in June joining The Kahala’s four other restaurants. Arancino offers al fresco dining Italian style with prix fixe menus. These exciting new updates are part of the legendary resort’s preparations for its Golden Jubilee year of 2014.

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.
• Pacific Hall at Bishop Museum, formerly Polynesian Hall, is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and restoration. Scheduled for completion in September, the hall will display key artifacts and objects uncovered during the archaeological expeditions over the last century in Tahiti, Marquesas, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, China, and Taiwan. Pacific Hall will present a new perspective on the story of the Pacific migration, along with ground-breaking new data that revises the timeline of Pacific settlement. Also, earlier this year, the museum reopened the J. Watumull Planetarium after $1.5 million in upgrades. Improvements to the Planetarium include new seating and a hybrid system in which visitors can enjoy a variety of shows including a journey from Hawaii to Tahiti by the stars.
• This year the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) marks its 50th anniversary of preserving and perpetuating the Polynesian culture. Most recently, the PCC introduced a new Island Luau centered around the Samoan culture and featuring a dinner buffet with favorite Samoan, Hawaiian and local dishes, traditional performances like the faataupati (Samoan slap dance) and siva popo (coconut shell dance), and keiki (children) fireknife dancing. Another new addition is Hawaiian Journey, a 14-minute cinematic presentation that brings to life the story of Hawaii’s people, their land, and their ancestors.
• The International Market Place, Waikiki Town Center and the Miramar at Waikiki Hotel is scheduled to be redeveloped into a new three-level retail, dining and entertainment center totaling 390,000 square feet of commercial space. The project is expected to cost up to $300 million. Construction will begin this year and is expected to take two years to complete. As construction has yet to begin, the Miramar at Waikiki continues to welcome guests to enjoy the conveniently located property in the heart of Waikiki.
• The Honolulu Night Market in Kakaako is an evening event that combines fashion, live music, art, shopping and local food. Under the Honolulu city lights, this monthly night market celebrates the best of urban island culture featuring local artists, designers, musicians, and chefs. 
• Based out of Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu’s only resort with a helipad on property, Paradise Helicopters is proud to announce the arrival of The Chopper, an icon from the 1980’s hit TV series, Magnum P.I. Experience spectacular aerial views of Oahu’s North Shore in this famous new addition to Paradise Helicopters’ aircrafts.
• The Honolulu Museum of Art presents Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawaii Pictures, the first exhibition to feature dialogue work created in and about Hawaii  by these two American masters. The exhibition includes a selection of painting associated with O’Keeffe’s 1939 trip to Hawaii to create illustrations for print advertisements for the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. Adam’s photographs of Hawaii include a series of national parks and the Bishop National Bank of Hawaii, now called First Hawaiian Bank.
• The Pearl Harbor Historic Site partners are happy to announce that its website is now able to take reservations for all four Pearl Harbor destinations that include the Battleship Missouri, Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Bowfin Submarine and the USS Arizona Memorial Audio Tour. In addition, visitors can now purchase the popular Pearl Harbor full day and half day tours.
• The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort celebrated its 86th birthday this year and continues to commemorate its long-time presence in Waikiki by offering guests an intimate glance into rarely-seen historical photos. The “Pink Palace of the Pacific” will partner with Matson Navigation Company to display its vast collection of photos and artwork of pieces documenting and depicting legendary Waikiki Beach Boys at The Royal Hawaiian from the 1920’s to 1950’s.  This rare collection of photographs features the famous waterman Duke Kahanamoku, George Freeth and more.

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.
• Skybar Waikiki, to open in spring 2014, will be Hawaii’s highest rooftop lounge at 19 stories above the heart of Waikiki. It will feature a signature, 3,000 square foot wrap-around lanai boarded by glass railings. Modern décor inspired by nature with several notable features such as a 30-foot video wall, regionalized sound system, special ambient lighting, and VIP lounge spaces.
• On Aug. 1, the Lotus Honolulu will welcome new restaurant Park. Park features a menu filled with modern interpretations of classic Mediterranean dishes that include local ingredients, as well as an extensive wine list to provide patrons with a refined dining experience. Located on the second floor of the Lotus Honolulu, Park will serve dinner seven days a week from 5 p.m.- 12 a.m.
• Waikiki will gain two new restaurants with the opening of the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach, Sushi Sho and BLT Market. Sushi Sho is a Japan-based restaurant owned by Keji Nakazawa renowned for its Edo-style sushi. This will be its first U.S. location adding to its current 15 locations throughout Japan. BLT Market will be the second restaurant to open at the residences. This farm-to-table restaurant will be driven by seasonal availability of ingredients from local and regional areas of Hawaii.
• Yuzu Sushi is Ko Olina’s newest restaurant offering a unique twist on traditional Japanese cuisine through creative use of bold ingredients and cooking techniques. The affordable sushi menu will feature two styles of omakase, a chef’s choice meal of several types of sushi and sides.
• Diners can enjoy views of the Waikiki skyline while dining at The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood, which recently opened on the 36th floor of the Ala Moana Hotel. The restaurant features a classic steakhouse menu and is the latest venture for restauranteur Peter Kim, who owns the popular Liliha Bakery.
• Recently opened Wada Restaurant is serving up Japanese cuisine in a unique experience combining yakiniku and kaiseki course progression. Owners Takanori Wada and Hiroki Kobyashi passionately believe in providing remarkable food in a unique environment.
• Restaurant & Bar Ko recently opened in the location where Oahu’s famous garlic restaurant in once stood. After renovating, the Kaimuki restaurant space now features a bright open space with modern decorations. Diners will experience traditional Japanese cuisine in set pre-fixe menus.

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.
• Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest outdoor shopping center, recently welcomed two new merchants – Microsoft and Kipling. The shopping center also announced the addition of Bloomingdale’s to open in late 2015. The 167,000-square-foot, three-level luxury department store will serve as the centerpiece of a major retail expansion and common area renovation at Ala Moana Center. This retail expansion will feature 650,000 square feet of retail, including Bloomingdale’s department store, large format retailers, dining, entertainment, and 200,000 square feet of inline retailers. The entire mall will receive a face- lift, including an upgraded food court, customer amenities, landscaping, and pedestrian access.
• The Royal Hawaiian Center welcomes two boutiques, Calypso St. Barth and WHITE TAG, as well as the popular locally owned chocolate company Malie Kai Chocolates.  WHITETAG boutique features high quality, refined and stylish selection of fashion for women and men. Calypso St. Barth specializes in chic, luxurious women’s apparel and accessories. This location marks its first boutique in Hawaii. Malie Kai Chocolates is an award-winning and locally owned chocolate company, specializing in Hawaii-grown chocolate.
• Four new merchants have recently opened at the Waikiki Beach Walk including 2Chillies, MegunaKei, Truffaux, and Jams World. 2Chillies is a swimwear and apparel company based in Australia. This location marks the first location outside of the Gold Coast. MegunaKei is an artsy boutique that features creations that are hand-drawn and inspired by the textile culture in Asia, Europe and America. Truffaux, the world-renowned specialist in Panama hats, offers a range of styles and custom shape hats to fit any shopper. Jams World has been designing and manufacturing clothing in Honolulu since 1964. This shop, most known for its vibrant colors and carefree styling, will open this summer.
• TRUEST is Honolulu’s urban shoe store featuring authentic, hard-to-find sneakers and basketball shoes. The sneaker shop held its opening earlier this year marking it as Hawaii’s first consignment, buy-and-sell sneaker shop. Shoppers will find wall-to-wall shelves of bright, great condition and a rotating collection of sneakers.
• With the love for design and appreciation of quality goods, owners Dean and Cassy Song opened gift boutique MONO earlier this year. Mono, which means “things” in Japanese, sells small design goods to improve your home, office and lifestyle. Featured items include stationary, office supplies, homeware, personal accessories, and other unique products carefully sourced from within the U.S. and international vendors with a keen eye for design

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.
• On July 20, the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival will be held on the beautiful grounds of Moanalua Gardens. The event features hula halau (troupes) gracing the hula mound for spectators to enjoy and showcases Native Hawaiian culture through crafts, kapa making, lauhala, weaving, lomilomi massage, traditional Hawaiian games, and more.
• Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa is celebrating summer with the 5th annual Mangoes at the Moana. This month-long celebration highlights local mango farmers and special tips on how to grow or eat the delectable tropical fruit. The resort will partner with local farmer Makaha Mangoes to kickoff the “Mangoes at the Moana” event on July 21.  Included in the day’s celebration, guests are also invited to “Mango Throw Down” featuring local celebrity executive chefs in a friendly cooking competition using mango as the main ingredient.
• When the sun goes down, the music will crank up at the Ke Kani O Ke Kai Summer Concert Series at the Waikiki Aquarium, presented by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts and offering live performances by some of Hawaii’s most popular entertainers. The concerts run every other Thursday through Aug. 8.
• The Made in Hawaii Festival will take place Aug. 16-18. This three-day celebration highlights the unique products of Hawaii. More than 400 exhibitors offer a wide variety of items made and grown in Hawaii, including art, clothing, food, home furnishings, jewelry, toys, fresh produce, plants, and authentic Hawaiian handcrafts. The festival also includes performances by award-wining entertainers and cooking demonstrations by Hawaii’s top culinary artists.
• 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 local waterman Duke Kahanamoku. The festivities commence with the Duke’s Statue lei draping ceremony on Aug. 17 and will feature a specialbirthday 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.
• In September, the Aloha Festivals pays tribute to traditional Hawaiian ocean voyaging with the theme, “Moana Nui kea – Celebrate Ocean Voyaging.” Celebrating 67 years, the Aloha Festivals showcases Hawaii’s music, dance and history, and will kick off on Sept. 12 in Waikiki.
• The Honolulu Century Ride will take place on Sept. 29. It is Hawaii’s oldest and largest cycling event, attracting approximately 4,000 people around the world each year. The ride begins and ends at Kapiolani Park, and participants can choose to ride 20, 25, 40, 50, 75, or 100 miles at their own pace. Proceeds from the annual fun ride support the Hawaii Bicycling League and its efforts to promote cycling for health, recreation and transportation through advocacy, education and events. 
• From Oct. 10-20, 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.
• Located on the former estate of Princess Kaiulani, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani will host a week of special events honoring the legacy and birthday of its namesake, Princess Victoria Kaiulani. Appropriately named Hana Hoohiwahiwa O Kaiulani (to celebrate and honor Kaiulani), the commemoration week is scheduled for the month of October.  Each day of the celebration a different complimentary cultural activity including hula lessons, fresh flower lei making, ukulele lessons, or wood crafting will be offered at the hotel. The weeklong celebration culminates with the Princess Kaiulani Keiki Hula Festival.
• The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship will take place on Nov. 24. This off-road half-marathon winds through Kualoa Ranch on Oahu’s northeastern shore. Trail runs, kids race and other family events will also be offered.
• Kamaaina (locals) and visitors can come together to Discover Kakaako at Ward Centers. From 5 - 9 p.m. each month, family and friends are invited to enjoy food and drink, listen to  great entertainment, watch fashion shows, and more.

• Hawaiian Airlines recently launched nonstop service three times weekly from Honolulu to Taipei, Taiwan on July 9. The airline also launched nonstop service three times weekly from Honolulu to Sendai, Japan on June 25 and from Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand on Mar.13. Hawaiian Airlines is the only U.S. carrier flying to Auckland and is providing more than 40,000 air seats on the route annually.
• 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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