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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

September 25, 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.
•    Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa at Ko Olina will unveil its expanded water fun and dining options on Oct. 19.  A beautiful new infinity edge pool, sparkling grotto, an ocean-themed splash zone for kids, and convenient poolside and beachside dining locations are among the enhancement highlights at the oceanfront resort.
•    Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore is putting the final touches on a multi-million-dollar renovation, with extensive enhancements across all 410 main building guest rooms, the new Nalu Kinetic Spa and wellness center, the launch of the North Shore Kula Grille and Paakai restaurants, shopping at coastal lifestyle stores the Watershed and Oakley at Turtle Bay, and more.
•    Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has announced the addition of a Tuesday fireworks show to its entertainment offerings complementing its current Friday night fireworks show. The Fireworks Spectacular on Tuesday evenings features a new 15-minute entertainment prelude by Tihati Productions at 7:45 p.m., followed by the fireworks at 8 p.m.
•    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.
•    Renovations are officially complete at the new Aqua Skyline at Island Colony. Featuring 110 rooms within the 740-room building, the property underwent a $6 million renovation to emerge as a modern hotel experience with restyled guest rooms, a fashionable new lobby area with coffee bar, upgraded pool and outdoor areas, meeting space and a new fitness center.
•    The Kahala Hotel & Resort celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2014.  To kickstart anniversary activities, the legendary resort has launched its Jubilee Tea Menu in the Veranda and is also offering a Jubilee prix fixe menu in Hoku’s for dinner. The Kahala Spa has developed a Gold Treatment and special 50th anniversary room and suite packages are already available for stays this year and next.
•    Hokulani Waikiki by Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Hilton’s newest timeshare resort in Oahu, is scheduled to hold its soft opening in December 2013.  Hokulani Waikiki, meaning “Heavenly Star of Waikiki,” blends traditional Hawaiian ambiance with contemporary flair, which can be seen throughout this 14-story upscale resort. Located in the exciting Waikiki Beach Walk entertainment district, Hokulani Waikiki will feature 143 one-bedroom suites, complete with living room, boutique kitchen and a spacious bathroom. Amenities include Mahina Lounge, an elegant open air lobby gathering area, and Nalani, an exclusive rooftop area with a pool lounge and bar.

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.
•    Bishop Museum will feature the blockbuster children’s exhibit, LEGO® Travel Adventure from Oct. 5, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014. Children are invited to create vehicles capable of flying, driving, and floating – or all three. To go on a travel adventure to exotic locations, children are asked to think creatively, plan, and build vehicles to move through all kinds of terrain – mountains, oceans, jungles, deserts, and more. This newest LEGO exhibit is filled with colorful backdrops, kid-friendly building activities, and eye-popping LEGO sculptures. In addition, the Museum’s private collection of over 60 stunning and pristine lei will be featured in Niihau Shell Lei: Ocean Origins, Living Traditions which examines the science behind Niihau shells, as well as its manufacturing history and the master craftsman who make them. The exhibit will be showcased in the Museum’s Long Gallery through Jan. 27, 2014.
•    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 Kualoa Keiki Experience is an exciting new opportunity for children ages 4 to 12 that can take part in as their parents explore other aspects of Kualoa Ranch. There is a one-hour guided tour of the petting zoo, exotic animals and Hawaiian legends as well as a two-hour option, which includes an additional hour of activities, games and a visit to the art structure garden. In addition, Kualoa Ranch has launched a new horsemanship class for beginners of all ages. The one-hour class offers education in horse knowledge and care, and the chance to ride a horse while being led by a Kualoa guide.
•    Holoholo Bicycles established in July of this year allows you to explore the sights, sounds and experiences of metropolitan Honolulu via bicycles. The tour takes you through Chinatown, Aloha Tower, Kakaako Waterfront Park, Iolani Palace, Kamehameha Statue and more. 
•    The International Market Place 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.
•    On view through Jan. 12, 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.‬

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.
•    Husband-and-wife team Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka have spent more than 30 years working alongside Hawaii Regional Cuisine chef Alan Wong and are now branching out to open their own restaurant. MW Restaurant is set to open this October. Representing Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Michelle and Wade will be utilizing local farmers and are hoping to express their vision of balance and harmony both on the plate and for customers.
•    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.
•    Opening its first location in the United States is Bill Sydney on Waikiki Beach Walk founded by Australian chef Bill Granger, who is known for his fresh and easy take on Pacific Rim cuisine. The two story restaurant will have casual full dining upstairs serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a high quality barista and bakery downstairs.
•    New to Chinatown is Wing Ice Cream Parlor making homemade, unique flavors such as carrot, rose, lihing mango, Hawaiian chili pepper dark chocolate and much more.
•    Park Restaurant, a newly designed and opened 3,600 square feet restaurant, is located on the second floor of the Lotus Honolulu. The culinary masterpieces draw their inspiration from the 14 countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. At Park, you’ll feel connected with the island; with the cuisine; with the people; and with the things that make life great.
•    Owner and head brewer Geoff Seideman took his passion of home brewing beer and established Honolulu Beerworks, another new tenant to Kakaako. Expected to open this November, Honolulu Beerworks will be a brewery, brewpub and have Honolulu’s first outdoor beer garden.
•    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.
•    Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach recently announced the appointment of three new Chef de Cuisines. Local celebrity chef Jon Matsubara will serve at Japengo; Jake Andrew, a Hyatt culinary veteran, will take the reins at SHOR; and local favorite Dean Matsushita will oversee Banquets. The addition of these talented chefs to the team marks a culinary revolution for the resort, with an emphasis on fresh and local flavors. 

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 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.
•    Kamehameha Schools signed 11 tenants who will be part of Haleiwa Store Lots (HSL) upon completion of construction in fall 2014. Located along Kamehameha Highway at the site of Matsumoto Shave Ice, Haleiwa Store Lots will feature Hawaii businesses, retailers and restaurants, including many with roots on the North Shore.
•    Noelani Studios recently opened in the heart of Haleiwa town across from the U.S. Post Office. Locally made jewelry that are displayed on reclaimed branches and hand painted jewelry frames adorned with sand, shells and lace are just a few of Noelani Love’s designs. The store also carries special finds by Tiare Hawaii, The indigenous Soap Company, Foundwood Frames & Furniture and Teas of Hawaii. 
•    Tasi Boutique, a new woman’s apparel and accessories store also recently opened in Haleiwa, North Shore. Tasi which means ‘ocean’ in Chamorro is a beach inspired line that features locally designed dresses, tunics, shorts, pareos and jewelry. The extensive jewelry line includes necklaces, earrings and beach bangles that are made using shells that owner Olivia Turner collects while free diving around the North Shore.

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.
•    Ala Moana Center presents a celebration of all things fashion at The Fall Fashion Event, Oct. 4-6. The three-day event will take place during Hawaii Fashion Month where shoppers can enjoy a weekend of exciting fashion shows on Hawaii’s longest red carpet runway, a stylish gift-with-purchase, a chance to win The Fall Fashion Event sweepstakes, opportunities to give back to the community, and more. In addition, shoppers can enjoy more than 100 in-store events, offers and promotions.
•    The 8th annual Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival, presented by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Group, celebrates Hawaii’s fishing and seafood industry with demonstrations, educational booths, games and activities, fresh seafood dishes, and more. The event will take place at the Honolulu Fishing Village at Pier 38 on Oct. 13.
•    The Molokai Hoe has become one of the longest running annual team sporting events in Hawaii, second only to football. The race starts at Hale o Lono beach on Molokai and goes through the Kaiwi Channel, ending at Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki. The Molokai Hoe perpetuates one of Hawaii’s and Polynesia’s most important and historic cultural traditions, while honoring outrigger canoe paddlers around the world.
•    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.
•    The 2nd Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival will take place on Oct. 20 and will feature 15 of some of Hawai‘i’s finest practitioners of the guitar art form. In this six hour presentation, attendees can enjoy music exuding the spirit of Hawaii, as well as purchase original craft items by local artisans and local food favorites.
•    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, kid races and other family events will also be offered.
•    The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing returns to the North Shore of Oahu, Nov. 12-Dec. 20, for the men’s series and women’s Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach. Kicking off with the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, the series continues with the Vans World Cup of Surfing and women’s Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach, and lastly the Billabong Pipeline Masters at the famous Banzai Pipeline. Oahu’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. The Eddie can only be held when surf measures at least 20 feet (Hawaiian scale) for a full day. The holding period for the event is between December 1 and the last day in February. When the surf is big enough, thousands flock to watch the likes of Kelly Slater and Bruce Irons compete in this prestigious surfing competition.
•    The National Park Service will host a memorial ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The ceremony on Dec. 7 will be open to the public and begin at 7:00 a.m.
•    On Dec. 8 thousands of runners from around the world travel to Oahu to participate in the Honolulu Marathon. The 26.2-mile scenic course includes spectacular views alongside world famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head.

Holiday Festivals & Events
•    The City and County of Honolulu presents the Honolulu City Lights Opening Night. The month-long celebration kicks off on Dec. 7 with the lighting of a 50-foot Christmas tree on the Honolulu Hale lawn, food booths, keiki rides and an electric light parade.
•    Sheraton Princess Kaiulani invites guests and kamaaina to visit Executive Chef Ralf Bauer and his team of culinary architects to Santa’s Gingerbread Village, the edible winter wonderland made of gingerbread and other sweet treats.
•    Starting on Dec. 2 through Dec. 21, the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) will deck not just the halls, but its nearly entire 42-acre grounds and picturesque lagoon to present Christmas in Polynesia, a 25-minute canoe ride that winds through a live holiday production. Elaborate Christmas lights, decorations and musical performances - and even actors, animals and props - are sure to get even the biggest scrooge in the holiday spirit.

•    Hawaiian Airlines will offer daily service from Oakland to Honolulu four times weekly beginning Jan. 5. The airline recently launched nonstop service three times weekly from Honolulu to Taipei, Taiwan on July 9 and nonstop service three times weekly from Honolulu to Sendai, Japan on June 25.  Hawaiian Airlines is now the only U.S. carrier to offer the Apple iPad mini on all of its wide-body Boeing 767-300 aircraft for inflight entertainment.
•    On Oct. 30 Allegiant Airlines will begin service between Honolulu and Los Angeles. The new route will operate two times a week.

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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Contact:    Sonja Swenson or Kira Chong Tim
        Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, Inc.
        Phone: (808) 523-8802
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