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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

December 19, 2013


OAHU – The island of Oahu, known as the Heart of HawaiiÒ, 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.
•    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.
•    The owners of Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach recently announced their plans to spend more than $100 million to renovate the property. Blackstone Group LP’s refreshment plans include renovating all 1,230 guest rooms, and the renovations are expected to take about 18 months to complete.
•    Aston Hotels & Resorts introduces Club Renew at the chic new Hotel Renew by Aston in Waikiki, offering exclusive membership privileges and signature amenities to each guest. Club Renew benefits include a weekly mixer with hosted cocktails; daily coffee and tea service; the use of beach gear; a mobile concierge; and access to two resort pools and a full-service fitness facility. Club Renew is specially designed to help guests take full advantage of Oahu and enjoy the wellness and rejuvenation offered by Hotel Renew by Aston, one of Waikiki’s most sought-after and top-rated luxury boutique hotels.
•    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 an elegant open air lobby gathering area and an exclusive rooftop area with a pool lounge and bar.
•    Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore is expanding its recently launched North Shore Guides Club with a fresh lineup of five pro surf guides. The Guides Club is a new way for guests to learn about the North Shore through the insider knowledge of an experienced team of select professionals, resort employees and friends. The club’s pro surf and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) guides are renowned on the North Shore and beyond and include legendary watermen Rocky Canon, Buzzy Kerbox, Ross Williams, Love Hodel, and Kala Alexander. Half-day and full-day lessons are available.
•    Aqua Hospitality recently announced the addition of two hotels to its growing Waikiki portfolio effective January 2014, the AAA 3-Diamond rated Luana Waikiki and the budget-friendly Hokele Suites.

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.
•    Kualoa Ranch will celebrate the Makahiki season with a series of Discover Kualoa festival events every 3rd Saturday from January through March. The events will showcase the special ahupuaa of Kualoa where the Makahiki was held in ancient Hawaii.
•    Humpback whale enthusiast will enjoy Atlantis Navatek Cruises’ two-hour whale watching cruise aboard the Navatek, Hawaii’s smoothest cruise experience. Atlantis offers a morning or lunchtime cruise along the East Oahu shoreline while expert naturalists share insightful information on the outdoor viewing decks and indoor cabins.
•    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.
•    To celebrate its 110th Anniversary Year, the Waikiki Aquarium will host a Distinguished Lecture Series, taking ocean education to new depths by highlighting internationally renowned guest speakers discussing major marine conservation issues. The first event will be held March 15 featuring keynote speaker Slyvia Earle, American oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer from the National Geographic Society.
•    Waikiki Beach Activities at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is now offering SUP Yoga classes in Duke’s Lagoon. This class combines the grace and precision of yoga with the fun and exercise of stand up paddling, blending two disciplines into one, all in the beautiful setting of the tranquil salt-water at Duke’s Lagoon. In addition, Waikiki Beach Activities has initiated a double-hull canoe program. With this interactive canoe program, participants learn the basics of paddling, centuries-old Hawaiian chants, as well as the historical significance of double-hulled canoes.
•    The Pacific Aviation Museum comes alive during Live History Day on Feb. 1. Meet pioneers and heroes from Pacific aviation history, interact with living historian in period attire, and hear the stories of WWII, Korea, Vietnam eras, and early aviation in the Pacific.
•    The Norwegian Cruise Line new Hawaii Cruisetours will launch in January. The new offering further expands the line’s cruisetours and provides guests more ways to enhance their cruise experience. Cruisers will have a chance to explore O‘ahu’s top attractions in depth on a land-based tour before the scheduled 7-day cruise.
•    Fourever Fab, the Beatle’s Tribute Band from Las Vegas will reopen the show at the Pacific Beach Hotel’s show room in mid January. Fourever Fab have performed numerous shows all over the United States as well as Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and South East Asia. Andrew Hill, the producer of Fourever Fab show, and the members are thrilled to share their passion and the Beatles music in Waikiki.
•    Discover Hawaii Tours announced the additional of several new eco-tours beginning January including a Koko Head Crater sunrise hike, adventure hike and a hidden adventures of Hawaii hike.

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 have now branched out to open their own restaurant, MW Restaurant. 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 at the newly opened.
•    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.
•    Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar will open their highly anticipated Patio16. The new outdoor patio is a perfect destination for visitors looking to enjoy a local hot spot in a tranquil Hawaiian outdoor setting. Patio16 will feature 16 beers on draft as well as an extensive sushi menu.
•    Set to open this coming Spring, Búho Cocina y Cantina, will take Mexican cuisine to new heights. This new restaurant will offer diners south-of-the-border classics with a modern twist in a vibrant rooftop setting in the heart of Waikiki.
•     The Pig and the Lady recently opened their first brick-and-mortar location in Chinatown. Serving up the creations of Chef Andrew Le and his family, the eclectic menu is inspired by his mother’s home cooking and the rich culinary heritage of Vietnam, Asia and the Pacific.
•    Restaurateur Kevin Hanney and Chef Lee Anne Wong will be opening Koko Head Café in Kaimuki early next year. Koko Head Café is set open has a breakfast spot in the former 12th Ave Grill location. Chef Lee Anne Wong was a contestant on the first season of Bravo’s reality show, Top Chef. 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 in early 2014, Honolulu Beerworks will be a brewery, brewpub and have Honolulu’s first outdoor beer garden.

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.
•    This spring, Ward Centers will welcome several new stores including, Pearl’s Korean BBQ, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, design and lifestyle store Somace Lifestyle, clothing and accessories store NY Luxe, and Elite Massage Academy.
•    Love Culture recently opened its first Hawaii store at the Waikiki Shopping Plaza. The store introduces affordable and stylish clothing and accessories for young women and teens.
•    The quintessential beach boutique, Rebecca Beach, recently opened its second location at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki. This luxury lifestyle boutique offers resort wear, silk dresses, cashmere hoodies, playful bikinis and beach blankets. They also have styles made just for the keiki (children).
•    Ginger13 opened its first boutique and studio this past November in Chinatown. Shoppers can find memorable and unique jewelry pieces made by owner Cindy Yokoyama. Cindy focuses on asymmetrical designs that will blend her enthusiasm for art, people, nature and most importantly, the Hawaiian Islands.
•    The Honolulu Museum of Art’s Spalding House is opening a new shop designed by Honolulu architect, Glenn Mason. The new space will act as a popup shop and will carry fun and unique items such as locally designed jewelry, activity kits, tote bags, glass clocks and much more.

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.
•    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 Dec. 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 Sony Open in Hawaii kicks off the PGA Tour by bringing 144 of the world’s best professional golfers to Oahu’s exclusive Waialae Country Club, Jan. 6-12. Past participants include notable golfers including 2005 winner, Vijay Singh, 2003 and 2004 winner, Ernie Els, and Hawaii’s own Michelle Wie and Tadd Fujikawa. The six-day event is one of the largest charity events in the state of Hawaii.
•    On view from Jan. 9-March 9, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents Faces of War-Torn Japan: Characters from The Tale of the Heike. The Tale of Heike is a Japanese literally account of the Genpei War. This exhibition uses woodblock prints and illustrated, mid-17th-century copies of Heike text to highlight the protagonists of this epic work of literature.
•    Polynesian Cultural Center presents the 24th Moanikeala Hula Festival on Jan. 18. Named in honor of PCC’s first kumu hula Aunty Sally Moanikeala Wood Naluai, the annual cultural exhibition celebrates the legacy of Hawai‘i’s most iconic tradition. Keiki (kids) and adults representing hula halau (hula schools) from across Hawaii and Japan will showcase the grace and beauty of the hula in both the kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) forms of dance.
•    Ko Olina Resort will host the Ko Olina’s Children’s Film & Music Festival, a benefit for the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, on Jan. 18. The event will feature festival-style screenings of popular Disney and children’s films, along with live performances by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and the Performing Arts Center of Kapolei Kids, sing-alongs, face painting, Hawaiian arts and crafts, strolling clowns and jugglers magicians and more.
•    The surfing world kicks off the year with the Volcom Pipe Pro from Jan. 26-Feb. 7. Held at the world’s most famous and dangerous surf spot, Banzai Pipeline, this event attracts a world-class field of highly ranked pro surfers. Surfers will be competing for a stake in the $130,000 prize purse, as well as vital points on the ASP World Tour.
•    One week before the Super Bowl on Jan. 26, the biggest names and hardest hitters in the National Football League (NFL) travel to Oahu for the NFL Pro Bowl, where all-star professional football players from the AFC and NFC battle for conference bragging rights at Aloha Stadium. Events prior to the game include an autograph session, open practices, clinics, and tailgate party.
•    POW! WOW! Hawaii returns Feb. 8-15 to Kakaako. Local and global artists will showcase their work in Honolulu during a widespread beautification and education of street art. The 8-day event will include gallery shows, live panel discussions, mural projects, concerts, live art installations and more.
•    Sunset Beach will play host to the Sunset Beach Pro, the prestigious opener for the World Championship Tour for Stand Up Paddlesurfing, from Feb. 8-16. The event will welcome both local and international talent, with participation from over 20 nations.
•    The 4th Annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival will take place on Feb. 22 at Dole Cannery Shops. The event is the state’s premier showcase of Hawai‘i-grown chocolate. This celebration of all things chocolate is the ultimate experience for chocolate connoisseurs includes classes, chef demonstrations, a chocolate inspired spa, chocolate tasting and more.
•    The Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival returns to Oahu Feb.27-March 2. The Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival is a one of a kind gathering of yoga masters, musical performers, top chefs and winemakers along with the world’s leading wellness speakers. Open the mind, refresh the soul and satiate appetites at this event held at Turtle Bay Resort. 
•    Celebrate cultures from across the Pacific at the 20th Annual Honolulu Festival, taking place March 7-9. This three-day event celebration of art, music, dance, and crafts is filled with spectacular sights and sounds. The festival culminates with a Grand Parade in Waikiki.
•    Ala Moana Center’s annual week-long spring shopping event, Shop a Le‘a, will take place March 17-23. The event presents locals and visitors with more than 150 experiences in fashion, health and beauty, active lifestyle, home décor, travel, and cuisine. Included as part of the Shop a Le‘a lineup are fashion shows and trunk shows, exclusive products, Centerstage events, gifts-with-purchase, mall-wide shopping and dining offers, and much more.

•    Hawaiian Airlines will begin non-stop service three times weekly between Honolulu and Beijing, its first Mainland China gateway destination, on April 16, subject to government approval. The airline will also add a fourth flight to its weekly non-stop service between Honolulu and Brisbane beginning March 31. The expansion will add more than 20,000 seats to the Australia-Honolulu travel markets in 2014.
•    On Oct. 30 Allegiant Airlines began service between Honolulu and Los Angeles. The new route operates 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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