FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHAT'S NEW IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS - FALL 2017
HAWAII – Seeking a bit of warmth before the chill of winter sets in? Whether it’s exciting hotel renovations, savoring the flavors of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, or exploring an off-the-beaten-path cultural activity, there’s no shortage of reasons to leap into fall with a visit to the Hawaiian Islands. Below are some of our top highlights for the season.
For additional updates regarding each island, please reference the appropriate newsletter of each island chapter – Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and Oahu Visitors Bureau.
NEW HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS
Positioning to open this fall as one of Hawaii’s newest urban destination resorts, the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach aims to be a modern and tranquil oasis in the heart of Waikiki on Oahu, while also paying homage to Hawaii Queen Liliuokalani and the Islands’ rich cultural heritage. The $115 million redevelopment spans the entirety of the former Pacific Beach Hotel property from its exterior facade to all public spaces and 839 guest rooms and suites. For more information, visit www.pacificbeachhotel.com.
Maui Ocean Center recently partnered with the Grand Wailea Resort to create a SEA Life Explore Station. Marine naturalists from the aquarium host the station each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., sharing knowledge of Hawaii’s marine life with hotel guests. The explore station features a small display of live invertebrates, which may include sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and hermit crabs. For more information, visit www.mauioceancenter.com.
Robatayaki with a modern flair comes to Oahu with Baku Waikiki, now open at the International Market Place. The centerpiece of the restaurant will be its custom-built, 8-foot robata grill. The dinner menu will showcase small plate dishes, including Hokkaido sea scallops, short-rib foie gras gyoza and prime beef tartare. From the robata grill diners can savor USDA Prime tomahawk steaks, Niihau-raised lamb, ginger garlic duck breast and seafood options such as Keāhole-raised lobster from the island of Hawaii and hapuupuu (Hawaiian sea bass). Baku will also offer sushi and a curated beverage program with premium sake, international wines, artisanal shochu and craft cocktails aimed at complementing the food. For more information, visit www.baku-waikiki.com.
Celebrating the abundance and variety of quality foods and ingredients on Maui, Japengo’s 2017 Maui Tastemakers Series is featuring new flavors, new partners and more dining experiences than in previous years of the series. New for this year, Japengo is offering a Maui Tastemakers menu on the Fridays of every other month – for the remainder of this year, that means every Friday in September and November. The Tastemakers menu is available to all dine-in guests. MauiWine will join Japengo for Tastemakers in September; November partners will be announced soon. For more information, visit www.maui.regency.hyatt.com.
Kauai’s largest chocolate farm and vanilla plantation, Steelgrass Farm, continues to grow, recently welcoming even more chocolate trees to its estate. The farm offers certified Kauai-made products, including chocolate bars, cacao nibs, honey and hand-pollinated vanilla beans. By popular demand, the farm’s Branch to Bar estate tour is now being offered four-times weekly from 9 a.m. to noon. Guests on the tour enjoy samples of 10 different chocolates from around the world, tastings of fresh tropical fruit grown on-property, ripe chocolate fruit from the farm, and more. For more information, visit www.steelgrass.org.
ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Holokai Adventures’ guided Heeia Fishpond Exploration tour on Oahu offers an educational, off-the-beaten path Hawaiian cultural activity. The adventure begins with lessons on the basics of kayaking and ocean safety before moving to the water, where participants learn about the historic cultural significance and modern-day restoration of early Hawaiian fishponds. Guides on the tour discuss the importance of fishponds like He‘eia to the sustainable food-gathering efforts of early Hawaiians, and how visitors can apply similar thinking to current times. For more information, visit www.holokaiadventures.com.
One of Kauai’s newest luau is presented with an ocean view, under the stars and beneath the palm trees of the Koloa Landing Resort’s Garden Lawn, featuring music and hula from Rohotu Polynesian Dance Company. Well-known Hawaii chef Sam Choy has created a feast of delicacies for the luau menu. Historian, host, entertainer and Kauai native Wallis Punua takes luau guests on a journey through Hawaiian culture and music while his Rohotu Polynesian Dance Company continues the traditions of his family hula school, founded on Kauai in 1954. The luau grand finale offers up a Samoan fire knife dance. The Koloa Landing Resort’s luau happens on Tuesdays year-round. For more information, visit www.koloalandingresort.com/kauai-activities.
Maverick Helicopters’ three-island helicopter tour offers an above-Hawaii experience that begins with a flight over Maui’s exquisite coastlines matched with ocean vistas. After soaring high above the waters of the Pailolo Channel toward Molokai, take in a view of the island’s early Hawaiian fishponds and Mokuhooniki Islet (aka Elephant Rock). The tour next heads to Lanai for panoramic views of the island’s landmarks, including Kaiolohia Beach (aka Shipwreck Beach), before heading back to Maui for sunset views of waterfalls and jungle landscapes. For more information, visit www.flymaverick.com/Maui.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
The IRONMAN World Championship returns to the island of Hawaii on October 14. One of the world’s most iconic one-day endurance events, the annual IRONMAN World Championship brings 2,300 athletes to West Hawaii Island to complete in a 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
The Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival, set for October 20 and 21, is a celebration of all things chocolate and coffee, featuring tastings, educational displays and workshops, as well as entertainment and exhibitor booths spotlighting a variety of chocolate and coffee products from around the state. The Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival happens in historic Hanapepe town and also includes farm tours, informative classes, demonstrations, live entertainment, a chocolate and coffee pampering station, a silent auction, keiki (kids) activities and more. For more information, visit www.kauaichocolateandcoffeefestival.com.
The seventh annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival will be heading to Maui, Oahu and the island of Hawaii for various culinary events happening between October 21 and November 5. This is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific and will feature a roster of over 100 internationally-renowned master chefs, winemakers, mixologists and brewmasters. The festival is a showcase of wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and exclusive dining opportunities. For more information, visit www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.
The third annual Great Waikiki Beer Festival at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort returns on October 21. The fall event on the Oahu resort’s Great Lawn will offer attendees a selection of more than 100 beers in an evening of tastings, beer-friendly foods and feel-good music. Beer from a range of brewers will be offered, from small-batch and local producers to eminent national breweries. For more information, visit www.greatwaikikibeerfestival.com.
Kona coffee will take center stage once again at the 47th annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, set for November 3-12 throughout Kailua-Kona town on the island of Hawaii. The 10-day festival’s activities will include Kona coffee farm tours offering a firsthand look at how the area’s world-famous bean is grown and harvested. Other Kona coffee and food events at the festival will feature ample tasting opportunities, and hands-on cultural events will share stories of Kona’s rich coffee history. For more information, visit www.konacoffeefest.com.