FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2012
WHAT'S NEW IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS – MARCH 2012
Experience what's new with Hawaii's events and attractions, developments in the islands, accolades, and transportation updates.
EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS
- Planning a trip to the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu is now easier with the introduction of a new advance online reservations system. For $1.50 each, tickets can be purchased up to three months in advance for as many as 65 people in a group via Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Complimentary tickets are still available for same day walk-in guests at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Another new ticket option is the Passport to Pearl Harbor, a one stop deal for visitors looking to get the entire Pearl Harbor experience for one low price. The ‘Passport’ provides access to all primary Pearl Harbor historic sites for $55 per adult and $30 per child. For just $10 more, the Passport holders can upgrade to a Two Day Pass that allows them to return to Pearl Harbor within seven days of their initial visit. For more information, visit NPS.gov.
- DFS Galleria Waikiki (Oahu) is looking forward to a grand summer with the opening of a new restaurant by “Iron Chef” Hiroyuki Sakai, of the original Japanese television series. The open-air bistro style restaurant will be the first for Chef Sakai outside of his native Japan featuring his signature fusion of Japanese and French cuisine. For more information, visit DFSGalleria.com/Hawaii.
- Enjoy one of 86 varieties of loose-leaf teas served daily at Aloha Harmony Tea House, the newest addition to Waikiki Beach Walk on Oahu. This teahouse offers the world’s finest antioxidant-rich teas served freshly brewed, as a tea latte, or as smoothies, in the café or on the go. For more information, visit WaikikiBeachWalk.com.
- Mark your calendars for the second annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival being held September 6-9 on Oahu. Inspired by the ancient Hawaiian tradition of ahupuaa – an interdependent system where everything necessary for survival is grown, gathered and exchanged locally – the four day extravaganza will feature cooking demos, wine tastings, culinary workshops, industry seminars, field excursions and four signature dining experiences with an international roster of star chefs including:
- “Enter the MODERN Dragon: Morimoto and Friends” at the MODERN Honolulu – September 6
- “Second Annual Halekulani Masters Chef Gala Series: Chefs Who Have Cooked For Presidents and Royalty” at the Halekulani – September 7
- “From Farm to Table: A Makahiki Festival” at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa – September 8
- “Cuisines of the Stars: A Magical Journey of Food & Culture” at Ko Olina Resort – September 9
- Kauai Beach Resort unveiled another year of exciting cultural events including:
- Na Lei Hiwahiwa Elima Concert (May 4): A May Day celebration concert featuring Lady Ipo Kahaunaele-Ferreira.
- Kauai Music Festival Songwriter Conference (July 11-14): A celebration of songwriting and showcase of local songwriters and musicians.
- 30th Annual Slack Key Festival (November): A statewide event featuring many of Hawaii’s slack key guitar artists.
- Toast to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay’s sustainable Cocktails for a Cause menu with a glass of its newest concoction Malama Ka Aina, meaning “respecting the land.” Inspired by the “100 Mile” movement, an effort to focus on products grown or produced within 100 miles of the location, this unique cocktail incorporates locally grown products from four different islands including rosemary grown at Manele Bay, lemongrass syrup handcrafted by executive pastry chef Rabii Saber, organic honey from Hawaii Island, fresh calamansi from Oahu, and handcrafted Ocean Vodka from Maui. For more information, visit FourSeasons.com.
- Following a $6.5 million renovation, the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa now features newly enhanced guest rooms. The 508-room resort has upgraded its in-room features with plush carpeting, traditional Hawaiian artwork, delicate drapery, freshly painted walls in warm hues, new tropical furnishings, and newly installed wireless internet. For more information, visit Sheraton-Maui.com.
- Maui’s Makena Beach and Golf Resort recently completed a multi million-dollar beautification of its 310 rooms and suites. Already spacious and large, the guest rooms have been upgraded with new wall-to-wall carpeting, granite countertops in the bathroom areas, and refinished cherry wood furnishings. For more information, visit MakenaResortsMaui.com.
- The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel on Oahu kicked-off the New Year with the second phase of a two million-dollar complete overhaul of its oceanview rooms. The first phase of a 1.5 million dollar renovation was completed in June 2010. With the collaboration of local architect Pacific Asia Design Group, Japan designer Studio M, and local contractor Pankow, the guest rooms will be stylishly transformed to an upscale, urban, chic, interior design. The hotel is also implementing eco friendly initiatives, such as LED recessed lighting and energy-efficient sliding lanai doors with censors that automatically shut off the AC unit in the room when the doors are opened. For more information, visit Kaimana.com.
- Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel (Hawaii Island) has completed a half million-dollar renewal to upgrade the look and feel of 96 of its luxury suites and oceanfront guest rooms. Renowned interior design firm Philpotts & Associates drew inspiration from the rich history of Kohala for colors, artwork, and fabrics. Walls are adorned in traditional kapa prints accented by Polynesian-inspired fabrics on pillows, new chair furnishings, and tailored linen bed skirts alongside modern bedside, floor, and table lighting. For more information, visit PrinceResortsHawaii.com.
- Following a major guestroom revamp last year, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa continued its progress into 2012 with a focus on its 37 suites. Upgrades include hardwood flooring, artistic-floral rugs, and new furniture. For more information, visit Kauai.Hyatt.com.
- The Westin Maui Resort and Spa invested half-a-million dollars to revitalize its meeting experience with features designed to promote eco-friendly programs. Highlights include linen-free cocktail tables with illuminated colored lighting and serpentine swirl banquet tables; a vertical buffet station with frosted paneling and lighting for creative presentations; mobile espresso brewers; wicker lounge furniture; and a new stage for the Wailele Polynesian Luau at the outdoor Aloha Pavilion. Meeting planners are encouraged to go green using Westin’s e-menu program with extensive online choices to design events, multi-day programs or select specialty events such as the interactive Go-Green Racing. For more information, visit WestinMaui.com.
- The Four Seasons Resorts Lanai’s new License to Wed specialist allows couples to say I Do’ without all the stressful to-dos.’ Four Seasons takes graceful planning and execution to a new level with complimentary in-house services. The specialist is licensed by the State of Hawaii to authorize marriage and civil union licenses, providing a personalized one-stop bridal boutique for couples in the comforts of their room, poolside or anywhere of choice. For more information, visit FourSeasons.com.
- The editors of Lonely Planet picked Hawaii, the Big Island as one of the Top 10 U.S. Travel Destinations for 2012. Destinations were chosen for their new, interesting, and up-and-coming or undiscovered qualities. Rounding out the top 10 were the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hudson River Valley (New York), Cincinnati (Ohio), Four Corners Region (Southwest USA), Culebra (Puerto Rico), California Gold Country, Boulder (Colorado), Chicago (Illinois), and Yellowstone National Park. For more information, visit LonelyPlanet.com.
- Sixteen hotels representing five of the Hawaiian Islands were named to Travel + Leisure’s T+L 500: The World’s Best Hotels 2012 list. The top 500 list includes a compilation of the world’s best hotels voted on by readers annually. Hawaii hotels on the list include:
- Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
- St. Regis Princeville (Kauai)
- Halekulani (Oahu)
- The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (Oahu)
- Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay
- Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele
- Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
- Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
- Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
- Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua (Maui)
- Travaasa Hana (Maui)
- Fairmont Orchid (Hawaii Island)
- Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu (Hawaii Island)
- Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel (Hawaii Island)
- Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (Hawaii Island)
- Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows (Hawaii Island)
- Hawaiian Airlines has earned the first-ever aviation based carbon credits, verified and certified under the Verified Carbon Standard, for reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 22,000 metric tons over the past six years. This eco-friendly initiative was made possible through Pratt & Whitney’s EcoPower engine washing system. The engine washing system is said to be equivalent of taking 700 cars off the road annually. For more information, visit HawaiianAir.com.
- TripAdvisor’s 2012 Travelers’ Choice Awards awarded two Kauai hotels as the Best Hotels for Romance. Koa Kea Hotel and Resort was voted No. 1 on the list for Top 10 Hotels for Romance in the United States and No. 8 for Top 10 Hotels for Romance in the World. St. Regis Princeville earned the No. 5 spot on the United States list. For more information, visit TripAdvisor.com.
The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, for marketing management services in North America. The HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.