FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHAT’S NEW LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019
WHAT’S NEW LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019
HAWAII – There’s no better way to start the new year off than with a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. Experience the newest attractions kicking off in the spring, enjoy Hawaii’s vibrant music and arts festivals, or indulge in the Islands’ diverse and delectable culinary scene. We’ve got all of the details below, plus additional updates on just about everything else new statewide.
For additional updates regarding each island, please reference the appropriate newsletter of each Island Chapter: the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and Oahu Visitors Bureau.
NEW HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS
The Mandarin Oriental hotel brand will be returning to Hawaii with 125 hotel rooms and more than 100 residential apartments in a new tower set for construction near Ala Moana Center on Oahu. Scheduled to open in 2020, the tower will feature a rooftop restaurant and bar with views of the ocean, Honolulu and Leahi (aka Diamond Head) from its terraces. The tower’s spa will offer holistic services, a fitness center and swimming pool, and the property will feature a lobby lounge, all-day dining restaurant and event spaces. www.mandarinoriental.com
The Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger is readying to unveil its newly restyled property, featuring enhancements to its guest rooms, porte cochere, exterior and pool deck. The new lifestyle property will boast brand new guest rooms featuring an underwater photo mural by Hawaii artist Zak Noyle. Hawaii guitarist, singer and composer Makana will perform his repertoire of island-acoustic music in the lobby. The Oahu hotel will also offer its Beachcomber Experience Package, which includes a daily $50 resort credit for Maui Brewing Co. Waikiki, daily valet parking and rides on the Waikiki Connection Trolley. www.waikikibeachcomber.com
The White Sands Hotel is set to relaunch in February after completion of a full restoration to its original 1960s design. As one of Waikiki’s only remaining walk-up hotels, the White Sands is aiming for what its team describes as “a funky, fun return to the Hawaii that everyone remembers.” The refreshed property will include a lush garden and pool courtyard oasis complete with a bar-adjacent hot tub, and culinary and cocktail concepts created by the restaurant group behind Honolulu’s Fete aspiring, according to the White Sands team, to “rethink continental cuisine with elevated 1960s throwback items.” www.whitesandshotel.com
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the completion of its property with a special $25,000 package for two. The package includes suite accommodations for seven nights, a helicopter transfer to and from the resort and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole, rental car, $2,500 in food and beverage credit, unlimited rounds of golf at Mauna Kea Resort, a private cooking class and other island activities. In addition, beginning in January, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort will offer a 25 percent off package accompanying a six-night minimum stay at the island of Hawaii resort, including discounts on select resort activities. www.westinhapunabeach.com, or call (808) 880-1111
The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa’s 1,600-square-foot presidential Alii Suite, perched atop Kaanapali Beach landmark Black Rock, features what the resort describes as “the most stunning view in Kaanapali, with views of the Pacific Ocean, Kaanapali coastline, West Maui Mountains and neighbor islands.” Reimagined as part of the resort’s recent guestroom renovations, the Alii Suite is also debuting a new look, with modern design elements and island-inspired artwork incorporated throughout its interiors, which include a full-size kitchen, dining area, living room and private bedroom and bath. www.marriott.com/hnmsi
The International Market Place has partnered with Waikiki Trolley to launch the trolley company’s first new line in six years: the Honolulu Dining Express. The new foodie-focused route will run daily, with departures starting at the International Market Place’s bus depot. Before jumping on the trolley, guests can enjoy pau hana(after work) specials at the International Market Place’s third-level Grand Lanai chef-driven restaurants followed by a tasting tour of other Oahu favorite eateries around Waikiki and on Kapahulu Avenue, including Side Street Inn, Leonard’s Bakery, Haili’s Hawaiian Foods and Rainbow Drive-In. Riders embarking from the International Market Place will receive a Passport to Shopping discount book. www.shopinternationalmarketplace.com
Fairmont Orchid, an AAA Four Diamond Resort on the island of Hawaii, recently announced the appointment of David Viviano as its new executive chef. Viviano brings more than 17 years of culinary experience to his new role, having most recently worked at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan, Florida. His resume also includes service as executive chef of the Montage Kapalua Bay resort on Maui. Viviano will oversee all culinary operations at Fairmont Orchid, including its award-winning Brown's Beach House, and upcoming launch of the resort’s new restaurant Binchotan Bar and Grill. www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii, or call (808) 885-2000
Hilton Waikoloa Village on the island of Hawaii recently opened its newest restaurant Nui Italian, serving up what it describes as "a family-friendly approach to Italian cuisine." Nui Italian features an open-air dining area and kiawe wood-fired pizzas handcrafted in full view of guests. The restaurant's head chef, Sicily native Gino Cipriano, crafts the menu's Italian favorites – which include pizzas, salads and pastas – using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Nui Italian's signature entrees are served in both single and family-style portions, and the restaurant's bar features a menu of cocktails utilizing local craft spirits and Hawaii-grown fruits. www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com, or call (808) 886-1234
ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Ala Moana Center unveiled its new app in November, which features an augmented-reality directory designed to help customers discover nearby stores, offers and restaurants by simply holding up their iPhone and panning their immediate surroundings. Ala Moana Center is one of the first malls in the U.S. to adopt this specific technology to enhance its customers’ shopping experience. The new app puts Oahu center’s full directory of more than 350 stores and 100 dining options in customer pockets, helping them find favorite stores and restaurants with Guide Me in-mall navigation and interactive mall maps. The app also features filters narrowing search results for shoppers looking for specific products or locations. In addition to its augmented-reality feature, the app supports language options for Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean; and provides quick access to information about events taking place at the center, including sales and exclusive offers. The Ala Moana Center app may be downloaded for free at the iOS App Store for iPhone 6S or higher. www.alamoanacenter.com
Following 25 years of building its reputation on the island of Hawaii, Hawaii Forest and Trail is launching three never-before-offered custom outdoor adventures on Oahu. The Farm to Forest adventure offers guests an opportunity to experience the local history and culture of Oahu through the island's unique sights, stories and food. Guests enjoy a birds-eye view of Oahu and discover how Honolulu’s volcanic past continues to shape and influence island life on the Honolulu Heights tour. And guests on the Birds and Wildlife of Oahu adventure track native and exotic species at a private-access forest reserve high in the Waianae Mountains, and at the beaches and wetlands of the coast below. www.hawaii-forest.com
Holo Haleiwa is a new shuttle and eco-tour service offering narrated roundtrip transportation from Waikiki to Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu. Guests are offered the flexibility of exploring surf town Haleiwa and its fun mix of local boutiques, surf shops and island eateries, and world-class surfing on the North Shore’s scenic beaches. holohaleiwa.com
Opened recently in the newly-renovated and expanded Billabong flagship store in Waikiki, Moniz Family Surf offers surf lessons, rentals and more at the south shore Oahu resort area. The store is located on Kalakaua Avenue across the street from famous Waikiki surf spots Canoes and Queens. www.monizfamilysurf.com
KapohoKine Adventures is welcoming visitors on its new, all-day Hawaii Island Odyssey tour, an adventure exploring multiple island of Hawaii highlights. Guests on the tour, which departs from Kona and South Kohala, will visit and enjoy sample treats from Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm and Factory, Big Island Candies and Kona coffee grower Bay View Farms. Scenic sites on the tour include Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Akaka Falls State Park, Waipio Valley and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The tour is $169 per-person, plus tax, and includes roundtrip hotel transportation and park entrance fees. www.kapohokine.com, or call (808) 964-1000
Maui Ocean Center’s new Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit and Sphere is set to open in January. Hawaii’s humpback whales, which embark on one of Earth’s greatest migrations from the North Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands each fall, are revered for their beauty, intelligence and awe-inspiring power, yet hold one of nature’s most profound mysteries. The ocean center’s new exhibit explores these mysteries, sharing knowledge of the whales’ nomadic lifestyle, behaviors, song, and cultural significance. The center’s new 3D Sphere theater – the first of its kind in Hawaii – will allow guests to experience a virtual encounter with Maui’s humpbacks in the whales’ own environment. www.mauioceancenter.com, or call (808) 270-7000.
Kaanapali Beach Hotel recently introduced a new schedule of on-property daily cultural activities celebrating early Hawaiian practices. New activities at the Maui hotel’s Hale Hookipa cultural resources center include classes on hala (pandanus) weaving, kapa cloth making, olakino (health), mele (music), mea hookani (instrument playing) and more. Hands-on activities at the hotel’s Hale Huakai ocean activities center now also include canoe repairing, fishnet throwing and more. The new schedule of cultural activities was designed by the Kaanapali Beach Hotel team to “pay homage to the ways of ancient Hawaiians and to educate travelers from around the world (about) the Hawaiian culture.” www.kbhmaui.com
Kapalua Golf recently unveiled a number of improvements to its Bay Course, Golf Shop and Golf Academy. The enhancements include a rerouting of the Bay Course to improve its pace of play and create a memorable final stretch of holes, and a relocation of the golf shop to the Kapalua Resort’s Village Center. The Village Center is now home to the Bay Golf and Resort Shops, Taverna restaurant, and the Golf Academy. In addition, the Golf Academy now boasts a modernized and expanded practice range and tee areas, resurfaced hitting decks, and a new 9,000-square-foot putting green. www.golfatkapalua.com
The Lodge at Kukuiula seeks to elevate experiential travel on the the Garden Island by offering guests opportunities to develop an expertise specific to the destination. Beginning in January, the Lodge will offer a monthly “intensives” series looking to empower its members and guests to take their outdoor experiences on Kauai to the next level. As described by the Lodge, the new program is designed for the curious adventure seeker and individuals looking to learn proper skill sets to confidently and self-reliantly continue activity engagement while exploring the island’s unique charms. www.lodgeatkukuiula.com, or call (866) 901-5204
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
The Honolulu Biennial is an international contemporary art exhibition on Oahu bringing together artists from Hawaii, the Pacific, Asia and the Americas. The public is invited to explore the Honolulu Biennial’s collection of contemporary art – all of it connected by the Pacific Ocean – from more than 50 artists and art collectives during the exhibition’s run, from March 8 to May 5, at a dozen locations throughout Honolulu. Attendees will also get to take in a slate of Honolulu Biennial public programming, including art workshops, artist talks, dance performances, film screenings, fashion shows and live music. honolulubiennial.org
The 27th annual Panaewa Stampede Rodeo, happening February 16-18 at the Panaewa Equestrian Center just outside of Hilo on the island of Hawaii, welcomes paniolo (cowboys) and spectators to experience competitive rodeo skills born of the island's deep ranching history still practiced today. Skilled rodeo event participants will showcase their talents in roping cattle, barrel racing on horseback and bull riding as the crowd cheers them on. The fun-filled family event will also feature a world-famous rodeo clown, cultural tent, and food and craft booths. www.hawaiirodeostampede.com.
Beginning in June, Delta Air Lines customers will have more options to travel to the Hawaiian Islands and bask in the Aloha Spirit when the air carrier launches newservice between its hub at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Michigan and Oahu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. www.deltaairlines.com
Hawaiian Airlines is set to launch nonstop service to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, beginning April 4. The kick-off of the air carrier’s five-day-a-week service – happening just under a week before Patriots’ Day on April 15 – is timed to offer winter-weary New Englanders a warm spring vacation experiencing everything Hawaii has to offer. hawaiianairlines.com
Southwest Airlines will soon launch its promised nonstop service between Hawaii and California cities Oakland, San Diego, San Jose and Sacramento. The carrier’s California-Hawaii routes will include Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oahu, Kahului Airport on Maui, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole on the island of Hawaii, and Lihue Airport on Kauai. Southwest also intends to provide future interisland service between the islands of Hawaii. southwest.com