DECEMBER NEWS FROM THE ISLAND OF HAWAIʻI
DECEMBER NEWS FROM THE ISLAND OF HAWAIʻI
Anthology Marketing Group
Island of Hawaiʻi (December 9, 2019) – We foresee a warm getaway to the island of Hawaiʻi in your near future – 2020 to be exact! Travelers should make plans to visit Hawaiʻi Island for its diversity of breathtaking natural landscapes and endless opportunities for adventure. The new year will welcome even more occasions for exploring the island via exciting events, activities, updated accommodations and much more.
Tours and Activities
Fairmont Orchid, a AAA Four Lēʻahi luxury resort on the Kohala Coast, is launching a new cultural tour in the new year hosted by its Director of Hawaiian Culture, Kaʻiulani Blankenfeld. Nā Mea Waiwai O Milokūkahi is a walking exploration of the property, visiting its fishponds, tidepools, honu (Hawaiian sea turtles), petroglyphs and beehives. The tour is designed to encourage participants to be good stewards of our ʻāina (land), and honors Hawaiian history, stories and culture. The hourlong tour is open to guests of Fairmont Orchid and begins in the lobby at 8 a.m. daily. It culminates at Ahu a Kūpuna, a traditional altar honoring Hawaiian ancestors. For more information, visit www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii.
Hawaiʻi Forest & Trail is launching a new waterfall adventure for 2020. Its Hilo Chocolate and Waterfalls tour explores the rich heritage of east island of Hawaiʻi town Hilo and visits a working cacao farm where guests embark on an interactive tree-to-chocolate adventure. The farm visit includes time harvesting cacao pods, learning about the pods’ fermentation process, and chocolate tastings at the farm’s chocolate bar. After everyone has their fill of chocolate, the tour continues to a 120-foot waterfall for some swimming. The Hilo Chocolate and Waterfalls adventure includes light snacks and lunch. Pickups are available from select Hilo locations. For more information, visit www.hawaii-forest.com.
Kōkua Kailua, a popular village stroll event on Historic Kailua Village’s Aliʻi Drive, happens one Sunday monthly, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Kōkua Kailua Sunday afternoons, the village’s main thoroughfare closes to vehicular traffic and becomes a festive, family-friendly, pedestrian-only outdoor marketplace. Stretching from Kailua Pier through Historic Kailua Village to Hualālai Road, the event features more than 100 vendor booths showcasing the work of local artisans, crafters, musicians and merchants. Leashed dogs are welcome to stroll, too. Dates for Kōkua Kailua in 2020 are January 19, February 16, March 15, April 4 (a Saturday), May 17, June 14, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 18, November 15 and December 13. For more information, visit www.historickailuavillage.com.'
Festivals and Events
The Waimea Ocean Film Festival, set for January 1-8, will screen more than 70 films, as well as host filmmaker Q&A sessions, presentations and panel discussions highlighting a diversity of ocean-related topics, including the ocean experience, ocean environment, island culture, inspirational stories and tales of epic ocean adventures. Film festival-related events will be held at a several locations – from January 1-4 in Waimea, at the Fairmont Orchid resort, and at the Mauna Kea Beach Resort, before moving to Four Seasons Resort Hualālai, January 5-8. For more information, call (808) 961-8796, or visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org.
The 27th annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival is set for February 1 in Waimea town, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The townwide celebration showcases the annual blooming of its historic cherry trees and the Japanese tradition of viewing and appreciating the transient beauty of their flowers, or hanami. Festival attendees enjoy Japanese and multicultural live performances, as well as colorful craft fairs and hands-on demonstrations exploring bonsai, origami, a traditional tea ceremony and mochi pounding. Free shuttle transportation between most festival venues is provided by Roberts Hawaiʻi. Walking is also encouraged. The festival is organized by the County of Hawaiʻi Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information, call (808) 961-8796, or visit www.facebook.com/Waimea-Cherry-Blossom-Heritage-Festival- 195555713803758.
The Kings’ Course at Waikoloa Resort will host the 29th annual Amer Ari Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, February 5-8. Considered one of collegiate golf’s iconic events, the tournament will include competition from multiple NCAA Division I teams from across the country. After leading Oklahoma State University’s Cowboy men’s golf team to winning Team Champion and Individual Champion titles at last year’s Amer Ari tournament, Matthew Wolff turned professional and went on to win the inaugural PGA Tour 3M Open in July.For more information, visit www.waikoloabeachgolf.com/amer-ari-intercollegiate-golf-tournament.
Presented by the Hawaiʻi Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences (HIMELE) and the Ke Kula Mele Hawaiʻi School of Hawaiian Music, the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival annually brings together legendary steel guitarists for a celebration of the instrument and its music. Set for February 7-9 at the Mauna Lani Auberge Resorts Collection Hawaiʻi resort, the three-day festival features performances, presentations, instructional workshops, jam sessions and school visitations focused on the Hawaiian steel guitar and its importance in Hawaiian music. For more information, visit www.hawaiisteelguitarfestival.com.
The 28th annual Panaʻewa Stampede Rodeo, happening February 15-17, will spotlight three days of Hawaii-style rodeo at the Panaʻewa Equestrian Center, just outside of Hilo. The event welcomes paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys and cowgirls) and spectators to experience competitive rodeo skills born of the island’s deep ranching history and still practiced today. The event features bull riding, calf roping, bronco bustin’, barrel racing and a trio of unique-to-Hawaii events. The rodeo will also feature a rodeo clown, professional announcer, food and craft booths, leather- and saddle-making exhibits, and a culture and history display tent highlighting the island of Hawaiʻi’s and state’s paniolo history. For more information, visit www.hawaiirodeostampede.com.
Did you know? Non-native plants like the Himalayan ginger may seem harmless, but in reality the plant is among the world’s most invasive species, dominating landscapes and disrupting the growth and nurturing of native plants. Originally found in moist tropical forests in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan ginger has naturalized in other areas of the globe, including the Hawaiian Islands. Visitors can help protect native species and their habitats on the island of Hawaiʻi by volunteering with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Stewardship at the Summit program. Volunteers will help park staff clear Himalayan ginger and other invasive plants – such as the faya tree, Australian tree fern and strawberry gauva tree – near the summit of Kīlauea volcano to allow native plants like ʻōhiʻa and ʻōlapa trees, ‘ama’u ferns, hāpu‘u tree ferns, pa‘iniu and kāwa‘u to flourish. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES
KapohoKine Adventures has launched a new Elite Volcano Hike taking visitors to Kīlauea volcano’s historic 2018 lava flow. Sites visited include a 40-foot wall of black lava covering an area highway, and a seaside location where the flow entered the ocean, changing the island’s coastline forever. Guests also see cracks and sink holes left behind by the eruption in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and visit the park’s Kīlauea Iki crater, Volcano House hotel and Steaming Bluffs overlook, as well as Volcano Winery and Kaūmana Caves State Park. The tour includes a two-mile hike on partially paved road and a mile-long hike over hardened lava, as well as shorter walks. For more information, call (808) 964-1000, or visit www.kapohokine.com.
The island of Hawaiʻi’s The Umauma Experience zipline has added another thrilling, family- friendly activity to its adventure lineup, expanding its ATV Tour to include 45 minutes at its private waterfall and pond. The tour combines the ATV course with twisting trails through an active cattle ranch, featuring views of the Hāmākua Coast and Pacific Ocean, and an opportunity to swim in Umauma's private waterfall and pond where kayaks and stand-up paddleboards await. For more information, call (808) 930-9477, or visit www.umaumaexperience.com.
The Hilo Hawaiian Hotel recently revamped its Hawaiian culture program to include Hawaiian arts and craft workshops, a collection of pillow cards, a kūpuna (elders) cultural program, and an ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) program. All activities are free for Hilo Hawaiian Hotel guests, and designed to engage and educate them in the history of the Hilo area while also perpetuating the Hawaiian language. For more information, call (808) 367-5004, or visit www.castleresorts.com.
Four Seasons Resort Hualālai recently unveiled the first Dom Perignon-inspired hotel suite in the United States. The Wai‘olu Suite by Dom Perignon represents a physical transformation of one of the resort’s top 10 suites to include a number of new champagne experiences. The suite features design elements crafted to suit the authentic Hawaiian architecture style of the resort while highlighting the unique elements of the champagne house. Guests can try out the resort’s exclusive menu experiences that showcase the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai’s unique qualities in unity with the champagne. The experiences include a sommelier wine tasting, sunset dinner, champagne and oysters tour and tasting, and a private helicopter tour with a Luana Beach landing. For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai.
In an effort to reestablish native sandalwood trees on its lands, Puakea Ranch recently enhanced its sustainable and regenerative practices via a partnership with the nonprofit Hawaiian Reforestation Program (HRP) and their founder, Mark Hanson. Puakea Ranch will make a cash donation to HRP for every visitor to its property to directly fund seedlings and the germination of trees. Guests will also have the opportunity to volunteer with HRP on tree planting days, exploring island landscapes while making a difference. Additionally, Puakea Ranch is collecting seeds and seedlings, which guests are invited to help plant on the property. For more information, visit www.puakearanch.com.
Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Makai Tower has a new room category, Makai Ocean Front, which guarantees guests will receive an oceanfront view regardless of the room they are assigned. Other perks included with stays in the new room category are fast-track luggage service, a dedicated Makai Ocean Front concierge, a reserved lounge area at the resort’s Kona Pool with complimentary use of pool safes, and complimentary access to facilities in the resort’s Kohala Spa, including its jacuzzi, steam room and fitness center. For more information, visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/makai.
Castle Resorts & Hotels recently completed an extensive $1.6 million renovation of the lobby at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Inspired by Hawaiʻi’s natural beauty, the new lobby design was conceived to combine authentic Hawaiian charm and modern enhancements, incorporating organic textures, colors and materials such as natural wood floors, coral stone and dark wood accents. In addition to the design updates, the renovation included the installation of touch-screen directories, monitors and charging ports throughout the lobby. For more information, call (808) 367-5004, or visit www.castleresorts.com.
Each Thursday and Saturday, Royal Kona Resort features live evening island music performances by local musicians at the resort’s oceanfront Don’s Mai Tai Bar. Thursday evening’s Legends of Hawaiian Music series features a different artist weekly, including Ledward Ka‘apana, John Keawe, Henry Kapono, Brother Noland and Johnny Valentine. Saturday evenings feature some of Henry Kapono’s favorite musicians, courtesy of his own Henry Kapono, Inc., including Alx Kawakami, Mike Love, Tavana and Blayne Asing. Performances are free and happen from 5- 7 p.m. Thursdays and 6-8 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call (808) 329-3111, or visit www.royalkona.com.
KUDOS AND ACCOLADES
Chef Henry Mateo of the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa was recently awarded the title of Marriott International’s 2019 Master of the Craft. The Food Network-inspired Chopped-style competition featured 3,024 associates from 378 properties across 30 hotel brands. During the timed, rapid-fire competition, each contestant was tasked with incorporating a mystery ingredient into a signature dish, which was then judged on technique, creativity and taste. Chef Henry’s winning dish – incorporating the competition’s secret ingredient, chicken – was seasoned with shichimi togarashi, smoked salt and paprika, served with handmade noodles, and finished with a hot chili oil infused with soy sauce, patis, sesame, cilantro and spring onion. For more information, call (808) 886-8185, or visit www.marriott.com/KOAMC.
About the Island of Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau
The Island of Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau is an Island Chapter of the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). HVCB is contracted by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) for marketing management services in the continental U.S. The Island of Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau also supports HTA’s international marketing partners in Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Oceania, Southeast Asia and Taiwan. The state of Hawaiʻi’s tourism agency, HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaiʻi tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaiʻi’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs. For more information about the island of Hawaiʻi, visit www.gohawaii.com/Island-of-Hawaii.