Published: February 2020

FEBRUARY NEWS FROM THE ISLAND OF HAWAII

Contact:
Anthology Marketing Group
Cheyenne Maltezo
Account Executive
(808) 539-3409
[email protected]p.com

island of Hawaii (February 18, 2020) – Earth Day may be right around the corner, but sustainability is an everyday effort on the island of Hawaii. The island offers lots of ways for visitors to give back while on vacation in service of preserving natural resources for future generations to enjoy. You’ll find a snapshot of accommodations, activities and initiatives focused on sustainability listed below, and details on upcoming festivals and events, as well as what’s new on Hawaii Island this spring.

ECO-TOURISM AND SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS

Guests at Hilton Waikoloa Village are invited to admire native fauna with horticulture expert and resort director of landscaping Raymond Keenan, who has been working to replace imported plants throughout the property with native plants. Thanks to Keenan, the oceanfront hillside near the resort’s Kamuela Provision Company is now home to species like aaliimaopauoihiiakakaunaoa and more. Keenan and his team have also been working alongside managers of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail to restore portions of it damaged by erosion and incorporate native plants along a length of the trail fronting the resort. For more information, visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com.

The Malama Honu Program with Pii Laeha is an ongoing turtle conservation program at the freshly reimagined Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection. A partnership with Sea Life Park, the program’s mission is to increase the survival rate of honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) and give resort guests and the public an opportunity to learn about and observe the endangered species in the resort’s saltwater ponds. The program also encourages discussions on the importance of preserving honu, which are a key link in the marine ecosystem. Mauna Lani has hosted an annual Turtle Independence Day for the past 30 years, celebrating the release of the majestic creatures back into the wild. For more information, visit www.aubergeresorts.com/maunalani.

The Hilo Hawaiian Hotel offers guests locally sourced foods in its venues whenever possible. This lessens the amount of fossil fuels used to transport ingredients to the property by air. By including island-grown and -raised ingredients, the hotel’s Queen's Court Restaurant, Waioli Lounge and iCafe not only support local farmers and fishermen, but provide a range of fresh flavors and dining options. For more information, visit www.queenscourtrestaurant.com

Coral reefs in Hawaii are facing increasing threats from chemicals found in many popular sunscreens on the market today. These chemicals damage the coral’s DNA and larvae, contribute to coral bleaching, and affect the health of algae, fish, shellfish, sea urchins and marine mammals. To encourage visitors and residents to use only reef-friendly sunscreen, Waikoloa Beach Resort, The Kohala Center and the Kahaluu Bay Education Center have joined forces to place educational signs at public entrances to the Kohala Coast’s Anaehoomalu Bay. For more information, visit waikoloabeachresort.com.

Over the past three years, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has worked with a local charitable organization to better understand the dynamics of the property’s coastal waters to ensure the resort remains a good steward of the land and ocean. For 2020, the resort is expanding the partnership, donating $1.50 per quest room, for every night the room is occupied, toward the research and protection of the island of Hawaii’s reefs and water quality. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has pledged $50,000 annually to the effort. For more information, visit maunakeabeachhotel.com.
 
Paradise Helicopters recently began offering an exclusive remote landing and hiking experience on the island of Hawaii’s Kohala mountains. The hour-long Kohala Remote Hike Experience is offered as part of two new Paradise Helicopters tours: the Kohala Coast and Waterfalls with Remote Hike tour, departing from Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (starting at $475 per person), and the Doors-Off Kohala Valleys and Waterfalls with Remote Hike tour departing from Waimea-Kohala Airport (starting at $424 per person). Guests can also add a carbon-offset upgrade to their tour through the tour company’s Carbon Offset Program. For more information, visit paradisecopters.com.

UPCOMING FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

The 20th annual Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival, set for March 7, offers attendees ukulele giveaways, a workshop by Hawaii ukulele master Roy Sakuma, ukulele lessons, informational booths and a lineup of top ukulele musicians strumming on three stages at the Kings' Shops and Queens' MarketPlace. The lineup of musicians for this year's festival includes Willie K, Mark Yamanaka, Roy Sakuma, Brittni Paiva, Kunia Galdeira with Free'n'Easy, Kalei Gamiao, Kris Fuchigami, ukulele students from Hawaii Preparatory Academy and more. For more information, visit www.waikoloabeachresort.com.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, in partnership with Parker Ranch, will hold its inaugural Whiskey Classic on March 7, from 6-9 p.m., at its Mauna Kea North Garden. The evening will feature an evening of Southern cuisine and whiskey, live entertainment and mixologist-led opportunities for guests to learn how to craft cocktails, pair their creations with savory Southern dishes, and witness the unveiling of the hotel’s buried whiskey bottle – which in true Southern fashion, was buried to prevent poor weather. Admission to the event is $125 per person and includes a whiskey flight and barrel-aged cocktail samples. Proceeds from the Whiskey Classic will benefit the Mauna Kea Resort Culinary and Hospitality Scholarship. For reservations, call (808) 882-5707. For more information, visit maunakeabeachhotel.com.

The Kona Cacao Association works with cacao growers, producers, chocolate enthusiasts and chefs to help create a recognizable brand for chocolate from the island of Hawaii. For the past nine years, the association has also produced the Big Island Chocolate Festival, which annually brings chefs, farmers and consumers together in a single location to enjoy island chocolate. The festival also offers attendees opportunities to gain behind-the-scenes knowledge about cacao and the chocolate-making process. This year’s festival is set for May 1 and 2 at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. For more information, visit www.konacacaoassociation.com or bigislandchocolatefestival.com

The third annual Hawaii Kuauli Pacific & Asia Cultural Festival is set for May 15-17 at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. The three-day cultural festival showcases the cultures of the Pacific and Asia through their food, fashion, arts and crafts, and protocol, and includes hula and educational workshops. The festival’s first day will begin with a celebration, welcome and protocol for participating cultures. On the second day, guests can explore a wearable-arts fashion show, check out a designer panel featuring established and new designers, and enjoy a keiki (children’s) hula competition. On Sunday, attendees are invited to attend the festival’s Taste of Asia and Pacific culinary event featuring dishes created by local chefs utilizing locally grown ingredients. For more information, visit www.hikuauli.com.

The fifth annual Farm Festival at Hamakua Harvest will kick off Honokaa town’s legendary Western Week on May 17. Attendees will enjoy a fun-filled day of food, farm and craft vendors, educational opportunities, entertainment and keiki activities in the event garden. Hamakua Harvest’s mission is to promote and advance agriculture on the island of Hawaii’s Hamakua Coast by supporting local farmers, enriching the region’s social fabric, and promoting healthy rural lifestyles for the benefit of the coast’s communities, economy and environment. For more information, visit hamakuaharvest.org.

The annual Kau Coffee Festival is set for May 8-17, again featuring its popular hoolaulea (celebration) at the Pahala Community Center on May 16. The 10-day festival showcases the rural heritage district of Kau as a premium coffee-producing region and unique Hawaii visitor destination. Entering its 12th year, the Kau Coffee Festival celebrates and supports the communities of Kau and its coffee growers, roasters and merchants. Attendees are welcome to enjoy coffee tastings, farm and mill tours, a range of activities and events, arts and crafts, stargazing, delicious food and more. For more information, visit kaucoffeefestival.com.

Did you know? The Haleolono section of Hilo is the birthplace of one of Hawaii’s premier alii (monarchs) Kalaninuiiamamao, as well as where the Edith K. Kanakaole Foundation continues the aquaculture traditions of the area, which is considered a wahi pana (legendary place). Visitors are invited to join kamaaina (Hawaii residents) in the restoration of loko ia (early Hawaiian fishponds) on Haleolono Community Work Days, held from 9 a.m. to noon, the second Saturday of every month. Participants will learn about the fishpond and connect with its surrounding aina (land). Guests should bring water shoes, dive gloves, water for drinking and reef-safe sunscreen. For more information, visit www.edithkanakaolefoundation.org.

WHAT’S NEW

Fairmont Orchid, a luxury resort on the island of Hawaii’s Kohala Coast, recently debuted its newly refreshed fitness center. The 1,700-square-foot state-of-the-art facility features floor-to-ceiling windows, Technogym-brand equipment outfitted with personal televisions, and weight-training equipment. The fitness center’s Technogym equipment includes the Synchro Forma, an advanced elliptical machine allowing fluid movement and cardio exercises for a total body workout, and the Skillrow, a rowing machine exceeding the performance of traditional ergometers by making resistance more fluid while maintaining comfort. Other fitness center equipment for guests include new treadmills, exercise bikes and integrated weights. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day to registered resort guests. For more information, visit fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii.

The Mauna Kea Resort recently began offering a new guest-exclusive opportunity to discover the Kohala Coast’s history and beauty while touring the island of Hawaii’s first rum farm and distillery, Kuleana Rum Works. The experience begins with a scenic Kohala Coast drive and continues with a stroll through a Hawaiian heirloom sugarcane field and tasting of freshly juiced sugarcane. In the town of Kawaihae, guests will taste the evolution of sugarcane juice in its journey toward becoming rum. The tour concludes at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Copper Bar with a flight of signature rums or cocktails accompanied by island-inspired cuisine. The cost of the tour is $249 per person. A 48-hour notice and six-person minimum is required. For more information, visit www.maunakearesort.com.

Two new Maunakea experiences offered by Hawaii Forest & Trail allow participants to choose between sunrise or sunset tours of the massive island of Hawaii volcano. On the tour company’s Maunakea Sunrise Experience – now available with pick-ups from Kona, Waikoloa and Hilo – guests enjoy a continental breakfast, star show and view of the night sky as the sun rises. Guests on Hawaii Forest & Trail’s Maunakea Summit & Stars adventure enjoy dinner, sunset on Maunakea’s summit and, at a lower elevation of the mountain, views of the night sky on the company’s 11-inch Celestron telescope. The minimum age for guests on all summit tours is 16 years. For more information, visit www.hawaii-forest.com.

Spring forward with Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf’s four-round golf package, which includes play on 72 holes of the Beach and Kings’ courses for $380 per person with no tee-time restrictions. The package also includes $15 off club rentals and 10% off non-sale items in the golf shop. For more information, visit waikoloagolf.com.

KUDOS AND ACCOLADES

Fairmont Orchid’s Executive Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson was recently named “Chef of the Year 2019” by the American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association. Chef Sampson was awarded the honor for coaching culinary students competing in the Big Island Chocolate Festival, serving as a judge for the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, and encouraging his Fairmont Orchid team to give back to the community. Chef Sampson also took home the People’s Choice Award in the “Best Sweet” category at the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. For more information, visit fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii.

About the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau

The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau is an Island Chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). HVCB is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) for marketing management services in the continental U.S. The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau also supports HTA’s international marketing partners in Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Oceania, Southeast Asia and Taiwan. The state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, 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. For more information about the island of Hawaii, visit www.gohawaii.com/Island-of-Hawaii.