WHAT’S NEW ON OAHU
WHAT’S NEW ON OAHU
APRIL — JUNE 2020
OAHU – Often referred to as the Heart of Hawaii, Oahu is a fusion of East and West cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the native Hawaiian people. This cultural mix presents a unique contrast between the ancient and the modern that makes discovering Oahu — from bustling city life to laidback surf towns — so enjoyable. Below is a glimpse of many new and different options for exploring Oahu’s diverse regions, the island’s many activities, its eclectic restaurants, accommodations, shopping, and festivals and events.
Hotels and Resorts
The Island of Oahu has a variety of hotels and resorts for travelers of all ages with varying budgets, and a multitude of packages to make any trip unforgettable.
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk introduces a brand-new pool bar at Pakini Bar that features an ocean-inspired design and offers handcrafted cocktails and craft beers. Cool poolside cabana picnics styled by Paradise Soiree are now available, with theme options including tropical chic, bohemian or elegant. In addition, Bridal Soirees offer in-room picnics for the bride and her bridesmaids, including champagne and charcuterie boards, while bridal parties can get ready in style in a private suite. EmbassySuites.com
- Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina & Sensync are excited to introduce the world’s first multi-sensory, virtual reality wellness experience: The Vessel - combining mixed reality innovation with advanced therapeutic technology to create an immersive sensory experience. The Vessel offers guests a series of customized journeys that help “reset” their brains to achieve a more tranquil state of mind. Appointments are now available at the Naupaka Spa & Wellness Centre where guests are offered a series of customized journeys that help “reset” their brains to achieve a more tranquil state of mind. Journeys range from 20 to 80 minutes. FourSeasons.com/Oahu
- Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina Introduces Kaaumoana, A West Oahu Ocean Experience. This new exclusive ocean activities program with sailing, paddling, and snorkeling excursions, is centered on the Hawaiian waa (to sail the open sea) experience. Under the direction of Nakoakalani Prejean, experienced waterman and women guide Four Seasons guests into a multitude of safe, open ocean experiences for all ages, departing directly from the Four Seasons white sand beach cove. Each ocean journey will highlight the moomeheu Hawaii (Hawaiian culture) and moolelo (history and stories) of Oahu’s ruggedly beautiful leeward coast, and is led by certified ocean guides who share how traditional knowledge is practiced to protect and perpetuate the unspoiled natural beauty of West Oahu’s pristine marine environment. FourSeasons.com/Oahu
- Halekulani, On the Beach at Waikiki is proud to present the SpaHalekulani’s first half of the 2020 Lineup of the Living Well Interactive program. The program is designed around the latest health and wellness topics to encourage guests to embrace and maintain a wholesome and healthy lifestyle while traveling. Each 75-minute workshop takes place the second Saturday of each month and include the following:
- April - Writing Your Way to Well-being (understanding how the ritual of journaling can enhance one’s emotional, spiritual and physical health)
- May - Take Back Your Sleep (exploring how one’s quality of sleep, or lack thereof, can affect overall health)
- June - Numerology – The Magic Behind the Numbers (discussing the origins and practices of Numerology and how this profound system can be used to influence, interpret and predict) Halekulani.com
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort’s Tapa Tower is undergoing an extensive renovation of its guestrooms, suites and corridors. The reimagined rooms debuted as the Tapa Collection, featuring palettes that combine the beauty and power of the Pacific Ocean with the natural materials and patterns found in Hawaii’s treasured tapa cloth. Corridor carpeting resembles the ebb and flow of the Waikiki shoreline as it draws guests toward the spacious, newly renovated rooms. Upon entry, deep blues and subtle textures summon relaxation and understated elegance, while tech updates will facilitate convenient digital connectivity. Each room will feature modern furnishings combined with textiles and wall art that honor the Hawaiian culture’s vital connection to the land and sea and the distinctive patterns of tapa. The guestrooms retain the room category flexibility that Tapa Tower has become known for, including ocean view rooms, junior suites, one bedroom suites, and Tapa Family Rooms - a unique and spacious room layout with two queen beds and a king bed. TapaCollection.com
- Hilton Waikiki Beach presents the “Family Fun” package which includes free daily breakfast for four. Families can enjoy daily activities including lei-making lessons, cooking demonstrations, and rise-and-shine morning yoga. Guests can also listen to daily live music entertainment at the lobby or relax at the 10th floor rooftop pool. The hotel is just steps from Waikiki’s white-sand beaches, shopping and attractions. HiltonWaikikiBeach.com
- Prince Waikiki, an upscale, oceanfront hotel at the gateway to Waikiki with easy access to the cool factor of Honolulu’s trendy neighborhoods, is celebrating its 30th anniversary year in 2020 with a line-up of special events, limited-time offers and new sustainability and social responsibility initiatives. The 30th anniversary festivities will run through December, kicking off with a milestone 30th Anniversary Celebration on April 8. Additional, 30th anniversary touchpoints will include new programming; a special 30th Anniversary Package available for stays through December 21; and the evolvement of the hotel’s eco-conscious operations and initiatives that reaffirm its dedication to the Waikiki community and the environment. For more information about Prince Waikiki or its 30th Anniversary festivities, please visit www.princewaikiki.com
- Shoreline Hotel Waikiki will be the first hotel to offer in-room products by Public Goods, a Kickstarter success story and earth-conscious brand. Beginning February, the vibrant 135-room boutique hotel will adopt a sustainable refill system of the stylish and reusable containers made of sugarcane bioplastics. All products are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, made in the U.S., and omit harmful chemicals, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. ShorelineHotelWaikiki.com
- Trump International Hotel Waikiki will be offering specials for springtime or summertime wedding, honeymoon or bachelorette parties at The Spa at Trump. Bridal parties of three or more will receive 20 percent off a la carte spa treatment services and enjoy a spa gift as well as a celebratory drink. TrumpHotels.com/waikiki/meetings/weddings
- In March, Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore will unveil 26 new Stay Well luxury brand rooms. Room features include a natural memory foam material mattress, shower infuser, water purification, air purification, aromatherapy, dawn simulator, energizing light, night lighting, soundscape, private dining menu and more. TurtleBayResort.com
- Golfers at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore now have the option of speeding up the pace of play with the new Finn Cycle, an electric golf motorcycle introduced at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. The Finn Cycle features front and rear suspension, hand-operated disc brakes and an electric motor in the rear wheel. The golf bag sits along the center-line for easy golf club access. With a speed of 15 mph, golfers can drive directly to their ball, making a sub-two-hour round of golf within reach. TurtleBayResort.com
- White Sands Hotel, which recently debuted a property-wide redesign embodying Hawaii’s 1960s glory days, has partnered with Honolulu’s renowned Fete Restaurant Group to bring innovative culinary and cocktail concepts to the hotel. Hey Day is the hotel’s new open-air restaurant led by Chef Robynne Maii serving farm-to-table Asian-centric dishes with a throwback Hawaiian twist. A secret bar, The Green Lady, will be an intimate hideaway for elevated retro cocktails by local mixology leaders. WhiteSandsHotel.com
Activities & Entertainment
As the energizing island, it’s easy to feel Oahu come to life. Visitors can feel the energy of vibrant Oahu through a wide variety of different activities perfect for thrill-seekers, explorers, wayfinders, and more.
- In celebration of Earth Day, Atlantis Submarines is offering $15 off select afternoon dives on their 48-passenger submarines during the month of April. Atlantis Adventures is a sustainable tour operator certified by the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii and their commitment to Hawaii’s marine conservation begins with the use of battery-powered submarines that emit no pollutants or noise as they glide to depths of more than 100 feet. The Waikiki dive site is home to artificial reefs in an effort to create self-sustaining habitats for fish and marine life to flourish. AtlantisAdventures.com
- Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum presents an original exhibit that explores surfing’s history and its ongoing technical and cultural developments. “Mai Kinohi Mai: Surfing in Hawaii” invites visitors to explore surfing as a culture, an art, a sport and a way of life. Drawing from the richness of Bishop Museum’s collections, the exhibit displays the oldest surfboards known to exist, some owned by Hawaiian royalty, as well as archival photos and manuscripts, an immersive media experience, a surfing simulator, and other interactives that examine the science of surf. “Mai Kinohi Mai” is on exhibit in the Castle Memorial Building through May 03, 2020. BishopMuseum.org
- Majestic by Atlantis Cruises will be offering a special $20 discount off each adult or child ticket during the month of May for all sunset dinner Island Style Buffet cruises. Majestic offers the only full-service bar and lounge with comfortable and spacious, open seating in Waikiki waters. Majestic’s Island Style Buffet offers a locally inspired menu which is served on the main deck dining room. All three levels of the ship offer awe-inspiring views as the sun sinks below the horizon and fades to Honolulu’s vibrant city lights. MajesticHawaii.com
- Gunstock Ranch has dedicated 500 acres to a historic reforestation initiative, with the goal to restore Oahu’s native species and return the island to its natural beauty. A newly unveiled tour opens up tree plantings to even more people by no longer requiring the purchase of a dedicated tree. A tree is included in the tour price so guests can enjoy an exciting eco-tour while planting a tree at no additional cost. GunStockRanch.com
- For more than 25 years, Hawaii Forest & Trail has built a multi-island menu of adventures that connect guests to Hawaii’s mystique and natural wonders. For 2020 the company introduces two new adventures: Sunset & Rum Tasting and North Shore Waterfall & Adventure on the island of Oahu. Hawaii-Forest.com
- Hoku Hawaii Tours is excited to announce new cultural and sustainable tour programs that focus on community and non-profit partnerships and represent Hawaii’s unique lifestyle and rich history. The tour offerings create a space that bring education, awareness and build responsible travelers. HokuHawaiiTours.com
- I’m A Bright Kid Foundation, which continues the legacy of Hawaii educator and master performing arts instructor Ronald E. Bright, will present its widely popular 2020 Summer Musical Theatre Arts Program in June. More details are available online. ImABrightKid.org
- Kumu Kahua Theatre presents world-class theatre by and about Hawaii’s people in the heart of downtown Honolulu.
- March 19-April 19, The Conversion of Kaahumanu by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl is a historic account of Christianity taking hold in Hawaii.
- May 21-June 21, Blue by Wil Kahele is a contemporary dramady about a couple of local boys learning from an unlikely source: an elderly tourist. Kumukahua.org
- The Polynesian Cultural Center introduces a new luau show, which celebrates Hawaii’s last ruling monarch. The Alii Luau featuring Onipaa, A Tribute to Queen Liliuokalani will take its audience through the various stages of the late queen’s life through her own words starting this spring. The family-friendly production showcases original compositions from the Queen Liliuokalani archives. Polynesia.com
Restaurants, Cuisine & Chefs
Oahu is known for its diverse culture, which is exhibited by the assortment of cuisine found throughout the island. With wonderful choices and an array of culinary options, there’s a restaurant fit for everyone.
- Aqua Bamboo Waikiki, managed by Aqua-Aston Hospitality, recently opened their newest dining establishment, Ko Tiki Terrace. Located 300 feet from Waikiki Beach, the restaurant features a classic poolside hotel tiki bar and grill serving traditional Hawaiian cuisine using local ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week from 7 a.m. to midnight. AquaAston.com
- M.A.C. 24/7 Restaurant and Bar, home of the famous M.A.C. Daddy Pancake Challenge, launches the M.A.C. Momma Cheeseburger Challenge. Individual guests who can finish the cheeseburger in 45 minutes get it for free and have their photo posted on the M.A.C. Momma Cheeseburger Hall of Fame wall. The $45 cheeseburger includes two pounds of black angus beef patty, with cheddar cheese, teriyaki sauce, Portuguese sausage, applewood smoked bacon, grilled pineapple rings, avocado, kunia tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, crispy onion rings on a brioche bun served with a side of crackling chicharon and garlic shoyu-vinegar dipping sauce. Mac247Waikiki.com
- Merriman’s Honolulu launched its Mucho Mahalo Menu. This two-course menu is inspired by a recent excursion to foodie destination Mexico City where they experienced must-visit restaurants and explored street markets. Bringing back the best of what they learned and tasted, Merriman’s chefs have dished up a Mexico City-inspired menu which includes: duo of tostadas de atun (ahi tuna tostada), aguachile de camaron (shrimp bathed in lime, chile, and cilantro) and salsa roja opakapaka with arroz verde, roasted hirabara baby carrots, and finished with a lime cilantro butter. The Mucho Mahalo Menu is a Tuesday-night exclusive and priced at $49 per person. MerrimansHawaii.com/Honolulu
- This spring Mugen, the newly-opened French-Japanese restaurant located in ESPACIO, The Jewel of Waikiki, is pleased to announce exciting new offerings. The restaurant’s ever-changing tasting menu has already garnered global attention from culinary enthusiasts and celebrities and the culinary team, led by executive chef Jason Yamaguchi, has introduced a new lunch menu and an a la carte dinner menu. In addition, expanded seating at the restaurant is now available. EspacioWaikiki.com/Dining-at-Mugen
- Noe Italian at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu, famed for its coastal Italian cuisine, has introduced two vintage wine labels in an exclusive partnership with Tuscany’s Podere San Michele, a family owned vineyard since 1956. The two vintages, Noe Allodio Sangiovese 2015 and Noe Allodio Viogner 2015, along with an exclusive line of freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil from San Vincenzo, Olio Extravergine de Oliva Toscana, are exclusively available at the restaurant. NoeItalian.com
- Anthony Rush and Katherine Nomura, the husband and wife team who created Senia in partnership with Chris Kajioka, will open Podmore this summer in the historic Joseph W. Podmore building in Downtown Honolulu. With brunch by day and cocktails by night, Podmore will offer a creative culinary approach to both in a space that gives a nod to the tiny cocktail lounges and private members clubs of London.
- Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki’s premier shopping and dining destination, debuts its new Waikiki Food Hall this spring. The new food hall features eight different restaurant concepts, each with its own unique character and menu, in an open and airy casual dining space. Restaurants include:
- Milk – The soft-serve ice cream shop will feature exclusive Hawaiian tropical fruit flavors
- JTRRD Cafe – The shop’s fruit and superfood smoothies have been described as works of art
- Meataly Boys – This restaurant will feature quality steaks, whole roasted chicken and other Hawaii-grown meats
- Pork Tamago Onigiri – Specializes in made-to-order musubi with a variety of fillings
- Five Star Shrimp – Specializes in Hawaiian garlic shrimp dishes
- Honolulu Burger Co. – The latest location for handcrafted burgers made from free-range, grass-feed beef and locally grown produce
- Surfer’s Cafe – A new concept serving coffee drinks in a surf and beach theme and surf theme craft items by local artists
- Tap Bar – A casual island bar serving Hawaiian local craft beers and artisanal cocktails. Royalhawaiiancenter.com
- Michael Mina’s signature Hawaii restaurant, STRIPSTEAK Waikiki is now offering private dinners and events in the historic Don the Beachcomber Treehouse located in the International Market Place. This brand new concept led by STRIPSTEAK Waikiki pairs an elegant evening complete with chef's tasting menus, hand-selected wine selections and tableside mixology with a private bartender for the ultimate private dining experience. Perfect for engagements, anniversary and birthday dinners for two or for cocktail receptions up to 50 guests, this is the seamless high-class Hawaii experience can’t be found anywhere else. Custom packages start at $500, exclusive of tax and service charges. STRIPSTEAKWaikiki.com
- The Street Food Hall by Michael Mina, Waikiki’s premier upscale dining outlet, is pleased to announce its partnership with IL Gelato Hawaii, a locally-owned and operated company that has been making top quality gelato for the last 10 years. The newest addition to the bustling collection of hawker stations located in the International Market Place recently celebrated its grand opening in February and features creative gelato floats that are exclusive to this Waikiki location. TheStreetFoodHall.com
Oahu is home to hundreds of high-end designer stores, as well as local boutiques carrying locally-made products.
- Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest open-air shopping center and Hawaii’s gathering place for shopping, dining and local entertainment, recently introduced four new tenants to its growing collection of more than 350 stores and restaurants. Now open at the Center are Buffalo Wild Wings, Gianvito Rossi, Herve Chapelier and Morphe. Additionally, Ala Moana Center welcomed Alexander McQueen, Dior Cafe, Dior Mens, Hope & Henry and Valextra. AlaMoanaCenter.com
- The first Dylan’s Candy Bar in Hawaii opened its doors at the Pualeilani Atrium Shops at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa. The moment guests enter Dylan’s Candy Bar, it transports them to a modern-day version of Willy Wonka’s factory with pop art installations including an oversized lollipop tree, candy cane columns, and more. Dylan’s Candy Bar houses more than 7,000 edible treats, stationery, toys, and other candy-inspired products. Dylan’s Candy Bar is located on the 1st floor on Kalakaua Avenue. DylansCandyBar.com
- Catherine Michiels Jewelry opened her first shop at the Pualeilani Atrium Shops at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa. Fine custom jewelry, Catherine’s creations transcend both jewelry and art. The shop is located on the 1st floor of Diamond Head Tower. CatherineMichiels.com
- International Market Place, the premier shopping and dining destination in the heart of Waikiki, will host its 4th Annual Grand Lanai Restaurant Week, April 13-19, 2020. The weeklong event is the perfect way for visitors to experience exclusive prix fixe menus from the Market Place’s extraordinary eateries, including Hawaii’s hottest restaurants and unique-to-market concepts from award-winning chefs like Michael Mina and Roy Yamaguchi. ShopInternationalMarketPlace.com
- This spring, Reyn Spooner is releasing a series of Aloha Shirts featuring acclaimed artist Dietrich Varez’s block prints and paintings. The artwork of Varez, who passed away in 2018, is among the most widely recognized of any artist in Hawaii. The collection of prints featuring Varez’s art includes the 2020 Summer Commemorative - an annual tradition of Reyn Spooner going back nearly 30 years - and Lei’d, a shirt that will release in celebration of Lei Day on May 1. These shirts will be available at the six Reyn Spooner flagship stores and online. Reynspooner.com
Festivals & Events
Oahu is home to the largest number of festivals and events throughout Hawaii. Visitors can connect with the local community and experience renowned events showcasing the island’s rich arts and culture, the world’s top amateur and professional sporting competitions, and the many ethnic celebrations exclusive to Oahu.
- East-West Center will be hosting the East-West Fest which is an annual celebration of the many diverse communities that make up the East-West Center ohana. This family friendly community event is free and open to the public on April 5 from 2-6 p.m. Festival offerings will include interactive cultural booths representing twenty countries and cultures of the Asia Pacific region, dance and music performances, activities and food trucks. EastWestCenter.org/EastWestFest
- The 93rd Annual Lei Day Celebration is on May 1, 2020 at Kapiolani Park (2806 Monsarrat Avenue, 96815) from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The annual Lei Day Celebration provides a venue for the one day of the year set aside to celebrate the lei and the skill and the artistry of Hawaii’s lei makers. This free event honors Hawaii’s people and their rich heritage. HonoluluParks.com
- The World Fireknife Championship will be taking place from May 6-9 and is the main attraction of the Center’s We Are Samoa Festival, Hawaii’s largest annual Samoan cultural celebration. During the Annual World Fireknife Championship, the world’s most talented fireknife warriors come together for four-nights of heated competition. Fireknife dancing draws its roots from the Samoa ailao (a warrior’s knife dance), which is performed before battle with the nifo oti (tooth of death). Polynesia.com
- Ko Olina Resort will be hosting the 4th Annual World Oceans Day celebration on Saturday, June 13, 2020. The resort, in partnership with NOAA and other community partners, will host this free public event with ocean education, sustainability activities, live entertainment, food for purchase and a movie on the lawn at sunset. World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. Koolina.com/events
- September 2, 2020 marks the 75th Commemoration of the End of World War II; a war that took the lives of over 405,000 U.S. military personnel. The “Mighty Mo,” which now rests on the hallowed waters of Pearl Harbor, is a reminder of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in restoring peace to the world. To pay tribute and honor those who served and their families, the USS Missouri Memorial Association and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum will recognize this historic milestone with several commemorative events from Aug. 29 through Sept. 3, 2020. 75thWWIICommemoration.org
- Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020
- Legacy of Peace Aerial Parade around Oahu, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The legacy of Peace Aerial Parade around Oahu will feature WWII aircrafts. Aircrafts will be available for viewing after the aerial parade, location TBD.
- Welcome Dinner, 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The Welcome Dinner at Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum will honor all WWII veterans and those who serve.
- Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020
- Film premiere with WWII Foundation at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Time TBD.
- Monday, Aug. 31, 2020
- Legacy of Peace Aerial Parade Connecting the Bases of WWII, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Legacy of Peace Parade Connecting the Bases of WWII will feature WWII aircrafts.
- Formal Commemoration Banquet on the Pier at Battleship Missouri. Time TBD.
- Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020
- Education Symposium, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A joint program of both the Battleship Missouri and the Aviation Museum, the Education Symposium will feature museum historians, artifacts and documents all surrounding the actual event.
- Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020
- Official 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Official 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII will be held on the Battleship Missouri with additional seating on the pier with video access to the ceremony. Guests of honor will include former crewmen and others who witnessed the event 75 years ago.
- International Wreath Ceremony, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The International Wreath Ceremony engages representatives from the nations who signed the document.
- Legacy of Peace Aerial Parade, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Legacy of Peace Aerial Parade will feature WWII aircrafts and will happen over the Battleship Missouri and along the Waikiki Coast.
- Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020
All information is subject to change without notice. For more information, please go to www.visit-oahu.com, follow OVB’s tweets at www.twitter.com/OahuVB, become a fan of Oahu on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OahuHawaii, and follow @OahuVB on Instagram.