WHAT’S NEW ON OAHU
WHAT’S NEW ON OAHU
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.
- Alohilani Resort, named as one of the top ten resorts in Hawaii by 2019 Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, recently unveiled an expansive new ballroom with wellness-centered menus and programming inspired by the rich culture of Hawaii. Officially the third largest meeting and event space in Waikiki, the 12,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, features state-of-the-art technology and distinctive eco-conscious design. The multifunctional space can host up to 1,100 guests for landmark events of all kinds, from global conferences to lavish galas and weddings. Alohilani.com
- Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa is offering a special package for group arrivals between Jan. 4 – Mar. 31, 2020. For a minimum of 10 rooms and a catered event or with a minimum of 20 rooms, groups can receive one room upgrade, one complimentary VIP welcome amenity, no resort fee, complimentary lei greeting, and complimentary Wi-Fi in all guest rooms. Mention “OVB What’s New” to receive this offer. Subject to availability and blackout dates may apply. Aulani.com
- Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., a leading global real estate company headquartered in Tokyo, and Halekulani Corporation announced the opening of Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani, checking in its first guests on Oct. 25, 2019 to the luxury boutique hotel. With 284 rooms and four suites, the multi-million-dollar transformed Halepuna Waikiki is located directly across from the iconic Halekulani. Incorporating the culture of Hawaii and philosophy of Halekulani, Halepuna Waikiki provides guests with the highest standards of quality and personalized service. A refined retreat in the heart of Waikiki where Hawaiian traditions, warm, engaging service and fine design enrich every guest room, dining experience and amenity, Halepuna Waikiki celebrates the indigenous surroundings, culture, and aloha spirit of the islands. The “House of Welcoming Waters” draws upon the legacy of the land and incorporates calming water-inspired design features throughout the property. Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani room rates range from $350 to $500 and suites start at $996, all based on double occupancy. Halepuna.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 adds new, daily activities for its registered guests to enjoy including lei-making lessons; mixology and cooking demonstrations; and rise-and-shine morning yoga on its 10th floor rooftop pool deck. After the sun sets, the hotel offers live, nightly entertainment by local musicians at its lobby bar lounge from 7 – 10 p.m. open to the public. HiltonWaikikiBeach.com
- To mark its 10-year milestone at Trump International Hotel Waikiki, is offering a new, limited time vacation offer. “Celebrating 10 Years of Trump Waikiki” is the special anniversary package that includes accommodations in either a one-, two-, or three-bedroom suite, a bottle of champagne with Trump logo keepsake champagne flute glasses, a luxurious 60-minute “Trump Customized Massage” treatment for two at The Spa at Trump, and private chauffeured round trip ground transportation from the airport. Reserve for stays from now to Mar. 31, 2020. Promo code 10YR. TrumpWaikiki.com
- The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Waikiki Beach, located at the largest Ritz-Carlton Residences in the brand’s portfolio worldwide, invites both lovers and beloved companions to reconnect the mind, spirit and heart with its new signature treatment: Pilialoha. The 80-minute journey begins with an olena and wild lehua honey scrub full of essential vitamins and minerals to boost vitality and vigor. A lomilomi massage infused with wild flower essences brings both bodies into rhythm and opens the heart center. Warm pohaku (stone) and fresh awa (also known as kava) lotion is applied to align the pulses and release neck tension. Finally, a mark is stamped on each person’s heart and wrist using a fresh cut olena root, and both wrists are brought together—stamp to stamp—marking the end of the journey, connecting both people together. RitzCarlton.com/Waikiki
- The Vive Hotel Waikiki recently unveiled, “Flowers, Surf, & Aloha: A Story Told in 15 Floors” - a special art collaboration with POW! WOW! Hawaii featuring the work of renowned artists Kamea Hadar, Jeff Gress and Luke DeKneef. The special collection features 15 original hand-painted art pieces across the hotel’s 15 floors. The art celebrates Hawaii’s flora, Waikiki’s surf breaks, and the true meaning of aloha. ViveHotelWaikiki.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.
- Guests and locals alike can now experience the joy of flight at Waikiki’s first outdoor aerial yoga experience on Alohilani Resort’s rooftop fitness deck by Island Club and Spa, Honolulu’s luxury fitness and rejuvenation destination. Through a partnership with The Hang Out, the premier AntiGravity® Aerial Fitness studio in Hawaii, the revitalizing classes take on a new perspective with the views of Waikiki all around. Indoor classes will be available in the upcoming year including a pampering, restorative class and an “arrival session” perfect for guests to stretch and invert after a long flight. Available Mon. – Fri., 8 – 9:15 a.m. Alohilani.com
- Atlantis Adventures introduces its newest offering for guests to enjoy Hawaii’s beautiful sunset at sea, the Majestic Sunset Cocktail Cruise. Guests can escape the hustle and bustle of Waikiki with the only full-service bar and lounge experience on a cruise vessel in Hawaii. Guests on the cruise will enjoy a selection of craft cocktails, house wine, champagne and beer along with a complimentary spread of seasonal appetizers. The Majestic Sunset Cocktail Cruise experience starts at 5:15 p.m. in the fall and winter seasons and 6 p.m. in the spring and summer seasons. AtlantisAdventures.com
- Bike Hawaii introduces a solar powered bike tour with the eBike tour of Honolulu’s Rainforest. Ride the “10-miles of smiles” over paved road with a 250-watt electric-assist mountain bike making the five-mile uphill feel like a tropical breeze before descending to the other side. Bike Hawaii is also introducing a private Koolau Waterfall Hike and Kamehameha Ridge combination tour all in one day. The two privately-owned properties with rare and beautiful Oahu vistas are only accessible with the company. BikeHawaii.com
- Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum presents a new, 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 will display 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” will be on exhibit in the Castle Memorial Building from Dec. 14, 2019–May 03, 2020. BishopMuseum.org
- In fall 2020, the $6 million, two-story Damien and Marianne of Molokai Education Center will open on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. When opened, the Education Center will share the history of Kalawao and Kalaupapa, the people who were sent there and Hawaii’s two saints, St. Damien De Veuster, ss.cc. and St. Marianne Cope, o.s.f. Interactive exhibits, historic displays and artifacts, and video presentations will be offered. DamienandMarianne.org
- Experience Oahu’s North Shore, Hawaii Forest & Trail style. Guests experiencing the new North Shore Country Tour swim underneath a waterfall, stroll through a lush garden, cruise to a secluded beach, a stroll through historic Haleiwa, a tasty island food truck and end the day at a traditional Hawaiian fish pond. Hawaii-Forest.com
- The Polynesian Cultural Center will be launching a new luau show, the Alii Luau, featuring Onipaa, which will replace their current luau performance. The new luau pays tribute to Hawaii’s last ruling monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, and will be the only authentically Hawaiian luau on Oahu. The new luau will begin in the spring. Polynesia.com
- Royal Star Hawaii has launched a Grand Circle Island & Haleiwa deluxe bus tour, new for 2020. The Grand Circle Island & Haleiwa is a nine-hour tour that features stops at some of Oahu’s most scenic and historic spots, including Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Halona Blow Hole, Nuuanu Pali, Byodo-In Temple, Tropical Farms, and a variety of North Shore beaches. RoyalStarHawaii.com
- Star of Honolulu has revamped its popular “Polynesian Journey” live show aboard the Pacific Star Sunset Buffet & Show. The new “Polynesian Journey” show showcases an exciting visit to the islands of Polynesia, and includes new songs, new costumes and new choreography. StarofHonolulu.com
- Waikiki Beach Activities and Mermaid Republic have partnered in introducing Waikiki’s first introduction scuba diving program only offered at Hilton Hawaiian Village. This new water activity will be an amazing experience for those with little or no prior scuba diving skills. The Try Scuba Diving will be offered daily with start times at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. All tours begin with a 10-15-minute fundamental briefing in shallow water to get the guest comfortable with breathing underwater and obtaining some basic scuba diving skills. Then, the guided tour will lead guests on an exploration through the waters fronting Dukes beach. This fun-filled experience takes approximately one hour with all equipment provided. In addition, this tour includes free GoPro videos with our underwater props. For more information and to book tours or events, contact Mike Murray at (808) 265-5107 or [email protected]. waikikibeachactivities.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.
- Sunday Club, a new brunch experience, open to non-guests at Alohilani Resort’s exclusive newly opened Longboard Club. Attendees enjoy access to the venue’s indoor/outdoor amenities, all-inclusive brunch pupus by Executive Chef David Lukela, beats spun by Big Wave Surf Champion DJ KK, and after brunch access to the heated saltwater infinity pool. Alohilani.com
- Chef Jon Matsubara Opens His First Restaurant, Feast, in Manoa. With the tagline “refined grinds,” Feast is inspired by local and Japanese cuisine. (808) 840-0488, feastrestauranthawaii.com
- Halekulani Bakery & Restaurant at Halepuna Waikiki features a range of fresh-baked artisan breads, pastries, cakes and coffees. A chocolate-viewing kitchen allows guests to observe the delicacies being made daily, including Halekulani’s signature dragees, the classic chocolate macadamia nut pearls. The all-day dining restaurant will focus on locally-sourced ingredients in a relaxed setting. In addition to indoor seating, outdoor lanai seating is available for those who prefer to “grab and go.” Halekulani Bakery & Restaurant is located across the street from Halekulani on Kalia Road. halepuna.com/bakery
- KoHana Distillers - the Oahu-based, boutique distillery of KoHana Hawaiian Agricole Rum – is proud to announce KoHana Koa: the world’s first spirit aged in barrels made with Hawaii’s native koa wood. The inaugural batch of KoHana Koa is available now exclusively at the KoHana Tasting Room. The inaugural batch of KoHana Koa comprises 437 bottles of 375 milliliters each. The first 50 bottles will be individually numbered and packaged in a koa wood box, while bottles 51 through 437 will be numbered with a commemorative koa wood medallion. KoHanaRum.com
- Translating to “infinity” in Japanese, the newly opened Mugen (pronounced Moo-gen) restaurant provides boundless opportunities to delight the senses. Redefining Oahu’s dining scene, the Japanese-French restaurant serves thoughtfully prepared dishes that focus on the high-quality ingredients the team carefully curates from around the globe. Each course celebrates flavor – using only the best and freshest meats and produce available. Executive Chef Jason Yamaguchi has pulled together one of the strongest restaurant teams found on the island today. Dining at Mugen is an intimate and unforgettable experience, much like stepping into a beautiful home – an inviting ambiance, filled with personal touches and memorable interactions with the chefs. espaciowaikiki.com/dining-at-mugen/
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 three new tenants to its growing collection of more than 350 stores and restaurants. Now open at the Center are Gianvito Rossi, Herve Chapelier and Morphe. Additionally, Ala Moana Center welcomed Alexander McQueen, Dior Cafe, Dior Mens, Hope & Henry and Valextra. AlaMoanaCenter.com
- Visit International Market Place to celebrate Fukubukuro, the popular Japanese shopping event, in which “lucky bags” with merchandise at half off the full retail value will be available at participating retailers, while supplies last. Then, bring in good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year Feb. 1, 2020 with free Chinese New Year festivities for the entire family, including exciting lion dance performances and traditional Chinese calligraphy. The center is open every day, including holidays, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ShopInternationalMarketPlace.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.
- The Sunset Open is the first World Surf League (WSL) regional Hawaii/Tahiti Nui event of the new year and features a Men’s Qualifying Series competition along with a Men’s and Women’s Pro Junior division at world-class Sunset Beach from Jan. 18 – 28, 2020. Winners of the Sunset Open will have a leg-up on the regional ratings and a confidence boost heading into the WSL competition season. The Sunset Open is free and open to the public. WorldSurfLeague.com
- World-famous wave, Pipeline, will be at its peak performance for the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series 3,000 event on Oahu’s North Shore from Jan. 29 – Feb. 10, 2020. Big-name athletes headline this competition each year in a quest to capture the Volcom Pipe Pro warrior helmet trophy. The event is free and open to the public and will be broadcast live on WorldSurfLeague.com
- 2020 Hawaii Pacific Health Great Aloha Run will be held on Feb. 17, 2020. Experience true Aloha and be a part of Hawaii’s largest, most iconic local running event that begins at historic Aloha Tower and finishes at the Aloha Stadium. Take in 8 miles of Aloha with multi-ethnic music and dancing along the course and awards, refreshments and great entertainment at the finish. Perfect for running enthusiasts, destination travelers, families, strollers, walkers and even wheelchairs; there’s a place in the race for everyone. GreatAlohaRun.com
- The 92nd Annual Lei Court Selection Event is on Mar. 7, 2020, at Kapolei Hale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contestants will be scored on lei making; poise and personality, speaking in English and Hawaiian; and, hula auana (modern hula). Free and open to the public. HonoluluParks.com
- 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. The Education Symposium will feature museum historians, artifacts and documents- all surrounding the actual event. A joint program of both the Battleship Missouri and the Aviation Museum.
- 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 held on the Battleship Missouri with additional seating on the pier with video access to 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.
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