WHAT’S NEW IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS 

 

FALL WHAT'S NEW IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

HAWAII – From the unveiling of new hotel offerings, to great outdoor adventure activities and exciting festivals, fall is always one of the best times of the year to visit the Islands. Read on to check out some highlights of the autumn months ahead in Hawaii. For additional updates referencing each island, click the newsletter links of our individual Island Chapters: the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and Oahu Visitors Bureau.

NEW HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS

Set to open in September, the nine-suite ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki will, according to its management company Aqua-Aston Hospitality, “redefine the luxury hotel experience in Waikiki for guests who seek the ultra-exclusive with personalized service and privacy.” Each of the hotel’s nine floors will be home to a single three-bedroom suite with a dedicated butler, Italian-marble bathrooms, dry sauna, lanai Jacuzzi, full kitchen and inclusive luxury rental car. Public spaces will include a restaurant, rooftop infinity pool and spa. www.espaciowaikiki.com

Slated to open this fall, Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani is now taking reservations for stays from October 25 onward. Formerly the Waikiki Parc Hotel, the Halepuna Waikiki property is undergoing a multimillion-dollar transformation to offer 284 guest rooms and four suites with Pacific Ocean views. The luxury boutique hotel’s design will be complemented by local artwork sourced in collaboration with the Honolulu Museum of Art. Halepuna Waikiki’s opening will also mark the debut of Halekulani Bakery and Restaurant, a full-service, all-day casual dining concept featuring a variety of pastries, cakes and artisanal breads crafted by a baker from the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. www.halepuna.com

CULINARY

The Culinarium Team Building Experience at the University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head’s state-of-the-art kitchen is a hands-on cooking competition encouraging teams to come together to create meals while working as a group. Working under pressure, participants create dishes that are judged by the Oahu institute’s professional chef then shared and savored by the teams. According to the institute, the experience is “exciting, fun and focused on innovation, collaboration, communication and creativity.” The Culinarium experience welcomes Oahu residents and visitors, as well as corporate outings and wedding events.
https://continuinged.kapiolani.hawaii.edu/culinarium/

Lahaina-based Maui Kuia Estate Chocolate Inc., which is preparing to open its new chocolate factory later this year, recently celebrated the second harvest of cacao from its Maui Kuia Estate cacao commercial farm operation. With that recent harvest – and its first-ever harvest in spring 2018 – now under its belt, the company aims to scale up production of its Maui Kuia Estate cacao over the next 10 years. All chocolate made from cacao grown on the Maui Kuia Estate farm on Maui will be designated “Grown and Made in Maui” and sold as Maui Kuia Estate® chocolate. www.mauichocolate.com

ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES

Kauai Coffee Company’s new farm tour escorts guests, via open-air truck, down the red-dirt roads of its plantation, home to more than 4 million coffee trees. During the two-hour tour, guests learn about the production of coffee from seed to cup, including how trees are planted, and how coffee is grown and manufactured. Guests on the tour are also offered an inside look at plantation operations and a chance to plant a coffee tree. The farm tour ends with a cup of coffee grown, harvested and roasted on the estate. www.kauaicoffee.com

Holo Holo Charters recently created an online pledge seeking to raise awareness among its guests about traveling responsibly by reducing use of plastics and avoiding purchase of reef-damaging and ocean-polluting toxic sunscreens. The locally-owned boat tour company, in business for more than two decades, says it “understands the impact destination travel can have on the environment both economically and experientially, which is why (we) are encouraging all passengers to complete the pledge before they set sail on their Kauai ocean adventure.” According to Holo Holo, “the pledge also brings awareness to live a lifestyle of stewardship anchored and inspired by the Hawaiian value of aloha.” www.holoholokauaiboattours.com

Hawaii Forest and Trail recently launched its new private, exclusive tours on Oahu for up to 12 guests. Guests can choose to personalize their adventure and do a waterfall swim, beach walk or two great hikes – one of these also incorporating a mountain picnic – within a four-hour minimum tour. Transportation, snacks and beverages are included. Later this summer, look for Hawaii Forest and Trail to unveil its new tour of Oahu’s ridgeline Palehua trail. www.hawaii-forest.com

The Honolulu Museum of Art will present its second major exhibition of 2019, Contemporary Landscapes: Li Huayi, from August 24 through January 5, 2020. The museum calls Li Huayi “one of the leading innovators in Chinese ink painting at a time when this field is experiencing a remarkable transformation. His intricate landscapes are a joy to view, and immerse the viewer in breathtaking environments that present a bold new vision of contemporary aesthetics.” The main exhibition of Li’s art will be accompanied by a focus exhibition in the Oahu museum’s Atsuhiko and Ina Tateuchi Thematic Gallery, juxtaposing the artist’s contemporary interpretations of the Buddhist concept of the Pure Land with historic artworks from the museum’s collection, including its renowned 14th century Taima Mandala. www.honolulumuseum.org

Alii Nui Sailing Charters recently launched its new, 2.5-hour nightly New Royal Sunset Sail, featuring a buffet dinner menu and open bar for enjoyment in the vessel’s open-air cabin or topside at one of its deck tables. Guests onboard are encouraged to move about the vessel and enjoy the evening sail’s Maui vistas and sunset. Complimentary transportation to the vessel is available in one of Alii Nui’s new transit vans. www.aliinuimaui.com
 
Outlets of Maui recently launched new shopping shuttle service between Kaanapali Beach Resort and Lahaina. The 27-seat passenger shuttle operates daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; service is cashless but accepts all major credit cards. One-way fare is $3 per passenger; children under age 12 ride for free. All passengers receive a complimentary Outlets of Maui VIP coupon book worth hundreds of dollars in savings at the outlet center. Schedules for the shopping shuttle are available at the center’s management office or may be downloaded online at www.outletsofmaui.com

Described by the Fairmont Kea Lani resort’s Willow Stream Spa team as “rooted in ancient Chinese medicine and renowned for its results-oriented techniques of gua sha,” the spa’s new Vital Essence Facial is designed to improve complexion and overall skin wellness. The spa team describes the experience as combining “the detoxifying energy of sibin bian stones with multifunction organic products rich in adaptogenic nutrients to create visibly revitalized and renewed skin. A massage cleanse, paired masques and custom ANDA product blend are enhanced with specialized gua sha techniques and dynamic structured water elixir to leave you feeling empowered, vital and beautiful.” www.fairmont.com/kea-lani-maui

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

The 60th annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, set for July 29 through August 2, welcomes anglers from around the world to the waters off Kailua-Kona to compete in the venerable sport-fishing contest. Tournament teams partner with island of Hawaii-based charter boats for five days of game fishing, racking up points based on fish species caught and the weight of their catch. www.hibtfishing.com
 
The fourth annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds is set for October 24 through 28, headquartered at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay on the island of Hawaii. The festival’s 2019 theme, “Wanderers and Migrants – Hawaii’s Unique Avian Visitors,” highlights the migratory and accidental avian visitors arriving in the Islands each year. Festival events and activities include Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument educational sessions, a fest reception, a film festival, guided birding excursions on land and at sea, a bird fair and a festival gala. The festival’s beneficiaries are the Hawaii Wildlife Center and the Hawaii Island Coast-to-Coast Birding Trail. www.birdfesthawaii.org
 
The annual Traditional Tattoo Festival, set this year for October 25 through 28 at the Kohala Institute on the island of Hawaii, celebrates the ritualistic and ceremonial practice of traditional tattooing practiced by Pacific and Arctic cultures, including Hawaiian, Inuit, Filipino and other cultures. A cultural festival within the main tattoo festival on October 26 is free and open to the public, and features live music, food, dance, kapa (bark cloth) making, wood carving, and lau hala (pandanus leaf) weaving, and demonstrations of traditional tattooing. www.gohawaii.com/islands/events/traditional-tattoo-festival

The annual Koloa Plantation Days Festival Opening and Sunset Hoolaulea happens July 20, kicking off at 5 p.m. at the Poipu Beach Athletic Club. The 10-day Kauai festival celebrates the multiple cultures that arrived in Hawaii beginning in the mid-19th century for work on sugar and pineapple plantations, in doing so introducing their traditions, music, dance and cuisine to the rich melting pot of cultures that comprise the Islands today. Resorts and businesses in the Poipu and Koloa area welcome visitors and residents to enjoy the festival’s guided walks and talk-story sessions, outdoor sports, live entertainment and array of themed keiki (children’s) activities. www.koloaplantationdays.com
 
A week later, at festival’s end, head back to the district for the annual Historic Koloa Plantation Days Parade and Park Celebration on July 27, kicking off at 10 a.m. The parade includes horseback units, floral floats, vintage cars, decorated vehicles and more, all making their way through Koloa town from Koloa School to Anne Knudsen Park. After the parade, stick around and enjoy a day of entertainment and ono (delicious) food from multiple vendors. Admission to the park celebration is $5 for adults; entry for keiki ages 12 years and under is free. www.koloaplantationdays.com
 

Heiva I Kauai Iorana Tahiti is a two-day Tahitian cultural festival featuring competitions in solo Tahitian dancing, as well as group competition in traditional and contemporary Tahitian dancing and drumming, for children and adults ages four to 50-plus. Other festival events include a Tahitian dance audience-participation segment and coconut-husking contests. This year’s 18th annual Heiva I Kauai happens August 3 and 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Kapaa Beach Park. Entry is $7 per person, per day, with entry for children ages 12 and under free. Tickets are available at the gate on event days. www.heivaikauai.com
 
The 11th annual Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon, set for September 1, will send participants on a scenic coastline course taking them past hula dancers and taiko drum troupes as it traces the landscape of the island’s south shore. Along the way, participants will take in views of the area’s picturesque beaches and tropical rainforests. The marathon will also host a Keiki Run on August 31 at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa with age-specific grass courses for children ages 2 to 12. Every Kauai Marathon, Half-Marathon and Keiki Run finisher will receive a commemorative medal and T-shirt. www.thekauaimarathon.com
 
The inaugural Kauai Folk Festival is set for September 28 and 29 at Grove Farm Museum, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The goal of the festival’s organizers is to “reestablish the bond between traditional music of the U.S. continent and Hawaii by bringing the best performers in blues, bluegrass, old-time and country music who will perform alongside the musical legends of Hawaii.” The festival will also feature live entertainment, craft workshops, group dances, outdoor activities, food and more. www.kauaifolkfestival.com
 
The third annual Hammers N’ Ales fundraiser is set for October 12, from 2 to 6 p.m., at the Poipu Beach Athletic Club, featuring food from Kauai restaurants, beer from Hawaii and U.S. continental craft brewers, live music and family fun. Participating restaurants will include Merriman’s Fish House, Keoki’s Paradise, Plantation Gardens Restaurant and Bar, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Kitchen at Papaya’s, The Right Slice and Lava Lava Beach Club. Tickets are $75 presale and $85 on the day of the event. All event proceeds will benefit Kauai Habitat for Humanity. www.kauaihabitat.org/hammersnales
 
The beauty of the Kokee area’s mountain forests is celebrated in hula, Hawaiian music and chant at the annual Eo e Emalani i Alakai festival, happening October 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Kokee State Park. The Kauai festival, which celebrates Queen Emma’s 1871 visit to Kokee, includes a reenactment of her entourage’s arrival on horseback. Free and open to the public, Eo e Emalani i Alakai also features exhibits, crafts, a silent auction and food for sale. www.kokee.org/index.php?festivals-emalani
 
The annual Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival is set for October 18 and 19 in historic Hanapepe town. The public is invited to celebrate all things chocolate and coffee on Kauai with samplings, educational displays and workshops, entertainment and exhibitor booths featuring an array of chocolate and coffee products. The street festival will also include farm tours, informational classes, workshops and demonstrations, live entertainment, a chocolate and coffee pampering station, a silent auction, children’s activities and more. Tickets are $15 presale and $20 on the day of the event. www.kauaichocolateandcoffeefestival.com

The second annual Hawaii Beer Fest is set for July 13 on the Great Lawn of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. Presented by Kurious Productions and Ohana Broadcast Co., the event offers guests an opportunity to sample more than 120 craft and draft beers from select international, continental U.S. and Hawaii breweries. The Oahu festival will also include food and retail booths, adult party games, and new winter releases from local and continental breweries. A portion of the festival’s proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Honolulu. www.hawaiibeerfest.com

The 42nd annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, is set for July 20 and 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of historic Iolani Palace. The non-competitive Oahu hula event will feature performances from award-winning Hawaii halau hula (hula groups) in celebration of the Hawaiian dance art and its continued perpetuation. The festival honors Hawaiian monarch King Kamehameha V, born Lot Kapuaiwa, who helped reprise hula in the 1850s. www.moanaluagardensfoundation.org/2019-prince-lot-hula-festival

MEETINGS, CONVENTIONS AND INCENTIVES

Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu offers 39,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor flexible meeting space framed by native flora, palm trees, water pools, rock waterfalls and evening torch lighting. According to the resort team, the property’s new 12,000-square-foot Koloa Grand ballroom “combines state-of-the-industry technology with a warm, modern aesthetic,” accommodating up to 1,000 guests and available for conversion into three rooms – Poipu, Napali and Waimea – for smaller events. The Napali and Waimea rooms can also be converted into three breakout rooms. The ballroom extends out to the resort’s East Event Lawn, adding 8,000 square feet and accommodating an additional 800 guests, while the resort’s 13,300-square-foot West Event Lawn can accommodate 800 guests. The resort is also home to an outdoor volleyball court, soccer field, putting green and 350,000-gallon pool with a swim-through grotto, waterfalls and infinity edge. www.koloalandingresort.com

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About HTUSA
Hawaii Tourism United States (HTUSA), managed by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) for marketing management services in the continental U.S. The HTA, the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, 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 Hawaiian Islands, visit gohawaii.com.