November/December 2014



  • Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa on Oahu began work on $100 million in extensive renovations to 1,230 guest rooms. Completed in phases, three floors at a time, the expected guest room remodel is slated for completion in March 2015. Enhancements will include luxury pillow-top beds, bidet-style toilets, a refreshed color scheme, and modern Hawaiian décor.
  • Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach completed a $50 million enhancement and will finalize renovation updates to its Kauai and Puna Ballrooms at the end of 2014. The largest on the island, the Kauai Ballroom can accommodate up to 1,200 for receptions and 1,000 for banquets, whereas the Puna Ballroom provides 3,150 square feet of flexible meeting space. Additionally, all guest rooms and suites at Kauai Marriott Resort have been furnished with a modern interior design inspired by the ocean and garden surroundings.
  • Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore officially completed resort-wide renovations including upgrades to all 410 main building guest rooms and hallways, installation of 1,500 solar panels on its roof, and opening an 11,000-square-foot Nalu Kinetic Spa and two restaurants–North Shore Kula Grill and Paakai and Surfer, The Bar. Additionally, the resort launched its new lineup of experiences and activities such as stand-up paddling (SUP), snorkeling, on-site helicopter tours and horseback riding, and hot hula led by certified personal trainers.
  • Sitting on 15 acres of Maui countryside, Hotel Wailea a former Japanese private members club, wrapped up a multi-million dollar renovation. The 72 one-bedroom suites feature a beach house design with a new pool and private residential-style cabanas, and an orchard-to-glass apothecary bar. Inside the contemporary suites, architectural elements such as coral and limestone walls, smoked white oak floors, and custom-crafted Hawaiian ohia cabinetry are fused with island aesthetics.
  • Undergoing an extensive renovation, Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort on Maui will replenish its 780 guest rooms, 100,000 square feet of meeting space, spa, and swimming pools with new furniture, artwork, televisions, LED lighting, and a fiber optic Wi-Fi upgrade throughout the resort. Scheduled for completion in early 2015, the grand refresh will provide a new room product that is contemporary and meets guests’ needs.
  • The Resort Group, one of Hawaii’s largest landowners of resort developments; Westbank, Canada’s premier luxury hotel and residential developer; and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have confirmed plans for Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, an integrated luxury beach resort and private residences that will be the jewel in the crown of the master-planned Ko Olina development.
  • Chef Ed Kenney’s new full-service restaurant, Kaimuki Superette opened at the corner of 9th and Waialae avenue on Oahu, offering sandwiches, soups, salads, sides, and sundries, in a casual setting with sit-down tables and stools at counters. Using local ingredients from local producers such as MAO Organic Farms, Shinsato Farm, Kolea Farm, and Ho Farms, seasonal specialties include a South Shore Hee (octopus) Roll to an open-faced Porchetta sandwich. The new store also sells pickled roots, jarred tomatoes, and handmade pasta.
  • Hawaii Regional Cuisine co-founding chef Peter Merriman’s upcountry restaurant, Merriman’s Waimea on Hawaii Island will undergo major renovations to include a new front entrance to the historic restaurant, as well as the addition of a covered open-air garden lanai (patio) for seating, and a sit-down bar and lounge. The dining room space will also be restored with beautiful ohia hardwood floors, contemporary lighting, and a state-of-the-art sound system.
  • Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop made its opening debut as a brunch-focused eatery in the heart of Oahu’s Chinatown district. Chef and owner Brian Chan, a former chef at Restaurant Epic, creates Southern-inspired comfort food with Creole and Latin influences. All-day brunch themes change quarterly, but offer a varied range of soul food from shrimp and grits to Seoul-inspired meatloaf.
  • Pi Artisan Pizzeria opened at The Outlets of Maui on Front Street in Lahaina. The 132-seat restaurant serves artisan pizzas, classic Italian sandwiches and panini, fresh salads, and desserts. The heart of the restaurant is its 8,000-pound kiawe wood-burning oven fired at 800 degrees to produce a crispy, rustic pizza in five minutes. Additionally, the oceanfront restaurant uses local ingredients for its fresh bread and pizza dough, mozzarella cheese, and sausages that are made in-house daily.


  • There’s a new buzz going around at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa on Oahu. Promoting sustainable practices, the hotel introduced an on-site apiary, which is home to 80,000 honeybees producing honey that will be harvested and used in the resort’s restaurants, spa treatments, and in the Regency Club. The initiative is part of Hyatt’s “Hula Meli” program, which challenges its chefs to focus on sourcing locally for ingredients in environmentally conscious ways.
  • Travaasa Hana, Maui added a new outrigger canoe adventure in Hana Bay to its extensive resort programming. The 1.5-hour journey is exclusive to hotel guests and is offered several times throughout the week on Travaasa Hana’s custom-made canoe, Wananalua. During the tour, expert local guides will teach the basics of canoeing and its significance to the Hawaiian culture.
  • The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center on Oahu is now offering the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park as a new offsite venue for groups. The center provides full service catering with an array of name chefs, a wide selection of audiovisual and entertainment options including nostalgic WWII-era singers or Polynesian dance, and private touring of the USS Bowfin Submarine, waterfront memorial, and museum. With a special use permit, events can also include exclusive access to the USS Arizona Memorial’s two museums and theaters.
  • Maverick Helicopters, a division of Maverick Aviation, announced its latest helicopter operations in Maui. Taking flight starting in spring 2015, the company plans to offer new Maui tours in its EC-130 ECO-Star Helicopters, which feature individual seating for up to seven passengers. During the flight, guests can enjoy personal narration from the helicopter pilot through voice-activated headsets as the group explores the iconic and remote Hawaii scenery.
  • Ocean Sports, one of Hawaii Island’s premier ocean recreation companies, has introduced an innovative “Fitness Activity Program” at Anaehoomalu Bay in Waikoloa, which includes morning and twilight beach yoga classes and stand-up paddleboard yoga taught on the calm waters of the bay. Additionally, the company offers a cultural twist to traditional water aerobics with “Aqua Hula.” All fitness levels are welcome at Ocean Sports’ classes, which are led by qualified fitness instructors.
  • Experience ancient Hawaii, from the mountains to the sea at Maui Hawaiian Village where the restoration of a historical valley is currently in progress. Take a tour through the lush forest aside majestic mountains, surrounded by archaic rock walls, waterways, and Hawaiian agriculture to learn how native Hawaiians have thrived for generations by cultivating the land and preserving their resources. Hands-on activities and demonstrations in authentic food preparation, clothing design, and shelter are also offered during the tour.
  • The National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai announced the opening of its new self-guided Biodiversity Trail, a winding 800-foot walk designed to tell the story of plant evolution over the last 450 million years. Located at the McBryde Garden in Lawai Valley, the new experience leads visitors through a shady moss tunnel full of swirling mist to more complex plants including ferns, fruits, and flowers. The trail represents the interconnectedness of life and is an adventure in time travel through plant history.
  • The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art opened the Mughal Suite at Shangri La to the public for the first time in the property’s history after years of extensive repairs and restoration. The marble and mirror-lined private living quarters inspired by the Taj Mahal is unveiled to showcase Duke’s Indian collections. Admission to Shangri La is by guided tour only with advance reservations.
  • Enjoy the essence of paradise and experience Hawaiian spa treatments at Koloa Landing Spa, the newest amenity to Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach. The relaxing and spacious spa consists of a reception area with retail space, locker rooms, pre-treatment area, manicure and pedicure suite, and private treatment rooms including couples rooms with a private outdoor lanai.


  • The annual Waimea Ocean Film Festival on Hawaii Island will be held at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii from Jan. 1-4, 2015 and from Jan. 5-9 at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu. The nine-day festival brings a combination of award-winning films, breakfast talks, filmmaker Q&As, receptions, art exhibits, and activities to engage and educate attendees of the greater understanding of the ocean environment and island culture.
  • Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, Kapalua’s famed Plantation Course on Maui will host the Hyundai Tournament of Champions from Jan. 8-12, 2015. Featuring champions from the 2014 PGA TOUR season, such stars include defending champion Zach Johnson, FedEx Cup winner Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Hunter Mahan, and many of the tour’s most exciting players.
  • Kauai’s largest and oldest annual festival, Waimea Town Celebration takes place from Feb. 14-21, 2015 to honor the town’s storied history. Tight-knit community members and visitors gather together to celebrate a week of cultural and recreational events including a Hawaiian rodeo, canoe and stand-up paddle races, ukulele contests, and cultural exhibits with continuous live entertainment, food, crafts, and games.
  • Indulge in craft beer at the Kona Brewers Festival on Hawaii Island beginning March 12-14, 2015. Held on the beach and luau grounds at King Kamehameha’s Courtyard Kona Beach Hotel, the festival draws thousands of people together to celebrate the creation of the Kona Brewing Company in 1996. The Kona Brewers Festival main event is the culmination of a multi-day celebration that includes a brewer’s paina and art auction, home brewers competition, a golf tournament, island style cuisine, and live entertainment.
  • Experience a cultural extravaganza at the Honolulu Festival held from March 6-8, 2015 at various locations on Oahu. Promoting economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region, the festival includes educational programs and activities ranging from dance performances to traditional art demonstrations by artisans from Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Tahiti, Taiwan, and the rest of the United States. Admission to the three-day festival is free and easily accessible to residents and visitors alike.
  • The 23rd annual East Maui Taro Festival will be held on April 25, 2015 in Hana. The popular and lively community festival is a signature event for Maui, which celebrates taro and kalo as a staple of the Hawaiian diet. The event is free to the public and features a farmers market, poi pounding, arts and crafts, lauhala weaving, music, and hula.


  • Mokulele Airlines introduced four new routes to expand its inter-island service between Kalaeloa (Oahu) and MolokaiKalaeloa and Kapalua (Maui), Kapalua and Molokai, and Kapalua and Hana (Maui). Effective Oct. 20, the flights operate using nine-passenger Cessna Grand Caravans.
  • Makani Kai Air announced a new schedule to expand its Molokai service by offering three more daily round-trip flights between Honolulu International Airport and Molokai Airport on Sundays and four more round trips on Fridays.


  • Four Hawaiian Islands were honored in this year’s Condé Nast Traveler magazine Readers’ Choice Awards for “Top 30 Islands in the World.” Maui was ranked No. 3, Kauai at No. 4, Hawaii Island at No. 10, and Oahu at No. 16. The annual survey ranked locations based on more than a million votes by 77,000 readers.
  • Condé Nast Traveler readers rated their “Top 25 Resorts in Hawaii” for the annual Readers’ Choice Awards for 2014. The top five spots went to Wailea Beach Villas at No. 1, Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele at No. 2, Honua Kai Resort & Spa at No. 3, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort at No. 4, and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu at No. 5.
  • Travel + Leisure’s eighth annual “America’s Favorite Cities” report, selected by readers nationwide, ranked Honolulu as the No. 1 beach getaway destination in the U.S. Additionally, Honolulu ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for weather, No. 2 for a romantic escape, No. 3 for an adventure vacation, and No. 4 for a spa vacation.
  • Discerning readers of Travel + Leisure casted their votes to determine the magazine’s 2014 “World’s Best Hotels in the U.S. for Families.” The six Hawaii properties rounding out the top 50 list include:


  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii (No. 1)


  • Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (No. 17)
  • Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort (No. 24)


  • Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (No. 27)

Hawaii Island

  • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu (No. 5)
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village (No. 36)

For more information, visit

  • Fodor’s Travel recognized Holualoa Inn on Hawaii Island and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu to its “2014 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards” winners. The distinction designates both hotels as outstanding properties as selected by Fodor’s editors and travel experts, identifying high style, excellent service, and a remarkable experience for guests.
  • Golf Magazine released its guide to the finest public-access golf courses in America. Four Hawaii courses made the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play 2014” list with the Plantation Course at No. 19, Prince Course at No. 24, Mauna Kea Golf Course at No. 33, and The Challenge at Manele at No. 40.
  • Hawaiian Airlines scored the highest marks for its on-time performance among the nation’s largest carriers in August, arriving on schedule 94 percent of the time as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report ranks the nation’s 16 largest air carriers. Dot.Gov and
  • Two Maui restaurants are among TripAdvisor’s annual Traveler’s Choice awards for “Top 25 Favorite Fine Dining Restaurants in the U.S.” Based on the reviews and opinions of TripAdvisor users, Mama’s Fish House in Paia and Lahaina Grill are ranked 13th and 14th respectively.
  • Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver for Existing Building Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for its commitment to environmental sustainability. The property recently completed energy-saving renovations throughout the resort including reduced flow shower heads, complimentary digital newspapers, motion-sensing air conditioning, and recycling receptacles. The certification is the first for any resort in the state of Hawaii.


About HVCB
The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, for marketing management services in North America. The 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.

Media Contacts:
Darlene Morikawa
Director, PR/Communications
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Rebecca Pang
Senior Account Supervisor
Anthology Public Relations



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