What's New in Hawaii - March 2017

Aloha! Spring makes for an exciting time in the Hawaiian Islands. From the start of whale watching season to breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, there’s no better time to visit the Hawaiian Islands. Included below are new updates and developments for meetings, conventions and incentives in the Hawaiian Islands from hotel and meeting venue renovations to new and engaging activities and creative programs.   

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Undergoing a $115 million renovation, the Pacific Beach Hotel on Oahu is being transformed into a tranquil oasis in the heart of Waikiki that will reenter the market as the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach in the fall of 2017.  As of December 2016, all guestrooms have been renovated and most public areas, including a 280,000-gallon oceanarium and lively lobby bar, are scheduled for a May 2017 unveiling. The property will also feature a stunning saltwater infinity pool, private cabanas, a beer garden, and two new restaurants by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto scheduled to open later in the year. www.pacificbeachhotel.com

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, sits on 40 lushly landscaped acres along Wailea Beach, Maui. Built in 1991, the resort’s $70 million refresh is completed with a recent overhaul of 780 rooms and suites including a new deluxe suite category – Honuaula Suites – to meet the demands of families. The new 1-bedroom suites are 1,110 square feet and start at $1,849 per night. Newly refreshed restaurants, lounges, Spa Grande and digital signage round out the renovations. www.grandwailea.com

New sports courts recently made their debut at Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) on Oahu, the State’s largest meeting space. The fully portable sports courts, which can be configured to simultaneously stage up to 28 regulation volleyball or badminton matches, 18 high school basketball games, or 11 futsal (indoor soccer) courts. HCC also has acquired a regulation NBA- and NCAA-approved basketball court with a solid wood floor. In addition to volleyball, badminton, basketball and futsal, the courts can also accommodate tournaments and events for wrestling, gymnastics, martial arts, dance, cheerleading, group fitness activities, and table tennis. Event planners can add elevated seating as an option for spectators. www.meethawaii.com/convention-center/

Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club on Oahu is excited to debut as a brand new, revitalized hotel this Spring. After undergoing a $55.4 million redevelopment and rebranding project to attract the next generation of travelers, the hotel will transform to elevate its guest experience. All 563 oceanfront guest rooms and suites will be enhanced, including the hotel’s new 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar, improved meeting spaces, and a modernized lobby featuring an art installation designed by acclaimed Hawaii-based artist, Kaili Chun. www.princeresortshawaii.com/hawaii-prince-hotel-waikiki

The historic Hawaii Theatre on Oahu is now open for meetings and events. Consider the “Pride of the Pacific” for your next performance, fundraiser, corporate meeting, or other special event. The auditorium capacity is 1,350 total (585 orchestra level and 765 balcony level). Catering kitchen and bar service is available. Opened in 1922 and located in Oahu’s vibrant Chinatown neighborhood, Hawaii Theatre is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. It reopened in 1996 after an extensive restoration and has been recognized by the League of Historic American Theatre as the 2005 Outstanding Historic Theatre in America. In 2006, Hawaii Theatre Center received a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. www.hawaiitheatre.com

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa recently completed a sustainability-focused and Maui-inspired renovation with a creation of a new outdoor space named the Halona Kai event lawn and expansions to the resort’s Monarchy Ballroom and Regency Club. The new Halona Kai event lawn is more than 9,500 square feet with capacity for up to 500 guests for seated events or receptions overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The remodeled Monarchy Ballroom is over 18,000 square feet with the flexibility to be divided into seven breakout rooms, and leads into an open-air pre-function space. The newly redesigned Regency Club has been relocated to the lobby level for easy accessibility and now offers a larger outdoor terrace with breathtaking ocean views and the resort’s Oriental Gardens. www.maui.regency.hyatt.com

Kauai Marriott Resort on Kauai recently debuted the Firepit Ocean Lanai earlier this year. Featuring small bites by Kukui’s and enchanting views of Kalapaki Beach, the Firepit Ocean Lanai is a popular gathering place for relaxing in the evening. Groups of 10 – 25 can book the space for an intimate cocktail reception under the stars around three custom-built lava rock fire pits. www.marriotthawaii.com/kauai-marriott-resort/

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the island of Hawaii is proud to announce the new Kaunaoa Ballroom and Terrace. At a little over 3,540 square feet, the ballroom features floor to ceiling glass sliding doors guaranteeing the best ocean view. In addition, the resort also features a new Kona Boardroom and Vista Decks, which overlooks Kaunaoa Bay and is perfect for an intimate event.  Manta, the resort’s restaurant has also reopened following a transformation and presents awe-inspiring oceanfront dining. www.princeresortshawaii.com/mauna-kea-beach-hotel

Award-winning San Francisco-based designer Anthony Laurino, who also designed sister property Shoreline Hotel Waikiki on Oahu—both managed by Filament Hospitality—as well as notable California properties, just completed the island-chic hotel’s stunning design refresh. Inspired by nature’s elements, Laurino brings a brand-new look to the 81-room colorful and contemporary family-friendly offering. The unique redesign embraces a clean and neutral background palette with accents of bold colors, mixed with natural woods and relaxing fabrics. www.shorelinehotelwaikiki.com


Take in the beautiful sunset while enjoying delicious appetizers on Atlantis Adventures sunset cruise that travels along Oahu’s famed Waikiki coastline. This cruise experience is nothing short of sophisticated aboard a yacht-like vessel, the Majestic. Relax in the ship’s spacious cocktail lounge or breezy open-air deck, perfect for soaking up the spectacular scenery from every angle. As the warm sun sets, sit back and unwind with a cocktail while enjoying live music and entertainment amongst Honolulu’s twinkling city lights. www.atlantisadventures.com

Patterns, intricate and vibrant, are a trademark of Hawaiian artistic expression, whether stamped onto barkcloth, drawn onto gourds, woven into mats or pricked into skin. In celebration of Hawaiian creative vision, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum on Oahu presents the upcoming exhibit Hulia Ano: Inspired Patterns, on display in the J. M. Long Gallery from March 18–Oct. 16, 2017. www.bishopmuseum.org

Inspired by ancient Polynesian navigational tradition, Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is pleased to showcase #FSWayfinders, an ongoing weekly series featuring art, culture, history and in-depth workshops. The recently launched program showcases a myriad of experiences related to Hawaii and the Pacific, weaving together traditions of the past with an occasional modern spin. Workshop opportunities include bamboo wood carving, haku lei making, lauhala weaving, ancient healing practices and sarong dying, to name a few. www.fourseasons.com/oahu

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public throughout 2017. ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Hawaii Pacific Parks Association. Upcoming events include “Wilderness Hike to Nāpau Crater,” “Make Hū Kukui” and “After Dark in the Park with Hawaiian Bats.” www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

For summer travelers, Hawaiian Paddle Sports offers a seasonal canoe adventure to Honolua Bay from June to September. As strong winds make for a challenging paddle to Honolua Bay, mid- to advanced-level adventurers are rewarded with a stunning and rare perspective of the raw, undeveloped coastline of Northwestern Maui. During the fun, educational and cultural tour, guests will learn how Hawaiians thrived in the islands prior to Western contact with hands-on activities. Certified marine naturalists then lead an interpretive snorkel tour based on crowds, water clarity, and wind direction. Free digital photography is provided. www.hawaiianpaddlesports.com    

Holokai Adventure’s guided Heeia Fishpond Exploration on Oahu is an authentic Hawaiian activity that’s off the beaten path. Your adventure includes the basics of kayaking and ocean safety, then take to the water to learn the cultural significance of ancient Hawaiian fishponds and the restoration process. Your instructors will talk about the importance of their “sustainable” existence to our ancestors, why we need to learn from them and how we can apply the same type of thinking to our current times. www.holokaiadventures.com

In addition to the stellar shopping and dining at International Market Place guests can enjoy “O Nā Lani Sunset Stories”, a free daily hula and storytelling performance that kicks off at sunset with a ceremonial lighting of the Lamakū Torch Tower that stands on Kalākaua Avenue. Honoring the beloved Queen Emma, the show highlights stories, traditions and culture of this special gathering place. Guests can also enjoy a Cultural Journey of the center, visiting 25 plaques describing the rich natural history of the site, its people and Queen Emma’s legacy, visit Customer Service for details. www.shopinternationalmarketplace.com

Kong: Skull Island opens in theaters on March 10, 2017, see king-sized movie props in the filming locations at Kualoa Private Nature Reserve on the Movie Sites, and Premier Movie Sites tourswww.kualoa.com.

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) continues to be the fastest growing ocean sport in Maui. Whether new to open-ocean paddling, looking to freshen up SUP skills, or embark on a coastal sightseeing paddle to view the beautiful marine life from above and below Maui’s water, Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the newest company for private SUP adventures. Skilled instructors get their students up on a board right away so they can see Maui’s water from a new perspective. Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the ultimate adventure partner for SUP lessons, tours and rentals. www.mauistandupaddleboarding.com

Pacific Historic Parks on Oahu is happy to announce its 3 new tours for the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center that began March 1, 2017. These incredible new tours are; admission to the Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center ($4.95), Pearl Harbor Historic Tour ($9.95) and our new USS Arizona Memorial Deluxe Tour ($12.50). www.pacifichistoricparks.org

The Ritz-Carlton Spa has made its debut on the island of O’ahu at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach, welcoming guests to discover customized treatments and services inspired by traditional Hawaiian healing methods and Hawai’i’s natural surroundings. Located on the 8th floor lobby level of the newly opened luxury residential resort, the 3,400-square-foot spa serves as a tranquil respite above the vibrant and bustling streets of Waikiki. www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/hawaii/waikiki

The Royal Kona Resort on the island of Hawaii has successfully completed the resurfacing of its four tennis courts. The Royal Kona Tennis Club has the relaxed feel of a resort club, yet is every bit a championship facility, featuring a pro shop and four Latexite courts available for day or night play. The club hosts special events throughout the year. www.royalkona.com

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa welcomes groups to honor the history of the Hawaiian Islands through distinctive cultural programming led by cultural advisor Jack Stone, who works with in-house groups to organize authentic cultural experiences and teach about ancient Hawaii through traditions like coconut husking, taro pounding, bamboo stamping, lei making, hula dancing, ukulele lessons, and more. Born and raised on the island of Molokai, Stone welcomes the opportunity to share his passion about Hawaiian culture and music, his family history, the local environment and living pono (right) with groups and leisure guests staying at the resort. www.sheraton-maui.com   

Enjoy the scenic beauty of Kauai’s northern shore on the Makai Golf Course Sunset Tour at the St. Regis Princeville Resort. Created for golfers and non-golfers alike, this 18 –hole golf cart tour begins in the late afternoon where participants have an opportunity to view Hawaiian seabirds and signature golf holes along the ocean.  Named by National Geographic Traveler Magazine, as “Top Five Most Scenic Golf Course Settings In the World”, The Makai Golf Course Sunset Tour is sure to please! www.makaigolf.com



BLT Market at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach on Oahu offers guests a unique dining experience with expansive views of Waikiki and a daily-changing menu showcasing the produce of Hawaii’s local farmers. New to the restaurant’s offerings is an energizing brunch and new dessert menu. Featured offerings include Kona Orange Cheesecake, Coconut-Calamansi Gateau, Yuzu Panna Cotta with ginger ice cream and Frozen Chocolate Lavender Soufflé. www.bltmarket.com

Guests are invited to indulge at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s Coast Grille, the island of Hawaii’s only oyster bar. Launched earlier this year, Coast Grille is excited to debut The "Big Island Locavore,” a monthly prix fixe menu inspired by the island of Hawaii’s seasonal local ingredients. Included are fresh ingredients from Chef’s garden such as fresh honey and herbs, providing guests with an experience unlike any other. www.princeresortshawaii.com/hapuna-beach-prince-hotel

The newly opened Flour & Barley Brick Oven Pizza on Oahu offers delicious brick oven-fired pizzas (with a few signature island specialties) and Italian-inspired cuisine. With a seated capacity of 115 guests and a reception capacity of 145 guests, Flour & Barley is the ideal location to host business lunches or events and offers indoor and outdoor seating options. www.flourandbarley.com

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort boasts a refresh of modern Hawaiian details, a subtle nod to ocean themes including voyaging, and the debut of award-winning Chef Mike Lofaro’s Hawaii Seasonal Cuisine menu. Smartly executed to spotlight the main ingredient with simple and balanced flavors, Lofaro's Hawaiian Seasonal Cuisine screams the ocean while introducing locally-grown produce.  Lofaro is the reigning Best Chef on Maui and is a 2016 EMMY™ Award-winner for his television show SEARCH Hawaii, Where Food Meets Culture. www.grandwailea.com

Celebrating the abundance and variety of quality foods and ingredients on Maui, Japengo is excited to announce its 2017 Maui Tastemakers Series featuring new flavors, partners and even more dining experiences than previous years. New this year, due to its popularity, Japengo will offer a Maui Tastemakers menu each Friday every other month available to every guest dining in. Upcoming tastemakers dinners include Adoboloco Hot Sauce in March, Ocean Vodka in May, and Simpli-Fresh Produce and Maui Shrub in July. www.maui.regency.hyatt.com

Meeting attendees have a new venue to gather for a morning coffee, a grab-n-go snack or hand-crafted cocktails and small plates in the evenings at Mauna Lani Bay & Bungalows’ Honu Bar on the island of Hawaii. Overlooking the honu (turtle) pond, Honu Bar features nightly live music so guests can enjoy a nightcap and delectable desserts after a busy day of fun adventures or meetings. The extensive menu invites guests to savor pupus or stay a while and experience the flavors of the islands with a light dinner. www.maunalani.com

Relax, talk story and taste delicious local creations at the Ohana Table at Black Rock Kitchen on the island of Maui, a family-style dining concept for parties of 8 to 10 guests. With inspired dishes curated by Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa’s culinary team, the menu is priced at $89++ per person and includes choice of two starters, two entrees and two desserts per party, all of which are served family-style. The Ohana Table is available for one reservation per evening. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. www.sheraton-maui.com/dining/ohanatable

The Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay announced the opening of the new Holoholo Market, scheduled for completion in quarter two.  This open market concept specializes in grab and go sandwiches, snacks, salads, cold and hot drinks, and an espresso bar.  Open from 6:00am to 12:00 midnight, the Holoholo Market offers modern convenience for all food and beverage needs. www.sheratonkona.com

Encompassing all the tradition of a classic steakhouse with Chef Michael Mina’s modern flair, STRIPSTEAK is the steakhouse Waikiki has been waiting for. Located in the newly redeveloped International Market Place, STRIPSTEAK Waikiki’s Private Dining program is ideal for leisure or business events. The private dining room space accommodates up to 36 guests for a seated dinner and overlooks the Market Place’s century old bayan tree. The restaurant is also available to reserve in its’ entirety – up to 300 seats. Open for lunch, dinner and late night, Chef Michael Mina has created a fun and innovative menu, bold in flavor and diverse in inspiration. www.michaelmina.net/restaurants/hawaii/stripsteak-waikiki



Honolulu Biennial, on the island of Oahu presented by the Honolulu Biennial Foundation, is a new, multi-site, contemporary visual arts festival that will take place throughout the city from March 8 – May 8, 2017. This inaugural event will showcase the diversity of ideas, art and culture of more than 30 artists from Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, Asia, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The event will last two months and will highlight Honolulu as a fresh destination for international and national arts and cultural visitors, fostering a cultural awakening and repositioning of Honolulu as a central to the Pacific-wide growth of arts, technology and commerce. www.honolulubiennial.org

Hosted by Maui County Farm Bureau, the Maui County Agricultural Festival shares, celebrates, and educates residents and visitors about Maui’s local agriculture on April 1, 2017. Held at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapū, the Agricultural Fest includes Grand Taste Education, cooking demonstrations, livestock exhibits, entertainment and Maui-centric food booths. www.mauicountyfarmbureau.org

Mele Mei, which translates to “May Hawaiian Music Month” in Hawaiian, is a series of musical performances held at various venues throughout Hawaii and Japan. Featuring more than 70 performances, Mele Mei provides both residents and visitors from around the world a chance to immerse themselves in the islands’ local music and culture. This year’s impressive schedule of artists and industry icons will take place at various hotels and venues statewide and feature entertainment from ukulele and steel guitar to traditional Hawaiian music and hula. www.melemei.com

The 47th Annual Ukulele Festival Hawaii is set for Sunday, July 16, 2017 in world-famous Waikiki on Oahu. Presented by Tony Group Autoplex, the 2017 Ukulele Festival Hawaii will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will feature a star-studded line-up of musicians from around the world along with the Roy Sakuma 700-piece Ukulele Band composed of children and adults. Other festival offerings include free ukulele lessons, ukulele displays and giveaways by ukulele manufacturers, food booths, and Ukulele Festival souvenir t-shirts available for sale. www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org



In coordination with the new meeting and event spaces, Hyatt Regency Maui has launched a new meeting group offer which includes one suite upgrade per 25 rooms on peak, one Regency Club upgrade per 10 rooms on peak, 50% off all meeting space internet fees, 20% off all spa services at the Marilyn Monroe Spa, 30% off green fees at the Kaanapali Golf Courses and 50% off self-parking. www.maui.regency.hyatt.com

Companies looking to celebrate their teams are now able to do so on Kauai’s South Shore at the Koa Kea Resort. New catering menus by acclaimed Executive Chef Noelani Planas and a new executive meeting package conveniently priced per person are now available, making Koa Kea a more intimate and inconspicuous hotel option for executive retreats and corporate incentive trips in Hawaii. www.meritagecollection.com/koakea/kauai-meetings

About Meet Hawaii
Meet Hawaii is a collaboration of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) to reinforce the brand of the Hawaiian Islands as a world-class destination for business meetings, conventions, and incentive programs. The marketing efforts of the Meet Hawaii team are overseen by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), 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 information about Meet Hawaii and the hosting of meetings, conventions and incentives, please visit MeetHawaii.com.  

Media Contacts:

Nathan Kam                                                                 
Anthology Marketing Group                                                       

Michelle Hee                                                                
Anthology Marketing Group