WHAT’S NEW IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS – WINTER 2018

HAWAII – If you’re planning a winter getaway to Hawaii, plan a visit to the recently reopened Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, indulge in the Hawaiian Islands’ many food festivals, or stay at one of its newly renovated hotels. We’ve got all of the details below, plus additional updates on just about everything else new statewide.

For additional updates regarding each island, please reference the appropriate newsletter of each Island Chapter: the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and Oahu Visitors Bureau.

NEW HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS

The Waikiki Parc Hotel on Oahu recently launched an estimated $60 million property overhaul with an expectation of reopening in 2019 as the Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani. The renamed property will feature 288 one- to two-bedroom suites, a new full-service restaurant, an eighth floor pool deck and bar, fitness center and hospitality lounge. The new lobby will feature custom light fixtures, vaulted ceilings and artwork in partnership with the Honolulu Museum of Art. www.halepuna.com

Highway West Vacations recently acquired the Kilauea Lodge in Volcano Village on the island of Hawaii with plans to begin renovations in the near future. Guests of the renovated lodge can look forward to a new covered outdoor dining lanai, new menu items inspired by a complete kitchen makeover, a refreshed dining room, and an expansion of the lodge’s gift shop and front-desk office. www.kilauealodge.com

The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach on Oahu debuted its Diamond Head Tower this month, marking the completion of Oahu’s first Ritz-Carlton Residences resort. The resort’s new 245-residence Diamond Head Tower complements its 307-residence Ewa Tower and includes an expanded spa with four treatment rooms and a relaxation lounge, and a 2,900-square-foot infinity pool with private cabanas. www.ritzcarlton.com/waikiki

The Shoreline Hotel Waikiki recently underwent a $4 million renovation to fit its new theme, “Neon Meets Nature.” The intent of the redesign, according to the Shoreline team, was drawing more millennial guests to stay at the boutique hotel. Colorful backdrops throughout the hotel are intended to make the Shoreline an Instagrammable hotel ideal for guests seeking multiple photo opportunities during their vacation. www.shorelinehotelwaikiki.com

CULINARY

Hawaii chefs Michelle Karr-Ueoka’s and Wade Ueoka’s newest Oahu concept eatery Burger Hale is a collaboration with award-winning chef Michael Mina, located on the Kuhio Avenue side of The Street Food Hall at International Market Place. The surfing-inspired burger joint offers a menu featuring three different types of burgers, hot dogs, specialty sandwiches, loco mocos, shave ice shakes and sides. The inspiration for the new menu also comes from the Ueokas’ passion for travel and blends traditional American fare with Asian flavors representing Hawaii’s diversity of cultures. www.thestreetsocialhouse.com

Kiawe Roots recently opened in Poipu on Kauai at The Shops at Kukuiula with a menu matching southern smoked barbecue with Asian and Latin flavors. The roots of Kiawe Roots go back to spring 2017 and owner/operators Mark and Tricia Ruiz’s launch of their food truck Roots in Culture. As the truck’s first anniversary in business approached, the Ruiz’s were presented with an opportunity to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Kiawe Roots is the result, open for brunch, happy hour and dinner. www.eatatkiawe.com

Knots Coffee Roasters and Wine Bar on Oahu, located in the Living Room of the recently renovated Queen Kapiolani Hotel Waikiki Beach, is one of the Waikiki’s newest purveyors of coffee and tea creations. Its menu of offerings also includes a selection of beers and wines to accompany the hotel’s sunset views and curated grab-and-go offerings for beach or park picnics. www.knotscoffee.com

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua resort on Maui recently unveiled its newest restaurant Ulana. Located in the space formerly occupied by the resort’s The Terrace restaurant, Ulana features newly reimagined interiors with textures and materials designed to reflect Maui’s natural elements. The restaurant’s new breakfast buffet aims to highlight the fresh flavors and tastes of the Islands and features an a la carte menu with many Ritz-Carlton Kapalua favorites.www.ritzcarlton.com/kapalua

ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES

Blue Hawaii Private and Photo Tours recently launched its Food and Sightseeing tour of Oahu. The scenic tour includes a culinary element aiming to offer guests a historical and cultural connection to the places visited and the food sampled at multiple food stops. www.bluehawaiiprivatetours.com

Hawaii Forest and Trail on the island of Hawaii has partnered with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park certified guides to showcase the new, strikingly changed landscape of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Guests of the outdoor adventure company’s new Volcano Unveiled tour experience will learn about and witness the most recent changes to Halemaumau crater that have forever altered Kilauea caldera. The tour also includes an off-road adventure on private land to explore Kauhi Cavern, a nature-crafted cavern featuring ceilings as high as 35 feet, golden walls of living microbial mats, an "upside-down" forest of roots descending from the ceiling, and other notable features. www.hawaii-forest.com

In September, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park officially reopened the most-visited portion of its vast acreage and returned to its regular 24-hours-a-day operation. Some sections and features of the island of Hawaii park remain closed while assessments and repairs are made to some trails, structures and infrastructure. But current visitors to the park are able to view the dramatically changed Kilauea volcano caldera, home to a now larger and deeper Halemaumau crater. Shuttered areas of the park will open to the public as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopens in phases. www.nps.gov/havo

Holo Holo Charters has teamed up with the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) for its Na Waiwai Garden and Sailing adventure tour on Kauai. The new, guided land-and-sea tour takes guests on a walk through NTBG’s gardens to learn about the history of Hawaiian cultural sustainability practices, followed by a relaxing sunset dinner sail along Kauai’s south shore. Fifty percent of all tour ticket sales go back to the nonprofit NTBG as a donation.www.holoholokauaiboattours.com

Koieie Fishpond Hawaiian Cultural Canoe Tours is offering a 90-minute paddle in a Hawaiian outrigger canoe, taking guests on an escorted journey of the South Maui coastline. Guests on the tour learn about the history of Koieie Fishpond and its construction by early Hawaiians, and gain knowledge of the Hawaiian ahupuaa land division system and the Hawaiian language from the tour’s local guides, who also share cultural stories and traditional chants. Proceeds from the tour help support the nonprofit organization Aoao O Na Loko Ia O Maui, which is leading efforts revitalizing Koieie Fishpond. Tours are offered daily from 8 to 9:30 a.m. www.mauifishpond.com

Hawaiian Legacy Forest at Gunstock Ranch offers guests an opportunity to plant a legacy monarch milo tree on acreage overlooking Oahu’s North Shore and personalize their tree-planting adventure any way they wish, all while taking in sweeping views of the coastline. Visitors on each of Hawaiian Legacy’s four tours are invited to plant their own monarch milo sapling provided by the nonprofit. The trees are native to Hawaii and known for their showy yellow flowers.www.gunstockranch.com

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

The Maui Sunday Market, which recently kicked off in Kahului, features more than 30 vendors – including crafters, artisans, food purveyors and more – 10 food trucks, live entertainment and activities spotlighting Hawaiian cultural traditions and practices. The weekly market happens each Sunday, from 4-8 p.m., in the Kahului Shopping Center parking lot. Public admission and parking are free. www.mauisundaymarket.com

Poipu Beach Resort Association on Kauai is set to host its third annual Poipu Food and Wine Festival, from November 7-10. The four-day event celebrates Kauai’s diverse culinary resources and talents, and supports the Culinary Arts Program at Kauai Community College. www.poipufoodandwinefestival.com

The island of Hawaii’s Kona Coffee Cultural Festival will again put together nearly 50 coffee events over 10 days, set this year for November 9-18. One of Hawaii’s oldest food events, the festival will celebrate its 48th annual go-round with a Kona Coffee cupping competition, an evening lantern parade, hands-on cultural demonstrations, Kona coffee farm and mill tours, art exhibits, the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant and more. A Kona Coffee Cultural Festival button, which may be purchased at multiple locations in Kailua-Kona, is required for entry to all official events. Individual event admission charges may also apply. www.konacoffeefest.com

The Hawaii Convention Center on Oahu will host the Sunset Mele and Night Market on December 14, from 4-9 p.m. The free community event is set to feature live entertainment, a family-friendly movie, a pop-up marketplace, artisan workshops, local eats and drinks. www.hawaiiconventioncenter.com

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