A constantly evolving destination, the islands of Hawaii are continually adding new tourism draws and accommodations.
While arrivals and visitor spend were down last year following the eruption at Kīlauea volcano, Hawaii is showing positive signs of a return to form this year, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority in its latest visitor statistic reports.
Here’s a look at what’s new for the destination this fall, courtesy of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
- The nine-suite ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki will open this month, to “redefine the luxury hotel experience in Waikīkī for guests who seek the ultra-exclusive with personalized service and privacy,” as described by management company Aqua-Aston Hospitality. 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, lānai Jacuzzi, full kitchen and inclusive luxury rental car. Public spaces will include a restaurant, rooftop infinity pool and spa.
- Slated to open this fall, Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani is now taking reservations for stays from Oct. 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.
- Honolulu’s White Sands Hotel , one of Waikīkī’s only remaining walk-up motels is undergoing a full restoration to its original 1960s glory, reopening this fall. A full revamp by Honolulu-based interior design house Vanguard Theory and architect Jason Selley will take an irreverent twist on Hawai‘i’s mid-century nostalgia. Focal points include a lush garden and a pool courtyard oasis complete with a bar-adjacent hot tub that will be a magnet for fun-loving patrons of Waikīkī. Culinary and cocktail concepts by Honolulu’s well-loved Fête restaurant group will re-think continental cuisine with elevated 1960’s throwback items.
Exploring the islands
- Kaua‘i Coffee Company’s new farm tour will escort 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.
- Hawaii Forest & Trail has launched a new private and exclusive tours for up to 12 guests. With a four-hour minimum, guests can choose to personalize the adventure or come on a waterfall swim, beach walk, two hikes, one with a mountain picnic. Transportation, snacks and beverages are included. Hawaii Forest & Trail also plans on unveiling a new O‘ahu trail tour on Palehua.
- 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.
- The annual Traditional Tattoo Festival, set this year for Oct. 25 - 28 at the Kohala Institute on the island of Hawai‘i, 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.
- The fourth annual Hawaiʻi Island Festival of Birds is set for Oct. 24 - 28, headquartered at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay on the island of Hawai‘i. The festival’s 2019 theme, “Wanderers and Migrants – Hawai‘i’s Unique Avian Visitors,” highlights the migratory and accidental avian visitors arriving in the Islands each year. Festival events and activities include Papahānaumokuākea 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 Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center and the Hawaiʻi Island Coast-to-Coast Birding Trail.
- The annual Kaua‘i Chocolate and Coffee Festival is set for Oct. 18 - 19 in historic Hanapēpē town. The public is invited to celebrate all things chocolate and coffee on Kaua‘i 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.
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