LIHUE, KAUAI = (January 18, 2011) While most of the country is enduring the chilliness of winter, Kauai is hot with a one-and-only American Girl of the Year, plenty of island movie buzz, and special savings. Winter is an ideal time of year to visit the Garden Island and reinvigorate the spirit with its warm weather, exciting outdoor adventures, lush natural beauty and breathtaking beaches, and perhaps a glimpse of the island’s biggest seasonal visitors, the humpback whales that call the Hawaiian waters home during winter.
“One of the great reasons to visit Kauai this time of year is to escape the winter blues and be rejuvenated by the warmth and energy and activities of our beautiful island,” said Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau. “Winter is a wonderful season on Kauai and a time to enjoy our unique festivals and events and take advantage of seasonal savings on lodging.”
Following are events and news items that are “blooming” in winter on the Garden Isle of Kauai, including special offers that add even more value to a visit during the off-peak travel season.
Kauai’s Kanani Akina: 2011 American Girl of the Year!
American Girl kicked off its 25th birthday celebration with the debut of Kanani Akina, the 2011 Girl of the Year doll. Kanani’s heartwarming story of sharing aloha takes place on Kauai and is told in two books that showcase qualities that make the Garden Island such a treasured place. In the first book, Kanani helps rescue a baby Hawaiian Monk Seal and raises awareness about protecting this endangered species. In support of educational programs for endangered animals, American Girl is donating $1 for every Kanani plush monk seal sold in 2011 to the National Wildlife Federation (up to $100,000). www.americangirl.com/girloftheyear/2011
Lights! Camera! Movies on Kauai!
Hollywood loves Kauai! The island has served as a location for the filming of more than 60 movies and TV productions over the past half-century. Moviegoers this year will see the island’s beautiful scenery in three major motion pictures. The first film, Just Go with It, starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, will be released on February 11 and is sure to bring laughs to audiences nationwide. On May 20, Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides sails into theaters using Kauai’s landscape as the backdrop to Johnny Depp’s fantasy adventure film. And for those who enjoy a good drama, Kauai will share the spotlight with George Clooney in The Descendants, a film based on the popular novel by Hawaii author Kaui Hart Hemmings.
St. Regis Princeville Partners with Malie Organics to Open Bespoke Spa Experience
The St. Regis Princeville Resort, in partnership with Malie Organics, has introduced a new Bespoke Spa Experience at the resort’s signature Halelea Spa. The new spa experience allows guests to blend completely customized spa products under the expert guidance of Dana Roberts, founder of Malie Organics. Guests create these holistic products from Dana’s new Lahaole Pure Rituals Collection. Lahaole meaning uncommon and rare, is designed exclusively for resort guests. Malie Organics is one of the foremost spa and beauty companies and transforms the island’s purest ingredients, such as taro root, wild ginger, coffee berry and Kauai clay, into luxury spa blends. Indigenous to Kauai, many ingredients are rare and available in limited quantities. www.stregis.com/princeville
Southern Star Yachting Now Offering Scheduled Tours and Private Charters
Southern Star Yacht has added two new tours for individual guests and small groups: a three-hour Sunset Prime Rib Dinner cruise off the South Shore, and a six-hour hour Napali Snorkel BBQ Sail. Southern Star is a fully custom 65-foot luxury sailing catamaran that delivers a new genre of the Hawaiian ocean experience. Each trip is tailored to an individual’s desires and activity options include paddling into Napali sea caves, catching and grilling fresh fish or diving near the Forbidden Island of Niihau. www.sskauai.com
Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach Undergoing Major Renovation
The beachfront 311-room Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach is undergoing a comprehensive, multi-million-dollar renovation that will dramatically enhance the hotel’s exterior look with lush landscaping and reconfigured pool and upgrade all public areas, including the restaurant, lounge and meeting spaces. Formerly the Aston Kauai Beach at Makaiwa, the refurbishment will bring the hotel in line with the Courtyard by Marriott standards of excellence while maintaining a Hawaiian look with many elements of local culture included in the project.
New Weekly Kauai Culinary Market
Kukuiula Village has introduced Kauai Culinary Market, featuring live music, live cooking demonstrations, ocean views from the wine and beer garden, and locally grown produce and other foods. This special new Market is open every Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. www.kukuiulavillage.com/calendar
Kauai Marriott Resort Completes $50M Renovation
Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach has completed a $50 million renovation that has brought improvements to all areas of the hotel. Among the highlights were a transformation of the 356 guest rooms with a timeless island elegance, a refurbishment of Kukui’s restaurant and Aupaka Terrace lobby lounge, a newly built children’s pool with a slide and water spout features, and an expanded porte cochere and improved main lobby. www.kauaimarriott.com
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa Completes First Phase of Renovation
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa has finished its first phase of guest room renovations featuring new mahogany furniture, marble entryways, and upgraded bathrooms with marble counter tops, double sinks, and rain-style showers. The renovation will be complete in April 2011. www.kauai.hyatt.com
Kauai Winter Deals
Free for All – Package at Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach
The whole family can escape to the Garden Isle with the amazing Free for All package from Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach. Starting at $259 per room night, guests can enjoy an upgraded room, complimentary Internet access and a free round of golf for children at the Jack Nicklaus signature Kauai Lagoons Golf Club. Guests will also receive discounts on sumptuous dining at all five resort dining outlets, outdoor activities, and fabulous shopping. The Free for All package is valid from now through October 6, 2011. www.kauaimarriott.com
20 Years of Sunshine on Sale at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
Celebrate Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa’s 20th anniversary and save with the 20 Years of Sunshine on Sale package. Receive the 5th night free, and get a $20 resort credit nightly, and 20% savings at both Poipu Bay Golf Course and ANARA Spa. Book by December 31, 2011 for travel through January 3, 2012. www.kauai.hyatt.com
Specials at Poipu Bay Golf Course
Poipu Bay Golf Course is offering a Grand Slam Package for 2011 that offers three rounds of golf, green fees, shared golf cart, and use of the driving range, for the discounted price of $425 plus tax (all three rounds must be completed within 10 days after purchase). For guests at the adjacent Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, the package is offered at $367 plus tax. For golfers wanting to play more of Poipu Bay, a discounted five-round package price is offered for $660, along with a ten-round package for $1,200 plus tax. www.poipubaygolf.com
Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages – Save up to 20%
Escape to Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages for a romantic getaway in a private seaside cottage on a historic 27-acre coconut plantation near the famous Nqpali Coast and Waimea Canyon. Special winter rates are reduced to $234 – a 20% savings – for a one-bedroom garden view cottage. Book now for travel until April 30, 2011. www.AstonHotels.com
Wedding Dreams Come True at Aston Aloha Beach Hotel
Aston Aloha Beach Hotel’s wedding and romance package makes bridal dreaming easy. The romantic experience begins with a lei greeting at check in, room service breakfast for two, and discounts and free activities via Aston’s Aloha Book. The beachside gazebo is complimentary for the wedding ceremony and becomes the private dining spot for the complimentary, four-course, champagne dinner for two. Onsite wedding coordinators are available to assist with any additional arrangements needed for the ceremony. The package is based on a three-night stay in an ocean view room, a junior suite, cottage or one-bedroom suite. www.AstonHotels.com
Kauai Beach Resort Offers New Oceanfront Wedding Package
Kauai Beach Resort has created a new wedding package for any couple that wants to start their first day together with an intimate oceanfront ceremony in paradise amid family and close friends. The package includes the site fee, official to perform the ceremony, seating for 10 guests, wedding cake, champagne, and photography. Cost is $1,800 plus tax. www.kauaibeachresorthawaii.com
For more great travel deals offered on Kauai, visit www.KauaiDiscovery.com/winterspecials
Kauai Wellness Expo: January 29-30
This two-day expo promotes health and wellness on Kauai and is inspired by the island’s health vision: Malama kou kino, e na ohana, e na aina (take care of yourself, your family and the land). Guests will enjoy a special message from Dr. Len Saputo on Integrative Community Healthcare Systems and an extraordinary performance of Taiko and Hawaiian drumming with Grammy Award winning Taiko Master Koji Nakamura, Taiko Artist Steven Nakamura and Kumu Hula Puna Kalama Dawson. More than 100 exhibitors and 30 speakers from Hawaii and around the world will be highlighted during the event. 808-246-8986
Leilani Rivera Bond Hula Hoike: February 5
Leilani Rivera Bond’s 17th Annual Hula Hoike will feature Hawaiian music and dances by Halau Hula O Leilani and special guest artists, including Miss Aloha Hula from Merrie Monarch 2010. www.leilanirivera.com
Eat Dessert First: February 11
The Zonta Club of Kauai will hold its 2011 signature fundraiser, Eat Dessert First, at the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach. The event features desserts from Kauai chefs, fruit and cheese trays, a silent auction, prize drawings, and live island-style entertainment. Proceeds benefit the Zonta Club of Kauai Foundation scholarship program for Kauai youth. 808-822-4746
E Pili Kakou I Hookahi Lahui: February 18-20
This cultural festival brings together accomplished Kumu Hula (instructors) and cultural specialists to teach workshops in all styles of hula and chanting, and share stories and spirituality behind the dance in a non-competitive and open environment. The festival also showcases arts and crafts, food, music, and entertainment unique to Hawaii. www.epilikakou.com
Waimea Town Celebration: February 25-26
Waimea Town Celebration offers live entertainment by Second Nature, Makaha Sons, Natalie Ai Kamauu, Wailoa, Cherry Cherry, Kirby Keohn, Kiwini Vaitai, Manao Co., High Risk Factor, Pono Breeze and Hoolea. Enjoy crafts, games and product booths, along with a rodeo, softball, and three-man basketball tournament. Events on February 26 include a 10K run, canoe race, RC car race, ice cream eating contest, and ukulele competition. www.wkbpa.org/events.html
1st Annual International Garden Isle Tri-Fest: March 12-13
The inaugural Garden Isle Tri-fest will feature a variety of events including Olympic and sprint triathlon, sprint duathlon, youth and kids triathlon, paddleboard challenge, 10K run and 5K fun run. Proceeds will benefit the Kauai Independent Food Bank and the Rotary Club High School Scholarship Fund. www.gardenisletrifest.com
Prince Kuhio Celebration: March 19-26
A week of festivities honoring Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, one of Hawaii’s most beloved monarchs, takes place March 19-26 in Poipu. Highlights of the Kuhio Celebration of the Arts includes the male kahiko (ancient) hula by Na Kane O Keoneloa, teaching of Native Hawaiian arts and cultural practices, luau, canoe club regatta, entertainment, royal dinner and Hawaiian fashion contest. The events are designed to demonstrate and perpetuate Native Hawaiian cultural arts, practices, and values. Most are free of charge. www.princekuhio.wetpaint.com
Kauai – Hawaii’s Island of Discovery
Nicknamed the Garden Island, Kauai is green and flourishing with lush flora that runs from the mountains to the ocean. Kauai offers more than 50 miles of white sand beaches – more beach per mile than any other island in Hawaii. Other natural wonders include the 3,567-foot deep Waimea Canyon, dubbed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and the 3,000-foot towering mountain cliffs overlooking the Napali Coast along the northwest shoreline.
Kauai’s abundance of outdoor activities, including kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, mountain tubing, horseback riding, ATV adventures, zipline tours, and helicopter and boat tours, offer memorable vacation experiences for the whole family.
For information about Kauai – Hawaii’s Island of Discovery – visit www.KauaiDiscovery.com or call the Kauai Visitors Bureau toll-free at 800-262-1400. Follow updates about Kauai via Twitter (@kauaidiscovery) and as a fan on its Facebook page as Kauai Visitors Bureau.
The Kauai Visitors Bureau is a division of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, which 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.
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