Island of Hawaii (April 2018) – Adventurers can explore the island of Hawaii from the skies, taste fresh-roasted award-winning Kona coffee near farms where it is grown, and have dinner alongside mesmerizing views of the sun dipping beneath the horizon all in a single day! Before you begin planning the perfect excursion on the island, check out our details below on the activities mentioned above, along with the lowdown on new tours, hotel and resort deals, dining and more.
The annual Merrie Monarch Festival will be held April 1-7 in Hilo. In addition to the prestigious hula competition, the festival features free and public events, including the kick-off hoolaulea (celebration) on April 1 at 9:00 a.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. The week continues with the Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair, featuring local artisans, crafters and entertainment, held April 4-6, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and April 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and concludes with the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade through downtown Hilo on April 7 at 10:30 a.m.
Kokua Kailua is celebrating 10 years of activities in historic Kailua-Kona town with monthly Sunday strolls throughout 2018. On select Sundays, from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m., Kailua Village’s Alii Drive will turn into a festive, pedestrian-only outdoor marketplace making way for a fun, family-friendly day. More than 100 vendor booths, stretching from Kailua Pier to Hualalai Road, will include local artisans and crafters, musicians, restaurants and merchants.
Botanical World Adventures welcomes visitors to celebrate Easter with a weekend of family fun. A free Easter egg hunt will be held on property March 31 and April 1, starting at 10:00 a.m. Thousands of eggs will be a part of the hunt, and Botanical World Adventures tours will be given away as prizes. Families with children ages 2 to 11 are eligible to participate.
The 10th annual Kau Coffee Festival celebrates a decade of Kau award-winning coffees this spring with a variety of activities, including the Miss Kau Coffee Pageant, a recipe contest, stargazing sessions, farm tours and a hike to the mountaintop water systems irrigating coffee fields. As always, the two-week festival will culminate with its popular community hoolaulea (celebration), set for May 5 at the Pahala Community Center, featuring live entertainment, hula performances, farm tours, and coffee-infused arts, crafts and eats. The Kau Coffee Festival is set for April 21-May 6.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES
Botanical World Adventures is now offering guests staying at its Garden Home on property a free zip line tour with each one-week stay. Located in Hakalau along the stunning North Hilo Coast, Botanical World Adventures offers guests a chance to Segway through tropical gardens or zip line over lush gulches and streams, all while enjoying sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. For every week booked at the Garden House, one person will receive a complimentary zip line tour, and additional guests will receive discounts on tours.
Hawaii helicopter tour company Paradise Helicopters is expanding its fleet with the addition of a twin-engine Bell 430. The Kona-based helicopter is available for custom charters throughout Hawaii, as well as flights under a partnership with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Hawaii. The spacious Bell 430 offers comfortable seating for up to eight guests and two pilots, and ample cargo room allowing each guest to fly with a full set of luggage or up to four golf bags.
Body Glove Hawaii excitedly brings back its 2.5-hour Kona Whale Watching Excursion. Every December through April, more than 8,000 humpback whales journey over 3,500 miles from the North Pacific to Hawaii to breed, calf and nurse their young. Body Glove Hawaii’s on-board marine life naturalist will provide guests with facts as the whales play, teach their young and court in waters off the Kona Coast. Guests can listen with hydrophones as the whales communicate underwater, or look for spinner dolphins, pilot and sperm whales, manta rays, sea turtles and more while out at sea.
Kona Sugar Shack vacation home rental agency is joining with organic Kona coffee growers Rooster Farms to host free, weekly coffee tasting workshops at Laaloa Bay. Join Rooster Farms near the bay on Saturdays as its farmers brew 100-percent Kona-grown coffee and share the history of its farm, Kona coffee and various methods of coffee brewing, from cold brewing and filter brewing, to Turkish coffee-making and espresso. Tastings will include multiple varieties of hot and cold coffee, which will also be available for purchase.
KapohoKine Adventures, an ecotourism-focused expedition company, is now providing transportation from historic downtown Hilo and its Banyan Drive hotel area to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the island’s lush North Hilo Coast. The narrated round-trip scenic drive includes entrance to the garden.
Hapuna Beach Resort introduces reimagined guest dining at its poolside Naupaka Beach Grill, which features lunch and Hawaiian entertainment nightly, and at Piko Coffee+Bar, which serves 100-percent Kona coffee by day and small island bites and cocktails at night. In mid-February, the resort’s signature Meridia restaurant will debut with a menu fusing Mediterranean and Hawaii Island cuisine, complemented by ocean views, a charcuterie and crudo bar, and a housemade artisanal bread nook. The new Ikena Landing will offer a daily breakfast buffet and an ala carte menu focused on healthy eating.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai recently introduced five new Couples Nests at its Palm Grove Pool, bringing the brand’s guest-room experience outdoors. Overlooking the ocean and personalized for guests, each private nest includes a customizable mattress, fully-stocked minibar, and resort-exclusive aromatherapy oils and lotions. The nests feature a dedicated on-staff server, hourly amenities, exclusive spa offerings, cocktails and a special poolside-dining experience and menu created by resort Executive Chef Thomas Bellec. The Palm Grove also features daily music and special live performances.
Hapuna Beach Resort is undergoing a nearly $50 million renovation and will debut as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort this spring. Highlights of the renovation include new dining concepts/restaurants – Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill, Ikena Landing and Piko Coffee+Bar – an adults-only pool and wellness-inspired guest experiences, including a Crossfit studio, Westin Workout, Westin Kids’ Club and Hapuna Spa. The lobby will feature a Living Wall vertical garden and interactive check-in pods, while the resort’s 232 guestrooms and 17 suites will receive Westin-brand signature room furnishings and fixtures.
Guests of Mauna Lani Point can now reserve the condo of their choice, with floor space, views and furnishings matching their preferences. Reservations are made with Classic Resorts using its Explore 3D Space tool, which offers an easy way to navigate each condo. For example, the Explore 3D Space Tool would indicate that Mauna Lani Point condo unit D204 offers views of the ocean, the resort golf course’s signature hole, and the coast’s ancient lava flows. It would also display all three of the unit’s bedrooms, which can sleep up to six guests.
Mauna Kea Resort recently welcomed new Aloha Ambassador, Healani Kimitete-Ah Mow, to create the next phase of resort’s cultural activities program. The program will feature an array of offerings, including a daily e ala e (morning chant to welcome the sun), and lessons in olelo Hawaii (the Hawaiian language), na hulu (featherwork), lei making, and ukulele and hula lessons. Other activities will include imu (underground oven) cooking ceremony and pareo (sarong) demonstrations. The new activities were crafted to enhance the experiences of Mauna Kea Resort guests seeking to connect with Hawaiian culture and create memories.
The Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel’s new Elopement Package offers couples the opportunity to celebrate their big day in Hawaii with their closest family and friends in attendance. The package includes a private sunrise ceremony and officiant, tropical flower lei, 8-inch wedding cake, champagne toast for up to 10 people, and an overnight stay for the wedding couple in the hotel’s oceanfront suite, starting at $1,750.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s Alakai Nalu ocean adventures team has a new oceanfront relaxation lounge for its guests to enjoy all day, before and after their ocean adventures. The lounge offers complimentary local snacks and drinks, frozen yogurt, sunscreen, towels, shaded seating, lockers and a television. In conjunction with the lounge’s debut, Alakai Nalu has also introduced new ocean activities, including whale-watching tours on the resort’s Ribcraft inflatable boat, banana boat rides and a Onewheel on-land surfing experience.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Exactly Like Nothing Else package offers guests a variety of amenities, including the Busy Bee in-room amenity (featuring Mauna Kea Resort honey, a health tonic of green tea and honey called Jun, and granola bars), private tours of the beehives and art collection, a manta ray snorkel tour, a crafted cocktail and charcuterie board at Copper Bar, Seaside Tennis Club court time with a pro, a round of golf for two at Mauna Kea Golf Course, Sunshine Helicopter’s Volcano Deluxe Tour and car rental. The package requires a five-night minimum stay.
Fairmont Orchid is offering a Learn and Paint class with artist Vicki Penney-Rohner, a 25-year Hawaii resident and exhibited American painter. Classes are offered Wednesdays, from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., on the Luana Lounge terrace overlooking the resort grounds. The cost for the class is $50 per person and includes all art supplies. For more information, call the resort’s concierge desk at (808) 887-7368.
Recent renovations at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s Hualalai Spa and Sports Club
include the addition of new cardio- and weight-training equipment, and fitness classes. The club’s tech-forward equipment includes Peloton indoor-exercise bikes allowing guests to stream cycling classes from instructors nationwide, and a Google Chrome station for downloading workouts from personal trainers. New fitness experiences include BOGA – a yoga class held on floating mats in the resort pool – Vicore Terra Core classes – a core-stability trainer used to target core muscles – and Wall Climbing yoga classes on the resort’s climbing wall.
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