What’s New in Hawaii

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Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.

It’s far from a “same old thing” scenario in the Hawaiian Islands this year, with 2015 already rolling out as one marked by positive change and improvements. From a spotlight on culture and cuisine to enhancements and creative packages, your Hawaii-bound clients are in for a tropical treat.

With a major portfolio rebranding, Outrigger Enterprises has launched Outrigger Resorts as its dedicated beachfront resort brand. Focusing on culturally authentic guest experiences, each property will feature such signature amenities as a beachfront bar, spa and Voyager 47 club lounge. The company’s 15 Hawaii resort condominiums are now marketed as Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger.

“Genuine ‘aloha’ hospitality flows through everything Outrigger does,” says Kimberly Daley, senior v.p. sales strategy for Journese. Both the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort charge no resort fees, provide complimentary guest services, and allow children 17 and younger to stay free. The latter’s Rise ‘n’ Shine package covers daily buffet breakfast for two at Duke’s through May 31, 2015 from $279 nightly. outrigger.com

Along the same sun-drenched stretch of sand, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is fresh from a 5-month, $21 million renovation of its 17-story Diamond Head Tower. The top-to-bottom transformation includes indigenous-inspired textiles and island-themed fixtures in all 380 guestrooms and suites, as well as corridor and lobby treatments.

Overlooking 22 acres of tropical gardens, all tower accommodations feature a lanai or Juliet balcony with Pacific or resort view, bar area with refrigerator, coffee maker, desk, and flat-screen TV with premium cable channels. From $161 nightly (plus resort fee) based on a minimum 5-night stay, the Winter Escapes plan offers 20 percent off the tower’s best available rate until Dec. 24, 2015. hiltonhawaiianvillage.com

The Hilton Waikoloa Village oceanside king room.
The Hilton Waikoloa Village oceanside king room.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village, on the Big Island, made a significant upgrade to its 162 guestrooms and introducted its Makai hospitality program—providing exclusive perks and oceanfront accommodations—in the Lagoon Tower. The 62-acre playground lures with a lush amenity roster including three swimming pools, an ocean-fed snorkeling lagoon, Kohala Spa, Dophin Quest educational center, oceanside putting course and interactive cultural programs.

From $424 nightly with a minimum 4-night stay through Dec. 18, 2015, the Makai Pick Your Pleasure package indulges couples with daily activities and choices that include spa treatments, sunset cruises and 18 holes of championship golf. hiltonwaikoloavillage.com

Considered among the grandest of upgrades, Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort’s $30 million renovation unveils refreshed accommodations and pools. Responding to guests’ input, the smart room product features new furnishings, sustainability touches, water/surfing-themed artwork and 55-inch, HD LCD flat-screen TVs with USB ports. The mega-resort, located on Maui, has also installed WiFi throughout its 40-acre grounds and upgraded Spa Grande common areas. Packages include the Grand Bed & Breakfast, Advanced Purchase Promo, and Golf Stay & Playgrandwailea.com

joining marriott
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has joined Marriott International’s exclusive Autograph Collection portfolio. Reverting to its original design, the 252-room resort, located on the Big Island, has re-mastered three guestrooms into two that make for larger square footage. Contemporary bells and whistles include large flat-screen TVs, media hubs and bedside iPod dock with clock radios. Boosting value to seasonal packages are enhancement options for tennis, ocean activities, golf and cuisine. Through Dec. 18, 2015, a room and breakfast plan covering daily buffet breakfast for two is priced from $475 nightly. timelessmaunakea.com

At a pair of Kauai Starwood properties, it’s all about going local. The Sheraton Kauai in Poipu has introduced a nightly 4-course prix fixe menu at RumFire that showcases fresh local ingredients like Hamakua mushroom ravioli and crab-crusted local catch of the day. The beachfront restaurant’s You Dine, We Donate program gifts all proceeds generated at its stunning Table #53 to a new local charity each month. sheraton-kauai.com

On Kauai’s North Shore, sister property The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas has rolled out a Lei Aloha cultural ceremony on Tuesdays where guests cap a lei making lesson with a traditional lei exchange that’s complete with conch shell blowing and graceful hula. Resort packages include a free car plan from $275 nightly. westinprinceville.com 

Archived related articles (available on recommend.com/magazine/issue-archive): Lanai, Hawaii (August 2014).