BY JESSICA FERRACANE – Hawai’i Island (July 6, 2011) – It’s summertime in Hawai’i, and that means travel perks are heating up. Whether it’s the thrill of seeing a giant Pacific blue marlin or visiting any one of our five national parks, the time is right for a visit to Hawai’i, the Big Island.
ADVENTURES, ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
Summer Fishing Heats Up With Red-Hot Savings in Kona! The Kona sportfishing fleet kicked off summer by reeling in two giant blue marlin weighing over 900 lbs., and three that weighed more than 700 lbs. The Humdinger reports multiple blue marlin catches on single-day charters. Call for super savings on multiple-day charters, and if you feel like gambling, ask about the “double-or-nothing charter.” Call Capt. Jeff Fay at (808) 325-3449 (office) or (808) 936-3034 (cell) and visit www.HumdingerSportFishing.com.
Family Fun Under the Sea. Summer is a perfect time for Big Island family vacations and Atlantis Submarines Kona is making its undersea exploration of Kailua Bay’s marine habitat even more enjoyable – especially for kids. Through Aug. 31, all kids age 12 and under will receive a special Atlantis activity fun pack that comes with a coloring nautical picture frame magnet and Atlantis water bottle. (Children must meet the height requirement of 36 inches, per U.S. Coast Guard rules). Visit www.AtlantisSubmarines.com or (800) 548-6262.
Looking for more to do? Click www.bigisland.org/calendar for detailed information about additional Hawai’i Island happenings throughout 2011, like the Hawaiian Cultural Weekend at the Waikoloa Beach Resort:
Pageantry, Poke and Paniolo (Sept. 2-3) – Celebrate Hawai’i’s style, music and cuisine with a series of special events, starting Friday with the Ms. Aloha Nui Gala, honoring women with “super-sized” aloha, talent and grace. Saturday’s favorite Poke Contest challenges home cooks or top chefs to mix it up with creative treatment of the traditional fish dish. Saturday night, the Clyde “Kindy” Sproat Falsetto & Storytelling Contest caps off the weekend, www.QueensMarketplace.net.
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel has completed a half-million-dollar renewal to upgrade the look and feel of 96 of its luxury suites and oceanfront guest rooms. Renowned interior design firm, Philpotts & Associates, drew inspiration from the rich history of Kohala for colors, artworks, and fabrics. Walls are adorned in traditional kapa prints accented by Polynesian-inspired fabrics on pillows, new chair furnishings, and tailored linen bed skirts alongside modern bedside, floor, and table lighting. For more information, visit www.PrinceResortsHawaii.com or call (866) PRINCE-6.
Volcano House Opening Delayed. The Volcano House hotel within Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park remains closed as the search for a concessionaire to renovate and run the historic property continues. The National Park Service will be re-soliciting the Volcano House prospectus because proposals received were deemed non-responsive and/or not qualified by the NPS in Washington, D.C. Volcano House provides visitor amenities that include overnight accommodations, food and beverage, retail, campground and related services, and has been closed since Dec. 31, 2010. Visitors can stay, shop and dine nearby in the village of Volcano, about a mile from the park entrance, or in Hilo, Puna, Pāhala and Nā’ālehu – 30 to 45 minutes away. Park campgrounds are still open at Nāmakanipaio, and at backcountry sites. For information, visit www.nps.gov/havo.
“Triple Stay & Play” is BACK! Visit Hawai’i Island’s natural treasures by staying at three of its premier bed and breakfasts. At Waianuhea, enjoy the romance of rainforests and the lush Hāmākua Coast. At Kalaekilohana, explore the magic and mystique of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and South Point, then at Kaawaloa Plantation, immerse in the mesmerizing waters of Kealakekua Bay, and discover Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. Book a 10-Day Triple Stay and Play package by Dec. 15, 2011 and get 2011 pricing for 2012. Visit www.kaawaloaplantation.com or call at (808) 323-2686.
All your shopping can be pure fun when you click on the summer savings program by Aston Hotels & Resorts and Island Grocery Service. Arrive at your “home away from home” to a fully stocked kitchen.Simply visit www.islandgroceryservice.com to utilize the personal shopping service. Shop five days before you arrive, pick some new island taste treats, select delivery time, click on “check out” button and add promotional code AHRB120 & save $20! Visit www.AstonHotels.com.
Book your stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i and receive additional savings of up to 25 percent off the resort’s “Best Available Rate.” With the money you save, treat yourself to dinner at the resort’s signature oceanfront restaurant, Brown’s Beach House, or enjoy a decadently natural experience at Spa Without Walls. This package is available year-round, with the exception of the holiday period between Dec. 23, 2011 and Jan. 2, 2012 and is subject to availability. Rates from $232/night, please visit www.fairmont.com/orchid.
Hawai’i Island Retreat in North Kohala is an exceptional honeymoon retreat. The Golden Penthouse is designed to provide a romantic atmosphere and ultimate privacy. There are 50 acres of coastal forests, meadows and gardens to explore, and a full service spa to help you fully relax into your honeymoon. Enjoy a three- or six-night inclusive honeymoon package that includes a welcome bottle of champagne, couple’s yoga, and couple’s massage in our outdoor couple’s cabana. Three nights are $1,595, six nights for $3,105. Visit www.hawaiiislandretreat.com.
In addition to Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa’s complimentary twice-weekly guided cultural preserve tour at the 22-acre oceanfront resort, the fun is ramping up just in time for summer. A new teens-only hangout called Club Le’ale’a (“fun”) has opened with Xbox and Wii games. Family fun might include rubber duckie races down the slide, pool BBQs, volleyball, ‘smores and story-telling around a shoreline fire pit. And who could leave Hawai’i without learning lei making and hula? Special packages and more: www.SheratonKeauhou.com.
The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows is offering a special “Room With A View” promotion. Guests receive a guaranteed ocean view room for the special price of $395/night, usually $625/night. Mauna Lani Bay offers three miles of pristine coastline along the Kohala Coast and is known to offer some of the best snorkeling on Hawai’i Island. Book now for travel through Oct.15. Call (800) 637-2323 or visit www.maunalani.com.
The Dragonfly Ranch is offering a 23-day Transformational Retreat at its Hōnaunau Healing Arts Center in South Kona during the months of September, October and November 2011. Daily laughter yoga and snorkeling in pristine bays, communing with dolphins, along with “plorking” in the garden and taking flower essences to address soul issues is combined with a supplemental program that cleanses and nourishes the body. Doctor-supervised, this program helps participants release about a pound a day. Contact: Barbara Moore (808) 328-2159 and go to www.dragonflyranch.com.
Hawaii Vacation Rentals is celebrating 17 years of professional service in sunny Puakō on the Kohala Coast by offering guests a free night for a for a seven-night booking in September and October. Visit www.vacationbigisland.com or call (800) 332-7081 to learn more.
There’s a new way to enjoy the sunset at Four Seasons Resort Hualālai! Guests are invited to “Bubbles at Beach Tree” on the new Ocean Front Lawn anytime after 5 p.m. to claim a pre-set picnic blanket. Also included are pillows, a bean-bag bocce ball set and a menu of delicious finger goodies à la antipasti and of course the requisite bubbles of champagne. The dreamy Hawaiian sunset is the perfect addition to this experience, leading to an unbelievable meal at Beach Tree. For more information and reservations, call (888) 340-5662 or visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai.
Spend summer seaside with Castle Resorts & Hotels Summer by the Seashore Sale. Take advantage of 50 percent off deals starting at just $102 on Hawai’i, the Big Island. Castle’s outstanding collection offers hotel and resort condominium properties with full-kitchens, washer/dryers, oceanfront swimming pools, restaurants, fitness centers and more. Visit www.castleresorts.com or call (800) 545-3510 to book or learn more.
Kau Kau Kailua. From Sept. 18-24, Historic Kailua Village on the Kona Coast celebrates Kau Kau Kailua. “Kau kau” means food, and this week is all about welcoming visitors and residents so that they might discover the many oceanfront dining experiences and hidden gems in historic Kailua Village. Participating restaurants will offer superb three-course dinner menus throughout the week priced at just $20, $30 or $40. Quick service restaurants will also have special values. Visit www.HistoricKailuaVillage.com or www.KauKauKailua.com.
Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation has introduced another new 100 percent Kona coffee product that can be sampled on its free daily tours. The new American Roast is a light roast that contains the highest caffeine content. Come by our Kaloko location to learn more, plus get a free tour and a taste of the American roast, www.mountainthunder.com.
Free Ice Cream and Collectible Bracelets for Keiki! The Hilton Waikoloa Village presents new keiki (children) menus and a collectible bracelets program, “Our Keiki Are Invaluable.” Keiki who collect all six colors receive a free ice cream at Orchid Marketplace. Keiki four and under eat free with paid adult. Bracelets are available at Kamuela Provision Company (KPC), Imari, Lagoon Grill, Lagoon Spoon, Boat Landing, Malolo Lounge, Orchid Marketplace, Kona and Kohala Pool Bars, and Big Island Breakfast. For more information visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com or call (808) 886-1234.
Buzzworthy News. Congratulations! Big Island Bees’ organic Lehua & Cinnamon honey was selected as a 2011 Silver Finalist for Outstanding New Product in the sofi™ Awards from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc.! The sofi Awards recognize excellence inspecialty foods and beverages and are a coveted industry honor. The Lehua & Cinnamon honey was one of 125 Silver Finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food experts from a record 2,236 contenders across 33 awards categories. Find out more, and order online at www.bigislandbees.com or call (808) 324-0295.
Kona Brewing Company is offering free twice-daily tours of its brewery in Kailua-Kona! Tours depart at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., seven days a week. Beginning at the 17-year-old microbrewery and ending with complimentary beer tasting, these tours are the perfect way to prove to doubting taste buds that the Kona Brewing Company beers are not exported from heaven, but produced in a craft brewery on Hawai’i, the Big Island. Call (808) 334-BREW (2739) or email email@example.com to plan your visit.
Jessica Ferracane of Irondog Communications authored this report