Kauai: What’s Blooming on the Garden Isle
LIHUE, KAUAI – Looking to make a splash this summer? Kauai’s warm white sand and scenic coastlines invite you to dive into crystal-clear blue waters and enjoy the tropic sunshine.
“Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or a two-week vacation, nothing says ‘summer’ quite like visiting one of Kauai’s beautiful beaches,” said Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau. “Families can enjoy a picnic at Lydgate Beach Park or snorkel at Poipu Beach Park. Visitors can also enjoy hiking the Wai Koa Loop Trail in KIlauea or kayaking along the Wailua River.”
Below are updates and information about the newest happenings, special deals and events “blooming” on the Garden Isle of Kauai this summer.
Kauai Hiking Tours Offers Breathtaking Island Views and Unforgettable Adventures
Visitors seeking adventure and off-the-beaten-path experiences can now trek to beautiful scenic lookouts, hike forested trails, and even walk along cliff summits with Kauai Hiking Tours. The outdoor adventure company’s mission of “sharing Kauai’s beauty with aloha” is integrated into each of its hiking tours, backpacking trips and driving tours, all of these designed to appeal with all skill levels and age groups. Kauai Hiking Tours’ expert guides offer guests local and historical knowledge, and an understanding of the sacred and fragile nature of the island’s landscapes. For more information, call (808) 212-9928, or visit www.kauaihikingtours.com.
Island Air Returns to Kauai
Island Air recently announced its resumption of air service to the Garden Isle and plans for six daily round-trip flights between Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and Lihue Airport (LIH). Passenger benefits of the new Kauai air service include more available flight options and seats for interisland travel. For more information, call (800) 652-6541, or visit www.islandair.com.
Hawaii’s Newest Beachfront Restaurant Opens at the Kauai Shores Hotel
Lava Lava Beach Club recently opened the doors on its new 250-seat open-air restaurant and bar at the Kauai Shores Hotel, on the island’s beautiful Coconut Coast. Guests will experience a menu of island-inspired cuisine and cocktails while enjoying the beach club’s laidback Hawaii-style atmosphere. Lava Lava Beach Club offers an indoor-outdoor dining experience with comfy couches for lounging, fire pits, and live Hawaiian music and hula. The Lava Lava Beach Club is open daily, serving breakfast from 7-10 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., a happy hour menu from 3-5 p.m., dinner from 5-9 p.m., and a late-night bar food menu from 8-10 p.m. For more information, call (808) 241-5282, or visit www.lavalavabeachclub.com.
Outfitters Kauai Opens New and Exciting Ziplines
Outfitters Kauai’s newest attraction, the Kahuna Zipline Trek, allows guests to soar above forest canopy, rivers, waterfalls and the famous Kipu Ranch sites where Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Descendants were filmed. Each of the Kahuna Zipline Trek’s six lines is unique and thrilling. There are no beginner lines on the trek, which includes a 1,800-foot line boasting the longest airtime of any zipline on Kauai. Outfitters Kauai also offers a variety of fun activities for adventurous visitors, including kayaking and standup paddle boarding on the Huleia River, ATV tours at Kipu Ranch, a water zip into a natural lava rock swimming pool, and more! For groups in search of an event site, historic Kipu Ranch offers multiple amenities and can accommodate up to 50 guests. For more information, call (808) 742-9667, or visit www.outfitterskauai.com.
Renovations at Koloa Landing Resort On Track to Conclude This Fall
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu is in the midst of an expansion that will allow it to accommodate groups seeking larger meeting venues. When construction is completed this fall, the $100 million expansion will include a 12,000-square-foot meeting facility, a grand ballroom for up to 1,000 guests, and two 8,000 square-foot outdoor lawns able to accommodate 800 guests each. Renovations will also include 208 new deluxe studios and one-bedroom villas, and a stunning 350,000-gallon saltwater lagoon pool featuring cabanas, a swim-through grotto, waterfalls and a signature poolside bar and grill. For more information, call (808) 240-6616, or visit www.koloalandingresort.com.
Koloa Rum Co. Wins National Awards
Koloa Rum Co., the award-winning Kauai-based spirit producer known for using Hawaii sugarcane in its distillation process, was recently awarded five gold medals for its White Rum, Gold Rum, Spice Rum and Dark Rum at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. Its Kauai Coffee Rum won a “Best in Class” gold medal, the festival’s highest honor for flavored rums. The company also earned honors for its rums at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in Hawthorne, New York, and from the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. Koloa Rum Co.’s ready-to-drink Pineapple Passion cocktail achieved a gold medal at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition. For more information or to schedule a visit to the company’s distillery or tasting room and store, call (808) 246-8900, or visitwww.koloarum.com.
Mediterranean Gourmet Reopens at Hanalei Colony Resort
Following 10 months of repairs and renovations, Mediterranean Gourmet restaurant on Kauai’s north shore recently reopened its doors to again serve its loyal and first-time guests. Among the restaurant’s new menu offerings, introduced by husband-and-wife team Imad and Yarrow Beydoun, are pizzas, a Wagyu beef burger, and an organic grass-fed rib-eye steak. Still on the menu are all-time Mediterranean Gourmet favorites such as seafood paella, rosemary rack of lamb, and chicken Marsala. The restaurant’s updated beverage menu includes an expanded list of classic cocktails and international wines. For more information, call (808) 669-1993, or visitwww.kauaimedgourmet.com.
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge Reopens to the Public
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge recently reopened after four months of closure to the public for renovations. During this time, the Kilauea Point and Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse concrete trail was stabilized and the pathway repaved. The refuge is home to some of Hawaii’s largest populations of nesting seabirds. On a visit to the refuge, visitors may see spinner dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, native Hawaiian coastal plants and nene geese – Hawaii’s state bird – from multiple vantage points. The refuge is open to visitors Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; admission is $5 for adults ages 16 and up. For more information, call (808) 828-1413, or visit www.fws.gov/kilaueapoint.
Hawaiian Airlines Increases Direct Flights to Kauai
Hawaiian Airlines recently launched a permanent nonstop route between Los Angeles and Kauai offering three weekly flights. The flight schedule marks the first time the carrier has offered direct service to Kauai outside of a seasonal schedule. During the summer months, from mid-June through September, Hawaiian Airlines will increase its schedule on the Los Angeles-Kauai route, offering daily flights. For more information, call (877) 426-4537, or visit www.hawaiianairlines.com.
Koa Kea Hotel & Resort Joins the Meritage Collection
Pacific Hospitality Group (PHG), through its affiliate Poipu Investment Properties, LLC, recently announced the purchase of the Koa Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach from CTF Koa Kea Hotel, LLC. The oceanfront property on Poipu Beach is the newest addition to PHG’s Meritage Collection, a group of acclaimed, luxury resorts that prides itself on its ability to blend iconic, one-of-a-kind places with locally inspired enrichment programs. For more information, call (877) 276-0768, or visitwww.meritagecollection.com/koakea.
Renovations to the Hokuala Kauai – A Timbers Resort
Timbers Resorts has begun renovation work on Hokuala Kauai resort’s renowned Ocean Course – a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course – and expansion of its practice facility. This fall, construction will begin on a luxurious new clubhouse featuring an enhanced pro shop, lagoon-side restaurant and bar, and tennis garden. Inventive new food and beverage programming for the resort’s golf club is also set to roll out later this year. In addition to its multimillion-dollar investment in the resort’s golf experience, Timbers has appointed industry veteran Fran Roach as new general manager of the Hokuala Golf Club, overseeing golf operations and leading the launch of the new clubhouse and restaurant. The rejuvenated Ocean Course (formerly known as the Kiele Course at Kauai Lagoons) is scheduled to reopen in November 2016. While renovation of its front nine holes is being completed, the Hokuala Golf Club, has introduced a new scorecard for the course’s back nine holes, with alternate tee boxes for golfers looking to play a full 18-hole round while enjoying one of golf’s most dramatic oceanfront settings. For more information, call (808) 241-6100, or visitwww.hokualakauai.com.
KAUAI SPECIAL OFFERS
Studio Villa Deal for $135 a night at The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
Experience the luxury of vacationing at a resort while enjoying the comforts of home at The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas. Accommodations include a kitchen/kitchenette, full-size refrigerator, washer/dryer, access to 20 self-serve barbecue grills, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The family-friendly resort features four pools – including a children’s pool with interactive sea turtle fountains and a slide – a weekly movie night, daily cultural activities, and more. Book a Deluxe Island View One-Bedroom Villa (with rates starting at $550 a night) and receive a connecting Studio Villa for $135 a night, which combined sleeps up to eight guests. A three-night minimum stay is required. The deal is available through Dec. 25, 2016, and subject to availability. For more information, call (866) 837-4254 and request rate plan LAPKG1, or book online at www.westinprinceville.com.
Kauai Shores Offers $40 off at Lava Lava Beach Club
To celebrate the opening of its brand new Lava Lava Beach Club, Kauai Shores, an Aqua Hotel, is offering a special $40 dining credit to guests booking a minimum three-night stay. The oceanfront restaurant prides itself on its use of fresh ingredients, locally sourced food, and unique “toes in the sand” dining experience. The dining credit offer is valid through Dec. 20, 2016. For more information, call (808) 241-5282, or visit www.kauaishoreshotel.com.
Receive a $1,000 Credit with a Five-Night Stay at The St. Regis Princeville
Guests will have time to explore even more of Kauai’s scenic north shore with a $1,000 resort credit for every five-night stay booked at the St. Regis Princeville resort. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the spectacular ocean views from Princeville Makai Golf Clubʻs course, which ranked among Golf Digest’s Top 100 Greatest Public Courses in America for 2015 and 2016. Post-golf, relax with spa treatments at the St. Regis Princeville’s Halele‘a Spa, enjoy epicurean delights from the resort’s multiple dining venues, or redeem the full credit for a 5-night room upgrade. Guests are free to elect how to spend their $1,000 credit. The resort credit offer is valid through Dec. 22, 2016, and subject to availability. For more information, call (866) 716-8140 and request rate plan LAPKG1, or visit www.stregisprinceville.com.
Enjoy An Endless Summer at Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
Summer doesn’t have to end with the arrival of fall at the luxurious Koa Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach. Book accommodations before Dec. 10, 2016, and enjoy 30 percent off a stay of four nights or more. Relax at the resort’s spa, dine at the delicious Red Salt restaurant, or enjoy the oceanfront pool. The modern Koa Kea Hotel & Resort is the perfect place for a peaceful getaway. For more information, call (877) 276-0768, or visit www.meritagecollection.com/koakea.
Snap, Post and Save with Aqua Properties
Aqua Hotels and Resorts believes that a memorable vacation isn’t just based on guestrooms, pools, hospitality and amenities. It’s also a result of adventure, laughter, quality time with loved ones, and other fun memories. In exchange for sharing their Hawaii vacation photos on social media with the hashtag #PlayAqua, guests of Aqua Hotels and Resorts will receive 10 percent off their stay from Aqua. Participating Kauai properties include the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort and the Kauai Shores, an Aqua Hotel. For more information about Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, call (808) 954-7419, or visit www.kauaibeachresorthawaii.com. For more information about Kauai Shores, an Aqua Hotel, call (808) 954-7413, or visit www.kauaishoreshotel.com.
Explore and Enjoy with Getaway Packages at the Kauai Marriott Resort
Whether their preference is getting pampered or getting active, travelers now have a selection of tailored experiences to choose from with new packages offered by the Kauai Marriott Resort. Relax and unwind at the resort’s Alexander Day Spa and Salon with the “Ultimate Spa Retreat” package, which includes a facial, spa or beachside massage; 10 percent discount on additional spa treatments; and more. The “Experience Kauai Outdoors” package includes four activity vouchers redeemable for a zipline adventure, ATV tour, Napali sail or other activities. Both packages allow guests to experience a great trip full of island adventures. Use the promotional code 33S for the “Ultimate Spa Retreat” package and promotional code YX1 for the “Experience Kauai Outdoors” package when booking online. For more information, call (800) 228-9290, or visit www.kauaimarriott.com.
UPCOMING KAUAI EVENTS
Kauai’s Best Bartender Competition, August 12–November 18
RumFire Poipu Beach and Koloa Rum Co. are again looking to name Kauai’s “Best Bartender.” For the competition’s second year, the island’s food and beverage industry professionals will be challenged to showcase original Koloa Rum-based cocktails, all for a shot at the big title and a $4,000 cash prize. Over 15 weeks of single-elimination tournaments, contestants will go head-to-head creating an original cocktail with a mystery ingredient. Patrons of RumFire Poipu Beach will have the opportunity to cast their vote to determine the winner of each round on Friday evenings beginning August 12. Kauai’s Best Bartender for 2016 will be named in a final round of competition on November 18. For more information, call (808) 742-4RUM, or visit www.rumfirekauai.com.
The Kauai Marathon, September 4
Avid runners rejoice! The 8th annual Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon will have participants passing hula dancers and taiko drum troupes along its USA Track & Field-certified course tracing the contour of the island’s scenic coastline. Along the way, participants will experience magnificent views of the island’s picturesque beaches, rugged volcanic peaks, lush vistas and tropical rain forests. Runners finishing the course will do so at one of the most beautiful oceanfront finish lines in road racing. The marathon will also host a Keiki Run on September 3 at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa with age-specific grass courses for children ages 2 to 12. Every Kauai Marathon, Half Marathon and Keiki Run finisher will receive a commemorative medal and T-shirt. For more information, call (808) 283-2078, or visit www.thekauaimarathon.com.
Kauai Mokihana Festival, September 18-24
Held annually at the historic Kapaa First Hawaiian Church, founded by Kauai’s final queen Deborah Kapule in 1879, the Mālie Foundation’s Kauai Mokihana Festival is a celebration of Hawaiian culture. The mission of the Maile Foundation is offering events designed to educate, promote, preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture through a variety of activities for all people. The foundation invites locals and visitors to join the Mokihana Festival’s week of events, which will include music contests, a craft fair, educational lectures and much more. The event culminates with a hula competition finale on September 24 for solo dancers and hālau hula (hula schools). For more information, call (808) 822-2166, or visit www.maliefoundation.org.
Westin Princeville Jazz And Wine Festival, September 17
Hawaii residents and visitors are invited to savor an evening under the stars featuring delicious wines, island-inspired cuisine from Kauai’s top chefs and lively entertainment by jazz artists at the Westin Princeville Jazz and Wine Festival. A silent auction will be held at the fest to support the Kauai Lifeguard Association. Admission is $95 for adults and includes entry, wine and food tastings, and the concert. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Westin Princeville concierge at (808) 827-8808.
Powwow in Paradise, September 23-25
Powwow in Paradise, organized by the Kauai Powwow Council (KPC), is an annual celebration of the culture and traditions of Native Americans through song, dance and art. KPC is a non-profit group with a focus on providing Native American educational outreach to children. Of particular importance to KPC are cultural exchanges between Native American and Polynesian cultures. Powwow in Paradise will feature cultural crafting and education tents, ethnic food booths, and handmade one-of-a-kind Native American arts and crafts. The event will also feature a Hawaiian blessing and Grand Entry parade. For more information, call (808) 647-4285, or visitwww.kauaipowwow.com.
Kauai Coconut Festival, October 1-2
The annual Kauai Coconut Festival commemorates one of Hawaii’s most revered fruits while also demonstrating the Polynesian staple food’s many uses, byproducts and history. Attendees can participate in games, craft making and contests. The festival will also offer continuous live entertainment, cooking demonstrations by Kauai chefs, and a large gathering of artisans featuring certified Kauai-Made vendors, crafters and Polynesian products. Kids will enjoy the fest’s petting zoo and inflatable bounce houses. Organized by the Kapaa Business Associaiton, the two-day event happens at Kapaa Beach Park; admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call (808) 652-4988, or visit www.kbakauai.org.
Eo e Emalani i Alakai, October 8
Since 1988, the Kokee Museum: Hui o Laka has hosted Eo e Emalani i Alakai in commemoration of Queen Emma’s historic visit to Kokee and the Alakai Swamp in 1871. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow, the event will feature educational exhibits, arts and crafts, and food vendors. Following the 11:00 a.m. presentation of the Queen’s ride into the Meadow, hula halau performances and chats will honor Kaleleonalani, or Traveler of the Mountains. Admission is free and open to the public. Donations are welcomed and accepted at the Kokee Museum. For more information, call (808) 335-9975, or visit www.kokee.org.
31st Annual Matsuri Kauai Festival, October 15
Organized by the Kauai Japanese Cultural Society, the Matsuri Kauai Festival showcases various performance groups and promotes understanding of the Japanese culture. Attendees can enjoy hands-on activities such as oshibana (pressed flowers), origami (paper folding), and oshie (raised cloth pictures), taiko drumming, mochi (sticky rice cake) pounding, a tea ceremony, shodo (calligraphy), craft booths, and more. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call (808) 822-5353, or visitwww.kauaijcs.org.
KAUAI – HAWAII’S ISLAND OF DISCOVERY
Also known as the Garden Island, much of Kauai is green and lush with flora found from mountain to ocean. The island offers more than 50 miles of white sand beach, adding up to more beach per mile than any island in Hawaii. Other Kauai natural wonders include 3,567-foot-deep Waimea Canyon, often called “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and the towering 3,000-foot sea cliffs of the Napali Coast.
Kauai’s abundance of outdoor activities – which includes kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, mountain tubing, horseback riding, ATV adventures, zipline tours, and helicopter and boat tours – offer memorable vacation experiences for the entire family.
For information about Kauai – Hawaii’s Island of Discovery – visit www.kauaidiscovery.com or call the Kauai Visitors Bureau at (800) 262-1400. You can also follow updates about Kauai on Twitter (@kauaidiscovery), Instagram (@kauaidiscovery) or by liking the Facebook page of the Kauai Visitors Bureau.
The Kauai Visitors Bureau is a division of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, which is contracted for marketing management services in North America by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency. 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.