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Exciting New Hotels and Updates in Hawaii

5 updated hotels perfect for Hawaiian Honeymoons

Posted: February 28, 2018

Exciting New Hotels and Updates in Hawaii

Although new hotel openings in the Aloha State don't occur as frequently as they do in other destinations, Hawaii is constantly updating its hotel products, from subtle renovations to massive transformation projects. Here are five projects to keep in mind.

Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger Has Soft Opening

With its 70th anniversary in full stride, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts officially held a soft opening of Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger on February 1 with plans to fully open by the summer following a $25 million renovation.

The renovation will include all-new guest rooms and meeting spaces, as well as a revamped lobby. The phased renovation schedule is designed to minimize guest disruption.

Situated steps from Waikiki Beach and adjacent to the revamped International Market Place, Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger is home to some of Hawaii’s dining hotspots including Maui Brewing Co. and Hawaiian Aroma Caffe.

Serving brews from morning to night, guests can have artesian coffee and light bites in a chic poolside cafe or sample a flight of award-winning, Maui-brewed craft beer with fresh, island-inspired eats.

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Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach Officially Opens<

Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach officially opened its doors in Honolulu toward the end of last year after an extensive $115 million transformation of the former Pacific Beach Hotel.

Located in the heart of Waikiki, Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach has 839 rooms; five new culinary concepts, with the two Morimoto restaurants coming soon; and a destination pool deck, along with authentic design touches inspired by Oahu’s landscape and cultural heritage.

The resort also has six one-bedroom guest suites with living rooms, a dining nook and wet bar, plus a bathroom with dual vanities, a wet room with a rain shower and a soaking tub. All guest rooms and suites also have Malie Organics' Koke'e scented bath products.

Alohilani Resort also hosts collaborations with “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto; New York architecture and design firm, the Rockwell Group; and architectural firms, WATG and Pacific Asia Design Group.

Lobby features include the O Bar with a 280,000-gallon saltwater oceanarium that is home to more than 1,000 indigenous marine life and replica coral reef formations; new guest services and group arrival spaces; a residential-style business center; and retail boutiques.

A new destination pool deck on the fifth floor overlooking Waikiki Beach features a saltwater infinity pool along with chic social and relaxation spaces.

The pool experience also includes Swell Bar, five cabanas perched atop a reflecting pool, tiered day beds and custom teak furniture, driftwood sculptures, lanterns and fire pits. Family guests can enjoy a separate, adjacent family pool.

Alohilani Resort is home to Island Club and Spa, a luxury fitness and spa brand that features a fitness center on the third floor overlooking the saltwater oceanarium. Additional key amenities include a movement studio for daily classes including aquatic Vinyasa yoga classes and Fitness on Demand virtual classes. Three spa treatment rooms, including a couple's room for massages, body treatments and facials, are available.

Group can enjoy access to nearly 20,000 square feet of redeveloped meeting and event space across a variety of indoor and outdoor options. From social events and weddings to meetings, retreats and conferences, the resort offers new and enhanced spaces from more than 1,500 square feet to nearly 12,000 square feet.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Completes Massive Renovation

A solid fit for families, the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, a luxury resort located on Maui, has announced the completion of massive renovation that practically transformed the resort. The resort now offers upgraded guest rooms, suites and residences, an enhanced lobby and pool experience, and the new Kai Cafe.

Celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary, these new enhancements aim to honor the last quarter of a century while ushering in what the hotel is billing as a new wave of natural Aloha.

The new guest rooms, suites, and residences have floor-to-ceiling windows and the resort’s elevated lobby experience is inspired by the Hawaiian word, Mana, meaning the power of the elemental forces in nature embodied in an object or person. Lighting and elements of fire aim to meld with organic lines and textures to create an indoor-outdoor feeling.

The 10,000-square foot, three-level pool and 20,000-square-foot sun deck are now accompanied by upgraded Cabana Suites complete with butler service, flat screen televisions and a private refrigerator. Also new is refreshed landscaping, including the addition of puakenikeni trees, hibiscus and lauhala.

Located on the lobby level of the resort, the new Kai Cafe offers an array of house-made pastries, organic smoothies, fresh local coffee and deli selections, tropical fruits, sandwiches, wraps and salads.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is part of Marriott International, Inc. and currently operates more than 90 hotels and 40 residential properties in more than 30 countries and territories.


Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa Announces $26.5 Million Renovation

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Hawaii has announced that a $26.5 million renovation is underway to transform the resort’s 508 guest rooms and suites.

The historic resort, situated on 23 oceanfront acres at iconic Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) on Kaanapali Beach, was the first resort to open in Ka‘anapali in 1963. It celebrates its 55th anniversary on January 23, 2018.

The room refresh incorporates 464 guest rooms, 43 suites and one presidential suite and is scheduled for completion in summer 2018.

Colors and textures utilized throughout the resort’s six buildings are inspired by the culture and island landscapes of Maui, Lanai and Molokai. The Anuenue and Nalu buildings will be themed around the culture and colors of Maui. Lahaina and Ohana buildings will take inspiration from the vision of Lanai in the distance, incorporating ethereal and abstract artwork and orange and blue tones.

Moana and Hoku buildings, located atop Puu Kekaa above the ocean, will feature views of the Pacific Ocean and verdant Molokai. The new guest room design by AHL, formerly Architects Hawaii Ltd., aims to blends past with present, honoring the history and sense of place found at Puu Kekaa while modernizing the living and bathroom spaces.


Meet the Revamped Sheraton Princess Kaiulani

As part of a nearly $5 million enhancement completed in 2016, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani now offers two new room categories on the top 10 floors of its newly renovated Ainahau Tower.

Offering Waikiki skyline views, rooms have all-new furniture, artwork, and decorative accents. Adding to the resort’s now-total of 1,140 rooms is the newly renovated Kaiulani category with a limited view and private balcony plus upgraded bathrooms.

A prior property makeover included additional room renovations as well as updates to the Sheraton Fitness Center, Sheraton Link and lobby area.


Spirit Launching Daily Nonstop Flights to St Thomas

The new service will begin operating on March 10, 2018.

Posted: February 27, 2018

Spirit Launching Daily Nonstop Flights to St Thomas

Low-cost air carrier Spirit Airlines is expanding its Caribbean network.

The carrier has announced plans to expand to daily nonstop flights between Fort Lauderdale and St Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands.

The new service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and St Thomas’ Cyril E. King International Airport will begin operating on March 10.

It’s an additional boost for a destination that has been making its recovery in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Indeed, all beaches and most activities and attractions have reopened in St Thomas, with national park sites having reopened as well.

St Thomas properties that are available include the Emerald Beach Resort, Windward Passage, Lindbergh Bay Hotel and Villas and a number of villas and bed and breakfasts.

Marriott also just reopened its Frenchman’s Cove resort earlier this month.

Nearby St John has several places to stay as well, including the Hotel Cruz Bay, the Grande Bay Resort, the Gallows Bay Resort, Estate Lindholm and Sea Shore Allure.

By the Caribbean Journal staff


Carnival Expanding Mexico Cruises

Carnival Cruise Line is making moves in Mexico.

Posted: February 13, 2018

Carnival Expanding Mexico Cruises

The company has announced plans to deploy its Carnival Panorama ship to Long Beach beginning next year, the first new Carnival ship based in Southern California in two decades, while reopening its 146,000-square-foot cruise terminal in Long Beach, all part of an expansion in Mexico cruise offerings.

Carnival is also planning a multimillion-dollar port development project in Ensenada, Mexico.

“This is a momentous occasion for both Carnival and the City of Long Beach – not only are we celebrating the grand re-opening of this magnificent cruise terminal, but also demonstrating our commitment to the West Coast with the deployment of the spectacular new Carnival Panorama in 2019 and the announcement of an exciting new port development project in Ensenada,” said Duffy. “The West Coast is an important market with vast growth potential and these initiatives further demonstrate the confidence in our future success in Long Beach. We are very much looking forward to having Carnival Panorama homeported here beginning next year.”

Carnival’s third Vista-class ship, Panorama, will operate seven-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera, while the Carnival Splendor ship will arrive in Long Beach to operate seven-day Mexico cruises as well.

Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration will be operating three and four-day cruises that include a stop in Ensenada.

“[The Ensenada project] will provide our guests with a truly unique shoreside experience while making our short cruises from Long Beach even more attractive to consumers,” said Torres de Navarra. “This port development project will make Ensenada one of the West Coast’s premier destinations.”

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Romance in Hawaii

Shared from Travel Agent Magazine

Posted: February 7, 2018

Romance in Hawaii

While there is plenty of romance to be had at some of Hawaii's best hotels, Travel Agent breaks down some romantic spots outside of a resort in the Aloha State for Valentine's Day. Here are some of the most beautiful lookouts and beaches for that client looking to pop the question or to simply spend a memorable day with a loved one.


Whether Kapalua Bay is the best beach in all of Maui can be up for debate, but most experts and Hawaii tourism officials agree that it is one of the most sheltered beaches in Maui. Because of the seclusion it offers, we recommend this beach for romantics looking for some privacy. The surrounding area is mostly dominated by the Montage Kapalua Bay and condominium communities, giving the impression that it is exclusive. But the bay is still open to the public.

Romantics spending Valentine's Day on Maui should pack a small bag with a blanket and camp out for a bit at the top of Haleakala Crater to see the best sunrise Maui has to offer. Rising more than 10,000 feet above sea level, Haleakala National Park is home to Maui's highest peak. Both tourists and locals are known to wake up early to drive up to the Haleakala Visitor Center. On a clear morning, seeing the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala is an unforgettable experience. If a proposal was part of your client's Valentine's Day plan, this is the place to do it. If a little action-adventure is desired, this is also a great spot for some incredible horseback riding.


Poipu Beach Park is often considered Kauai’s most popular beach. But since it draws a big family population because of its natural wading pool for young swimmers, it may not be the best setting for some quiet, alone time with your loved one. Instead, we recommend the much more secluded and lesser-known Kauapea Beach, commonly referred to as “Secret Beach.”

This practically empty, half-mile stretch of beach is not easy to get to, as there are no public roads that lead to it. But that’s why it’s so unpopulated.

Instead, clients should take the Kuhio Highway past Kilauea and turn right on Kalihiwai Road. Follow the road for less than a mile, turn right onto an unmarked road and look for the footpath at the end of the parking area. This steep trail leads to the west end of the beach. With enough seclusion to enjoy some privacy with your loved one, this is the best spot for a romantic picnic for two with beautiful views of the ocean and Kilauea lighthouse. Beware, however, that this is NOT a safe swimming beach.


The best beach in Oahu for some secluded romance is Diamond Head Beach. This a great spot for some light water sports or sunbathing, but the best part is that there are hardly any people on Diamond Head Beach.

Another unique option for proposing in Oahu is located not too far from Diamond Head Beach. At the top of Leahi, commonly referred to as Diamond Head, is a 760-foot tuff crater that is often considered one of Hawaii's most famous landmarks.

It only takes a short drive or bus ride to get to Diamond Head Crater from Waikiki. This moderately challenging trail includes two sets of stairs, totaling 175 steps, as well as dark, underground tunnels and old military bunkers that require a flashlight.

If you plan to hike on Saturday morning, be sure to swing by the Kapiolani Community College Farmer’s Market, a farmer's market showcasing locally grown food and produce.

Hawaii Island

Couples in love should be sure to sneak a photo at the Akaka Falls State Park, located along the northeastern Hamakua Coast. Couples can take in two gorgeous waterfalls on one short hike. As you follow the paved footpath, you'll first see 100-foot Kahuna Falls. Clients should then continue to follow the loop around the bend, where they'll discover Akaka Falls, which plummets 442 feet into a stream-eroded gorge. This hike takes less than an hour.

For more about Hawaiian Romance, visit Go Hawaii!