Looking across the Pacific to Hawaii for a vacation this year? Here's the scoop on what you'll find in the Islands of Aloha in 2010.
Hotels around the islands are getting a spruce-up for the new decade. Here are some of the places to find updated guest rooms, renovated pools, and new spas.
On Kauai, the Kaua'i Marriott Resort has just received a $50 million renovation resulting in new guest rooms, suites, and more. On the island's north shore, the Princeville Resort recently underwent a major renovation and reopened as a St. Regis. And in Po'ipu, the Whalers Cove has upgraded a number of its condos.
Over on Oahu, the OHANA Waikiki Malia has completed a large lobby and guest room refurbishment, while the Hilton Waikiki is in the final phase of its comprehensive renovation. Outrigger Reef on the Beach has transformed itself into a true upscale experience, with new guest rooms, enhanced guest services, and nightly entertainment. And the Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk opened late last year.
On Maui, the Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas has finished its $1.4 million pool expansion project, and now includes cascading swim-through waterfalls and thatched-roof umbrellas. Kaanapali Alii oceanfront condo vacation rentals has also just finished enhancing its pools, fitness center, and spa. The Sheraton Maui has become the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, with the addition of the new Spa at Black Rock.
On Hawaii's Big Island, Castle Resorts & Hotels' five properties have undergone renovations. The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu is still showing off last year's major renovation, which includes new suites and a renovated spa. The Keauhou Beach Resort has just redone its guest rooms, as has the King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, and part of the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort.
It must be all that nice weather, because Hawaii sure likes to celebrate. Here are some of the dozens of festivals scheduled for this year. For your perusing pleasure, I've divided them up by interest.
Food: Love eating? Then consider the Kona Chocolate Festival, Waikiki Spam Jam, or East Maui Taro Festival in April; the Whalers Village Maui Onion Festival, Ka'u Coffee Festival, or Hawaii Food & Wine Paradise in May; Taste of Hawaii (Kauai), Kapalua Wine and Food Festival (Maui), or Flavors of Honolulu in June; Joy of Sake (Oahu), Mango Festival (Big Island), Joy of Food and Wine (Oahu), and Hawaii Healing Garden Festival in August; Mealani's A Taste of the Hawaiian Range (Big Island) in September; the Kauai Coconut Festival in October; or the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival (Big Island) in November
Culture: Want to celebrate all that makes Hawaii unique? Then plan a visit to include the Honolulu Festival and Prince Kuhio Celebration (Kauai) in March; the Merrie Monarch Festival (Big Island) in April; Lei Day Celebration (Oahu), Big Island Film Festival, Hawaii Book & Music Festival (Oahu), Honoka'a Town Western Week & Rodeo, and Lantern Floating Hawaii (Oahu), and King Kamehameha Celebration (all islands) in May; Hawaii Dragon Boat Festival (Oahu) in June; Prince Lot Hula Festival and Kauai Music Festival in July; Hawaii Island Festival (Big Island) in August; Aloha Festivals in September; or the International Waikiki Hula Conference in November
Sport: Are you athletic, or maybe you just like watching others break a sweat? Then you'll want to know about the Big Island International Marathon, Haili Volleyball Tournament (Big Island), and Lavaman Triathlon in March; Kauai World Challenge, Honolulu Triathlon and World Fireknife Dance Competition in May; Ironman Triathlon (Big Island) in June; Duke's Ocean Fest (Oahu) in August; Kauai and Maui marathons and Honolulu Century Ride in September; Ironman World Championship in October; or the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (Oahu) in December.
These lists are big, but they are by no means the only festivals going on during the year. GoHawaii.com has more event listings.
Are you planning a Hawaii vacation this year? Which island?