Honolulu Festival features free shows such as last year’s Jody Kamisato and the Ukulele Super Kids. // © 2016 Honolulu Festival Foundation
Feature image (above): Hawaii's Spring Value:Royal Lahaina Resort’s value-added Royal Experience package includes admission to the hotel’s luau // © 2016 Royal Lahaina Resort
Jay Talwar calls spring the perfect time for clients to reap the benefits of a value-added Hawaii vacation.
“Visitors can take advantage of the perks of off-season travel, from fewer crowds and free events to discounts on hotel rooms and travel packages,” said Talwar, chief marketing officer for Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Better yet, he says, airfares to the islands generally drop during the spring.
“Strong demand has led to an approximate 5 to 6 percent increase in airlift to Hawaii starting in early 2016, meaning competitive prices and more choices,” Talwar said. “Whether your clients are traveling for spring break, for Easter or just to escape the chilly climates of North America, spring is a terrific time to visit the Hawaiian Islands.”
Hawaii is blooming with spring events for budget-minded visitors. On Hawaii Island, for instance, Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo offers complimentary hula demonstrations from March 27 to April 2, timed with the prestigious Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo.
On Kauai, Prince Kuhio Celebration honors a beloved monarch with three days of free Hawaiian-style entertainment (March 25-27). On Maui, Kaanapali Beach Hotel hosts its free Steel Guitar Festival with performances and workshops (April 15-17).
Oahu’s Honolulu Festival presents cultural concerts, demonstrations and a parade, all on the house (March 11-13). The free Waikiki Spam Jam shares live music, arts and crafts and, for a small charge, tastes of Spam-inspired dishes (April 30).
The complimentary Hawaii Book and Music Festival in downtown Honolulu celebrates storytelling for all ages (April 30 to May 1), while the free May Day/Lei Day event in Kapiolani Park brims with aloha spirit (May 1).
Aqua-Aston Hospitality has several enticing promotions for visits in the next few months. Its seasonal Spring Fling sale offers up to 20 percent off its best available rates chainwide. At its Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head property, the May Lei Special provides nightly rates from $259 and an orchid lei greeting at check-in.
Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts is courting spring travelers with the Royal Experience package. Its Royal Lahaina Resort on Maui lists nightly rates from $359 for an oceanview room, daily breakfast and tickets for a luau and dinner cruise. A comparable package at Royal Kona Resort starts at $295 per night.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is slashing up to 20 percent off all room categories for five-night stays through May 31, with discounted rates that begin at $177 per night. The Waikiki property is also taking 20 percent off its five most popular suites, with nightly rates from $319.
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa is encouraging spring vacations with its Sunshine on Sale package, where guests get the fourth night free and daily breakfast for two, starting at $240 per night.
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is promoting numerous money-saving packages. Its Wellness With a Twist deal comes with a healthful snack basket amenity and either a private beach yoga session or an in-room massage. Rates begin at $299 per night.
Tour operators are doing their part to stimulate upcoming Hawaii trips, as well. Classic Vacations’ Spring Savings deal provides discounts at 30 resorts for travel from March 1 to June 30. Clients get up to $500 in air credits, a $100 booking credit, a $100 bonus air credit for U.S. West Coast departures, a triple rental car upgrade and free nights, breakfasts and resort credits at select hotels.
“There is a lot of value out there,” said David Bistrin, Hawaii product development manager for Classic Vacations. “The airfares seem to be leveling off to around $500 to $600 per person from the West Coast, with some last-minute fares popping up for $400 to $500.”
Pleasant Holidays is touting a long list of exclusive vacation packages. Clients who book Maui’s Makena Beach & Golf Resort get a $150 resort credit, two poolside cocktails and a two-category room upgrade. At Oahu’s The Kahala Hotel & Resort, guests receive a lower rate and a $100 resort credit for every three nights booked.
“To ensure that our sales remain strong during off-peak travel seasons, Pleasant Holidays has cultivated partnership offers featuring reduced rates and added values that cannot be booked anywhere else, while adding new product to our Hawaii portfolio,” said Jack Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays.
Delta Vacations also is posting impressive discounts. For example, a five-night stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village with roundtrip air for two from Seattle to Kona is $2,453.
“Combined with steady or even lower airfares from the mainland, this spring looks like a great time for a Hawaiian vacation,” said Elizabeth Moriarty, product development vice president for MLT Vacations, which manages Delta Vacations. “With Easter in March this year, these spring values should be available for a week or two longer than in other years.”