Activities for Business Groups on Oahu

Oahu offers unique recreational venues for visiting groups.

By: By Marty Wentzel

When it’s time to swap the formalities of the meeting room for more casual environs, Oahu obliges in inimitable fashion. In between meetings and brainstorming sessions, the island’s distinctive activities and party sites prove unforgettable for clients, according to Starwood Hotels & Resorts spokesman Revell Newton.

“Oahu presents the meetings, conventions and incentives market with diverse town and country experiences that are hard to find anywhere else in the world,” said Newton. “It’s like all of Hawaii on one island.”

From vibrant urban settings to the natural beauty of the windward and north shores, Oahu awaits with remarkable backdrops as business travelers mingle and make memories. Here are a few to consider.

The Royal Hawaiian Center’s open-air meeting space// (C) 2010 Royal Hawaiian Center

The Royal Hawaiian Center’s open-air meeting space// (C) 2010 Royal Hawaiian

Royal Hawaiian Center
During its recent renovation, this three-block-long shopping, dining and entertainment hub added a fourth dimension: a meeting venue. Groups can fraternize in its 30,000-square-foot Royal Grove landscaped with tropical plants and ponds or make the rounds on the Makai Lawn. The center’s second-level lanai overlooks the pink Royal Hawaiian hotel, while the open-air, fourth-level rooftop lets guests rise above the bustle of Waikiki. There’s also another selling point.

“We offer the cost-saving benefit of a walkable event, close to most major Waikiki hotels,” said general manager Marleen Akau. (www.royalhawaiiancenter.com)

The Star of Honolulu is popular with high-profile clients.// (C) 2010 Star of Honolulu

The Star of Honolulu is popular with high-profile clients.// (C) 2010 Star of Honolulu

Star of Honolulu
Looking for an alternative to the hotel banquet room? How about a 1,500-passenger ship? Star of Honolulu promises stand-out functions with ever-changing views as the vessel cruises along the Oahu coastline. Themes run the gamut, from karaoke at sea to a seven-course French dinner. The ship is particularly popular with high-profile clients because of its relative privacy, said spokesperson Tricia Masaki Murakami.

“We provide a one-stop shop,” she said. “We have our own catering division, photographers, party managers and more.” (www.starofhonolulu.com)

 

Groups can rent out Sea Life Park for the day.// (C) 2010 Sea Life Park

Groups can rent out Sea Life Park for the day.// (C) 2010 Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park
When a splashy event is in order, consider this maritime attraction on Oahu’s picturesque windward coast. Groups of 750 people or more can rent out the whole park for the day or evening and take part in sea lion swims, dolphin programs, sting ray encounters and an underwater Sea Trek in the Hawaiian reef tank.

“We have hosted several successful exclusive luaus here,” said spokesman Ron Hee. “Many people have told us that what makes the setting so special is our beautiful ocean scenery, proximity to Waikiki and authentic Hawaiian luau fare.” (www.sealifeparkhawaii.com)

 A team-building exercise at Kualoa Ranch // (C) 2010 Kualoa Ranch

A team-building exercise at Kualoa Ranch // (C) 2010 Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch
Low and high ropes challenges, film-site tours and wacky beach Olympics are some of the team-building activities awaiting groups at this multi-purpose mecca on the windward side of the island. The gang can hobnob at numerous indoor and outdoor locations, including a covered pavilion and terraced three-level garden overlooking a 125-acre ancient Hawaiian fishpond; a secluded valley surrounded by Hawaiian plants, huts and statuesque mountain ranges; a rodeo arena bursting with paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) action; and Secret Island, home of a secluded white-sand beach. (www.kualoa.com)



The USS Missouri hosts corporate receptions and ceremonies.// (C) 2010 Battleship Missouri Memorial

The USS Missouri hosts corporate receptions and ceremonies.// (C) 2010 Battleship Missouri Memorial

Battleship Missouri Memorial
For a function of legendary proportions, an event on this historic vessel — the site of the end of World War II — can really float a group’s boat. Just one ship length away from the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, the Mighty Mo hosts incentive parties, corporate receptions, formal dinners and ceremonies on its pier, portside veranda deck or fantail, which was once a flight deck. For an affair to remember, VIPs can make themselves at home in the captain’s cabin, which once hosted such luminaries as President Harry Truman. (www.ussmissouri.com)

The Polynesian Cultural Center// (C) 2010 Polynesian Cultural Center

The Royal Hawaiian Center’s open-air meeting space// (C) 2010 Royal Hawaiian

Polynesian Cultural Center
The newest gathering place at this 42-acre North Shore attraction is Halau Waa o Iosepa (Iosepa canoe house of learning), where BYU-Hawaii’s 57-foot voyaging canoe rests when it’s not sailing. Groups can also get together at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Gateway restaurant, seating 1,000 diners; Hale Aloha, holding up to 650 people; and Hale Ohana, accommodating 500 guests. A one-hour drive from Waikiki, the center teaches clients about the South Pacific as they wander through eight island villages showcasing the cultures of Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, Easter Island, French Polynesia and Tonga. (www.polynesia.com

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