Selling Hawaii in 2010

What to look forward to in the 50th state this year

By: By Marty Wentzel

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Click here for a look at the events in the Hawaiian Islands next month.

There is always room for new-and-improved products in any destination — even in paradise. Here’s a preview of what agents can look forward to selling in Hawaii in the coming months. 

A seaside, cliff-top hole at the revamped Makai Golf Club // (C) 2010 St. Regis Princeville Resort

A seaside, cliff-top hole at the revamped Makai Golf Club // (C) 2010 St. Regis Princeville Resort


 Battleship Missouri Memorial
In ship-shape, following three months and $18 million worth of maintenance and preservation work, the attraction at Oahu’s Pearl Harbor will once again welcome visitors beginning Jan. 29. The ship is getting a fresh coat of paint, better signage, custom-designed tenting and new onboard restroom facilities. The cost of its tours will now be included in the price of admission, rather than offered for an additional fee. Coming up in September 2010 is a week of activities honoring the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II. (

Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Hoomaluhia
Open since March 2009, this 50-acre, eco-friendly boutique hotel on Hawaii’s Big Island already features an eight-room lodge, five yurt-style bungalows and an infinity pool. At the end of January, it will debut its spa, including a therapeutic Jacuzzi, men’s and women’s locker rooms, a sauna, a relaxation lounge, a retail shop, fitness equipment, outdoor massage gazebos, two wet treatment and facial rooms, a manicure and pedicure station and poolside pavilion for group meetings and classes. In the future, the oceanfront North Kohala retreat will add a Watsu pool for in-water massages. (

Honua Kai Resort and Spa
In northwest Maui, Honua Kai completed construction of the second of its two towers on Dec. 7, two months ahead of schedule. Called Konea, the new tower offers an additional 310 guest suites — for a total of 628 units — and a network of swimming pools. In 2010, an intimate indoor cafe-style restaurant and a 7,000-square-foot spa will open in the Konea tower. General manager Ed Sowers called the all-suite property “a unique alternative to the typical resort experience on Maui.” Its 50 Percent Off special will continue through Jan. 31, with rates from $200 per night. (

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows
This past September, this landmark hotel on Hawaii’s Big Island began a renovation project to upgrade its public areas, restaurants, guestrooms and suites. Enhancements are continuing into early 2010, when the accommodations will be refreshed with new soft goods. According to hotel spokeswoman Susan Bredo, the overall design incorporates a Hawaiian sense of place in keeping with the spirit of Mauna Lani, notable for its culturally and historically rich location on the Kohala Coast. (

Poipu Bay Golf Course
Hugging Kauai’s south shore, this seaside course will undergo a renovation of its greens beginning in April 2010, with a reopening planned for the end of the year. The project includes a complete overhaul of the course, so that it requires less fertilizer, less water and fewer herbicides. Poipu Bay director of golf Craig Sasada said the end result will provide a more consistent and faster putting surface for guests. Flanking the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, the course gained international recognition by hosting the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994-2006. (

Makai Golf Club at the Princeville
Makai Golf Club, the 27-hole north Kauai course, will reopen on Jan. 16, 2010, after extensive renovations at the hands of its original architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. Highlights of the project include installing eco-friendly seashore paspalum turf on tees, fairways and greens; lengthening the course; adding strategic new bunkers; and crafting an enhanced practice area. Part of the St. Regis Princeville Resort, the course also boasts a new Web site where clients can book tee times. (

Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
The new Oahu luxury hotel will celebrate its grand opening on Jan. 12. During the coming year, it will launch monthly wine tastings and drink specials, and it will introduce live jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings. Watch for the debut of the resort’s Hawaiian Culture program featuring interactive activities designed to teach guests about the local history, language and traditions. Already open on-property are BLT Steak — famed chef Laurent Tourondel’s first restaurant in Hawaii — as well as a lobby bar and spa.(