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Hawaii started the new year on a high. When a Travel Leaders Group survey asked 3,500 consumers where in the U.S. they hope to visit in 2019, the Aloha State finished first.Here’s some breaking news for travel advisors seeking to stay one step ahead while helping Hawaii remain No. 1.
HAWAII ISLANDBike VolcanoBike Volcano rolled into 2019 with a new spin-and-stay tour. After a 15-mile pedal around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) — some of which was transformed during last year’s eruption — clients spend the night at the boutique Hilo Beach House Inn.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters and Mauna Kea ResortBlue Hawaiian Helicopters and Mauna Kea Resort have joined forces to create Heli VIP, a unique, customized air tour. Hotel guests choose personalized options such as a waterfall landing for a private picnic or a flight to a cave for spelunking. (808-882-5707)
Kuleana Rum ShackKuleana Rum Shack makes a spirited addition to Waikoloa Beach Resort’s Queens’ Marketplace, where it touts tastings and cocktails of rum sourced from heirloom Hawaiian sugarcane. It also serves food showcasing fresh, regional ingredients.
Volcano HouseVolcano House has reopened in HVNP, giving guests a prime home base for exploring the lava landscape. Halemaumau Crater, seen from the hotel’s windows, is three times deeper and twice wider than pre-eruption, and steam-free skies invite dazzling stargazing opportunities.
www.hawaiivolcanohouse.comKAUAIAqua Kauai Beach ResortAqua Kauai Beach Resort just launched guest activities inspired by the local culture. Clients can weave bracelets using native leaves, make traditional string figures, play Ohana Aloha bingo and fish with bamboo poles.
Kiahuna Plantation Resort Kauai by OutriggerKiahuna Plantation Resort Kauai by Outrigger now offers Unit Choice condominiums, allowing clients to book specific rooms ahead of time to meet their vacation needs. By the end of January, the Kiahuna collection will list nine updated units.
Tasting KauaiTasting Kauai recently kicked off an appetizing walking tour of Hanapepe. This month, the operator is also adding a lively Lihue itinerary with stops at a farm, a farmers market and restaurants.
Timbers KauaiTimbers Kauai, the island’s newest resort, has debuted three distinctive dining venues. Instead of a traditional restaurant, guests can eat at an organic farm, savor a sunset meal on the golf course or dine under the stars on an observation deck.
LANAIFour Seasons Resort LanaiFour Seasons Resort Lanai greeted 2019 with Love Lanai, a program of cultural pastimes such as hiking and fishing tours, talking story with kupuna (elders), learning time-honored crafts, watching poi-making and participating in an authentic Hawaiian dinner.
Hotel LanaiHotel Lanai looks better than ever following a makeover of its 10 guestrooms, lobby and restaurant. Vintage decor, historical photos and natural touches such as bamboo and wicker furniture reflect the hotel’s 1923 roots as the island’s first visitor accommodation.
MAUIMaui Kayak AdventuresMaui Kayak Adventures is hailing the return of Hawaii’s humpbacks with a new whale-watching kayak and snorkel experience. The four-hour trip, which departs from Olowalu and Makena, also treats guests to sightings of sea turtles, manta rays and rare tropical fish.
Maui Ocean CenterMaui Ocean Center is taking the wraps off its revolutionary Humpbacks of Hawaii exhibit and sphere that is unlike anything else on the islands. Highlights include interactive displays and a 25-foot convex screen for 3D and laser viewings of previously unseen whale footage.
Trilogy ExcursionsTrilogy Excursions has welcomed Trilogy IV, a 65-foot luxury catamaran outfitted with twin swim ladders, teak decking, cushioned seating, a large galley and two washrooms. Clients can enjoy it during the company’s snorkel and sunset dinner sails.
OAHUHawaii Forest & TrailHawaii Forest & Trail, based on Hawaii Island, has introduced three noteworthy Oahu adventures. One tour focuses on farms, food, history and culture. Another takes a firsthand look at how Honolulu’s volcanic past shapes today’s environment, and the third excursion allows clients to track exotic wildlife.
Hoku Hawaii ToursHoku Hawaii Tours now presents guided excursions for guests of Ko Olina Resort in west Oahu. Outings include a daylong eco-adventure, an all-inclusive visit to Pearl Harbor and a circle island tour to landmarks such as Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head.
Waikiki TrolleyHonolulu Dining Express, Waikiki Trolley’s first new line in six years, dishes up foodie fun. From International Market Place, it stops at Waikiki and neighborhood haunts such as Side Street Inn, Leonard’s Bakery, Haili’s Hawaiian Foods and Rainbow Drive-In.
Vida MiaVida Mia, a glamorous 61-foot yacht, is Oahu’s latest option for private charters. The restored 1929 beauty caters to weddings, corporate events, family gatherings and sunset sails, with a sitting area, a bar, a salon and staterooms that serve as photogenic backdrops.