Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-letter: Oct. 23, 2006

LAST SUNDAY'S EARTHQUAKE in Hawaii did little damage to hotels. The only reported room damage was on the island of Hawaii, ashore of the epicenter of the quake off the South Kohala coast. The nearest hotel to the epicenter, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, suffered some damage. A small portion of its rooms have been removed from inventory pending safety assessments. Newspaper reports identify fewer than 100 rooms out of Hawaii's 72,000 have been closed due to potential danger. All hotels and condos are open and operational and all roads are passable. All activities are ready to welcome visitors, who will see little, if any, evidence of the earthquake's passing. The heaviest damage was to several historic buildings and sites in the Kona and Kohala districts, including Hulihee Palace in Kailua, which remains closed.

THE MAUNA LANI BAY HOTEL has responded to the recent earthquake with the "Mauna Lani -- Shaken, Not Stirred" package, with per-night rates starting at $390, including include daily buffet breakfast and access to the Mauna Lani Sports & Fitness Club. The plan is available through Dec. 19. Call (800) 367-2323.

WAIKIKI'S KUHIO BEACH will see its disappearing sands replenished with 10,000 cubic feet of sand dredged from offshore. The project, originally scheduled for 2004, is the largest replenishment of the beach in more than 30 years. It is scheduled for completion by early November.

THERE SHOULD BE NO THREAT OF A STRIKE for the next few years, with the major hotel workers unions having successfully negotiated new contracts with Hilton and Sheraton covering 4,000 employees. Their settlements provide a guideline for settlements with other hotels.

A MAJOR EXPANSION OF THE TURTLE BAY RESORT on Oahu's still rural North Shore has received a tentative go-ahead pending submission of its plans for the property by the end of the year. The expansion, initially approved 20 years ago but only partially implemented, has drawn community resistance based on the potential addition of hundreds of condominium units and thousands of hotel rooms to the resort, which currently includes the 479-room Turtle Bay hotel, several low-rise condominiums and two 18-hole golf courses. Honolulu's Dept. of Planning and Permitting must give approval before construction can begin.

Hawaii Editor:

Allan Seiden

Phone: (808) 734-4677

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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