Aloha briefs: Happenings around Hawaii

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HILO, Hawaii -- The Big Island Visitors Bureau launched a meetings hot line to field calls regarding availability, activities and attractions for businesses looking to move their events to the island due to world events.

For details, call (888) 333-6603 and ask for Krislynne Patterson or visit www.bigisland.org.

In other Big Island news:

• Adventurous visitors to Hilo who prefer to explore by rental car now can learn about the history and culture of parts of the Big Island without the aid of a tour guide.

The Volcano Heritage Corridor Drive Guide debuted April 24, complementing the Hilo-Hamakua Heritage Drive Guide launched in 1997.

The guide links Kalapana Road with the Volcano Highway through the Keaau hub. Brown-and-white Volcano Heritage Corridor signs will mark points of interest.

One of the recommended stops is the Volcano Farmers Market at Cooper Center, which offers flowers, locally grown vegetables and herbs.

A companion Web site, at www.hawaii-culture.com, will be updated frequently to supplement brochures displayed at the Hilo and Kona airports and visitor centers.

For more information, call (808) 966-5416.

• Kamaaina Kids opened a year-round childcare program for the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club Resort Villas in Koloa.

Children ages 5 to 12 staying with time-share or hotel guests are eligible.

• Starwood Hotels' three Maui resorts are offering a year-round, shared-amenity program called "Stay at One, Play at All," that enables guests visiting any one of the hotels to enjoy services at all three.

Visitors can play at the pool, dine, exercise in the fitness center and park free at the Westin Maui, Sheraton Maui and Kapalua Bay Hotel & Ocean Villas, all of which are located in West Maui.

When accompanied by a paying adult, children under age 12 eat free at many of the hotel restaurants. There are no blackout dates. For details, call (888) 488-3535 or visit www.starwood.com/hawaii.

• Starwood also joined the ranks of hotels boasting live Web cameras. The cameras are located at the Sheraton Maui, Westin Maui and Kauai's Princeville Resort.

To check out the view, visit www.starwood.com/hawaii and click on the HawaiiLIVE link.

• The renovated, 4,000-square-foot Presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua has a living room that spills onto a 1,064-square-foot lanai and a dining room that seats eight.

Gold and coral colors highlight new wall coverings, carpets, draperies and other furnishings.

The room rate is $3,700 per night, excluding tax and resort fee. For more information, call (808) 669-6200 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

• The Napili Kai Beach Resort on Lahaina has new packages this year.

Daily rates begin at $190; amenities include two 18-hole putting greens, four swimming pools and snorkel equipment for use at the beach.

The five-night honeymoon package, available through Dec. 19, offers an oceanview studio, tropical flowers and sparkling wine on arrival, a car rental and two spa services for $1,620, double.

For more information, call (800) 367-5030 or visit www.napilikai.com.

• Some Pleasant (Holidays) news: Summer Family Values enable children age 17 and under to stay free in their own room at the Lodge at Koele and the Manele Bay Hotel on Lanai; children age 11 and younger eat free from a special menu at Hulopoe Restaurant and Pool Grille.

The package is valid through Sept. 30; four-night, land-only holidays at both properties start at $1,091 per person, double.

Call (800) 448-3333 or visit www.pleasantagent.com.

• The latest from SunTrips: Purchase one of SunTrips' family package deals to Hawaii and the children fly for $99 roundtrip.

The result? A family of four can spend a week at the Aston Coral Reef in Waikiki from $1,259.

On Maui, two adults and two children can stay at the Aston Maui Lu for $1,489.

SunTrips' new nonstop air routes are Sacramento, Calif., to Maui and Oakland, Calif., to Kauai.

Agents earn 14% on SunTrip packages, fly/drives and group bookings and 10% for air- only bookings.

Call (800) 786-8747 or visit www.suntrips.com.

• And on Kauai, Poipu Kapili, a luxury oceanfront condominium resort in Poipu Beach on Kauai, is offering a spa package designed for up to four women traveling together.

The Pampered Wahine provides spa services in the privacy of the guests' oceanview condo and includes five nights' accommodations, car rental and a one-hour massage, a manicure, pedicure, personal yoga training session and a choice of a facial or body wrap with Hawaiian products.

Rates vary seasonally and by unit. Low Season rates (April 21 through Dec. 20) are $1,325 for one; $1,780 for two (in a one-bedroom unit); $2,180 for two (in a two-bedroom unit); and $3,090 for four people.

Travel agents earn 10% commission. The fine print: The package fee must be paid in full at time of booking, and it's nonrefundable.

Call (800) 443-7714 or visit www.poipukapili.com.

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