Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: February 17, 2003

SO, VALENTINE'S DAY wasn't all your clients hoped for? You can change that next year with a free seven-night stay in Hawaii, including round-trip air, a rental car for the entire stay and a candlelight dinner. All clients have to do is write a story! Clients can submit an original, G-rated love story of 100 to 150 words in one of 12 categories online at www.bestplaceshawaii.com or via mail at Love Stories, 1351 Kuhio Hwy., Kapaa, HI 96746. Best Places Hawaii selects two grand-prize winners each year for a trip for two sponsored by Pleasant Holidays and Idea Travel. The 2003 contest has just begun! Check for rules and categories online.

DON'T MISS another opportunity to please clients and earn commission. SellActivities.com is a password protected travel agent only Web site, where agents can search and book tours, attractions and entertainment on all of the Hawaiian Islands. The best news: 10% to 25% commission, depending on the provider.

THE GRAND WAILEA Resort Hotel & Spa on Maui introduced seasonal themes with its spa treatments this year to celebrate Hawaii's indigenous products and their healing properties. Each season, based on the theme, specialty treatments will change at the resort's Spa Grande. "Maui Vanilla Orchid" will run from March 1 to May 31, and will use vanilla beans grown in the rainforest on the north slope of the Haleakala volcano on Maui. Related treatments include the Vanilla Orchid Coconut Mineral Bath and the Vanilla Shea Butter Body Scrub. Booking a spa experience (it is far more than a treatment!) at Spa Grande means you also get one-hour access to the Terme Wailea Hydrotherapy system, a myriad healing baths -- like tropical enzyme and and aromatherapy -- and showers. For details, call (800) SPA-1933 or log onto www.grandwailea.com.

AIR BYTES
• Aloha Airlines launched new service between Maui and Burbank (Calif.) on Valentine's Day, giving travelers one more reason to avoid the crush of LAX and skip a stopover in Honolulu. Flights depart Burbank at 8 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and arrive in Kahului, Maui at 11:32 a.m. Return flights leave Maui at 2:50 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, arriving in Burbank at 9:57 p.m. Beginning March 14, flights will operate daily. And hey, they still serve food!
• SunTrips will offer weekly nonstop service on Thursdays from Sacramento (Calif.) Airport to Maui from May 22 through August 21. Seven-night Maui packages, including roundtrip air, rental car, accommodations and hotel taxes, start at $699 per person, double. Air-only rates are available from $379. To book, call (800) 786-8747 or visit www.suntrips.com.

CULTURALLY SPEAKING
• The University of Hawaii at Manoa Art Gallery will host the 8th International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition, featuring 145 small-scale sculptures March 9 to April 17. Some works -- whose space and scale are dictated by the size of an ordinary shoebox -- are conceptual, while others reflect the artist's cultural heritage. Media include cast metal, carved wood, blown glass, woven fiber, papier-mache, molded clay, found objects, glass beads, feathers and human hair. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; admission is free. Call the gallery at (808) 956-6888.

PACKAGED GOODS
• Pleasant Holidays and Starwood Hotels & Resorts are offering guests the fifth night free, room upgrades and daily breakfast for two at 11 properties in the Islands. Travel is valid through June 30; blackout dates appear. Five-night, land-only packages start at $620 per person, double, with daily rental car.
• Meanwhile, Embassy Vacation Resort Kaanapali extended its 5th and 6th night free special through Dec. 21. Reservations must be booked by April 30 and a minimum six-night stay is required. Land-only plans start at $792 per person, double. Both packages can be booked via Pleasant Holidays at (800) 448-3333 or on the Web at www.PleasantAgent.com.

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