Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: January 13, 2003

FANTASY HOLIDAYS will offer flights to Hawaii aboard Continental and United this year in an effort to expand its Hawaii product. Agents can now book Continental's nonstop flight to Honolulu out of Newark. In addition to more flight choices, Fantasy installed new software on its reservation system that enables agents to charge service fees on all Hawaii credit card bookings. (800) 645-2555.

SHERATON WAIKIKI wants meeting planners to know it provides high-speed Internet access, giving users a large amount of bandwidth. Function rooms are wired with Category 5 cable, and most connectivity is deployed using a wireless network. At its most recent convention, more than 100 users wirelessly surfed the Net. Similar services are expected to be available at the Royal Hawaiian and the Sheraton Moana Surfrider by the end of the first quarter.

THE 2003 KAPALUA FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL will take place July 10 to 13 on Maui. The Food Network's "East Meets West" chef Ming Tsai will be the featured chef, who will oversee events with Andrea Immer, master sommelier and festival host. Wine tastings will occur at the Kapalua Bay Hotel & Ocean Villas. A gala dinner and the Kapalua Seafood Festival will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.(800) KAPALUA or www.kapaluamaui.com.

THE KAUAI MARATHON and half-marathon will be held on March 16. This event is all about the scenery. So forget about personal records: more than 16 miles will be run on agricultural roads--including four major hills--and temperatures could rise into the mid-80s. kauaimarathon.com/index.cfm.

DON'T LIKE RUNNING? Try hula...with your kids. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel will host the 13th annual Hula O Na Keiki on Nov. 7 to 9. It's Maui's only children's solo hula competition Nov. 7-9.

CULTURAL HAPPENINGS
• The Sheraton Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani now have a cultural expert to educate staff and share Hawaiian history with guests. Palakiki Yagodich joined the hotels a few months ago, and will work with employees in an effort to perpetuate the values, culture and language of Hawaii in the resorts' daily operations. He is a key component of the Hookipa Me Ke Aloha program initiated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 1999 in its effort to make each visit to Hawaii a memorable experience. Two historical tours per day also leave from the Moana at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., and one from the Kaiulani at 4 p.m.
• The Doris Duke Theater at the Honolulu Academy of Arts has a full schedule of independent films, lectures and performances to enhance any visit to Oahu. Look for the "Real Women" film series, and "The Trials of Henry Kissinger." Lectures on "Shifting Boundaries in Ancient China" and a Bluegrass performance are February highlights.(808) 532-8768; www.honoluluacademy.org.
• "Century of the Tiger: A Centennial Celebration of Korean Americans 1903-2003" opens Jan. 25 at the Bishop Museum. Visitors will learn about the Korean immigrants who arrived in Honolulu Harbor 100 years ago. (808) 847-3511; www.bishopmuseum.org.

PACKAGES
• New packages from Kapalua Bay Hotel & Ocean Villas feature daily buffet breakfast for two and unlimited free beach activity rentals, with the fifth night free. The Maui Experience package takes visitors beyond the resort for a one-tank Scuba dive, snorkel/kayak excursion, horseback riding, surfing lesson, golf, whale watching, tennis, a massage, the Ulalena luau show, or parasailing. Guests choose one activity per day per person. All are commissionable at 10%. (800) 325-3589; http://www.starwood.com/kapalua.
• King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel has rolled out its 2003 packages, with two-night combinations like Morning Ocean, which includes a four-and-a-half hour snorkel cruise, or Afternoon Ocean for guests who like to sleep in. Rates start at $125 per night for two people. www.konabeachhotel.com.
• Pleasant Holidays partnered with the Embassy Vacation Resort Kaanapali on Maui to offer guests the fifth and sixth nights free when they travel through June 30. Minimum stay of 6 nights required. Book by April 30. Land-only packages--including rental car--start at $798 per person. (800) 448-3333 or www.pleasantagent.com.

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