AFTER $30 MILLION in renovations, the Aston
Waikiki Beach Hotel still isn't completed. Recently, the Kalakaua
Avenue property welcomed a new eating establishment and retailer.
Wolfgang Puck Express features a boldly colored contemporary decor
with indoor and outdoor dining. Meanwhile, guests can shop for
Island-style clothing or rent snorkel equipment, surfboards and
boogie boards at Hawaii Five-O. "Not only do both of these shops
enhance our overall goal of bringing the fun of the beach back to
Waikiki, they offer convenient locations ... to grab a quick bite
or do some shopping," said Steve Townsend, general manager of the
Waikiki Beach Hotel. Could it be the best is yet to come? Kauai
Market and the ever-popular ice cream shop Cold Stone Creamery are
scheduled to open soon. To book the resort, call (800) 922-7866 or
surf over to www.astonwaikiki.com on the Web.
INTERISLAND CRUISES may be back in business in
Hawaii, according to Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who reportedly
inserted a provision into a Congressional spending bill that would
allow Norwegian Cruise Line to operate foreign-built ships in
Hawaii under U.S. flags. The legislation would allow NCL to sail
its two still-to-be-completed Project America vessels in Hawaii
without making foreign calls, essentially providing NCL the same
rights interisland cruiser American Classic Voyages enjoyed before
it went bankrupt in November 2001. Currently, the Passenger
Services Act prohibits foreign ships from operating between U.S.
ports without obtaining a federal exception or making a foreign
stop during the trip. NCL's current Hawaii itineraries offer
seven-day cruises aboard the Norwegian Star, and 10- and 11-day
cruises on the Norwegian Wind. Both tours stop at Fanning Island in
the Republic of Kiribati to comply with the Passenger Services
HOLLAND AMERICA Line's Statendam once again
missed its scheduled visit to Molokai after it altered course to
rescue crewmembers on a yacht in distress. Delays -- and
uncertainties in the weather -- caused the Statendam to cancel its
second scheduled port call to the Friendly Isle. The first was
aborted on Dec. 28 when high winds and rough seas made conditions
too dangerous to tender passengers ashore, where eager shopkeepers
and local entertainers awaited with groups of demonstrators
concerned about potential damage to environmental and cultural
resources. A spokesperson from the Molokai Visitors Bureau,
however, said that the protesters played no role in the decision to
move on to another island.
ARE THEY READY to play? Super Bowl XXXVII just
ended and the NFL's best players are arriving in Hawaii for fun and
sun ... and a little bit of football. Before the Pro Bowl kickoff
this Sunday at 12:30, fans can enjoy a week of activities all over
the island, including the NFL Experience in Waikiki. Visit www.probowl.com for
PLEASANT HOLIDAYS joined with Sheraton Hotels
and Hilton Hotels to make the park-and-fly process out of Los
Angeles and San Francisco more convenient this year. We're talking
reduced rates for airport hotel stays, 24-hour shuttles to the
airport and parking for the duration of the trip. Accommodations
near LAX or SFO start at $122 per person, per night, with parking
included. In addition, the Take-Off Tuesdays deal offers clients
departing on a Tuesday from Los Angeles or San Francisco with two
free nights in Hawaii. Fine print: Clients must stay a minimum of
seven nights at specific hotels on Oahu and Maui with travel
completed by March 25. Call Pleasant Holidays at (800) 448-3333 for
more information or visit Pleasant's agents-only site at www.PleasantAgent.com.
• "Surf Culture: The Art History of Surfing" will be on display at
the Contemporary Museum in Makiki Heights Jan. 31 to March 30. In
conjunction with this exhibit, the museum is hosting a variety of
family-oriented activities, including watching surfboard shapers
and airbrush artists on Feb. 8 or and chatting with surf
photographer Jon Mozo, who will talk about his work on Feb. 26.
Additional events and information can be found at www.tcmhi.org.
• The Honolulu Academy of Arts will begin renovations for the new
George and Nancy Ellis Gallery of Filipino Arts Feb. 3. George
Ellis is curating the reinstallation of the gallery -- scheduled
for completion in June -- before his retirement on Feb. 1.
• Clients can check out traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music
at the Waikiki Beach Marriott's open-air Moana Terrace every
• Each passenger will receive free admission into the Polynesian
Cultural Center on Oahu or a free two-hour whale watching tour on
Maui with purchase of any SunTrips Oahu or Maui vacation package.
Book by Jan. 31 for departures through April 9. Call (800) 786-8747
or log onto www.suntrips.com.
• Get out of the cold! Classic Custom Vacations is offering winter
deals at Starwood Resorts in Hawaii, including the seventh night
free at the Sheraton Waikiki and Sheraton Maui; the fifth night
free and daily breakfast for two at the Molokai Ranch Lodge; a Jeep
rental with stays at the Westin Maui; and unlimited use of all
beach/ocean equipment at Kapalua Bay Hotel & Ocean Villas. For
details, call (800) 221-3949.
ON THE WEB: The Calendar of Events on the
Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau Web site, at www.gohawaii.com, can
be sorted by date or island and can feature events in a selection
of categories. On tap for this week is "Unstrung Heroes," a
performance by the Hawaii Chamber Orchestra Society Jan. 31 at the
Doris Duke at the Academy Theater on Oahu; the Senior PGA
MasterCard Championship at the Hualalai Golf Course on the Big
Island Jan. 31 to Feb. 2; and a host of events celebrating the
Chinese New Year around the islands.
Beginning Feb. 7, Pleasant Holidays will offer direct service with
American Trans Air from St. Petersburg, Fla., to Oahu five days per
week and Maui six days per week. Five-night air-inclusive packages
start at $788 for Oahu and $898 for Maui, per person, double.