Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-letter: Nov. 3, 2003

SPAS ALONG THE KOHALA COAST--as part of the second annual Big Island Festival--will open their doors for a grand tour on Thursday. Participants will receive spa treatments from Hawaiian Rainforest Salon and Spa, Kohala Sports Club and Spa, Mauna Lani Spa, Paul Brown Salon and Spa at Hapuna and the Salon at Mauna Kea. The spa tour begins with a yoga/stretch class at the Festival Pavilion, conducted by the Fairmont Orchid's Spa Without Walls. Two itineraries are available, with a picnic lunch between spa visits. The cost of spa tour is $75, or it may be selected as one of the event choices included in the Platinum Pass. Bus transportation is included. (808) 934-9044; (866) 424-FEST;

VISITOR ARRIVALS to Hawaii rose 1.6% in September, besting the previous-year level, though the number of days visitors spent in the Islands dropped 4.5%, according to a report from the state Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Domestic arrivals remained strong, with a gain of 3.4%, and international arrivals numbers were 2.6% below last year's levels. Meetings and conventions in Hawaii helped boost the number of meetings, conventions and incentives visitors by 23.4%. Repeat visitors were 62.4% of the total visitors to the state.

ATA AIRLINES will begin nonstop daily service between Seattle and Honolulu Feb. 20. The carrier will start daily one-stop service to Honolulu from New York [La Guardia] via San Francisco Nov. 20, increasing to two its daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to Honolulu. Beginning June 1, ATA's weekly nonstop service from Los Angeles to Honolulu will jump from seven to 12 flights.

OUTRIGGER HOTELS AND RESORTS is taking its sports-friendly reputation a step further by making the Ohana Reef Lanai in Waikiki the first smoke-free hotel in Hawaii. Hotels in Hawaii typically designate about 50% of rooms for smokers.

HILTON GRAND VACATIONS soon will have two vacation ownership resorts at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa in Waikiki. The timeshare project, dubbed Hilton Grand Vacations Club, is scheduled to open in December. An extensive renovation of six floors in the recently reopened Kalia tower will transform 138 hotel rooms into 72 studio suites and one-bedroom condominium-style units. The development supplements an existing vacation ownership in Hilton's Lagoon Tower. (808) 949-4321;

ALOHA AIRLINES will begin operating two flights a week between Hawaii and Pago Pago, American Samoa, Dec. 16. The carrier also will offer direct connections from the U.S. mainland and Canada to Pago Pago, continuing on to Roratonga in the Cook Islands. The following special fares are available for purchase by Nov. 11 for travel completed by March 16: $299 one way, plus taxes and fees, between Honolulu and Pago Pago, and $449 one way from Aloha's gateways in Burbank, Oakland, Orange County, and Sacramento, Calif., Las Vegas, Reno and Phoenix. The introductory fares are based on round-trip purchase. Pago Pago is 2,600 miles southwest of Honolulu; Roratonga is 859 miles southeast of Pago Pago. Flights will depart Honolulu on Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:50 p.m. and arrive in Pago Pago at 7:40 p.m. (800) 367-5250;

CLASSIC CUSTOM VACATIONS has four new properties in Hawaii, including Castle Diamond Resort on Maui and Outrigger Fairway Villas in Waikoloa on the Big Island. Classic highlights these, 66 others and five new destinations in its 2004 properties brochure.

APPLE VACATIONS is selling special Hawaii packages Nov. 9 to 22. Couples can save up to $560 per trip. Packages must be booked by Nov. 22. (800) 800-0202 from the West Coast and (800) 365-2775 from the Midwest and East Coast;

CORRECTION: Centex Homes purchased 34 acres and the rights to develop single-family homes and multifamily town homes in the Ko Olina Resort near the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa. The names of the resorts were erroneously reported in the Oct. 27 e-letter.

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