Hawaii -- About 2,000 people will assemble here Nov. 3 to 7 to
participate in the third annual Big Island Festival.
wine tastings, ancient Hawaiian cultural activities, spa and golf
excursions on the islands Kohala Coast are the kinds of year-round
activities that will be condensed into a single, weekend-long
A suitable fit for
an event that revolves around fine foods and wine, the hottest
ticket will be the tasting dinner on the final evening at the Mauna
Kea Resort, where there will be demonstrations, wine pairings by
top producers worldwide and cuisine prepared by all 10 of Food
& Wines Best New Chefs of 2004.
In addition, each
guest chef will host either a dinner event or a cooking
demonstration. The Best Chefs include Graham Elliot Bowles of the
Jackson House Inn, Woodstock, Vt.; Scott Conant of LImpero, New
York; Scott Dolich of Park Kitchen in Portland, Ore.; and Mathias
Wolf of Gautreaus, New Orleans.
This year, the
Grand Tasting events are centered around the Hapuna Beach Prince
Hotel (where Kelsey Grammer recently treated his 100-member cast
and crew to a Hawaii vacation), with the Mauna Lani, Mauna Kea and
Kona Village properties also hosting activities.
Guests will have
free time to explore the island. Sugar cane, corn, vanilla,
mushroom, coffee, flower and even lobster farms are within driving
distance of the festival site and are open to visitors.
Renaissance Experience is a full-day tour to the Waimea area and
includes a visit to the Hamakua farm where many of the islands top
chefs buy the organic greens and mushrooms they use in their
dishes. The tour costs $98 per person.
New Waves at Nelha
(Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority) reveals one of the
worlds most unique marine farming techniques. It pumps deep, cold
ocean water to the surface to cultivate fish that normally live in
cooler waters, such as lobster and salmon. This tour costs $79 per
The Spirit of the
Big Island golf tournament on the opening day will take place at
the Mauna Kea Resort, while on Nov. 6, guests can take a half-day
Gourmet Chocolate and Coffee Country tour to the Kealakekua Bay
area for $79 per person.
activities include a full-day yoga retreat that brings participants
to Hapuna Beach for a morning of snorkeling, preceded by meditation
and a light lunch. Guests can then slip into the waters to view
reef fish and marine life, including giant sea turtles.
Upon returning to
the hotel, participants can opt for spa treatments that range from
an in-room facial to a shiatsu massage or a body wrap at the spa.
Prices begin at $100 per 50-minute treatment.
The Mauna Kea Beach
Hotel, sister property to the hosting Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel,
announced a special package and rate for the festival. Two people
can enjoy four nights in a mountainview room, daily breakfast
buffet and tickets to the Under the Hula Moon at Mauna Kea Resort
finale on Nov. 6 for $1,400 plus tax. Beachfront rooms are
available with the same package for $2,000; deluxe oceanview rooms
are priced at $2,200.
information, agents can call (866) PRINCE-6 or visit the Web site
range in price from $40 to $125. A Best Bet Platinum Pass gets
holders into all five evening events for $400, which include the
opening evenings Upcountry Chefs Tour at the Hilton
information, visit www.bigislandfestival.org. For assistance with
hotels, visit www.bigisland.org. Agents can request festival
brochures by calling (808) 934-9044.
To contact the
reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].