Although abnormally rainy weather that generated some bad press may
have played a role in a 4.6% decline in Hawaiis visitor count this
March, advance summer bookings now suggest that interest in travel
to Hawaii remains strong overall.
There seems to be
little price resistance, even though air fares are up and nightly
hotel rates increased by double digits in 2005, another year for
price hikes. But if visitor satisfaction ratings are telling the
true story, most people think Hawaii is still worth it.
have conspired to put upward pressure on rates. Just as demand is
growing from the mainland, the count of available rooms is in
decline. Thats mostly the result of conversion to interval
ownership programs, which have taken thousands of hotel rooms out
of circulation over the past four years, at a time when no new
hotels have opened.
In fact, at press
time, Kapalua Bay, a 186-room luxury property on Maui, had closed
for demolition, its inventory to be replaced by a
multimillion-dollar compound. Dont be surprised to find sellouts
for particular properties throughout the summer.
Polls looking at
travel trends confirm Hawaiis continued appeal, despite strong
growth in Mexico and other competing destinations farther afield,
such as Tahiti.
for early summer are strong, despite air fares that have hit
consumers and wholesalers hard, cutting into their already thin
But the public is
ready to travel, with expectations of a 10% increase in air
travelers this summer.
August may be the
time for deals, according to Dean Johnson, vice president for sales
at Creative Leisure, in Petaluma, Calif. Hawaii bookings are up by
double digits for Creative Leisures upscale mix of condominiums,
villas and homes.
Heres a sample what
clients are looking at price-wise if Hawaii is their summer
" Family Summer
Discovery packages are the theme at Mauna Lani at Kalahuipuaa on
the Big Island. The luxury resort offers significant discounts on
rooms, with oceanview category rooms priced at $370 a night,
reduced from $670, and deluxe oceanview digs now at $400 nightly,
rather than $715.
free participation in the hotels Summer Discoveries programming,
which includes history walks, ukulele lessons and story telling at
the Eva Parker Woods Cottage. A three-night minimum is required.
For more, call (800) 367-2323 or visit www.maunalani.com.
" Starwood Hotels
& Resorts Hawaii puts value into its multi-island, free-night
Sunsational Savings promotion offered at properties throughout the
Islands. In Waikiki, that means a fourth night free and a $75
dining credit at the Sheraton Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian, the
Moana Surfrider and the Princess Kaiulani.
At the W Honolulu,
its a fifth night free and a $75 food credit, as it is at the
Sheraton Kauai, where a buffet breakfast is included. At Starwoods Sheraton Maui, Westin Maui, Westin
Kaanapali Ocean Resort on Maui and the Princeville Resort on Kauai,
its a sixth night free and daily breakfast for two. Call (888)
488-3535 or go to www.starwoodhotels.com/hawaii.
" You can still
book an oceanfront room at the low-key Napili Kai Beach Resort in
west Maui, along with car rental, at rates starting at $311 per
night for an oceanview studio. Located on a lovely crescent beach,
the property caters to families with a complimentary summer
activities program for kids ages 5 to 12 that includes Wednesday
movie nights. Call (800) 367-5030 or visit www .napilikai.com.
" Consider the Spa
Package to discover why the Spa at the Four Seasons Hualalai was
given first-place honors in votes by the readers of both Conde Nast
Traveller and Travel + Leisure magazines. Included are two spa
treatments or fitness services, spa and tennis court use and gift.
Package rates through Aug. 31 start at $1,010 for golf courseview
or oceanview accommodations. Alternative packages include
room-and-rental-car and bed-and-breakfast promotions, starting from
$660 per night. Go to www.fourseasons.com/hualalai.
Hawaii aims at the family traveler with a Kids Stay, Play and Eat
Free promotion. Kids under age 12 get coupons for free meals,
activities and attractions on Oahu, the Big Island and Kauai.
Oceanfront studios at the Mahana in Kihei, on Maui, are priced at
$267, with the newly renovated Islander on the Beach on Kauai a
best buy at $156. Call (866) 776-2924 or log on to www.resortquesthawaii.com.
contact reporter Allan Seiden, send e-mail to [email protected].