As winter weather arrives on the continental United States, the island of Hawaii’s golden beaches, tropical weather, fresh cuisine and bounty of activities beckon visitors to experience it all.
Right on time for the holiday travel season, learn about the island of Hawaii’s exhilarating new adventure tours, a new restaurant and coffee varietal, luxe helicopter experiences, and inspirations for Valentine’s Day below.
The 27th annual Panaewa Stampede Rodeo, happening February 16-18 at the Panaewa Equestrian Center just outside of Hilo, welcomes paniolo (cowboys) and spectators to experience competitive rodeo skills born of the island’s deep ranching history still practised today. Skilled rodeo event participants will showcase their talents in roping cattle, barrel racing on horseback and bull riding as the crowd cheers them on. The fun-filled family event will also feature a world-famous rodeo clown, cultural tent, and food and craft booths. For more information, visit www.hawaiirodeostampede.com.
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a special $25,000 package for two. The package includes suite accommodations for seven nights, a helicopter transfer to and from the resort and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole, rental car, $2,500 in food and beverage credit, unlimited rounds of golf at Mauna Kea Resort, a private cooking class and other island activities. Additionally, beginning in January, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort will offer a 25 per cent off package accompanying a six-night minimum stay, including discounts on select resort activities. For more information, visit www.westinhapunabeach.com, or call (808) 880-1111.
KapohoKine Adventures invites visitors to spend Valentine’s Day in Hilo with its Romance in Paradise promotion. Couples booking the promotion will ride three of the island’s longest zip lines, soaring above deep ravines and waterfalls while ziplining side-by-side. After their zip flight and a short walk to an enchanting waterfall, couples will have some time to snap photos of the scenic view before enjoying an intimate candlelit dinner with specialty desserts and champagne or red wine. Couples can reserve the Romance in Paradise experience for $189 per person, plus tax. For more information, visit www.kapohokine.com, or call (808) 964-1000.
Mauna Kea Resort and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters have partnered to launch their new Heli VIP: A Helicopter Ride Steps from Your Doorstep experience, offering resort guests on-site helicopter access steps from their hotel rooms. Guests on the VIP experience can customize their own experiential helicopter excursion, personalizing it to their preferences. Travellers seeking romance and wellness can seek waterfalls in search of the perfect date or outdoor picnic spot. Guests seeking more adventurous activities can hunt for the ideal cave for spelunking or check out the island’s volcanoes and lava flows. For more information, call (808) 938-5018, or email email@example.com.
Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf is offering $15 off rental clubs for each round played on packages at its Beach and Kings’ courses. Packages of two for $225, three for $305 and four for $380 are available for 18-hole rounds. In addition to discounted rental clubs, guests receive a 10 per cent discount on non-sale merchandise. For more information, visit www.waikoloagolf.com, or call (808) 886-7888.
KapohoKine Adventures welcomes visitors on its new, all-day Hawaii Island Odyssey tour, an adventure exploring multiple islands of Hawaii highlights. Guests on the tour, which departs from Kona and South Kohala, visit and enjoy sample treats from Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm and Factory, Big Island Candies and Kona coffee grower Bay View Farms. Scenic sites on the tour include Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Akaka Falls State Park, Waipio Valley and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The tour is $169 per person, plus tax, and includes roundtrip hotel transportation and park entrance fees. For more information, visit www.kapohokine.com, or call (808) 964-1000.
Fairmont Orchid, an AAA Four Diamond Resort, recently announced the appointment of David Viviano as its new executive chef. Viviano brings more than 17 years of culinary experience to his new role, having most recently worked at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan, Florida. His resume also includes service as executive chef of the Montage Kapalua Bay resort on Maui. Viviano will oversee all culinary operations at Fairmont Orchid, including its award-winning Brown’s Beach House and the upcoming launch of its new restaurant Binchotan Bar and Grill. For more information, visit www.fairmontorchid.com, or call (808) 885-2000.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel recently introduced the Strawberry Basil Mule to the menu at Copper Bar. A mocktail version of the classic Moscow Mule cocktail, the new mule is a fruit-forward, herbaceous, zero-proof refresher brightened with housemade honey and ginger beer. Crafted by Lucas Amarilla, the Strawberry Basil Mule won the People’s Choice award at the DTRIC Insurance Mocktail Competition earlier this year. For more information, visit www.maunakeabeachhotel.com, or call (808) 882-7222.
Hilton Waikoloa Village has opened its newest restaurant Nui Italian, serving up what it describes as “a family-friendly approach to Italian cuisine.” Nui Italian features an open-air dining area and kiawe wood-fired pizzas handcrafted in full view of guests. The restaurant’s head chef, Sicily native Gino Cipriano, crafts the menu’s Italian favourites – which include pizzas, salads and pasta – using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Nui Italian’s signature entrees are served in both single and family-style portions, and the restaurant’s bar features a menu of cocktails utilizing local craft spirits and Hawaii-grown fruits. For more information, visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com, or call (808) 886-1234.
The island of Hawaii’s Greenwell Farms recently debuted a new Hawaii coffee varietal named Mamo to its collection of roasts. The farm planted the varietal in 2009 as part of a breeding program that proved most successful combined with the Kona area’s growing conditions. Mamo originated from two Arabica coffee parents and recently entered the world market where it is performing well. A Hawaiian word, one of the definitions of mamo is “descendant.” Limited quantities of the signature varietal can be found at Greenwell Farms’ visitor centre or online. For more information or to book a farm tour, visit www.greenwellfarms.com.
The Fairmont Orchid resort’s award-winning Spa Without Walls already has a new addition to its recently refreshed services menu: the Hawaii Love couples’ treatment. According to the spa, the treatment is “designed to enliven the senses with the aromatic healing of locally sourced passionfruit and coconut oil.” Couples can enjoy a traditional, full-body Hawaiian massage, as well as a hands and feet exfoliation, to complete the experience. Spa guests can also choose from an oceanfront or waterfall hale (building) to incorporate the soothing sound of water into their treatment. For more information or to book a treatment, visit www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii/spa/.
For information on the island of Hawaii, please visit http://media.gohawaii.com/hawaii-island.