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We had the chance to check out he Ala Moana Hotel the other day. We haven’t been there in a while. I was surprised to hear that a couple of the restaurants I remember there are no longer operating. The plantation Café is open now for breakfast and a Chinese restaurant on the second floor is open for lunch and dinner. Probably just a sign of the times, I expect to see them opening new restaurants as the economy is bouncing back.
It’s really a huge property with over 1100 rooms and lots of meeting space . The property is located right near the convention center and adjacent to the Ala Moana shopping center so a lot of people like this place for the convenience of being able to attend conferences across the street at the Hawaii Convention Center. I also put a lot of cruise customers here because it is a little bit closer to town and easier to get in and out.
There are two towers, one is the Kona Tower the other is the Waikiki tower. I recommend staying in the Waikiki Tower. The rooms in the Kona tower are a bit older and felt a little smaller to me and they do not have balconies. We saw standard and also oceanview rooms. Standard rooms had decent City views and the ocean view rooms have much more of an ocean view than I remember seeing in the past.
The rooms are adequate, clean and good value for the dollar. I would however be a little bit cautious of the rooms in the Kona tower because of the lack of balcony, however if you’re attending a conference and you’re not going to be in the room very much it certainly fits the bill. i GIVE this property 3 1/2 stars.
Return to Waikiki will be opening this weekend. This new luau and show has a special place in my heart, it’s being put together by 2 people I really love, Makana, the slack key master and Sakara Blackwell, a friend and local events promoter. They have teamed up to put on this great entertainment venue.
We got invited to check out the show for a sneak peak for family and friends last night. The idea behind the show is to take folks back to the old days of Waikiki. Over the years many have thought that there hasn’t been a really truly authentic Hawaiian show that people can go to that celebrates the music history which has had such an impact on the culture here.
The show takes place in pretty much the last bastion of old Waikiki at the International Marketplace which has been virtually untouched by development over the years. Makhana has put a lot of effort into making sure that the show stays true to its Hawaiian Roots, and that the labor of love that this truely is for him comes through in the performance. Makana is a true showman and he does a wonderful job of taking us through the history of Hawaiian music through this vaudevillian type of show complete with a reenactment of an old radio station which is called radio Waikiki.
Makana plays an old-fashioned radio DJ and introduces songs from the past as people are enjoying getting settled into the venue enjoying drinks, talking story and then finally the luau. The show celebrates the incredible story of how Hawaiian music came to be, from its pre-Western contact roots of Hula Kahiko to the Hawaiian music renaissance of the 1970s and beyond. A vaudevillian-style presentation combines masterful musicianship, comedy, theatrics, dance and storytelling to entertain, inspire and enlighten .
The outdoor facility sits over 300 people for a dinner buffet show from 6:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Dinner and show tickets range from $95 to $125 per person. Children 4-11 are $55 and children 3 and under are free. International Marketplace, Waikiki Beach.