Hawaii Vacation News for the week of June 14th

Electric Green Cars Hit Hawaii

You may have noticed those prime parking stalls in some of Hawaii’s shopping centers, malls, and parking lots that are left wide open. That is because they are reserved, and not for the GM or owner of the business. These stalls are saved for electric cars and are complete with charging stations. In an attempt to transition into a greener state, Hawaii has made a few successful attempts at motivating locals and travelers alike to get greener. Not to mention, some hotels are joining in the effort as well.

Outrigger Hotels on Oahu now offer parking spaces equipped as charging stations for electric cars. With ten different locations providing this free service, it makes it easier and more convenient for folks to look into renting or purchasing these green machines. GreenCar Hawaii, the leading provider of carshare for anyone in Hawaii, has recently been awarded a $200,000 grant to infuse electric cars into Hawaii’s hospitality industry. GreenCar states that, “visitors to Hawaii will get the chance to personally see and feel how an EV operates and take that experience home, and Hawaii will have fewer cars operating on fossil fuel on the road. It’s a good boost in the right direction.”

Hawaii’s strategy with these electric cars is to partner with hotels, resorts, and car rental companies to reach a “clean energy efficiency goal” of 70%, with GreenCar Hawaii already active in the movement. Kauai’s Grand Hyatt in Poipu (south shore) took on a fleet of electric cars about a year ago, offering guests day rentals and hourly rates. General costs to rent a GreenCar range from $15-$20 an hour (up to 7 hours), which includes your gas / electrons, mileage and onboard amenities. Daily rentals range from $95-$115 per day (12 hours), with the same amenities as hourly rentals. Overnight rentals (24 hours) are also offered, from $125-$150 per night.

If you’re interested in renting an electric car during your stay on Oahu, here are the Outrigger Hotels that offer electric vehicle charging stations:

  • Outrigger Reef on the Beach
  • Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
  • OHANA Waikiki East
  • OHANA Waikiki West
  • OHANA Waikiki Malia
  • OHANA Honolulu Airport Hotel
  • Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk
  • Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort
  • Ala Moana Hotel
  • Best Western The Plaza Hotel

Starwood Hawaii Hotels & Resorts Are Changing

The popular hotel and resort brand known as Starwood is working to make some exciting changes to their Hawaii properties. With nearly ten different locations undergoing minor changes, these hotels will offer guests an even better experience than before. From new room décor and furniture to new wine bars to new kids’ programs, here is a list of the hotels that are renovating:

The Sheraton Waikiki now offers new menus at their restaurants Rum Fire and Kai Market. With globally influenced “social comfort food” and fresh, locally-grown produce, these two new menus will have you drooling over their sumptuous flavors.

The Royal Hawaiian, or more commonly referred to as The Pink Palace, or “that pink hotel”, is now offering a new family show called Honu By The Sea, a musical extravaganza complete with a pre-theatre al fresco dinner option and a cash bar.

The Royal Hawaiian is also launching a new dining program at their Royal Hawaiian Azure Restaurant by the end of this year. The new program will be known as Azure After Dark and will offer up to six guests a private dining space where their meal will be prepared before their eyes. Local farmers will be brought in to share their experience and educate guests, offering a fun new way to dine out.

The Moana Surfrider will be offering a new piano wine bar named bin 1901. Located in the main lobby beside the iconic grand staircase of the hotel, this wine and music scene will offer over 100 wine-by-the-glass varietals as well as rare selections, private reserves and limited releases by the bottle.

The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani will be giving guest rooms a make over with new carpeting and new, luxurious Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds, making their Hawaiian-style décor even more visually pleasing and comfortable.

The Sheraton Maui is changing their wedding books by offering only one ceremony and reception per day on their beautiful property. This gives guests a sense of exclusivity and privacy, with greater options and time flexibilities to choose from. Management believes this will be an attraction for destination weddings on Maui, especially at The Sheraton.

The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort is creating new kids programs that will be similar to the teens “Mocktail” program they offer. Now younger kids will be able to partake in fun activities, adventure, and same-age socializing.

The Sheraton Kauai just completed their $16 million renovation, complete with Hawaii’s only ocean-front conference room, new conversation areas with fire pits, a water park, the new addition of the restaurant, Rum Fire, and more.

And lastly, the Sheraton Keauhou will complete renovation in August and be renamed Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa on the Big Island, located along the Keauhou Bay.

Hawaii Expands Culinary Horizons

Hawaii is beginning to move beyond their beloved spam, poi, and Portuguese sausage of yesterday and expanding to offer its guests and locals a more sophisticated palate. Becoming a culinary hot spot, many restaurants are offering Farm-to-Table dining options, organic supplies, and locally grown choices for produce. Home to some of the largest cattle and farmlands, not to mention harbors, Hawaii has always been capable of offering these types of dining options, there just has never been the demand for it.

In recent years, people are becoming more conscious and better connected to their food sources, quality of product, and environmental impact from their meals. Which explains all the recent changes hotels, resorts, and restaurants have been making. Authentic Hawaiian food is also making a comeback at various restaurants, with chefs who pride themselves on local flavor and genuine foods that comprise Hawaii’s culture. Organic gardens with fruits and vegetables are being grown on hotel properties, local fishermen are prospering, and different local ingredients are being used for fresh flavors.

If you’re traveling to Hawaii, make sure to check out one of these restaurants or hotels that is offering something new, local, fresh, and/or organic on the menu or on property:

  • Sheraton Waikiki’s Kai Market restaurant menu-Oahu
  • Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa’s organic on-site garden- Kauai
  • Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar farm-to-table menu- Maui
  • Lumeria Maui’s new organic garden with farm-to-table kitchen- Maui
  • Fairmont Kea Lani’s new mixed dish restaurant called Ko- Maui
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village’s “Homegrown Hawaii” program- Big Island
  • Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s local Kohala Coast ingredients- Big Island
  • Four Seasons Hualalai’s Pahu i’a restaurant’s local foods- Big Island
  • Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa’s guest shopping experience for buying local foods- Big Island

Hawaiian Airlstronges Offers New Route

Hawaiian Airlines just announced its recently added New York to Honolulu flight, plus a new travel deal that offers this service for just $212 one-way. This is the cheapest airfare consumers have seen from the JFK airport to Honolulu in over two years; so for all the New Yorkers out there, book your flight today! This is a non-stop flight seating 294 passengers with departure from JFK at 10:00am and arrival in Hawaii at 3:00pm.