What’s New on Oahu > Apr 2022
*This is a copy of the Waikiki Beach Stays Monthly Mailer (sent out 13 Apr 2022). Click here to subscribe for future editions.
Welcome to Waikiki Beach Stays Monthly Mailer, the best place to keep up to date with everything happening on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
First up… major Hawaii travel news!
- Hawaii’s indoor mask mandate and Hawaii Safe Travels restrictions ended on 25 Mar 2022. There are no COVID-related requirements for arriving domestic passengers (those traveling to Hawaii from the US mainland or its territories). Travelers arriving to Hawaii directly from international airports must still comply with U.S. federal requirements; please consult with your airline.
Tourism in Hawaii is back in action with a noticeable uptick in visitors, particularly in Waikiki. We’re expecting the peak summer months (June to August) to be busy with the Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan markets finally returning to Hawaii.
On a personal note, we spent a week on the Big Island at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (above) at the end of March for some strategic planning related to our travel websites. We are planning to upgrade both this year, The Hawaii Admirer and Waikiki Beach Stays.
We hope you enjoy reading this edition of new and exciting things on Oahu!
Ash & Keli‘i
COVID-19 Hawaii Travel Updates
- WalletHub has ranked Hawaii as the safest state in the US during COVID-19. The study compared rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations and death, as well as the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated.
- As of 13 Apr 2022: There have been 243,299 cases of COVID-19 in Hawaii to date, resulting in 1,390 deaths. Average daily new cases 164 island-wide (122 Oahu, 14 Maui County, 6 Kauai and 22 Hawaii Island). Reporting is now on a weekly basis.
- The Department of Land & Natural Resources has upgraded its website hub, it provides information on Hawaii’s native species, hiking trails and protected areas, volunteer opportunities, permits and guidelines for your next island adventure.
- The information you need to hike, hunt and explore Hawaii’s outdoors is now in your hands with the Outerspacial app. Details about trails/areas managed by the Division of Forestry & Wildlife (roughly a quarter of Hawaii’s land area) is now in the app.
- Hub Coworking Hawaii just opened a second location in Waikiki on at the International Market Place. It offers coworking space, meeting rooms and private offices for entrepreneurs, small business owners and traveling professionals.
- A new law bans commercial activity on city-managed beach parks from Waimanalo to Makapuu on Oahu’s east coast. Professional film and TV productions are exempt. The goal is to reduce crowds and minimize the impacts of tourism on the area, however, it’s going to hurt the local wedding industry on the island.
- For the first time since 2016, Hawaiian Airlines will operate nonstop service between Oakland (California), and Kona (Hawaii Island) from 15 Jun-6 Sep 2022. They also operate daily nonstop flights from Oakland to Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Additionally, Hawaiian is adding a second daily flight between San Francisco (California) and Honolulu (Oahu) from 15 May-1 Aug 2022. The carrier is also offering daily nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Maui from 11 Jun-15 Aug.
- After a two-year suspension, Hawaiian Airlines NZ plans to restart its Auckland to Honolulu service on 4 Jul 2022, with three nonstop flights per week between Honolulu (HNL) and Auckland (AKL).
- Asiana Airline, Korea’s second-biggest carrier, has resumed flights from Korea to Hawaii with three flights a week from Incheon to Honolulu on Wed, Fri and Sun.
- Tourists can visit six of Hawaii’s eight islands, and flying between them is easy (flights take 30 to 50 minutes). Options include Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines or Mokulele Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines offer more than 115 daily flights, and Southwest Airlines has just announced it will be increasing its inter-island services.
- Gas (petrol) prices remain high in Hawaii. The current average price in Hawaii is US$5.232, well above the national average price of US$4.083. Our website outlines many different ways for Getting Around Oahu.
- We get lot of questions about where is the best area to stay in Waikiki. To help make things easy, we like to describe Waikiki in four different sections to help you decide.
- After 2+ years, the CDC have just dropped its risk assessment of cruise travel. They still suggest it is better to be vaccinated before going on a cruise and encourage travelers to research how each cruise line handles public health measures.
- NCL Pride of America set sail again on 10 Apr 2022. This is Hawaii’s only large cruise ship option that travels within the Hawaiian Islands. Pre-pandemic we were lucky enough to experience the Pride of America, here is our cruise review.
Restaurants & Bars
- Restaurant Suntory has reopened at the Royal Hawaiian Center, following a US$2 million renovation! Enjoy multiple Japanese-style dining experiences including teppanyaki, kaiseki, nabe and washoku, as well as Suntory-brand beverages.
- Mediterraneo, a popular Italian restaurant that used to be on S King St in Honolulu has moved to Royal Hawaiian Ave in Waikiki. It’s joining forces with an Italian market Little Italy and Ferrari Bar, all three of them are at the same site.
- EP Bar is a new concept in Downtown Honolulu, modeled after the listening bars in Japan where patrons gather to sit, drink and listen to good music. It boasts a vinyl collection of 3,000+ titles, and a menu of 24+ beverages like the Toki Highball.
- MangoMango Dessert specializes in traditional Hong Kong fresh fruit desserts, drinks and pastries. They opened their first shop at Pearlridge Center in Dec 2021 and a second location at Ala Moana Center in Apr 2022.
- If you’re looking for weekend brunch in Waikiki, you can’t go past the Grand Lanai restaurants at the International Market Place. Check out the weekend brunch menus at Herringbone, Eating House 1849, Liliha Bakery and ShoreFyre restaurants.
- Prince Waikiki’s Sunday Brunch (9am-1:30pm) is back! Foods include made-to-order waffles and omelets, eggs Benedict, pastries, and stations of slow-roasted prime rib, crab legs, sushi, salad and desserts including bread pudding and chocolate mac nut pie. From US$89 per person and US$44.50 kids (ages 6-10). Reservations required.
Tours & Activities
- The Ghost Bus is Hawaii’s newest haunted attraction. Guests sit in a ‘scary cursed bus’ while audiovisual and sensory effects are deployed, and actors deliver frights and thrills. It’s parked at Waikiki Beach Marriott Mon-Fri (until 31 Oct) and Ka Makana Alii mall in Kapolei Sat-Sun (until 2 May). The experience lasts 15-minutes and costs $15. The minimum age is 8, and kid 8-13 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Break’N Anger is Hawaii’s first rage room and splatter art experience. Smash away your frustrations in a smash lab (throw glassware at walls and crush electronics with a crow bar or sledge hammer) or get creative in the art studio (throw paint around).
- For do-it-yourself GPS Audio Tours, download the Shaka Guide Oahu app. You can plug your earphones into your cellphone and take yourself on the Heart of Waikiki Walking Tour. If you’re hiring a car on Oahu, check out the self-drive itineraries including the East Oahu Shoreline Drive and Grand Circle Island Tour.
- Resort Pass enables you to book a day pool passes, spa experiences and/or hire cabanas at Waikiki’s most luxe resorts (no need to pay the big bucks to stay there!). Holiday Inn Express Waikiki and Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort are new to the site.
- The last day of operation at Ohana Hale Marketplace, Hawaii’s largest indoor market, is 16 Apr 2022. Please drop by to support all of the small local businesses before they close and relocate (new location TBC).
- Sugar Sugar Hawaii has opened a second store in Kailua (the first location is at Ala Moana Center). The shop carries clothing, jewelry and accessories, a mix of their own hand-crafted items and goods from a range of other, mostly local brands.
Festivals & Events
- O Na Lani Sunset Stories, a free show featuring Hawaiian and Polynesian song and dance, at the International Market Place on Mon, Wed and Fri at 7pm (Mar-Aug) and at 6:30pm (Sep-Feb). It begins are sunset with the ceremonial lighting of the Lamaku Torch Tower on Kalakaua Avenue and leads to the stage at Queen’s Court.
- Buy fresh and local at the Mahiku Farmer’s Market every Thu 4-8pm at International Market Place.
- Hawaii Triennial 2022 (HT22) City-Wide Exhibition (various events and venues) from 18 Feb-8 May 2022.
- Upcoming Hawaii Theatre Center events include Kalani Pea May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii (1 May 2022).
- Upcoming Hawaii Opera Theatre live performances include Madame Butterfly (8, 10 & 12 Apr 2022).
- The film Waterman opens in Hawaii on 1 Apr 2022. Get tickets to see it at Consolidated Theatres (the cinema) at Koko Marina, Kahala, Ward, Pearlridge, Mililani, Olino or Kapolei.
- Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) Spring Showcase presented by Halekulani runs 6-14 Apr 2022. Screenings held at Consolidated Kahala Theatre and online.
- Grand Lanai Restaurant Week at International Market Place (18-25 Apr 2022). Specially priced prix-fixe menus and unique menu items from eight restaurants.
- Beyond Monet, an immersive digital experience of over 400 Claude Monet artworks, is coming to Honolulu 15 Jun-31 Jul 2022. Purchase tickets online.
- New Kids On The Block and TLC to perform in Hawaii at the Neal S Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu on 5 & 6 Aug 2022.
- Broadway in Hawaii is bringing Broadway to Honolulu this upcoming 2022-2023 season. Book tickets to see Beautiful The Carole King Musical (19-24 Apr 2022), Jersey Boys (13-25 Sep 2022), Hamilton (7 Dec-29 Jan 2023) and CATS Let The Memory Live Again (13-18 Jun 2023).
- Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival returns 22 Apr-1 May 2022, after a two-year hiatus! SPAM® lovers can once again enjoy the delicious and creative SPAM® dishes from Waikiki’s top restaurants and local eateries in a new dine-in/dine-out experience.
- Waikiki Block Festivals are parties on Kalakaua Ave with food vendors, live music and entertainment, 2022 dates are Leahi Festival (14 May), Endless Summer Festival (16 Jul), Ohana Festival (13 Aug), Aloha Festival (10 Sep), Waikiki Fall Festival (8 Oct) and Kalakaua Festival (12 Nov).
- Box jellyfish (stinging invertebrates) tend to appear in Oahu’s ocean 8 to 10 days after the full moon. According to the Waikiki Aquarium Box Jellyfish Calendar, the dates 24-26 Apr 2022 have a high probability of a box jellyfish arrival event.
- Book Resort Pass Waikiki pool, cabana, spa and amenity passes!
- Full-Day Waikiki Island Tour from US$87.96 per person (save US$21.99)
- North Shore Adventure Tour from US$103.20 per person (save US$25.80)
- Pearl Harbor & Honolulu Private Custom Tour from US$514.28 per group up to 10 people (save US$128.58)
- Professional Photographer in Honolulu from US$131.81 per person (save US$14.60)
- Book More Oahu Tours
- Get Your Guide: Things to do in Oahu
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Shop Hawaii Style
- Helpful Hawaii Travel Items
- Lonely Planet Honolulu Waikiki & Oahu (Travel Guide)
- Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond 2018 Edition
- Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond 2022 Pre-Order
- Hawaii Coffee Company
- Hawaiian Sun Guava Jam
- Leahlani Skincare
- Catherine Weitzman Jewelry
Image Credit: Shutterstock/aines