*This is a copy of the Waikīkī Beach Stays monthly mailer (sent out 23 Dec 2022). Click here to subscribe for future editions.
Welcome to Waikīkī Beach Stays monthly mailer, the best place to keep up to date with everything happening on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi.
Welcome to the December edition of our Waikīkī Beach Stays e-newsletter. As we approach the end of 2022, here are a few key updates from the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiʻi has a new Governor. After serving as Hawaiʻi’s second-in-command for four years, Josh Green became Hawaiʻi’s new governor on 5 Dec 2022. Follow him on Instagram @govjoshgreen and Facebook /DrJoshGreen.
Tourism in Hawaiʻi is almost back to pre-COVID levels. Statistics show 757,182 visitors arrived to Hawaiʻi in October, a 95.1% recovery from the same month in 2019!
After a 38-year slumber, Maunaloa on Hawaiʻi Island – the world’s largest volcano – started erupting on 27 Nov 2022, providing residents and visitors with jaw dropping views of beautiful lava flows from the summit. It was truly a sight to see, however, by 13 Dec 2022 the lava activity had ceased! Kīlauea, another volcano on Hawaiʻi Island, has also settled down. To get the latest updates on volcanic activity, check with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
As a reminder, Hawaiʻi Island is the southern-most and youngest island in Hawaiʻi. It takes 50-minutes to fly from Oʻahu (Honolulu Airport) to Hawaiʻi Island (Kailua-Kona or Hilo Airports). Maunaloa Volcano is situated in the vicinity of the red pin below.
You can island-hop to Hawaiʻi Island on this Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Experience from Oahu, a guided tour from $549.99 per person (flights included).
Before we go, we wanted to wish you a Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) and a Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year). Mahalo (Thank You) for your support, it’s been an awesome year and we look forward to keeping in touch throughout 2023.
A hui hou (until we meet again)…
Ash & Keliʻi
- As at 21 Dec 2022: 371,103 cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi to-date. Daily average cases 158 island-wide (106 Oʻahu, 19 Maui County, 12 Kauaʻi, 21 Hawaiʻi Island).
- Ala Moana Hotel added new bedding, pillows and mattresses to its 1200 rooms, as part of its multimillion-dollar upgrade. Full room renovations will begin in 2023.
|HOTEL SPOTLIGHT: Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort Outrigger|
Each month we’ll highlight one of Waikīkī’s best hotels.
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort is looking schmick after an $80-million dollar transformation. This property has many Hawaiian cultural attributes throughout including a dedicated cultural center and complimentary activities like ʻukulele, lei-making and hula lessons. Guests can also partake in a group Hawaiian Vow Renewal Ceremony every Friday and listen to live music nightly in their poolside restaurant, Kani Ka Pila Grille. An additional oceanfront restaurant, Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman, is slated to open in early 2023. There is a mix of resort view, partial ocean view, ocean view and oceanfront guest rooms and one- and two- bedroom suites, catering between three and four guests. Reserve a Voyager 47 Club room or suite and get exclusive elevator usage and lounge access overlooking Waikīkī Beach with perks including daily breakfast and evening appetizers and drinks. Check reviews on tripadvisor.com and prices on hotels.com.
- In 2023, Alaska Airlines is enhancing its partnership with Mokulele Airlines to make it easier for guests to connect on inter-island flights to 10 Hawaiʻi destinations.
- To meet school holiday vacations and Easter getaway demand, Hawaiian Airlines Australia is increasing to daily service from Sydney-Honolulu from 2-26 Apr 2022.
- Hawaiian Airlines USA will add a weekly flight between Honolulu and Rarotonga from 20 May 2023, providing travelers from Hawaiian’s 15 US Mainland gateway cities convenient one-stop connections to the Cook Islands.
- After being shuttered since Mar 2022 and undergoing a refurbishment, the Qantas Honolulu International Business Lounge is finally reopened on 16 Dec 2022.
- Biki, Hawaiʻi’s bike-sharing program, installed a station “Waikīkī #335” under Waikīkī Pavilion 4 (where Kalāakaua & Kapahulu Avenues intersect). Ride for $4.50 per Single Ride, $12 per 24-Hours or $30 for a Free Spirit bank of 300-minutes.
- Experience The Magical Mystery Show, Honolulu’s #1 Nightlife Experience on Tripadvisor. This 1.5-hour evening show takes place in a beautiful Victorian-era venue at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel and features world-famous magicians.
- The Magical Mystery Show also hosts Let It Snow, a special 1-hour show at 2pm everyday until 25 Dec 2022. Gather around Santa as he reads “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with a sparking snowfall and a little magic performance! Adults are free when accompanied by a child and tickets include a gift for the kids.
- 5 in 1 Deluxe Turtle Snorkeling is one of the best ocean experiences in Waikīkī. Enjoy 3-hours of water play off the coastline – snorkel to spot turtles and tropical fish, slide down a huge water slide, jump on a water trampoline, explore on a kayak or try standup paddle boarding. It also includes pick-up and drop-off to Waikīkī hotels.
- For do-it-yourself GPS Audio Tours, download the Shaka Guide Oahu app. Take yourself on the Heart of Waikiki Walking Tour or Historic Downtown Honolulu Walking Tour. If you’re hiring a car on Oahu, check out the self-drive itineraries including the Grand Circle Island Tour, East Oahu Shoreline Drive, Legendary North Shore Loop and Honolulu’s Backyard Rainforest Tour.
- Resort Pass enables you to book a day pool passes, spa experiences and/or hire cabanas at Waikīkī’s most luxe resorts (no need to pay the big bucks to stay there!). Holiday Inn Express Waikiki is new to the site and offers hotel room day passes, too.
Restaurants & Bars
- Pint & Jigger gastropub has resurfaced in the lobby of the Ala Moana Hotel. We can vouch for their famous Stout Burger (delicious), impressive craft cocktails and whiskey list. A great spot to watch sports and get a pub fix in Honolulu.
- The Lei Stand, a new flower-lei-stand-themed-bar in Honolulu’s Chinatown, opened on 7 Dec 2022. Check out their Hawaiʻi-inspired cocktail and light snacks menu. Reservations required, book on OpenTable via getleid.co.
- Gellatissimo, an Aussie gelato shop franchise, has opened its first Hawaiʻi store in Waikīkī’s Royal Hawaiian Center. Taste of Hawaiʻi flavors include Dragonfruit & Lychee, Pina Colada and Guava.
- Junbi Waikiki is Waikīkī’s newest matcha tea spot at the Royal Hawaiian Center. Exclusive Hawaiʻi flavors include Guava, Lilikoʻi (passionfruit), POG (passionfruit, orange and guava) and Waikiki Punch (hibiscus, strawberry and guava).
- Crackin’ Kitchen at the International Market Place dishes up Hawaiian-Cajun cuisine. Their signature is a seafood combo served with potato, corn, SPAM and sauces, best eaten with your hands! They’ve also just launched a breakfast menu.
- Upstairs Hawaiʻi on Beach Walk (that replaced Bills Hawaiʻi) was a short-lived restaurant, it’s just been replaced by Westman Cafe + Lounge. They focus on breakfast, brunch and lunch (open 7am-2pm). The French Toast is amazing!
- Betty’s Burgers food truck has a new location at Waikīkī Aquarium (2777 Kalākaua Avenue). They’re currently open from 11am-3:30pm, and hope to extend into the evening hours soon. They serve tasty smash burgers, fries, onion rings and more.
- Mai Hawaii, a collab between six female-founded Hawaiʻi brands, has a pop-up store at the International Market Place until 24 Dec 2022. Shop Mahina Made, Moo Hawaii, Yireh, Ao Organics, Onepaa Hawaii and Mohala Eyewear.
- Coco Mango, tucked away on Lewers Street, brings stylish French fashion to Waikīkī. The majority of their collection is from France, but they also stock some designers from Tahiti and Hawaiʻi. You’ll also find bathing suits from Brazil.
- Nijiya Market has opened a Japanese grocery-style store and dining area in Ala Moana Center’s Ewa Wing. They offer staples from Japan, along with a mix of specialty products and prepared foods including a large bento selection.
- HI Collector pop-up shop, a toy store and hobby shop featuring specialty gifts, collectibles, comic books, cards and action figures, opened on the second level of Wai Makai at Pearlridge Center (a shopping mall in Aeia).
- Kira x Miffy is a gift shop at the Royal Hawaiian Center that carries Miffy (a Dutch storybook character) and items from Amsterdam and Hawaiʻi. They’ve opened a second location on Oʻahu, a lifestyle boutique in Kailua called Aloha Kira.
- Happy Lemon global beverage brand has opened it’s first two Hawaiʻi stores (Ward Centre and Ala Moana Center). They sell boba with a signature “salted cheese” base, fruit tea, tropical smoothies, bubble waffles and an exclusive Hawaiʻi menu – slushies with lychee jello, an ube milkshake with pudding, ube soft serve and more.
- Waikiki Trolley Holiday Lights Tour (until 25 Dec 2022)
- Honolulu City Lights in Downtown Honolulu (until 31 Dec 2022)
- Show ALOHA LAND at Aloha Stadium (until 31 Dec 2022)
- The 2023 Waikīkī New Year’s Fireworks is on! At the stroke of midnight on 31 Dec 2022, the sky will be filled with electrifying colors and bright lights. Listen in to Hawaiian 105KINE for the music track! Shot from a barge off the coast, the fireworks would have good visibility throughout the Waikīkī shoreline.
- New Year’s Eve Drone Show & Countdown over Kahala Beach (choreographed performance) in front of the Kahala Hotel & Resort (31 Dec 2022)
- Hamilton (Broadway in Hawaii) at Neal S Blaisdell Concert Hall (1-29 Jan 2023)
- 2023 Night in Chinatown Festival (5 Jan 2023)
- Justin Willman Magic For Humans (21 Jan 2023)
- Hawaii Beer Fest on the Bishop Museum Great Lawn (28 Jan 2023)
- Box jellyfish (stinging invertebrates) tend to appear in Oʻahu’s ocean 8-10 days after the full moon. According to Waikīkī Aquarium Box Jellyfish Calendar 15-17 Dec 2022, 14-16 Jan & 13-15 Feb 2023 have high probability of a box jellyfish event.
- For a comprehensive list of Oʻahu Events by Month, click here.
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