*This is a copy of the Waikīkī Beach Stays monthly mailer (sent out 22 May 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.

This month kicked off with Lei Day celebrations across Hawaiʻi. Lei are traditional Hawaiian adornments made of flowers, ferns, shells, nuts, candy and even money! Lei are made and given to loved ones on special occasions including birthdays, graduations, weddings or on any day that you want to make someone feel special.

May Day (1 May) is always Lei Day in Hawaiʻi. On this day Hawaiʻi celebrates our beloved lei culture. Local people make and give lei to one another as a sentiment of aloha. You will see many people walking around in traditional Hawaiian lei. If you’re visiting Hawaiʻi in May, it’s a great time to learn how to string a lei for a loved one or, if you prefer, you can purchase one at one of many lei shops on the island. You can also arrange for a lei greeting on your arrival to Honolulu Airport.

We’ve packed a lot into this edition of our monthly mailer, so let’s jump right in…

And remember, you can reach out to us anytime – just reply to this email! We love assisting our future guests and readers with their Hawaiʻi travel plans.

Warmest Aloha,
Ash & Keliʻi
[email protected]

Travel Updates

  • As of 18 May 2022: There have been 265,571 cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi to date, resulting in 1,446 deaths. Average daily new cases 925 island-wide (653 Oʻahu, 101 Maui County, 63 Kauaʻi and 107 Hawaiʻi Island).
  • Hawaiʻi’s indoor mask mandate and Hawaiʻi Safe Travels restrictions ended on 25 Mar 2022. There are no COVID-related requirements for arriving domestic passengers (those traveling to Hawaiʻi from the US mainland or its territories). Travelers arriving to Hawaiʻi directly from international airports must still comply with US federal requirements; please consult with your airlines.
  • Following a federal judge ruling on 18 Apr 2022, face masks are no longer required to be worn in public transportation settings. Passengers are no longer required to wear face masks in US airports or when flying on a domestic flight.
  • To learn more about how COVID-19 could affect your travel plans, and how to protect yourself, CoverMore Travel Insurance has a free COVID-19 Travel Guide.


  • The weekly Waikīkī Friday Fireworks Show sponsored by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has been approved to return after two+ years absence. The start date is TBC, but rumors suggest 27 May or early Jun 2022.
  • As of 12 May 2022, all out-of-state visitors must have an advanced reservation to enter Diamond Head State Monument. Reservations can be made up to 14 days in advance online. Entry fee is US$5 per person and children under three are free.
  • Earlier this month Waikīkī experienced intense south swells with waves up to 14ft (4.2m) in size. This unusual activity resulted in over 300 people being rescued by lifeguards after they ignored the high surf advisory. We can’t stress enough the importance of practicing ocean safety in Hawaiʻi, here are our ocean safety tips.


  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) is set to resume its A380 flights from Tokyo Narita to Honolulu from 1 Jul 2022, following a hiatus since Mar 2020. The airline will operate two roundtrips per week (Friday and Saturday) on the route.
  • In early May 2022, United Airlines celebrated 75 years of serving Hawaiʻi! If you’re flying between Hawaiʻi and the US Mainland, consider booking in their United Polaris premium cabin. Having recently flown them between San Francisco and Honolulu, we can vouch for this incredible recline-flat travel experience.
  • Southwest Airlines is introducing a new inter-island route between Maui and Kauaʻi from 5 Jun 2022. This is in addition to their existing inter-island flights between Oʻahu and Maui, Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island and Maui.
  • Hawaiian Airlines announced they’ll be providing high-speed internet access on flights between Hawaiʻi, the continental US, Asia and Oceania with Starlink’s satellite internet connectivity service. This service is expected to be installed in 2023.
  • Alaska Airlines is temporarily suspending nonstop flights between Anchorage and Honolulu from Jun-Nov 2022. The main reason for the cancellations is limited staff.
  • Gas (petrol) prices remain high in Hawaiʻi. The current average price in Hawaiʻi is US$5.382, well above the national average price of US$4.593. Our website outlines many different ways for Getting Around Oʻahu.


  • Bill 41 was passed by the Honolulu City Council and signed into law on 26 Apr 2022. The bill stipulates that nightly rentals outside of the resort areas of Waikīkī, Ko Olina and Turtle Bay (Kuilima) are strictly prohibited on the island of Oʻahu. In addition, the minimum rental period in these non-resort areas has been changed from 30 days to 90 days. This law will go into effect in Oct 2022, however, the bill is being challenged by a number of lawsuits so the outcome is yet to be determined. Please note, Airbnb is still legal on Oʻahu within the resort areas.
  • Airbnb has launched AirCover, a comprehensive protection included for free with every booking. It includes protection from Host cancellations, listing inaccuracies, and other issues like trouble checking in, as well as a 24-hour safety line. For those that don’t know, we host three Airbnb properties in Waikīkī.
  • A fourth case of Legionnaires’ disease (a type of pneumonia caused by exposure to the Legionella bacteria) has been confirmed in a guest who stayed at The Grand Islander in Waikīkī from 16-18 Apr 2022. The first case was in Jun 2021, followed by another two cases in Mar and early Apr 2022. If you develop symptoms following a stay at the Grand Islander contact a physician and Hawaii’s Department of Health. The Hilton has brought in experts to try and determine the source of contamination.


  • NCL’s Pride of America resumed Hawaiʻi cruise ship travel in early April and the sailings have been selling well, however, they are being hindered by staff shortages. The cruise ship usually carries approx. 940 staff but is currently carrying under 550. To ensure a healthy guest-crew ratio and not compromise the guest experience, they’ve limited occupancy to 1,200 guests per sailing. In light of the crew shortage, some of onboard restaurants are closed. Click here for Hawaii cruise options.

Restaurants & Bars

  • Aloha Beer Company, a local independent brewery, has opened Waikīkī’s first beer garden! Enjoy a pint of craft beer with snack foods like pretzels, waffle fries, poke and pizza at 2155 Kalākaua Avenue (by Longs Drugs) from 11am-10pm daily.
  • Hawaiʻi’s first Crumbl Cookies “the world’s best cookies” has opened a store at Kapolei Commons, on Oʻahu’s west side.
  • Ted’s Bakery will no longer sell its famous pies in Hawaiʻi grocery stores! This means the only way to try his famous desserts, including the Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie, is to visit the original retail location near Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore. This is change is due to supply chain issues which affect production of their famous pies.
  • O’Kims Korean Kitchen in Honolulu’s Chinatown district has been voted the best Korean eatery in Hawaiʻi, according to Yelp.
  • Chubbies Burgers, a much-loved burger food truck is upgrading to a restaurant space in Kaimukī (15-minutes drive from Waikīkī). The restaurant occupies the former Koko Head Cafe space. Koko Head Cafe, a famous island-style brunch house, has already relocated to the space that formerly housed 12th Ave Grill.
  • For a burger fix closer to Waikīkī, try Betty’s Burgers food truck. They have started serving delicious smash burgers, fries and onion rings from 11am-9pm at 325 Seaside Avenue (next to Ross), down the alley behind the Holey Grail donut truck.
  • Himalayan Kitchen, which features Nepali, Indian and Tibetan cuisine, has opened a new restaurant at the Ala Moana Center.
  • Istanbul Hawaiʻi, a fantastic restaurant in Ward Village owned by mother-daughter duo Ahu and Nili Hettema, has been named “Women-Owned Business of the Year”.
  • If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, the Sooper Secret Izakaya in Waikiki has a 7-course menu for US$150 + tax + 20% gratuity per person. It’s very popular and reservations must be made in advance. July reservations are now open.
  • Ala Moana Hotel breakfast buffet at Cafe 410 is back, the space is adorned with new floral murals by local artist Kamea Hadar. Enjoy the smorgasbord from 6:30-10am (weekdays) and 7-10:30am (weekends) from $24.50 adults and $15 kids.


  • At first I thought this activity was a joke, but alas it’s not… You can now take a Venetian Gondala Cruise in Waikīkī. Reviews so far say it’s a smooth ride on the Ala Wai Canal and offers a great view of Diamond Head. We’re booked in for this tour on Thursday (Hawaiʻi time), follow us on Insta @waikikibeachstays to see how it goes!
  • For families visiting Oʻahu with children, Nalo Keiki Paniolo is a locally owned and operated farm in Waimanalo offering riding lessons and a petting zoo with farm animals including mini horses, donkeys, goats and sheep.
  • Reservations are now open for Pearl Harbor’s newest experience, The Top of the Tower Tour! Beginning on Memorial Day (30 May 2022), the Ford Island Control Tower will be accessible to the public. Take a first-class guided tour of the tower, which is 15 stories and 168 ft (51m) tall, including the restored elevator, upper cab, and 360° view from the observation deck. Over 120 timed tickets are available daily.
  • The Ghost Bus is a haunted attraction parked at Waikiki Beach Marriott Mon-Fri until 31 Oct 2022. Guests sit in a ‘scary cursed bus’ while audiovisual/sensory effects are deployed, and actors deliver frights and thrills. The experience lasts 15-minutes and costs $15. The minimum age is 8, and kid 8-13 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy incredible savings and discover 45+ island attractions on the Go Oahu Card, an all-on-one digital pass.


  • PRML is a new locally and female-owned boutique that features the perfect neutrals to wear year-round. Visit them on Level 2 of the International Market Place.
  • SoHa Keiki has opened at Kahala Mall (15-minutes drive from Waikīkī). It’s a kid-focused offshoot of SoHa Living, an awesome Hawaiʻi home goods and gifts store.
  • Attention LEGO lovers! Visit Brick Buy Brick at 46-005 Kawa Street in Kāneʻohe (25-mins drive from Waikīkī), Hawaiʻi’s only store specializing in new and used LEGO sets including loose pieces, figurines and entire sets completed by the owner Morris.
  • Noeau Designers retail store at Ala Moana Center is home to 100+ small businesses, including Native Hawaiian-owned and made-in-Hawaiʻi products and locally based brands. It’s a one-stop unique marketplace where you can shop local and Hawaiian products and participate in Hawaiian cultural workshops year-round.

Upcoming Events

  • After drawing its curtains for almost two years, the stage lights at the historic Hawaiʻi Theatre are on again! We visited the theatre this month to see Deepak Chopra live and have secured tickets to watch Jim Jefferies (the Aussie comedian) perform in Aug 2022. We encourage visitors to check the Hawaiʻi Theatre performance lineup for their travel dates. It’s a great night out, especially if you book a pre-theatre dinner in Downtown Honolulu – if you need restaurant suggestions just ask!
  • The 4th of July fireworks show at Ala Moana Beach Park has been cancelled for 2022, for the third year in a row. However, Ala Moana Center will be hosting events throughout the 4th of July holiday weekend including live entertainment.
  • The free Waikīkī Hula Show at the Kūhiō Beach Hula Mound is back, every Saturday 6:30-7:30pm (weather permitting). Find it ocean side of Kalākaua Avenue near the Duke statue, opposite of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa.
  • Beyond Monet, an immersive digital experience of over 400 Claude Monet artworks, is coming to Honolulu 15 Jun-31 Jul 2022. Purchase tickets online.
  • Oʻahu’s Bishop Museum announced a new exhibition, “The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu” from 18 Jun-15 Oct 2022. This exhibit will explore the history and contemporary meanings of four large pohaku (stones) on Waikīkī Beach.
  • The Magical Mystery Show! is coming to Oʻahu beginning 30 Jun 2022 at the Hilton Waikiki Beach hotel. Ticket prices rom $139 Adults and $39 Kids.
  • Jack Johnson’s Meet the Moonlight Tour will take place at the Waikīkī Shell on 29 & 30 Jul 2022, with artists Paula Fuga and Tavana. All proceeds will go toward Kokua Hawaiʻi Foundation, which supports environmental education in Hawaiʻi.
  • New Kids On The Block and TLC to perform in Hawaiʻi at the Neal S Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu on 5 & 6 Aug 2022.
  • Jim Jefferies, a well-known Australian comedian, is bringing The Moist Tour to Hawaiʻi Theatre Center on 6 Aug 2022.
  • Broadway in Hawaiʻi is bringing Broadway to Honolulu this upcoming 2022-2023 season. Book tickets to see Jersey Boys (13-25 Sep 2022), Hamilton (7 Dec-29 Jan 2023) and CATS Let The Memory Live Again (13-18 Jun 2023).
  • Waikīkī Block Festivals are parties on Kalākaua Ave with food vendors, live music and entertainment, 2022 dates are the Endless Summer Festival (16 Jul), Ohana Festival (13 Aug), Aloha Festival (10 Sep), Waikīkī Fall Festival (8 Oct) and Kalākaua Festival (12 Nov). 
  • The Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival is set to return for its 12th year, running from 20 Oct through 6 Nov 2022, with events taking place on Maui, Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu over three weekends. Sign up to their newsletter for updates on ticket sales.
  • Box jellyfish (stinging invertebrates) tend to appear in Oʻahu’s ocean 8 to 10 days after the full moon. According to the Waikīkī Aquarium Box Jellyfish Calendar, the 23-25 May and 22-24 Jun 2022 have a high probability of a box jellyfish arrival event.