*This is a copy of the Waikīkī Beach Stays monthly mailer (sent out 30 Aug 2023). 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.

The last few weeks have been a time of great sadness. The wildfires that tore through West Maui have caused the devastating loss of loved ones, homes, personal belongings, businesses as well as cultural and historical sites in our beloved Lahaina town. We extend our deepest aloha to everyone who has been affected by this unfathomable event. We ask future Hawaii visitors to be mindful and respectful in our islands as our community tries to come to terms with this terrible tragedy.

We wanted to answer the question that’s on everyone’s mind. Is travel to Maui, and Hawaii, appropriate at this time?

In alignment with Hawaii’s Governor Josh Green and the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s official messaging, we urge visitors to refrain from going to West Maui (including Lahaina, Napili, Kaanapali and Kapalua) as a means of respect to the people and places that have been lost in Lahaina. The impacted area of Lahaina remains off limits to the public as the search and recovery efforts continue

We encourage travelers to continue visiting other areas of Maui (including Kahului, Wailuku, Kihei, Wailea, Makena, Paia and Hana), as well as the other Hawaiian Islands of Kauai, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai and Hawaii Island.

We want to emphasize the importance of travel to the rest of Maui and the other Hawaiian Islands. The impact of this disaster on Hawaii’s economy and the livelihoods of countless individuals who depend on the tourism sector is profound, as shown by these sobering figures provided by Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau.

  • US$9 million estimated economic loss per day
  • Reduction of 4,250 visitors per day
  • Approximately 87 flights canceled since the onset of the Maui wildfires
  • 1,955 housing units destroyed
  • West Maui accounts for 15% of Hawaii’s tourism economy (Waikiki is 35% of the State’s tourism economy)

We hope you’ll continue to support the Hawaiian Islands now and into the future.

And finally, many of you have asked how you can help with the Maui fires disaster from afar. We created this GoFundMe for someone close to our hearts. Our dear friend ʻIhilani and her family are from Lahaina, and like many others, have lost everything. Please consider supporting this ohana, funds will go directly to a beautiful family that we know and love. Every dollar is greatly appreciated and will help them to rebuild their lives.

Warmest Aloha,
Ash & Keli‘i
[email protected]

P.S. For those new to this monthly mailer, welcome to the ohana! To fill you in, we run Waikiki Beach Stays and The Hawaii Admirer websites.


  • Honolulu Department of Parks & Recreation launched the Park Play Facilities Map to help locate playgrounds, swing sets, fitness stations, gymnasiums and parks.
  • Foster Botanical Garden, an unexpected tropical oasis in Downtown Honolulu, reopened on 14 Aug 2023. Explore at your own pace on a self-guided tour.
  • If you’re looking for a local experience outside of Waikiki, consider visiting Kaimuki. Explore the neighborhood businesses via this Keep in Kaimuki Interactive Map.


  • We Moke Rentals have a couple of Mokes to rent by the hour, day or week. Pick-up from the Wayfinder Waikiki (the former Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel).


  • The Ambassador Waikiki is now Romer Waikiki. After a multi-million dollar reno, it’s taking reservations for stays from 1 Oct 2023. It’s guest rooms are peppered with the texture, shades and shapes of Oahu scenery and feature private lanais.
HOTEL SPOTLIGHT: Halepuna Waikiki
Each month we’ll highlight one of Waikīkī’s best hotels.

Halepuna Waikiki, sister property of the prestigious Halekulani, is a beautifully appointed boutique hotel that’s no stranger to accolades. The property features exclusively commissioned art by local artists. Rooms and suites are furnished in color palettes of white, gray, beige and blue, many of them with pristine views of the Pacific Ocean. The on-site Halekulani Bakery offers incredible fresh baked artisan breads, pastries and coffees and UMI by Vikram Garg restaurant offers contemporary breakfast and seafood-centric dinner options. The eighth floor “Urban Escape” provides a private haven for guests to enjoy an infinity lap pool, hot tub, pool bar, hospitality lounge and private garden sanctuary. When booking, check out their “Especially for You” amenity program where you can choose any two of the following options for enhanced enjoyment – early check-in, late check-out, breakfast, room upgrade or resort credit. As an added bonus, stays include free admission at the Bishop Museum and Honolulu Museum of Art. This is one of the rare hotels in Waikiki that do not charge Resort Fees! Check reviews on tripadvisor.com.


  • Diamond Head Luau at Waikiki Aquarium is back Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri & Sun 5:30-8pm. It’s pitched as a foodies luau, a mix between a Waikiki food festival and traditional luau experience. They partner with top restaurants, like Nico’s at Pier 38, Chart House, Tiki’s Grill & Bar and more, to give guests the chance to try signature dishes from each local vendor. It also incorporates a live band and Polynesian performances plus interactive activities like hula and ukulele lessons, coconut leaf headband weaving, temporary tattoos and lei-making. Admission to the Waikiki Aquarium is included with every ticket (valid for 14 days after the event).
  • For Waikiki visitors looking for a unique night-time activity that supports a small local business, try a ghost-themed tour guided by Native Hawaiian Lopaka Kapanui of Mysteries of Hawaii. Waikiki Night Marchers Ghost Tour is a walking tour of Waikiki featuring tales of haunted history and paranormal activities.
  • The free Waikiki Friday Night Fireworks Show returns to 7:45pm from 1 Sep 2023. The fireworks display launches from the Duke Kahanamoku Beach and Lagoon area at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and can be seen from various locations throughout Waikiki. We recommend taking this Friday Night Catamaran Fireworks Sail with Open Bar off Waikiki Beach to view the spectacular display.
  • Did you know Oahu has a Cigar Bar inside Brix & Stones? They’re open daily from 12 Noon-10pm, reserve your Lounge Pass online. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful space to work, a cozy spot to catch up with friends or you value well-crafted wines, spirits and cigars, this lounge has a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Little Plumeria Farms on Oahu’s North Shore has opened for guided Farms Tours until 31 Oct 2023. Tours include strolling through the rare hybrid plumeria garden, learning about the various stages of plant growth at the nursery and picking your own flowers. Tours run for 1-hour and cost US$45 per person.

Restaurants & Bars

  • There’s a new coffee-snob-approved coffee shop in Waikiki called Bean About Town. Find them inside DFS Waikiki, it’s all the way down the back of the Kalakaua Ave ground floor entrance or enter off Royal Hawaiian Ave (open daily 8am-8pm).
  • Speaking of great coffee, Kai Coffee has opened their third location in Waikiki on the ground floor of Waikiki Shopping Plaza (open daily 6:30am-9pm). Other stores are in Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and out front of Alohilani Resort. 
  • A new food hall, Mistuwa Waikiki Food Hall, has opened in Mitsuwa Marketplace at International Market Place. You’ll find vendors specializing in Japanese street foods, like ramen, yakitori, wagyu, onigiri and more, from various regions of Japan.
  • For Korean street food hit up KTown Foods in Stix Asia food hall. Try Korean fried chicken, tasty tornado potato and Hawaii’s first Chungchun (rice hot dog).
  • Scratch Xpress has also opened in Stix Asia food hall. It’s a “hidden gem” offering mouthwatering bao buns and specialty croffles (croissant rolls waffle-style).
  • WasaBee, Amy’s Shrimp & Poke Shack, is serving their famous garlic shrimp plate and sashimi-grade poke in Waikiki between Niu and Pau St fronting Kalakaua Ave.
  • Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum has opened an “express style” Cantonese dim sum (yum cha) grab-and-go eatery in the Lanai food court at Ala Moana Center.
  • Obake is a cool new concept in Downtown Honolulu. In the AM, they serve matcha tea before turning into a sushi hand roll bar with handcrafted cocktails in the PM.
  • Tali’s Bagels & Schmear, a Hawaii local and a New Yorker have teamed up to make NY-style bagels in this new Ward Village bagel shop, Wed-Sun 6am-2pm.


  • T-Galleria by DFS,on Kalakaua and Royal Hawaiian Ave, has began the first phase of reopening. It’s the only duty-free retail experience in Waikiki and by shopping here you basically avoid paying GET (General Excise Tax) which is approx. 4.5%.
  • Mahina is a Maui-based brand that specializes in Hawaii-made items. They have 15 locations in Hawaii and their newest store just opened at Ala Moana Center.
  • Native Hawaiian lifestyle brand, Lahaole Hawaii, has opened a flagship location at 1121 Bethel Street in Downtown Honolulu.
  • For Simple Sustainability, a store focused on sustainable swaps for everyday life, has opened in Ward Village (15-minutes drive from Waikiki).

Upcoming Events

Special Offers*

Subject to change/terms and conditions apply – please refer to Viator for full details.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Waikīkī Beach Stays readers get a 10% discount off The Real Hawaiʻi custom and private tours. Simply add ‘waikikibeach’ to the ‘Enter your Discount code here’ promo box when booking on the website – therealhawaiitours.comA minimum of two passengers are required. LEARN MORE