*This is a copy of the Waikīkī Beach Stays monthly mailer (sent out 26 Jul 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.

First up, we’d like to say a BIG MAHALO for reading our updates. It’s wonderful to see our Waikiki-loving community grow, we just hit 5,000 subscribers!

This month we wanted to throw a spotlight on the new Paina Waikiki Luau held on the rec deck at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort on Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun, 5:30-8pm.

No trip to the Hawaii is complete without experiencing a luau, a traditional celebration including hula (dancing), mele (music) and Hawaiian food. After experiencing the Paina Waikiki Luau, these are the things that set it apart.

  • A small dinner party, that’s what this luau feels like. Guests are seated on long tables, we estimate the event can cater up to 250 people. This is more intimate than other “mass-tourism” sites. They offer lei-making and temporary tattoo stations and everyone is given a welcome Mai Tai.
  • The performances at each luau vary widely. We love how this luau focuses on the vibrant stories of Waikiki and pays tribute to Hawaiian royals that once called this area home. They incorporate dances from across Polynesia and end with fire knife dancing (using a net for safety).
  • The food was outstanding! This is probably because it’s prepared onsite in a full-service kitchen. It’s buffet-style and features an awesome line-up including Huli Huli Chicken, Roasted Prime Rib, Seared Island Catch, Molokai Style Sweet Potatoes, Pineapple Upside Down Cake and much more.

Note, there are around 18 luau on the island of Oahu (yes, that many!) and six of them are conveniently located in Waikiki. Here is a summary of Waikiki options.

Feel free to reply to this email to let us know which luau you enjoyed the most on Oahu, we’d love to hear your feedback.

And please read on for the latest tourism-related news from Oahu.

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.


  • On 30 Jun, Hawaii’s first metro rail system began operating on Oahu. The initial stretch has nine stations and runs 15mi (24km) from the islands’ West Side in Kualakai (East Kapolei) to Halawa (Aloha Stadium) in Central Oahu. For more info, check out Hawaii Magazine’s Guide to Riding Honolulu’s Skyline Rail System.


  • As part of the multi-million dollar renovation of Turtle Bay Resort, Nalu Spa has just re-opened. Spa changes include dry/infrared saunas, updated reception area, locker rooms and outdoor space with live green walls plus new outdoor treatment cabanas.
  • Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach has just renovated 426 rooms in the Diamond Head and Pali Towers. The guest rooms feature new furnishings and an updated design inspired by Hawaii’s volcanoes, tropical forests and the bountiful Pacific Ocean.
  • Kaimana Beach Hotel was voted #3 Best Hotel in Hawaii for 2023, according to readers in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. This hotel on Waikiki’s “Gold Coast” at the east end of Waikiki Beach is one of our personal favorites.
HOTEL SPOTLIGHT: White Sands Hotel
Each month we’ll highlight one of Waikīkī’s best hotels.

The White Sands Hotel unveiled a property-wide renovation back in May 2021, the new design is a throwback to vintage Waikiki with ‘60s and ‘70s vibes coupled with modern conveniences and tropical grounds including a waterfall and koi pond! They revamped all 94 rooms and one-bedroom suites, updated common areas and created new dining concepts. Enjoy swing-seating (literally) at the poolside Hey Day Hawaii bamboo bar, inventive alcohol beverages hidden in the Green Lady Cocktail Room speakeasy bar and island coffee at the White Sands Cafe. Rooms feature a vibrant Hawaiian design with local artistic touches. Choose from Standard, Pool View and Poolside Rooms and Suites that cater for 2-4 guests with a choice of King Bed or One/Two Double. Most rooms come with a mini-fridge and microwave. We’ve seen room rates as low as US$150 per night + taxes. Note, there is a daily resort fee of US$25 per night and parking for US$40 daily. The hotel is in a low-rise “walk-up” building, a 5-minute walk to Waikiki Beach. Check reviews on tripadvisor.com.


  • Learn about Hawaii’s heritage on this History Tour Pub Crawl. This small group guided walking tour of Waikiki is an awesome way to get to know the great history of the Hawaiian Islands, while visiting four locally-owned bars along the way.
  • Koolau Distillery in Kailua (about 25-minutes drive from Waikiki) has recently quadrupled the size of its facilities. They produce whiskey, gin and vodka, and offer a new and improved tasting room and a great Koolau Distillery Whiskey Tour.

Restaurants & Bars

  • Our favorite Hawaii chef Peter Merriman has opened the fourth Monkeypod Kitchen in the islands at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. They serve island-crafted cuisine with a Diamond Head view! The Monkeypod Mai Tai is a must-try, it’s made with house-made macadamia nut orgeat and honey-lilikoi (passionfruit) foam.
  • Allegrini Mozarella has soft-launched inside the Waikiki Food Hall at the Royal Hawaiian Center. Enjoy charcuterie boards and over 10 varieties of pizza, made with ingredients imported from Italy (36-hours via air freight).
  • Halekulani Bakery (located at Halepuna Waikiki) is now open five days a week, Wed-Sun from 6:30-11:30am. It’s the place to pick-up specialty coffees, delectable artisan breads and pastries, savory bites and Halekulani’s famous coconut cake.
  • El Cielo Hawaii on Lewers St in Waikiki had its Grand Opening in Jun 2023. They specialize in an assortment of Spanish tapas and exotic Spanish wines. Click here to check out the menu.
  • Located in Waikiki Market, a new grocery store on Kuhio Ave, Olili Waikiki has a contemporary menu that celebrates the many diverse people, cultures and flavors of Hawaii. Highlights include Chili Crab Noodles and Pulehu Half Chicken.
  • Cafe Waikiki is the newest addition to the Kuhio Ave Food Hall in the International Market Place. It specializes in healthy food including smoothies, acai bowls, salads, wraps, crepes, bagels and coffee – using local ingredients whenever possible.
  • If you find yourself in the ‘Ewa-end (West) Waikiki neighborhood check out the super-cute Sunny’s Local Grind, a new locally-owned and operated coffee shop. They have everything from coffee and pastries to a breakfast and lunch menu.
  • Herringbone Waikiki on the Grand Lanai at the International Market Place has a new Brunch n Vibes experience every Saturday between 11am-2pm. It includes a special DJ performance and US$5 Glass Mimosas.
  • Honolulu has a new karaoke lounge, Wave808. Located at 808 Sheridan St #201, the lounge rents out 15 private themed karaoke rooms. Patrons can sing along to 200,000+ songs in 14 languages and enjoy beer, wine, soju, sake and shochu. Fun!


  • T Galleria by DFS has finally re-opened on the cross of Kalakaua and Royal Hawaiian Ave, the only duty-free retail experience in Waikiki. If you shop here you’ll basically avoid paying the GET (General Excise Tax) which is approximately 4.5%.
  • International Market Place visitors can participate in “The Gathering Place of Waikiki” audio cultural tour around the center via the TravelStorys App. Available for download here, the app shares music and stories about the rich history of the area.
  • Hawaii’s first Lovisa Jewellery store has opened on Level 1 of the International Market Place in Waikiki. Lovisa offers affordable jewelry and ear-piercing services.
  • JQ Hawaii is now on Level 2, Mauka Court, in the International Market Place. This retail store specializes in products from Japan including collectables, stationary, anime, hobby, model kits, plushies and toys.
  • Dodgers Clubhouse, a sportswear store home to exclusive Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club merchandise, has opened at the Ala Moana Center. Click here to find its exact location within the mall.


To celebrate Honolulu Pride in Oct 2023 Hawaiian Airlines are offering a 7% discount on airfares to Honolulu from Australia & New Zealand.

Australia – Click here + use promo code PRIDEAU23 for 7% off return economy class fares for travel ex SYD BNE MEL for travel from 14 Oct 23 to 11 Nov 23*

New Zealand – Click here + use promo code PRIDENZ23 for 7% off return economy class fares for travel ex AKL for travel from 12 Oct 23 to 11 Nov 23*

*Terms & conditions apply, subject to availability.

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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