*This is a copy of the Waikīkī Beach Stays monthly mailer (sent out 19 Jun 2023). 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.

Our e-newsletter has returned after a small hiatus! Keliʻi and I took some time off to travel around Europe in Apr-May and it’s been interesting to see just how much has changed on Oahu while we’ve been gone. In saying that, I’m going to keep this intro to a minimum, because as you’ll find out below, there’s a lot to update you on!

A hui hou (until we meet again)…

Warmest Aloha,
Ash & Keliʻi
[email protected]

Travel News

  • As of 12 May 2023, non-citizen non-immigrant air passengers no longer need to show proof of being fully vaccinated with an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to board a flight to the United States. See here for more information.
  • Just a reminder – the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Visa Waiver Program allows citizens or nationals of 38 countries to enter the United States for the purposes of tourism (for a period of up to 90 days) without requiring a visa if they apply and are approved. Beware of fake websites, the official ESTA website is esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta and costs $21 per person.


  • It’s good to be aware that Hawaiʻi’s hurricane season runs 1 Jun-30 Nov. There are 4-7 tropical depressions, storms and/or hurricanes predicted for 2023. There is no need to be alarmed or change travel plans, this is a “near-normal” season.
  • Did you know? Royal Hawaiian Beach, from the Royal Hawaiian groin to just beyond the Moana Surfrider, closes 2-5am. Kūhiō Beach, from the police substation to the sunset on the beach movie area and Kapiʻolani Park, closes midnight to 5am.


  • Runway 8L (the primary runway for arriving aircraft at Honolulu’s Airport) has re-opened – construction began in Oct 2022! It marks the return of all four runways.
  • Hawaiian Airlines is set to receive the first of 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in Nov 2023. They will feature 34 Leihōkū Suites with fully lie-flat seating, an 18-inch in-flight entertainment screen, personal outlets, wireless charging & direct aisle access.


  • Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach has completed a $15 million dollar renovation project. The revitalized rooms are inspired by Hawaiʻi’s volcanoes, tropical forests and the ocean. They have new beds, carpet, drapery, lighting fixtures and more.
  • The Imperial Hawaii Resort was voted (for the third year in a row) as one of the “Best of Hawaiʻi” in the 2023 Hawaiʻi Magazine Readers Choice Award. They were awarded #1 Value Hotel or Resort and #1 Hotel or Resort for Families.
  • Outrigger Resorts & Hotels is first in Hawaiʻi to earn the Green Seal designation, a certification mark that confirms that a product, cleaning service or facility meets the highest benchmark of health and environmental leadership.
HOTEL SPOTLIGHT: Wayfrinder Waikiki
Each month we’ll highlight one of Waikīkī’s best hotels.

Wayfinder Waikiki (formerly the Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel) officially opened in Jun 2023 following a complete renovation, curated in collaboration with Honolulu-based design studio The Vanguard Theory. The property gives off a relaxed, laid-back and vintage vibe just 10-minutes walk to Waikīkī Beach. The property has 228 guest rooms, a 70ft (21m) saltwater lagoon pool and hot tub. Rooms are adorned in local art and can sleep up to 4 guests, with a choice of King Bed, Two Double Beds or Two Queen Beds. Enjoy a private lanai (balcony), wi-fi, robes, mini-fridges and Grown Alchemist bath products. The F&B options are impressive, sip on tropical cocktails at the poolside speakeasy Lost + Found, grab a morning coffee at B-Side or dig into innovative poke bowls at Redfish by Foodland. For a brand new hotel the prices are accessible starting from $200 per night + taxes. Note, there is a daily resort fee of $35 per night and valet parking for $45 daily. Check reviews on tripadvisor.com.


  • Kīlauea volcano on Hawaiʻi’s Big Island began erupting again in June! This lava flow in Halemaʻumaʻu (crater) is a sight to behold. Visitors arriving in the next few weeks might want to consider a Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Experience from Oahu.
  • If you’re looking for something memorable to do this summer in Hawaiʻi, venture out to the Kāneʻohe Sandbar for a Morning or Afternoon Snorkeling Tour. Jump into the pristine water, spot turtles or just soak up the sun and scenery.
  • We just experienced this Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Sail with Open Bar with visiting friends. It was such a great 1.5 hour sail, it departs straight off the sands of Waikīkī Beach (so convenient) and offers views over the skyline and Diamond Head.
  • Kids City Hawaii, an indoor playground for children, has launched Hawaiʻi’s first indoor zipline. Kids aged 2-13 are fitted into a harness to glide across the padded floor. The zipline is part of the playground and doesn’t require additional tickets.
  • Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel and Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group have teamed up to bring Honolulu a bespoke new acrobatics show that will showcase Hawaiian culture. It’s anticipated to open in late 2024.
  • ʻIolani Palace has a new Kalākaua Legacy Tour focused on the life of the Islands last reigning king, David Kalākaua. Learn about the King’s achievements and historical accounts and see some of Kalākaua’s personal items.

Restaurants & Bars

  • The Buffet at Hyatt has returned, it features BBQ, Korean banchan, sushi, raw bar, hot buffet and dessert stations. Open daily from 5-9:30pm with live music 5-9pm. US$79 per adult, $39 per child (6-12) and 5 and under free.
  • La Bettola Waikiki soft-opened at ʻAlohilani Resort on 14 Jun. This new Italian restaurant welcomes guests for breakfast (6-11am) and dinner (5-10pm) with indoor seating next to the iconic Waikīkī Oceanarium.
  • Also tucked away inside ʻAlohilani Resort is Luna’s Tequila Bar. Feast on tacos and wash them down with tequila-based cocktails. It’s open Wed, Thu & Sun 5-10pm and Fri & Sat 5-11pm, with Happy Hour Wed-Sun 5-6pm.
  • Moani Waikiki on the Grand Lanai at International Market Place is now open for Sunday Brunch from 10am-2pm. Try local flavors like ahi poke toast, haupia (coconut) yogurt bowl, taro bread french toast and crab cakes eggs benedict.
  • One of our favorite eats, Nalu Health Bar & Cafe has opened a Waikīkī location at 266 Lewers St. Try their “healthy-good menu” featuring locally sourced and organic ingredients. Their popular açaí bowls use imported grade A açaí directly from Brazil.
  • The Pupu House, has opened in the former space of Moose McGillycuddy’s at 310 Lewers St. You’ll be transported back to the Golden Era of Waikīkī with its nostalgic and playful “tiki bar” vibe. For late-night dancing head upstairs to Kiki’s Tiki Bar!
  • Located in the Topa Financial Center in Downtown Honolulu, Bar Leather Apron offers a sophisticated and intimate bar experience. They recently won Hawaiʻi’s first national James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar.
  • L&L Hawaiian BBQ opened a Waikīkī counter in the Pāʻina Lanai Food Court at Royal Hawaiian Center. L&L dishes up Hawaiʻi plate lunches from US$10. Dine on rice, mac salad and a protein – SPAM, beef, shrimp, chicken katsu, mahimahi and more.
  • The award-winning Orchids Sunday Brunch has been enhanced with more carving stations, seafood creations, house-made ice cream and sorbet bar, Halekulani Bakery items, Prosecco and sparkling cider. Reservations required.
  • The space in Ward Village previously occupied by Piggy Smalls has a new tenant Peso, a Modern Filipino-American Neighborhood Restaurant and Lumpia Bar. Dine for Weekend Brunch (Sat & Sun 10am-2pm) or Dinner (Wed-Sun 5-10pm).
  • Kahala Hotel & Resort has new buffet offerings (open to the public). They have a Seafood Dinner Buffet (Fri & Sat, 5:30-8:30pm) and a new Noodle Bar Dinner (Thu 5:30-8:30pm) and Curry Dinner Buffet (Sun 5:30-8:30pm). Reservations required.


  • Australian brand Zimmerman has opened it’s 21st store in Honolulu at Ala Moana Center. It’s a gorgeous space full of exquisite dresses and a special collection of Hawaiʻi-exclusive merchandise including bikinis, sarongs and beach towels.
  • LexBreezy Hawaiʻi has expanded from Kailua to a second location at Ala Moana Center. It’s adding an entire new collection that will only be sold at this location. Their mission is to inspire all generations to embrace alohawear.
  • Volcom has opened at Waikele Premium Outlets. Their products, which include t-shirts, fleece, bottoms, tops, jackets, boardshorts, denim and outerwear, incorporate distinctive combinations of fashion, functionality and athletic performance.
  • Happy Haleiwa has a new Waikīkī location inside the Waikiki Beach Marriott Hotel. This store offers a unique collection of logo apparel, accessories and gifts. Local products are used to provide specialty “Made in Hawaiʻi” food items.
  • Asian supermarket 88 Mart has opened on Bishop St in Downtown Honolulu (in the old Longs Drugs space). Find grab-and-go bentos, musubi, rice cakes and kimbap rolls along with snacks, pantry staples, beverages and home goods.

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