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

You know Christmas is just around the corner when the Mele Kalikimaka sign appears outside the Royal Hawaiian Center and the giant red bows go up on the nearby coconut trees! The festive season is such a great time to visit, there are so many fun things to see and do…

  • See the Holiday City Lights in Downtown Honolulu. This month-long event runs 2-29 Dec 2023, it’s a celebration aimed at bringing joy to local families and visitors. View festive lights, decorated Xmas trees, the Shaka Santa, Tutu Mele and the Snowman Family, the Mele Kalikimaka blocks and local vendors.
  • Enjoy a cocktail at a Christmas-themed pop-up bar. These establishments operate for a short window of time, they’re decked out in holiday decor and offer delicious seasonally-inspired bites and drinks. Try Sippin’ Santa at Prince Waikiki Hotel (from 24 Dec), Winter Wonderland at Ala Moana Center (from 1 Dec) or The Christmas Bar at Tiki’s Grill & Bar (from early Dec).
  • Get into the spirit at a Christmas concert. Noteable events include Merry Christmas To You! Henry Kapono (5 Dec), Cherry Poppin’ Daddies Tiki Christmas (7 Dec), Sacred Hearts Academy The Nutcracker (11 Dec), Christmas with The Makaha Sons (16 Dec), Ballet Hawaii’s The Nutcracker (16 & 17 Dec), Hookena for the Holidays (17 Dec), Paula Fuga Home For The Holidays (22-23 Dec), Kalani Pea’s Hawaiian Christmas Show (23 Dec) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (24-25 Dec).
  • Attend Show Aloha Land, a holiday extravaganza! It’s not only a Christmas lights drive-thru experience at Aloha Stadium, it’s a collection of other attractions like a Snow Tubing thrill ride, whimsical Xavier Express train ride, bubble-filled Vixen’s Bubble Zone, Comet Zipline, Rudolph’s Bouncer Land and more. Food and refreshments are also available, so make a night of it!
  • Take a self-guided Christmas tree tour. Most Waikiki hotels and resorts will go all out decorating their Christmas trees! Tour the lobbies of Waikiki’s most iconic hotels and check out their Christmas tree set-ups. These trees are a great backdrop for a memorable vacation photograph.
  • Book photos with a Hawaii-based Santa. There are plenty of options for scoring photos with Mr Claus in and around Waikiki. Reserve your Photos with Santa at the International Market Place (1-24 Dec). Alternatively, head to Kahala Mall (25 Nov-24 Dec) or Pearlridge Center (24 Nov-24 Dec).
  • Do some Christmas shopping at Honolulu’s biggest gift fair. Mele Kalikimaka Marketplace runs at the Neal Blaisdell Expo Hall on 16 Dec 10am-8pm and 17 Dec 10am-5pm. Shop 250+ vendors of Hawaii’s best products including arts, crafts, food, apparel and more.

For more things to do for Christmas in Waikiki, Honolulu and Oahu please check out (and bookmark) our Christmas on Oahu article. We’re updating it daily, as new events are announced.

Please read on for the latest and greatest travel-related news from Hawaii – and have yourselves a very Hauʻoli Lā Hoʻomaikaʻi (Happy Thanksgiving) tomorrow!

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.


  • Kaimana Beach has a new outdoor shower aimed at enhancing the beach experience. Itʻs the first of 11 showers the City intends to redesign on Waikiki Beach.


  • Hawaiian Airlines resumed service between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport on Hawaii Island on 29 Oct 2023.
  • Hawaiian Airlines will suspend its HNL (Oahu) to AKL (New Zealand) service between 2 Apr-15 Nov 2024. It will then return for the next Nov-Apr season.
  • GoVibe Car Rental, is a new kind of car rental company, now serving Honolulu and Waikiki. Skip the long car rental lines at the airport rental counter or sharing shuttles to car rental lots, GoVibe drivers provide convenient pick-up and drop-off services, they come to you and hand over the keys. See how it works.


HOTEL SPOTLIGHT: Ritz-Carlton Residences Ris
Each month we’ll highlight one of Waikīkī’s best hotels.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach was recently named the No. 1 Top Hotel in Hawaii in the 2023 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. It’s located steps from Waikiki Gateway Park and the King David Statue, with Luxury Row shopping center on its doorstep. There are two infinity pools, the highest in Waikiki, and The Ritz-Carlton Spa uses local traditions to heal. Luxurious guest rooms and suites are located in the Ewa or Diamond Head Towers, decorated in crisp, fresh neutral tones with ocean-front views, kitchen, private lanai and signature furnishings. There is an Island Country Markets on-site, a Dean & Deluca store, La Vie French restaurant, Quiora Italian eatery and an exclusive (and hard to get in to) Sushi Sho Omakase experience. Note, this is one of the few hotels in Waikiki with no Resort Fee, however, parking costs US$50 per vehicle overnight. Check reviews on tripadvisor.com and book direct on marriott.com.


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

Restaurants & Bars

  • Cat Café MOFF, open 10am-8pm daily at the International Market Place, enables customers to interact with domesticated cats while enjoying a selection of beverages in a clean environment. It’s goal is to bring people and animals together!
  • Waffle & Berry, a highly-rated cafe in Waikiki, has moved into the lower level of Waikiki Shopping Plaza, behind Victoria’s Secret on the left side of the building.
  • Experience Hawaii’s first Straits Restaurant, a sophisticated Singaporean dining experience in Kakaako (15-minutes drive from Waikiki). Dine on a Chilled Seafood Platter, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Laksa Noodle Soup and Chili Crab complimented by artisan cocktails and bottle service, in a gorgeous setting.
  • Tucked away in the Diamond Head neighborhood is the Lotus Honolulu hotel. Arden, a new contemporary Hawaii cuisine restaurant has just opened onsite.
  • Slice by HB Baking in Kapahulu (close to Leonard’s Bakery) sells ice cream pies, cakes and cupcakes, shave ice, sundaes and scoops of ice cream made using as many local ingredients as possible. Try the Snuggy Bear, acoffee almond fudge and English toffee ice cream cake with an Oreo crust and salted milk crumble.
  • DEBU has opened in Azure Ala Moana. It’s a unique concept combining Korean and Japanese cuisine. Their signature menu item, DEwang yuBU, translates to “giant yubuchobap” in Korean and mirrors the Japanese word for “chubby.” This dual meaning signifies their dedication to creating hearty, generous and satisfying meals.
  • Sippin’ Santa, a Christmas pop-up bar at Prince Waikiki, returns Fri 24 Nov 2023. Stop by for tiki holiday cocktails, festive cheers and merriment!
  • A new afternoon tea service themed “Urban Picnic Style” is available Tue & Wed 11:30am-3:30pm at The Ritz-Carlton’s Dean & Deluca Hawaii store. Enjoy Japanese and European tastes in this “secret” restaurant inside The Artisan Loft connected by a private elevator. Make reservations via Open Table app.


There are lots of new retailers and food companies at Hawaii’s largest outdoor mall, Ala Moana Center (5-minutes drive from Waikiki).

  • Alo Yoga – a Los Angeles-based fitness clothing brand that sells leggings, jackets, sweatshirts and sports bras.
  • Quay – this global eyewear brand offers affordable glasses and includes celebrity collaborations with Lizzo, Jennifer Lopez and Chrissy Teigen.
  • Sugar Factory – this candy retail store includes sweet treats, as well as neon signs and floral walls for photo opportunities.
  • Anime Currency – a trinket cart on street level 1 at center court that’s a one-stop shop for 24K gold anime, k-pop, celebrity coins and bills.
  • Yoajung – a Korean fro-yo company that serves up frozen yogurt topped with fruits and honeycomb.

Upcoming Events

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