Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Thu January 21 2016

5 New Ways to Experience Hawaii

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | January 21, 2016

5 New Ways to Experience Hawaii

PHOTO: Ko Olina will welcome the new Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina this summer. (Photo courtesy of HVCB)

Hawaii is constantly upgrading the visitor experience with new activities and experiences. This year is no different, and travelers will be welcomed with high-end shopping, new accommodation options as well as special celebrations.

Shop Till You Drop

A beautiful makeover of the International Market Place is scheduled to be complete this summer. The 360,000-square-foot shopping center will now be home to approximately 75 retailers, seven restaurants and the island’s first full-line Saks Fifth Avenue department store. 

Scheduled to open in late 2016 – in time for the Christmas shopping season we hope – is the Ka Makana Alii, a 1.4 million-square-foot regional mall that is currently being built in West Oahu. Managed by DeBartolo Development, the mixed-used center will include some of the world’s largest fashion retailers such as Macy’s, H&M, Forever 21, and Gap Inc. brands Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic.

The complex will also include Hawaii’s first Hampton Inn & Suites. Ka Makana Alii’s tenant mix will feature more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment offerings, a department store and LEED-certified office space.

Scheduled for completion in late 2016, the mall-wide renovation project at Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurants on Maui is on schedule. When renovations are completed, Whalers Village will offer an enhanced overall shopping experience. 

National Park Centennial Celebration

The National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday in August and in time for the centennial celebration, Hawaii’s own national parks — Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on Hawaii Island, and Haleakala National Park on Maui are offering an annual Tri-Park Pass for $25. At either park, visitors can participate in self-guided or guided tours, set off on trails for every level of hiker and experience once-in-a-lifetime activities to learn more about each park’s history. 

New Flights

Travelers seeking direct flights between Los Angeles and Kauai are now able to fly year-round on Hawaiian Airlines. The air carrier’s new permanent route between the two destinations – previously a holiday season route – will offer travelers a choice of three flights weekly.

Hawaiian Airlines announced plans to introduce new, luxury design elements and enhanced service options in its Airbus A330 premium cabins, including 180-degree lie-flat seats. 

New Places to Stay

One of the most anticipated new hotels is the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. Due to brisk demand, the property, which is the fifth hotel in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ Hawaiian Collection, is accepting early reservations for stays from June 1, 2016. 

The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is scheduled to complete its multimillion-dollar renovation in February. The redesigned property will features an island aesthetic inspired by Hawaii’s culture and stories. The resort’s interior renovations will include 217 updated guestrooms and 51 suites, newly refurbished lobbies and seating areas, new culinary offerings, a renovated spa, luxury retail boutiques and a new pro shop at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course. 

Part of Lite Hotels, a division of Aqua-Aston Hospitality, Hilo Naniloa Hotel and Golf Club began its renovation in August of last year and is scheduled for completion in March. 

Timbers Resorts is expanding its brand to Kauai, with plans to develop and manage 450 acres on the island’s southeast coast at the former location of Kauai Lagoons. Its development, Hokuala (which means “rising star” in Hawaiian), will become the newest resort in Timbers portfolio. 

New Places to Dine

On Oahu’s North Shore, Hawaiian fusion cuisine chef Roy Yamaguchi has partnered with Turtle Bay Resort to open Roy’s Beach House in 2016. The restaurant will overlook Kuilima Cove and take over the space of the former Ola at Turtle Bay Resort restaurant. 

The highly anticipated SENIA Restaurant, from celebrated chef Chris Kajioka, is scheduled to open in March 2016, with partners Anthony and Katherine Rush. The new restaurant will be located next to the popular eatery The Pig & The Lady and feature a chef’s counter with an omakase (chef-selected) menu.

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