With an ever-changing list of hotel renovations, new programming, feature events, and one-of-a-kind dining experiences, Hawaii vacationers have a lot to look forward to at hotels and resorts managed by Aqua-Aston Hospitality.
From unique wedding packages with a cultural twist, family-friendly Easter activities or a celebrity chef cook-off, there’s something for every traveler, budget or experience preference. Boasting a portfolio of nearly 50 hotels and resorts on Oahu, Hawaii Island, Maui and Kauai (and some on the continental U.S.), here are some top highlights from one of Hawaii’s largest hotel management companies.
WHAT’S NEW FOR CORPORATE TRAVELERS?
Aqua-Aston Hospitality Says “Mahalo” to Business Travelers with its New Corporate Travel Program
Aqua-Aston Hospitality has a new corporate travel program called Aqua-Aston Advantage that’s all about giving corporate travelers new perks – and it’s free to join. Members of the program receive preferred rates at nearly 50 hotels and resorts, and added benefits such as no-deposit reservations, flexible cancellations, waived amenity fees (a savings of $13 – $25 per day), complimentary room upgrades, unlimited local calls, and free WiFi, parking and daily newspapers. To enroll, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT’S NEW ON HAWAII ISLAND?
Hawaii’s Newest Hilton Gets Ready for the World’s Premier Hula Competition in April
The Grand Naniloa Hotel – A DoubleTree by Hilton is not your average seaside hotel. It’s Hilo town’s most iconic landmark resort, a piece of Hilo’s past preserved, and an ode to Hilo as the home and origin of hula. In the spirit of Hilo’s famed Merrie Monarch Festival – a premier hula competition from April 16-22 – the hotel will host daily pop-up shops selling works from local artisans, including Kim Taylor Reece hula photography, and host live hula performances throughout the week-long cultural festival. Even after the festival ends, visitors can regularly enjoy the sights of a local hula group practicing on the hotel’s grand lawn every Monday from 4:30-6 p.m., or enjoy live music from some of Hawaii’s finest musicians every Tuesday from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Hula Lounge, the hotel’s bay view lobby bar.
WHAT’S NEW ON OAHU?
Waikiki Says “Aloha” to the Largest Holiday Inn Express in the Americas
Second only in size to the 1,002-room Holiday Inn Express Changbaishan in China, the 596-room Holiday Inn Express Honolulu-Waikiki opened its doors to the public for the first time in February. A mid-priced “express” option, this hotel is the first hotel in the Holiday Inn Express portfolio to include the new Formula Blue design scheme, and is the only one of its kind on Oahu, providing guests with services and comfort standards at a reasonable price. Guest amenities include a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, free 24-hour coffee service, and a variety of amenities on the 5th floor sky deck, such as a new pool and jet spa; 9-hole mini-golf; ping pong, foosball, giant chess, and shuffle board; interactive kids’ game room with Wii consoles; and an expansive fitness center. As an added value, guests can receive a $50 discount on any activity or tour booked at the hotel activities desk, with parasailing, zip lining, sunset cruises, luaus, access to the Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor tours, and more offered.
Hawaii’s First 1960s Throwback Hotel Launches Hawaii’s “Changemakers Exchange” Program
The now iconic Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Waikiki hosted poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner in February to launch the hotel’s new Changemakers Exchange – a program that will include a series of presentations by artists, community leaders, activists, and entrepreneurs born around the world who seek to make a positive difference. A Marshallese artist, climate change activist, and spoken-word performer, Kathy famously received a standing ovation when she opened the United Nations Climate Summit attended by world leaders in New York City. She is the first artist to participate in the hotel’s Changemakers Exchange program. Kathy is visiting Honolulu as part of the first Honolulu Biennial, a new arts festival running until May 8 that celebrates the rich cultural diversity of Hawaii by showcasing contemporary art from the Americas, Pacific, and Asian continent to foster greater intercultural exchange, cultural diplomacy, and understanding through art.
A $4-million Rooftop Recreation Deck Transformation at Aston Waikiki Beach Tower
Located in the heart of Waikiki with stunning beach views, Aston Waikiki Beach Tower now offers a new luxury and community experience for guests. In addition to lobby and check-in renovations that were completed in 2016, the fourth floor boasts a new gathering level that includes a new outdoor pool, barbecue grills, and private cabanas; a beautiful ocean view fitness center that will include group fitness classes like yoga and spin class; a renovated lounge where guests can learn about Hawaiian history and culture; and a sunset deck which will host a daily manager’s reception, alternating between adult wine tastings and family-friendly events like shave ice night. From a new place to watch the sunset or an intimate area to have a dinner party, the rooftop deck provides a new community experience with modern design elements.
WHAT’S NEW ON KAUAI?
These Uniquely Hawaiian Wedding Packages Will Have You Saying “I-Do” At This Hotel
With an oceanfront location and newly renovated ballrooms, guest rooms and public spaces reminiscent of Hawaiian plantation styles with modern touches, the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort makes a great choice for couples looking to tie the knot on Kauai in a unique way. Working closely with its cultural advisor, the hotel has four new tiered wedding packages designed for the guest who has an appreciation for Hawaii’s unique culture and history and wants to incorporate it as part of their big day. Wedding packages include unique cultural elements like authentic Hawaiian chants, flowers, décor, and entertainment options, as well as traditional services like a professional day-of wedding coordinator, an officiant, a photographer, an oceanfront ceremony location, seating, and much more. Additionally, with the hotel’s “no commitments” wedding special, overnight wedding guests can also receive preferred rates up to 12% off, without the hassle of a contract or minimum booking requirement.
Oceanfront Weddings Make Lovers Swoon at Hilton Garden Inn Wailua Bay
With stunning views of the Wailua River and Pacific Ocean, the new Hilton Garden Inn Wailua Bay hosted its first of many outdoor weddings in its newly refreshed gazebo. The wedding party enjoyed an open-air ceremony in the gazebo, followed by a catered reception inside the renovated Palm Deck, all part of the hotel’s $18-million property transformation. With venue options, onsite food and beverage, and updated accommodations, planning a destination wedding has never been easier.
Celebrity Chef Sheldon Simeon Presents a Top Chef Feast at Aqua Kauai Beach Resort
The Aqua Kauai Beach Resort will host a friendly chef’s dinner starring the hotel’s Chef Rodman Machado, and Hilo-local turned Bravo’s Top Chef finalist and “Fan Favorite,” celebrity Chef Sheldon Simeon, on Friday April 28 at Naupaka Terrace. Both chefs invite Kauai guests for an evening of discovering the incredible bounty that Kauai produce offers. Bounded by their traditions, they team up to explore what heritage, legacy and the future of cuisine in Hawaii means to them. The night will with begin with a meet-and-greet reception with passed pupus and specially created cocktails prepared with Kauai’s Koloa Rum, followed by a creative 5-course dinner menu with wine pairings, and a nightcap around the outdoor fire pit. Signed menus and recipes will be provided to all dinner guests. Price: $100/person; Free valet parking for outside guests.
Hawaii’s Only Cocktail Hotline to Make a Big Splash at Kauai Shores, an Aqua Hotel
The quirky, retro-inspired Kauai Shores Hotel on the Coconut Coast of Kauai has embarked on a quarter-of-a-million-dollar pool project that will include an upgrade to the pool deck area, a new pool and hot tub, as well as new outdoor furniture. The improvements come complete with Hawaii’s only “cocktail hotline” that lets guests ring the Lava Lava Beach Club restaurant with their cocktail orders for delivery direct, without leaving their pool loungers. The hotel relaunched in 2015 after the completion of a renovation project that included a new lobby and the addition of the island’s only “toes in the sand” dining experience.
WHAT’S NEW ON MAUI?
Annual Easter Egg Hunt Expected to Feature 3,000+ Eggs at Aston Kaanapali Shores
Families love celebrating holidays at Aston Kaanapali Shores on Maui. And it’s no wonder … Kicking-off the spring season, Aston Kaanapali Shores will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt on the hotel’s garden lawn. Great for children ages 1-12, the egg hunt has kids busily running around to find the more than 3,000 Easter eggs, plus coveted golden eggs, for an extra treat. The Easter Bunny will preside over the festivities, and the Beach Club Restaurant & Bar will serve up a delicious special menu on Easter day.
Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach Unveils $3.5-million Lobby Renovation
Aston at the Whaler on Kaanapali Beach just unveiled a stunning, $3.5-million lobby renovation. The transformation includes a new open-air design, trickling water features, and perfectly framed views over the indigenous garden and out to the sea. The check-in process has also been upgraded with iPads and refreshing welcome beverages. With an on-site spa, proximity to golf resorts, and shopping at The Village, as well as its beach location known for cliff-jumping and snorkeling, this luxury condo-resort offers guests everything they need for a rejuvenating vacation.
For more information about Aqua-Aston Hospitality, please visit www.aqua-aston.com or call (855) 945-4092.