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Archive for the Category "Best of the Best Hawaii Magazine"

Old Lahaina Luau Mar 27

Known as the most authentic Hawaiian luau, the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui is celebrating its 29th year of aloha in 2015. Located on the historic grounds of Moali’i , the multi talented cast of dancers, chanters and musicians guide visitors through the story of old Hawai’i in a direct oceanfront setting.

Before the Luau begins visitors are encouraged to check in early to learn about cultural experiences such as pounding poi, husking coconut or even learning how to hula. Then enjoy a beachside sunset and the best of food and entertainment the islands have to offer. I strongly suggest to my clients that they book in advance as it does sell out nightly.

Old Lahaina Luau is located oceanfront at 1251 Front Street, Lahaina,HI 96761

** Destination Weddings are arranged through White Orchid Weddings on the Luau grounds.

For more information about booking your vacation to Maui contact Linda DancerMaui Master Destination Specialist  Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

Direct Line 828-256-1520   or  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

 

Hawaii Food Tours Jan 09
Hawaii Food Tours

Hawaii Food Tours

Tasty Tours for the Hungry Traveler –  catchy slogan for a unique tour opportunity on O’ahu created by  Chef Matthew Gray (Food Writer and Restaurant Reviewer)  

Voted #1 Tour on O’ahu two years in a row and  Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence are just two of Matthew’s awards find more on their website  Hawaii Food Tours fun tours such as Hole in the Wall  and North Shore Food Tour  are some of the most popular tours as seen on TV Food Network.

For information or to set up your food tour call (808) 926-FOOD(3663)

Take Matthew’s advice when visiting the islands and “Eat Something Delicious Today” with Hawaii Food Tours

For help planning your visit to O’ahu contact O’ahu Destination Specialist Linda Dancer

Direct Line 828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331  Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

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Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck Oct 24

Located on the iconic north shore of O’ahu Giovanni’s White Shrimp Trucks have been part of the local landscape for years.  Starting with a converted 1953 bread truck, a few recipes for great shrimp and an entrepreneurial spirt, the truck originally drove around the North Shore stopping for a couple hours along the side of the road, word of mouth spread about the delicious shrimp being sold out of the white truck.

In 1996, the decision was made to park the truck at 56-505 Kamehameha highway in Kahuku town, in 1997  a second truck was parked on the edge of an overgrown, swampy field at 66-472 Kamehameha highway in Haleiwa Town. Back then, no one wanted that land, but now it is one of the busiest spots in Haleiwa! IF you ever asked for directions of where to find the Shrimp truck more than likely it included “across the street from McDonald’s” as part of the directions.

The custom of signing the truck as the story goes started in 1993 when Ed Hernandez from El Paso, TX  signed the shrimp truck, after closing that day, the employees noticed the signature and decided to leave it on the truck. The following day a few more signatures with pictures appeared and this has led to thousands of customers leaving their mark on the shrimp truck , mine included. This popularity led the purchase of the land and the building of a pavilion so patrons and visitors could sit and enjoy their shrimp and visit with others their to enjoy the magic of Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.

The winners of national and international food show contests for their Hot & Spicy and Scampi Marinade – have received much press including www.hopper.com, www.buzzfeed.com and www.seriousseats.com just to name a few.

If you are planning to visit O’ahu log onto their website www.giovannisshrimptruck.com for directions.  Follow them on social media as well.

If you need assistance planning a visit to O’ahu  Contact Linda Dancer – Oahu Master Destination Specialist  Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

Direct Line 828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Five of my favorite Luaus Oct 25

Smith's Family Luau

For over fifty years the Smith Family Garden Luau as been hosting visitors on the island of Kaua’i, celebrating the spirit of Aloha.
Located within the Smith’s Tropical Paradise in the Wailua Marina State Park on the east side of the island, on grounds once reserved for Hawaiian royalty. Your evening begins as you receive your shell lei and you either take a narrated tram tour or a leisurely stroll around the 30-acre garden, but be advised the last tram tour departs at 530pm.
As with all luaus the main part of a luau for most is the feast, and you will not be disappointed, but for those that can’t wait for the music and tradidtional show they are in for a treat as well with Hawaiian hula, Tahitian drum dances and popular Samoan fire knife dance.
** Great location for destination weddings

Drums of the Pacific

Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Regency Maui, sunset terrace on Ka’anapali Beach,Maui. Drums of the Pacific Polynesian Spectacular (a Tihati Production) offers takes guests on a visit throughout the Islands of Polynesia, beginning with the traditional imu ceremony, featuring dances from old Hawaii,Samoa,Fiji,New Zealand,Tahiti,Tonga and Rarotonga.
Guest are greated with a shell lei and mai tai or fruit punch, traditional arts and crafts demonstrations, torch lighting ceremony, all you can eat buffet with dessert bar,  and open bar –  general  and preferred seating available.

Old Lahaina Luau

Old Lahaina Luau – a Traditional Hula and feast – winner year after year for many awards including Best Luau and Best of Maui.
Located oceanfront at 1251 Front Street, Lahaina, Maui the location and layout of the traditional luau grounds  around a circular performance platform affords everyone a great view. This Luau  sells out nightly, so reservations in advance are a must. Also a great location for destination weddings 
Guest are greated with a flower lei greeting, tropical drink and personalized souvenir program, then escorted to your table and familiarized with the Luau grounds. The feast a wonderful buffet  and  premium open bar, at sunset the entertainment begins, the Hula is performed with respect and honor to ancient Hawaii – telling the story from Polynesian migration, the relationship of the Missionaries and the Merry Monarch (King Kalakaua) up to the more contemporty Hula.

Feast of Lele

Feast of LeLe is not your average luau, as the sun begins to set over the romantic, intimate oceanfront setting –The perfect luau for foodies.
Excellent  food is served plated  and served as courses, as opposed to buffet style of most other luaus throughout the islands. Another feature that I like is the layout of the tables  as opposed to long tables that are found at many luaus. Attention paid to every detail of  the evening.
I strongly suggest you book far in advance because it is likely to be sold out if you wait till you arrive on island.

'AHA'AINA

‘AHA’AINA  – A Royal Celebration-held oceanfront  at the Royal Hawaiian Resort on O’ahu– pays homage to Helumoa , the legendary playground of Hawaiian Royalty.
Waikiki’s only oceanfront sit-down vignette dinner show is a culinary journey through history -before there was a luau, there was Aha’Aina-(translates to gathering for a meal) a feast of food, mele(song)and hula.
Sit-down dinner service, open bar and spectacular entertainment ( the royal family costumes are gorgeous, loved the inclusion of the United States military in the timeline of the history of O’ahu as well)
Another great luau for foodies-  Held on Monday night only, so suggest you book before arriving to the island.
Contact: Linda Dancer  Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Five of my favorite Spas of Hawai’i Oct 11

One of the hardest parts of my job is being able to answer What is your favorite? (pick a category) in Hawai’i, that is always such a hard question to answer, or to narrow down because there are so many wonderful candidates for every category whether that be spa,restaurant,luau,activity or island. Everyone has a different hot button that they really need to include on their vacation to have a wonderful time, for me  including a visit to the spa is always at the top of my list. Hawai’i has so many wonderful spas it was hard to narrow down to a short list of five of my favorites, but here goes:

Number 1

Kapalua Spa

Kapalua Spa -Located at The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences, on the shores of Kapalua Bay-(Maui) is truly a seaside sanctuary. From the moment you enter the bamboo garden, the sound of water helps to transfer you to a place of serenity and calm. Embracing the healing properties of water and natural minerals from the islands with signature treatments such as Journey through the Ocean and ‘Awa & Cacao Lomi Wrap. Body and skin therapies are available such as Ali’i Kula Lavender Scrub and Organic Ocean Facials, a full menu of massages including Lomi Lomi(A healing art form from old Hawai’i meaning to rub) which can be preformed in 19 single and couples treatment rooms including 10 outdoor private bungalows that are truly amazing. Follow up your treatment in the tranquil relaxation rooms with sauna,steam,or cold rain showers.
Other Spa amenities include: A full service beauty salon,fitness facility with state-of-the-art Kinesis Circuit System, Yoga studio overlooking Kapalua Bay, Saline Lap Pool and sunning deck, a juice bar and retail boutique. For more information contact them (808) 665-8282
Number 2

Mauna Lani Spa

Mauna Lani Spa Located at the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows, Hawai’i Island, is a past recipient of the prestigious honor of being rated #1 spa in Hawai’i by Islands and Hawaii Magazines (2009)
Each Hawaiian experience at Mauna Lani’s luxury day spa begins with a rejuvenating foot soak and signature “fire and ice” tea service. Hawaiian experiences such as LomiLomi Massage, LomiLomi Hula Massage(great for couples) Opu Huli Massage, Pohaku Pa’a(Hawaiian Hot Stone) or choose one of their signatures  Fire and Ice Pa’akai therapy.
Lava Sauna Experience: Open air sauna, warm llilli stones under your feet, a mixture of black volcanic clay is given to you so you can smooth it on your skin-when the mud dries-your stress dries too and is rinced away under a private outdoor rain shower, followed by re-moisture to your skin with signature oils.
Lava Watsu Experience: built amongst ancient lava tubes,this unique pool harnesses the energy of the land, features soothing skin temperature salt water, underwater acoustics, tranquil lighting and a waterfall- all the while the therapist supports you, stretches and massages you as you lie passively in warm salt water, bringing you to a state of total tranquility (great for expectant mothers).
Located in the Mauna Lani Sports Club: 68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive, Kohala Coast, Hawaii 96743   Phone  (808) 881-7922  Email spa@maunalani.com
Number 3

Spa Falls

Spa Without Walls at the Fairmont Orchid,Hawaii Island listen closely and you can hear the water rushing through Spa Falls.Whether you choose to have your spa experience in one of eight private outdoor waterfall hale(huts) perfectly situated within Spa Falls,one of the six amazing oceanfront hale or one of four indoor treatment rooms a day spent at the Spa Without Walls will most certainly leave you feeling completely relaxed and refreshed.
As if you need another reason to love Kona Coffee, one of their signature treatments is the Signature Big Island Kona Coffee Exfoliation Treatment which will enliven your senses and renew your skin in a way you have never experienced. A mini massage and misting with luscious vanilla cream and spritz tops off this aromatic renewing experience (done indoors only).  HIWAHIWA – with infusions of Big Island Wild Orchids and Gardenias is another of my favorites at this spa.
Customized Massages  include LomiLomi, Sports,Deep Tissue and Pohaku-Wela (hot stone) massage therapy just to name a few
Full service salon  and  spa boutique to take home some of the signature spa products used during your service is available .
Fairmont Orchid is located 1 North Kaniku Drive, Kohala Coast, Hawaii  96743  Phone (808) 885-2000
Number 4

lap pool

Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai’ Resort and Spa – Honoring a culture rooted in the balance between wisdom and nature, Anara Spa weaves traditional healing customs into treatments to inspire lokahi- unity,harmony and balance.
Hawaiian Escapes-inspired by traditional healers who practice herbal medicine,massage and spiritual healing are provided in your private garden hale and begin with a tropical foot bath (great for couples as well).  My favorite is Kaua’i Clay – brings elements from local rainforest together to connect you to the healing energy of Kaua’i – beginning with local ‘awa root (used to ease anxiety and insomnia) is polished over your body with coconut oil and warm stones. Followed by a nutrient rich mask of volcanic clay to detoxify and balance your system, followed by a soothing massage with botanical lotion – amazing!
This  award-winning 45,000 square foot spa is the largest in Kaua’i  and includes a 24-hour StayFit gym, open air yoga and fitness classes – A full menue of massages, body treatments and facials are available as well as a full service salon and spa boutique.
Located: Grand Hyatt Kaua’i Resort and Spa, 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa,Hawaii 96756  Phone (808) 742-1234  Email: info@anaraspa.com
Number 5

Kahala Spa

KahalaSpa located at the Kahala Hotel & Resort , Honolulu,Oahu(named one of the Top 20 Resort Spas-Hawaii  2012 by Conde Nast Traveler Readers). 
 If you are seeking an overall feeling of complete relaxation and rejuvenation you will find it at the Kahala Spa-they put a special emphasis on Hawaiian healing techniques and cultural practices,you can just feel the spiritual energy or “mana” here. A visit to the Kahala Spa is a luxurious experience-they had me hooked forever after the Ho’omaka(a cleaning and detoxifying sea salt foot scrub)
Signature treatments such as Lovely Hula Hands -a four handed dancing of hands you experience during this version of the traditional Hawaiian LomiLomi massage.
Kahala Spa has nine spacious treatment rooms-each appointed with its own relaxation area,glass enclosed shower and deep soaking tub. Spa therapists are experienced in a wide variety of blobal healing techniques and therapies, respecting ancient traditions as practiced by Hawaiian and other Asian cultures.
Kahala Hotel & Resort , 5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816   For more information contact the resort (808) 739-8888.
Did you know there are many benefits from getting massages?
1. Massage dilates the blood vessels and improves circulation, relieving congestion throughout the body.
2. Massage relaxes muscle spasm and relieves tension.
3. Massage acts as a mechanical cleanser,stimulating lymph circulation and hastening the elimination of toxic debris.
4. Massage encourages the retention of nitrogen,phosphorus and sulfur that are necessary for tissue repair.
5. Massage simply makes you feel good.
So next time you wonder if spending that extra money on spa treatments when you are on vacation is worth the investment, just know you are really doing something beneficial.
For more information on these  resorts and spa  Contact: Linda Dancer Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Whaler’s Village (Maui) offers so much! Sep 27

Whaler's Village

Whaler’s Village Shopping Center located on Ka’anapali Beach, Maui offers visitors over 90 shops, beachfront dining at several restaurants, historical displays at the Whalers Village Museum and so much more. An eclectic mix of art galleries (http://www.lahainaprintsellers.com), clothing shops for all ages such as Blue Ginger, Pacific Treasures Boutique, BillaBong(Love the Sanuk Get Leid Loafers), Honolua Surf Co., Honolua Wahine and Tori Richard, Fine jewelry such as Baron & Leeds, Brighton(ask about their Hawai’i charm bracelet), Maui Divers, Na Hoku and Pandora. Have a long list of folks back home that you need to buy some special souvenir for? Not to worry you can find it at Whaler’s Village at stores such  ABC Stores, Honolulu Cookie Company,Martin & MacArthur, Totally Hawaiian Gift Gallery, Maui Toy Works, SWAROVSKI or something totally unique Lahaina Scrimshaw.
If during your shop till you drop outing at Whaler’s Village you should get hungry or thirsty  that is covered at the Food Court as well with everything from  Nikki’s Pizza, Subway,McDonald’s Express, Dragon Wall Express followed by something to cool you off at Haagen-Dazs or Yogurtland. Check out what is happening on Centerstage as well during your visit Lei-Making Classes, Hula Lessons and more.
But then there are those those romantic evenings on Maui, where you look  for the perfect mix  of sunsets  and fine dining-Whaler’s Village has that covered too!

Lei Lani's

Oceanfront dining at Leilani’s on the Beach offers the finest steaks,chops,ribs and the best of Hawaii’s fresh local fish and seafood, and the team at Leilani’s do an amazing job with intimate birthday parties, engagement dinners or rehearsal dinners (reservations accepted and suggested).Hula Grill offers live entertainment daily combined with wonderful island flavors, or Maui Fish & Pasta offers farm to table menu just steps from the beach, open air atmosphere overlooking the ocean,what better way to spend Happy Hour – Early Bird Specials –
The Star of the Show!

 

And then there are the Whales!

If you are lucky enough to visit Maui or her sister islands of Molokai or Lanai  during whale season, the star of the show will be the whales, and this one decided to visit while we were dining at Maui Fish & Pasta, so just another reason to visit Whaler’s Village. You just can’t plan these magical experiences so always have your camera handy so you do not miss the opportunity to catch them.

Whaler’s Village is Located on beautiful  Ka’anapali Beach:
2435 Ka’anapali Parkway – Lahaina, Maui  Hawai’i 96761 / Hours Daily: 930am-1000pm 
PARKING: Available in the multilevel parking garage adjacent to Whaler’s Village.
SHUTTLE SERVICE – Catch the free Ka’anapali Resort Shuttle from your hotel /the trolley picks up various times of the day  from 1000am to 1000pm from several hotels and resorts throughout the Ka’anapali Resort   OR the Lahaina Shuttle  is also an option for a nominal fee- Check with your hotel concierge for pick-up times and locations  depending upon your dates of travel.
Ka’anapali Beachwalk  if you are staying  at resorts  such as the Hyatt Regency Maui, Westin Maui, Ka’anapali Alii  a short walk from your resort along the ocean is another option for you.
Contact: Linda Dancer Direct Line: 828-256-1520 /Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331
FairWind – Snorkel Cruise and Manta Night Snorkel Jul 12

Captain Cook Monument

FairWind – Big Island Ocean Guides has been sharing the beautiful waters of Kealakekua Bay with visitors to Hawai’i Island for over 40 years.
No wonder  FROMMER’s has named them the”Best Snorkel Cruise and Snorkel Destination on  the Big Island”, as well as receiving many other accolades from the local community,repeat guests and other guidebooks. A family run business for over three generations, they provide the best of service  and  safety by making sure the crew members are professionally trained and certified life guards, experienced guides share the love of the ocean and historical significance of Kealakekua Bay with guest, while they ride in comfort on their custom catamaran vessels with first class amenities.
Kealakekua Bay is a sacred site for Hawaiians, where it is said that the Hawaiian fertility god, Lono’i’ka’makahiki lived, as well as the Captain Cook Monument  pictured here. Kealakekua(pathway of the Gods)  is so beautiful – clear blue water with visibility of 80-100 feet year round is surrounded by majestic volcanic cliffs,which help protect the bay and keep the waters calm and perfect for snorkeling, almost guaranteeing you will see a variety of tropical fish.
I cruised on the Fair Wind II, the two custom staircases  made is so easy for everyone to get in and out of the water safely, and in addition to normal flotation devices like boogie boards, noodles and inter-tubes, they have the most amazing custom view-boxes-a great way to view the fish. If you tire of snorkeling, then have fun on the two 15-feet slides and if you are game they have a dive platform. When they called us in for lunch, a nice selection of a hot BBQ  lunch, snacks,fresh fruit, coffee,beverages  and cash bar.
As wonderful as my morning snorkel cruise was, nothing could have prepared me for the Manta Ray Night Snorkel, normally I am very timid about getting into the water at night,but having had such a wonderful experience with the crew during the day, I knew I was in the best of hands. From the beginning-getting fitted for wet suits, and boarding the Hula Kai, the sun just begging to lower in the sky, I was so excited. Once the crew had taken us out to the proper spot, and we got into the water, we made our way out to the custom floating light platforms, it was so awesome to watch these big beautiful creatures follow the plankton up the light beam, literally to be that close to them was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. Even though they can be huge with wing spans up to 15-feet  without teeth,stingers or barbs they are very gentle, definitely an amazing and safe activity for everyone. Just be sure and lay very still,  you will be rewarded, they continued to come back and visit me the entire time I was in the water. It was chilly when we got back on the boat, but we were offered warm soup and bread rolls, snack mix, hot drinks (coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate) – Purchase the video that is normally taken by their professional videographer-you will want to see it again and again.
Fair-Winds departs from Keauhou Bay -78-7130 Kaleiopapa St/Kailua-Kona,Hawaii 96740
For more info  they can be reached  (808) 322-2788
Contact: Linda Dancer  Phone: Direct Line 828-256-1520 / Toll Free  1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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