The island of Oahu, Hawaii's most popular tourism destination and third-largest island, is setting up for a busy fall. Often referred to as the "Gathering Place of Hawaii," this culturally diverse island is giving travelers a variety of new offerings including new hotels, new activities and new tours. Below is a glimpse of the new and different options travelers can choose from when exploring Oahu.
New Hotels and Resorts
Espacio, The Jewel of Waikiki
Honolulu’s newest boutique hotel has officially opened its doors to guests. Set on the shores of Waikiki Beach, Espacio aims to offer its guests an ultra-luxury experience in each of its nine multi-bedroom suites.
Each three-bedroom, three-bathroom suite will provide guests with complimentary private butler and concierge service, a full designer kitchen with modern appliances, bathrooms equipped with a deep soaking tub and separate glass shower, as well as custom imported Italian marble furnishing. Additionally, guest suites will include a discreet, private elevator entry; iPad-controlled lighting and temperature; ocean-view balconies equipped with Jacuzzis; private dry-saunas; and globally sourced works of art. Additional amenities include access to a luxury fleet of cars and in-suite chef-service on demand.
At Espacio’s signature Japanese-French restaurant Mugen, guests can dine on seafood delivered straight from Japan’s famous fish market, Toyosu, and sip on rare Japanese whiskies, high-end sake or Domaine de la Romanee-Conti wine.
Rates begin at $5,000 per night.
Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani
Following a year-long multimillion-dollar renovation, the former Waikiki Parc will reopen on October 25 as the Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani. Inspired by sister property Halekulani, the new 23-floor boutique hotel will encompass 284 guest rooms and four suites, all of which offer views of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu’s mountain range.
The Grand Ocean Suite, the hotel’s top accommodation located on the top floor, will provide guests with panoramic views of Waikiki Beach from the bedroom, living room and balcony, as well as various amenities including in-room spa treatments, cabana reservations and turndown service.
On the eighth-floor, guests can experience the pool deck and bar, as well as the hotel’s signature fitness studio. Additionally, opening in tandem with the resort, is the first ever Halekulani Bakery & Restaurant, the hotel’s full-service, all-day casual dining concept.
New Hotel Spa Treatments and Activities
The Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
Debuting this fall, the resort’s Naupaka Spa and Wellness Centre is launching a new spa experience, titled Spa Under the Stars. The program will provide guests the opportunity to slip away to a private night spa retreat to enjoy exclusive access to the spa’s amenities and facilities, followed by a private stargazing experience.
Additionally, in partnership with Trident Adventures, the resort recently debuted a “Navy Seal for a Day” experience for guests. Owned by former Navy SEALs, Trident Adventures is a water adventure company primarily focusing on scuba diving. The dive operation offers a variety of dive and aquatic programs for guests to choose from where they will encounter green sea turtles, white tip sharks, spotted eagle rays and eels.
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani is providing adults and children alike with an array of new activities to enjoy on dry land and in the water.
In the water, the resort’s new Underwater Explorers experience provides guests aged 10 and up an opportunity to scuba dive in Rainbow Reef, a 3,800-square-foot man-made saltwater lagoon. The two-hour scuba-diving lesson will teach guests the basics of scuba diving and safety procedures before taking them underwater to explore thousands of tropical fish such as angelfish, tangs and butterflyfish. Additionally, guests can get even closer to the fish by participating in the Rainbow Reef Fish Feeding Experience, where Aulani’s team of animal biologists will introduce families to the many species of fish that call Rainbow Reef home.
At Laniwai Spa, guests looking to relax can take part in the resort’s new spa offering, Sparty Hour. Here, guests can enjoy Happy Hour by soaking in the waters of the resort’s outdoor hydrotherapy garden, Kula Wai, before receiving a 25-minute traditional Lomilomi massage. After Sparty Hour, guests can stop in for a Luau-Bound makeover, where they can select from four different Luau-inspired hairstyles before heading to the resort’s Ka Wa’a Luau.
Activities & Entertainment on Oahu
The USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial, a memorial dedicated to the battleship USS Arizona that was bombed during the attack on Pearl Harbor, has officially reopened. After closing in May 2018, the National Park Service, in coordination with the United States Navy and contractors, completed the final phase of construction this past August.
Since beginning the project in 2018, the National Park Service has completed multiple phases of the project to include analysis, contracting, design, environmental compliance, mobilization, unexploded ordnance screening, resource preservation and project execution. The $2.1 million project also includes improvements to the dock’s anchoring system and addressed a critical infrastructure need at the park.
Following the memorial's reopening, guests can enjoy a safe and enhanced visit to Pearl Harbor, allowing visitors to more closely understand the story and pay their respects to the men aboard the Arizona.
Bishop Museum, the designated Hawaii State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, is presenting its newest exhibit, "Mai Kinohi Mai: Surfing in Hawaii," beginning this December. Through the research and collections of Bishop Museum in partnership with the local surfing community, this exhibit will explore surfing’s connection with the past and its ongoing technical and cultural developments, which make the sport an international phenomenon today. Highlights will include the oldest traditional Hawaiian surfboards on display alongside surfboards belonging to surfers like Duke Kahanamoku. Interactive displays will teach visitors about surf forecasting and archival photos and rare memorabilia will explore surfing’s roots in traditional Hawaiian culture to its influence in Hawaii’s modern culture. The exhibit will be on display until May 3, 2020.
Blue Hawaii Private Tours
This fall, Blue Hawaii will be introducing private hiking tours to Diamond Head, a volcanic tuff cone on the island of Oahu.
Led by a trained nature guide, guests will hear authentic stories about the volcanic creation of Diamond Head, Hawaiian history, European settling, and early cattle ranching, all while being escorted on a 45-minute walk that ascends to the 763-foot summit. The summit provides a 360-degree panoramic view of Waikiki Beach, the emerald green mountains and the aquamarine water of the Pacific Ocean below. After the hike, guests can enjoy a fresh pineapple drink or shave ice before returning to Waikiki.
Roberts Hawaii, a Honolulu-based tour bus operator, has launched a new guided tour on the island of Oahu, one that shares the story of a plant that has influenced Hawaii’s history from the arrival of early Polynesians to contemporary island society. The new five-hour Oahu Sugar Tour tells the story of sugar cane and Hawaii through a guided visit to Hawaii’s Plantation Village, an educational site dedicated to preserving Oahu’s multi-ethnic plantation history. To end the tour, guests will venture to Ko Hana Rum, a farm-to-bottle distillery that uses locally grown single varietals of native Hawaiian sugar cane to craft pure cane rums, where they can indulge in rum tastings and take in views of the Waianae mountain range.
For more information, visit www.visit-oahu.com.