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Kona’s Crown Jewel is Restored

Media Release:

It takes a lot to invest millions into any project at any time, much less during a recession. But the team at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel knew that the time was right for the iconic hotel to get a much-deserved “face-lift,” and began the initial planning in late 2007. With plans in hand by 2008, the project began. Today marks the completion of a two-year, $35 million renovation – the largest, most expensive, comprehensive enhancement undertaking in the hotel’s 35 years of operation.


While a portion of time/investment went into things not readily visible (internal systems upgrades – fire, safety, energy-efficiency, plumbing, etc.), improvements to the things you can see are quite impressive. All 452 rooms, including five oceanfront one-bedroom suites, have been completely re-done. Everything is brand new. Contemporary in feel, island in vibe, soft good patterns mirror nostalgic Kona – with burnt red, brown, and celadon green hues and coffee motifs to celebrate Kona’s coffee history. Hardwood furnishings are enhanced with embossed Polynesian tattoo patterns. And subtle hints of the colors and texture of lava complement the overall design.  Spacious bathrooms have brand new bathtubs, sinks, furniture and fixtures. New in-room amenities include Bath & Body Works® bath products, iron/ironing board, flat screen television, complimentary coffee (and coffee makers), complimentary wireless Internet, and new mini refrigerators.

A brand new lobby and reception desk await guests, as does a new infinity-edged pool with Billfish Bar, lava-rock whirlpool, renovated dining room, and a selection of new retail shops.


Nestled at Kamakahonu Bay, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel sits adjacent to Ahu’ena Heiau, Kamehameha the Great’s personal and final residence, and the center of political power in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Kamehameha used this site as a gathering place for his kāhuna (priests) and advisors to counsel and guide both he and his successor, Kamehameha II (Liholiho).

Sitting in such close proximity to an important cultural/historic site comes with much honor, respect, and responsibility. Ahu’ena Heiau, a National Historic Landmark, was last restored in 1999. Toward the end of 2008, Ahu’ena Heiau Inc. began a project to restore the roof of Hale Mana, one of the buildings at Kamakahonu. The completion of this project is slated for the end of May.

Several original portrait paintings of Hawaiian royalty that have graced the lobby of the hotel for decades, a treasured feather cape ahu’ula, feathered helmet mahi’ole, feather lei, war weapons, and lei niho palaoa (whale or walrus tooth necklace, usually made with human hair and worn only by royalty) are being restored as well. And, an original oil by notable Historian/Artist Herb Kawainui Kane that depicts Kamehameha I, his family, and advisors at Kamakahonu, is being restored by the artist himself.

Today, the grounds of Kamakahonu are still regarded as a gathering place – for meetings, planning sessions, training, events, luncheons, weddings, reunions, concerts, and more. Four meeting rooms located within the hotel have been fully refurbished to accommodate modern-day gathering needs.


“A resort renaissance has happened at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, and it’s time for rediscovery. Our repeat visitors are overwhelmed with the changes. We have received tons of positive ‘WOW’ comments,” says Jak Hu, the hotel’s general manager. “The renovations have not only generated a lot of excitement from our guests, but they have had an incredible impact on our employees. This transformation is the start of a new beginning for our hotel and has restored a new sense of pride in our staff.”

“Pacifica Hotel Company has a history of purchasing hotels, renovating them, and bringing them back to life. The owners view King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel as a wonderful asset with a great location of historical and cultural significance,” added Hu.

E hele mai … come, rediscover King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Special introductory rates and promotions are being offered celebrate the project’s completion. For more information or to enter your name in a three-night stay giveaway, visit www.konabeachhotel.com, or find us on Facebook®.

October Big Island Specials

Media Release:
Hawai’i’s Big Island (October 2009)
You’ll fall for Hawai’i’s Big Island all over again this autumn, as holiday events are presented, Hulihe’e Palace re-opens, luxury resorts and charming inns entice travelers, and more adventurous action awaits you than ever before!
She’s BACK! After a $1.5 million renovation, Hulihe’e Palace in historic Kailua Village is open for public self-guided tours 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Wed. – Sat. Marvel at javelins that belonged to King Kamehameha the Great, a 70-inch table top crafted from a single plank of koa wood, steamer trunks used to attend Queen Victoria’s 1887 Golden Jubilee, pieces of fine Lokelani china and a rare mat made from the endemic sedge, makaloa.  Admission: $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Call (808) 329-1877 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org.
To Fly For.
Hilo’s prestigious Big Island Candies has introduced a trio of luscious new products: Coconut Shortbread Cookies,  Macadamia Nut Toffee, and our favorite, the Hawaiian Red Chili Toffee: a fiery blast of Hawaiian chili pepper toffee  studded with roasted almonds and dunked in rich dark chocolate.  Don’t wait for the holidays, take these on a test taste now. Visit the Hilo store (the holiday decorations are most festive), or order online, www.bigislandcandies.com.
Got Golf?
Hawai’i’s Big Island offers the world’s most diverse golf experience: the southernmost course in the U.S., smoldering views of Kīlauea volcano, oceanfront holes on the designer courses along the Kohala Coast, and more. Missed the press release?  Check out Big Island Golf and get into the swing of things.

Journey to ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i and enjoy the Mystery of the Christmas Star, a holiday planetarium show that takes viewers to Bethlehem 2,000 years ago for a scientific explanation of the bright star that the wise men followed. Explore the cosmic events that may have prompted the vision of the bright star in the skies long ago. ‘Imiloa explores the stars through the lenses of both Hawaiian culture and astronomy, www.imiloahawaii.org.

New Partners In Paradise.
Frolic in the footsteps of ABC’s The Bachelorette and try this: KapohoKine Adventures & Paradise Helicopters new “Big Island Grand Fire and Falls” adventure. Take a guided road trip of the Big Island’s lush east side, with scenic stops at Rainbow Falls and Onomea Bay, then park it at a secluded oasis for a waterfall swim. Gourmet Hawaiian barbecue, champagne and local brew included. What’s for dessert? A helicopter flight to Kīlauea volcano! Contact Paradise Helicopters (866) 876-7422 or visit www.kapohokine.com.
The Shops at Mauna Lani opens Hawai’i’s first 4-D theater in November. The state-of-the-art attraction, dubbed “The Great 4-D Movie Ride” will dazzle audiences in a 24-seat theater, designed to showcase 4-D features and simulated “rides” on a 19-foot widescreen, projected from twin, high-definition digital projectors. The action is synchronized with full-range motion seats, a powerful surround sound system and 4-D effects, such as blown air and water spray, for a multi-sensory experience. Call (808) 885-9501 or visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com.
Want more?
Click http://bigisland.org/calendar for detailed information about additional Hawai’i Island events.
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows re-opens Nov. 1 after being closed for brief refreshment.  New elements reflect a Hawaiian sense of place capturing the spirit of Kalāhuipua’a. Mauna Lani Spa will re-open, and the hotel’s new Executive Sous Chef, James Ortiaga, will be at the helm of the CanoeHouse Restaurant with a dynamic new menu.  In celebration, Mauna Lani’s Hawaii 5-O Package starting at $270/night, is available through Dec. 23. Visit www.maunalani.com.
Save with the iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s new Legacy Bonus Package, offering guests a fourth night free, plus a $500 resort credit. Rates start at $550/night for a Golf Vista view room. Valid for dates of travel between Nov. 7-21, and Nov. 28-Dec. 24. Visit http://www.princeresortshawaii.com/mauna-kea-beach-hotel or call (866) 977-4589.
White sand holidays, for less! Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is spreading holiday cheer with its new Free Nights Promo, a fifth night free from Dec. 26, 2009 – Jan. 1, 2010. Rates start at $399 in Terrace category. www.PrinceResortsHawaii.com, or call toll-free, (866) 774-6236.
Kalaekilohana Bed and Breakfast courts romance with “The Natural Honeymoon” package, featuring romantic coastal hikes, locally grown gourmet food, luxurious suites, and the feel of historic Hawai’i. Added values include high-speed Internet, free parking, and gourmet breakfast. Want more? Fresh floral bouquet in your suite, deluxe gift basket with local coffee, jam or honey, and a Hawaiian keepsake handcrafted by the B&B’s artist-in-residence. Three-night honeymoon package for two is $199/night through 2009. Book the love at (888) 584-7071 and visit www.kau-hawaii.com.

Save at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
.  Escape to Hawai’i’s Big Island before 2009 is pau (finished) and save 30 percent on one to three nights, or 40 percent off four nights or more, good through Dec.19. Enjoy the brand new rooms and pool at the only hotel with a white-sand beach in historic Kailua Village, and experience the fascinating history and culture of the region, plus the shopping, restaurants and ocean activities within walking distance of the lobby, www.konabeachhotel.com.

Kokolulu Farm & Cancer Retreats Center in Hāwī is taking $500 off the cost of a retreat of a week or more in length, thorough the end of 2009. The retreat program is designed for people who have been diagnosed with cancer, been through treatment, and are now identifying ways to rekindle their spirit and live with passion, purpose, meaning, and joy. For details call (808) 889-9893 or visit www.cancer-retreats.org. Request the Big Island special.

Artists of varying abilities are invited to join others for Kona Village’s newly introduced Hawaiian Art Journey (HAJ), directed by Robert Adams. HAJ facilitates drawing, painting and sculpting groups and classes. Anyone interested in learning is encouraged to utilize the flexible format of HAJ to create their own group for a week of their choosing.  Seven-night inclusive program rates begin at $2,222 per person/ double occupancy. Visit www.HawaiianArtJourney.com to learn more. Resort information at www.KonaVillage.com.

Nestled upcountry on the slopes of Mount Hualālai, the Holualoa Inn invites you enjoy their sweeping views, lush tropical gardens and generous aloha spirit , for a little longer. Spend seven consecutive nights or more and receive 10 percent off your reservation. Restrictions apply; rates from $260/night. Valid Oct. 1, 2009 to Jan. 15, 2010. Call (800) 392-1812, or visit www.holualoainn.com.
Retreat to the sunny Kohala Coast on Hawai’i’s Big Island for three nights or more and enjoy a His and Her activity at the oceanfront Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Choose either an in-room Hawaiian Lomilomi or Deep Tissue Massage for her. For him, enjoy one round of golf at either the Waikoloa Beach or Kings’ Course. Rates begin at $411/ night. Valid through Dec. 24. Subject to availability, restrictions may apply. Visit www.waikoloamarriott.com.
Aston Hotels & Resorts is offering valuable Early Bird Discounts.  Guests who reserve a stay now through Oct.31 for travel from Jan. 3 to Mar. 31, 2010 will secure terrific starting rates: Aston Shores at Waikoloa (one-bedroom deluxe), $177; Aston Kona by the Sea (one-bedroom partial ocean view suite), $175; Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas (one-bedroom villa), $184. Blackout dates and restrictions may apply. Visit www.astonhotels.com or call 866-774-2924.
Hali’i Kai at Waikoloa Beach Resort is a lavish oceanfront villa resort that flows along the fairways of Waikoloa’s Beach Golf Course to the Pacific. Amenities include a lagoon pool, whirlpool, fitness cabana and stunning 180-degree ocean and sunset views from the Ocean Club.  Reserved exclusively for resort guests, the Ocean Club Bar and Grill serves a complimentary breakfast for two who book a luxurious one bedroom/two-bath garden view villa for just $249 per night until Dec. 21.  Visit www.CastleResorts.com or call (800) 367-5004.
The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i invites guests to celebrate the holidays with a fifth night free on any new booking during the festive season.  Self parking, the Keiki Aloha children’s program, daily poolside cooking demonstrations, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and Santa’s arrival in a koa canoe are just a few of the many complimentary offerings awaiting guests this season. For information contact your preferred travel professional, visit  www.fairmont.com/orchid, or call (800) 845-9905.

Enticing package options at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa are now available through the end of 2009. If ever there was an ideal time to travel to the safe haven of Hawai’i, it is now. Ask about Sheraton Keauhou Bay’s Better Tomorrow’s™, Reserve & Relax and Endless Escape packages. Some rates at the oceanfront resort begin at just $179/night. Visit www.SheratonKeauhou.com or call (866) 924-8746 for more exciting packages to fit every traveler’s budget.

Waipio Wayside Bed & Breakfast Inn is located minutes from Waipi’o Valley and the historic sugar town of Honoka’a on the stunning Hāmākua Coast of Hawai’i’s Big Island. To celebrate 21 years in business, the Inn offers a fourth night free for guests who stay a minimum of three nights.  Or even better, stay one week, and get a second week free! Offers apply to new reservations only. Rates range from $99/night to $170/night. Valid through 2009. Call (800) 833-8849 or visit www.waipiowayside.com.