Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lots of time left to Enter to Win a Diamond

Here's your chance to win a diamond from Diamond Bakery ...

Celebrating their 90th anniversary, Diamond Bakery is giving away 90 diamonds (10 per month) to lucky customers in appreciation of their support throughout nine decades. 

During the 90 Diamond Giveaway, 10 winners are selected at random from all entries submitted each month. There is no limit to the number of times one can enter.  The 90 Diamond Giveaway ends July 31, 2012.  

The first group of winners received their diamonds and gift baskets from Diamond Bakery and partner Kamaaina Metals and Jewelry on December 11. 

From left to right: 
Stephanie Cadelinia of Honolulu; Winifred Deuz of Waialua; Irene Sugibayashi of ‘Aiea; Arlene Mirza of Honolulu; Alison Okumura of Mililani; Raymond Rapalee, Owner of Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry’ Brent Kunimoto, President Diamond Bakery; Sherri Rapalee, Owner of Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry; Hisako Kodama of Honolulu; Clifford Chillinworth of Waianae; Philip J. Cavaco of Honolulu; Peter Kawaoka of Honolulu and Lillian Garcia of Waipahu.

 There's still a lot of time for you to enter.  For more information, visit

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kamaaina rates at 19th Annual Slack Key Festival - Kauai Style

The oceanfront Kaua‘i Beach Resort, home to the 19th Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Festival – Kaua‘i Style on Sunday, November 20, is offering great rates for Hawai‘i residents starting at just $109 per night.

“We’re honored to be the venue for this excellent Hawaiian slack key showcase and encourage kama‘āina to plan their Kaua‘i musical weekend getaway by staying with us,” said Robin Graf, General Manager of the Kaua‘i Beach Resort.  “We have the most convenient location on the island, have spacious plantation-style accommodations and are a kama‘āina-friendly hotel.”

Amenities at the Kaua‘i Beach Resort includes:
·         Complimentary shuttle service to / from airport and nearby golf courses
·         Four Swimming Pools including 2 Lagoon Pools with Waterfalls & Beachfront Sand Pool
·         75 Ft. Lava Tube Waterslide
·         Two Whirlpool Spas
·         Fitness Center – Open 24 Hours
·         Live music nightly in Shutters Lounge
·         Fabulous Prime Rib & Seafood Buffet on Saturday and Sunday Brunch at Naupaka Terrace
·         And more!

The Slack Key Festival – Kaua‘i Style take place from 12 noon – 6 pm.  Many of Hawai‘i’s finest slack key musicians will be performing including:  Ledward Kaapana, Brother Noland and Makana.  Admission is FREE.  Donations accepted at the door.  There will also be a food booth featuring favorite local foods and festival merchandise available for purchase.

For reservations, see your preferred travel agent or call Kaua‘i Beach Resort direct at
808-246-5517 or toll free at 1-888-805-3843.  The kama‘āina rate cannot be combined with any other offer.  A valid Hawai‘i ID is required at check-in.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hana all-inclusive ... 'everything' is included

There are countless ways to spend a few days relaxing on Maui but one that I had never done before was to experience an 'all-inclusive' getaway.

It's a wonderful concept ... (for the most part) you just pay one price and 'everything' is included.

At the Travaasa Hana, the Total Travaasa package includes: accommodations at their spacious and comfortable Sea Ranch Cottage, all meals, snacks and non alcoholic beverages. Also included are your choice of any 60 minute treatment from the award-winning spa; all on-property activities such as Morning Yoga, Basic Hula, Art of the Cocktail and Throw Net Fishing Experience; and a selection of off-property activities such as a coastal horseback ride and stand up paddling.

Rates begin at $799, double occupancy (tax and service charge not included)
I tried to leave a gratuity or the housekeeper twice but he/she left a note saying that tips were not accepted.

For more information about the spa treatments, daily activities, dining options, Hana town and more hotel package and room options, visit

Here are photos of the resort that I took.

Meditation Pool

 Pathway to the Tennis Courts and Pool 

Fitness Room

Hawaiian Music and Dance in the Paniolo Lounge

Pupus at the Weekly Manager's Reception

Art of the Cocktail session

Throw Net Fishing lesson

'Half of the cottage ... missing are the dining/wet bar area, the huge bath and outdoor sitting area  

Sea Ranch Cottage complex

Last look from my porch.  You can't see it in this photo but Mauna Kea is visible in the distance.

As you can see, there are swimming pools, tennis courts and a fitness room. There is a meditation room, shops, lush grounds, carts that will pick you up at your cottage and take you to and from the main hotel building (Sea Ranch Cottages are located 'accross the street' from the resort) and more.

I thoroughly enjoyed my short visit. Hana is lush and serene, the 52-mile Hana Highway drive is very scenic (as everyone will tell you) and the Travaasa Hana resort staff genuinely friendly and helpful.

Photos of the drive to Hana and Hana Town to come ... stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Keauhou Beach Resort to host the Third Annual Lavaman Keauhou Triathlon

The third annual Lavaman Keauhou Triathlon returns to Keauhou Beach Resort on Sunday, August 28, 2011. Keauhou Beach Resort is offering a special kamaaina rate starting from $109 per night, which includes a complimentary self-service breakfast buffet each morning, to event participants, their families and friends. In addition, the hotel is also offering room, car and free parking packages.  

This “Olympic Distance Triathlon” consists of a 1.5K swim in Keauhou Bay, 40K bike ride and capped off with a 10K run. Participants can choose to do the entire race or as two- and three-person relay teams. What’s touted as the “Best Party in Triathlon” will take place after the race with an awards ceremony and a barbeque on the resort’s Royal Garden lawn.

In addition to the fun for adults, the day before has something in store for the keiki as well. On Saturday, August 27, the Lava Kids Beach Dash, for ages 3-7, and the Lava Kids Aquathon, for ages 7-14, will take place along with a free triathlon training seminar and a sports and fitness expo for all participants.

With so many fun activities for the entire family, this event is a must for all triathletes. For more information about the event and registration, visit the event website at Registration is limited to the first 400 individuals and 25 relay teams.

For hotel reservations or information, call toll free 1-877-532-8468 or direct 1-808-324-2515, Monday through Friday, 7:00 am -3:00 pm, Hawaii Standard Time and ask for the LAVAMAN KEAUHOU room rate. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kamaaina special at Aqua Lotus Honolulu

Aqua Lotus Honolulu is offering Hawaii residents a ‘Kamaaina Special’ for stays August 1 through December 23, 2011.

Rate for the ‘Kamaaina Special” is $159 per night for a Diamond Head View room. When booking the special, kamaaina also receive a 50% discount on valet parking and WiFi Internet access is free.  

Aqua Lotus Honolulu is ideally situated adjacent to San Souci Beach along Waikiki’s “Gold Coast”.  It is the closest hotel to Diamond Head at just .5 miles away and within easy walking distance to major attractions and activities such as Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, Kapiolani Park and Waikiki Shell.  Aqua Lotus Honolulu is also just minutes from world-class shopping and entertainment. 

Aqua Lotus Honolulu offers many amenities including:

·         Complimentary morning coffee service
·         Use of a selection of beach amenities
·         Concierge
·         Private lanai
·         Oversized desk
·         Wireless Internet access
·         I-Pod docking station
·         Mini-refrigerator
·         Electronic in-room safe
·         and more

Aqua Lotus Honolulu kamaaina special is based on availability and offered through December 23, 2011.  Valid driver’s license or ID with a Hawaii address is required upon check-in.  There is no minimum night requirement.  The special is valid for new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other offer.

For reservations, see your preferred travel agent, book online or call Aqua at 808-924-6543
or toll free at 1-866-406-2782.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Aqua named to manage The Lotus at Diamond Head

Effective July 18, 2011, Aqua Hotels & Resorts (, assumes management of The Lotus at Diamond Head.  The hotel will be renamed Aqua Lotus Honolulu and become part of the Aqua Boutique Collection.

One of Waikiki’s first full-service boutique hotels, the Aqua Lotus Honolulu was previously marketed as the hip “W Honolulu”.  The hotel remains stylish with beautifully appointed Asian inspired furnishings and a relaxed ambiance.  

Planned refurbishment of the guest rooms and common areas will enhance the hotel’s elegant décor and vibe.  Another feature of the renovation is the refurbishment of the restaurant space and the re-opening of a contemporary new restaurant and lounge. Renovation work is scheduled to take place during the day when guests are out exploring and enjoying Oahu.

Hotel amenities include:
·         Onsite restaurant and lounge
·         Meeting & banquet facilities:  Seats 80 for dinner and 120 people for standing reception.  For smaller groups, the Penthouse Suite and Chef’s Table are also available.  Video conferencing and other technology can be arranged
·         WiFi in the lobby and rooms
·         Complimentary coffee service
·         Concierge

Guest room amenities include:
·         ADA compliant and non-smoking room availability
·         Private lanai
·         Oversized desk
·         Wireless Internet access
·         I-Pod docking station
·         Personalized climate control
·         Mini-refrigerator
·         Electronic in-room safe
·         and more

Aqua Lotus Honolulu is a 51-room boutique hotel offering fantastic views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean.  Located at the east end of Waikiki, also known as the “Gold Coast” at 2885 Kalakaua Avenue, the hotel enjoys a tranquil and quiet setting along Waikiki’s main thoroughfare.  Aqua Lotus Honolulu enjoys a beachfront position and is in walking distance to the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium and tennis courts.

For more info, visit

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Photos of Kauai Beach Resort taken during a recent overnight

Recently, I spent Friday night at Kauai Beach Resort.  The location is great and the complimentary hotel / airport / hotel shuttle is very, very convenient and saved me a lot of time.

A storm system was moving through the islands and the weather was still iffy.  It was overcast on Friday and showered on Saturday morning ... but the skies cleared up by mid-morning. 

 Port cochere ... where the complimentary shuttle drops off and pickups up .

My room was great.  The bed was excellent and I got a good night's sleep .. it just reconfirms that I really need to buy myself a new mattress.

 The view from my balcony was of the great pool and Pacific Ocean beyond.

 Another view of the pool and how it wraps around.

Pool-side hatched huts ... for casual dining.

 View of building 4 and resort grounds.
Shutters Lounge offers nightly entertainment, light dinner menu.

Naupaka Terrace serves breakfast and dinner ... had a chance to enjoy their Friday night Seafood Buffet ... yum.

Another view of the sprawling low-rise resort.  As you may know, buildings on Kauai cannot be taller than a coconut tree.

A family of chickens strolling through the resort.

 Pathway towards the Pacific.

Final view of the pool ... .this was taken at 8 am so no one was in the pool yet.

I took all of the photos (execept Naupaka Terrace) with my Sony Cybershot.  There are other areas of the resort that I did not take photos of ... including the Driftwood Bar & Grille, children's sand bottom pool,  75-ft waterslide, ballroom, fitness center and more.

Kauai Beach Resort is located at 4331 Kauai Beach Drive.  The resort offers 350 rooms and suites.  ADA rooms are also available.

For reservations, call toll free 888-805-3843.  For more information, visit 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Russell Siu to kick off new signature series at Kaua‘i Beach Resort on April 9

Kaua’i Beach Resort is unveiling a new signature event that pays tribute to Hawaii’s unique regional cuisine, Hawai’i’s Culinary Masters Dinner.  The first in this planned series takes place on Saturday, April 9 with Russell Siu, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of O‘ahu’s popular restaurant, 3660 on the Rise.

  • 4 pm:  Interactive and educational cooking demonstration at Shutters Lounge featuring Russell Siu and his award-winning Lacquered Salmon with Pickled Maui Onions and Yuzu Butter Sauce.  $45 per person plus tax and gratuity.

  • 6:30 pm:  Four-course private dinner with wine pairings in the Plumeria Room, $75 plus tax and gratuity per person.  The menu includes:
    • Seafood Ravioli with Yuzu Butter Sauce and Kabayaki Sauce Drizzle
    • Slow-Roasted Filet of Wild Salmon, Fennel Purée and Olive Oil Emulsion
    • Fire-Roasted Apple Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Filet of Beef Tenderloin, Seared Foie Gras and Caramelized Shallot Sauce
    • Liliko‘i Panna Cotta with Fresh Raspberries and Citrus-Honey Consommé

  • Guest sommelier - Alan Suzuki

  • Valet parking is complimentary for event attendees

“We are very excited to have celebrated Hawai‘i Chef Russell Siu join us as we launch this new signature series at the resort,” said Matthew Pickett, Resort Manager. “Russell will be presenting a number of excellent dishes that will definitely tantalize everyone.”

Executive Chef and co-owner of 3660 on the Rise, Russell Siu directs financial operations and creates the restaurant’s distinctive Euro-Island cuisine, a blend of East-West heritage
with signature use of seasonal products from Hawai‘i’s oceans and farms. His recent culinary awards include 1st Place wins for Pacific Rim Food, Dessert and Martini from Star Advertiser 2010 Hawai‘i’s Best and the Hale ‘Āina Bronze for Best O‘ahu Restaurant.

Hawai‘i’s Culinary Masters Dinner will become part of a series of signature dining events featuring a variety of culinary happenings including guest chefs, winemaker dinners and more.

A kama‘āina room special is also available at Kaua‘i Beach Resort for event-goers and Hawai‘i residents wanting to spend a few days at the ocean-front property. Rates start at $129 per night, plus taxes, for travel April 1 through April 30.  Hawai‘i ID is required at check-in.

For reservations for the signature events and room special, call Kaua‘i Beach Resort direct at 808-245-1955. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Augie’s “Laugh Shack” opens on Friday, March 11 at Pagoda Hotel

Here's a great way to spend just $10

Pagoda Hotel, Honolulu’s landmark hotel and kamaaina favorite, is the place to be on Friday, March 11 when local funnyman and radio personality Augie T kicks off Augie’s “Laugh Shack” 2011 in the La Salle Room, located on the second floor, overlooking the Pagoda Floating Restaurant.  Augie will be joined by fellow comedian Jose Dynamite for more laughs and music will be provided by Mike T.

Doors open at 7 pm with show time at 8 pm.  Tickets are $10 per person and all ages are welcome.

Augie’s “Laugh Shack” will take place every second Friday of each month at the Pagoda Hotel.

For tickets and more show information, call 391-5673 or 479-0576.

Dinner before the show
Anyone interested in a bite to eat before the show may want to make reservations for the dinner buffet at the award-winning Pagoda Floating Restaurant.  Doors open at 5 pm and main entrees include:  Slow Roasted Prime Rib of Beef with Au Jus & Horseradish, Hot Alaskan Snow Crab Legs, Golden Crisp Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura, Three Chef Specialty Selections, Catch of the Day and more.  The dinner buffet is $30.95/adults and $14.95/children (5-8 years old).  For restaurant reservations, call 948-8356.

Parking is available at $1 per hour at the restaurant parking garage located on Rycroft Street.  Dinner guests receive 2 hours validated parking.

For more information about Pagoda Hotel, call 808-941-6611 or visit

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Special room rates for 2011 Maui Marathon available

41st Maui Marathon events take place Saturday and Sunday, September 17 & 18, 2011

Maui Marathon ( has partnered with Travel Network Maui to make booking hotel accommodations for marathon participants easy.

Recognized as one of the most scenic courses in world, Maui Marathon starts in Kahului and passes sugarcane fields and the spectacular Pacific coastline for over 17 breathtaking miles before ending in Kaanapali.  Runners planning to participate in the various events over the weekend, along with family and friends can take advantage of special rates offered by The Westin Maui Resort & Spa and other hotels in Kaanapali Beach Resort.

“We’ve made it so much easier for marathoners to travel to Maui for the events taking place this September,” said Rudy Huber, Executive Director for the Maui Marathon.  “Travel Network is a Maui-based company and their knowledgeable travel consultants will book the rooms and airfare for those looking for assistance.”

Marathon Race Headquarters is located at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, on spectacular Kaanapali Beach.  As the official host hotel, many of the Marathon activities take place at, or near, the hotel and special rates available to runners, their families and friends during the marathon are: Run of House - $249.00 and Run of Ocean - $289.00.  When booking a longer stay, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa offers a 6th night FREE special.

Other hotels offering special rates during the Maui Marathon include:

Westin Kaanapali Ocean Villas:  Studio Island view - $279.00, Studio Ocean view - $319.00, 1 bedroom Island view - $339.00, 1 bedroom ocean view - $379.00 and a 6th night FREE special.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel:  Run of house - $168.00 and Run of ocean - $210.00.

Royal Lahaina Resort:  Run of house - $182.00 and Oceanview - $215.00.

Rates quoted are based on double occupancy, per night. A daily resort fee of $25.00 plus taxes are not included.

To take advantage of these special Maui Marathon rates, contact Travel Network.  They are located on Maui at 331 Hookahi Street, Suite 104, Wailuku, HI 96793. 

  • Toll free: 800-344-9086, Phone: 808-244-1414, Fax: 808-242-7815
  • Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm, Hawaii Standard Time

Registration for the 2011 events is available online for the following races:

  • September 17:  Maui Tacos 5K Run/Walk, Run Forrest Run Front Street Mile
and Go Red for Women Ambassador 5K Walk
  • September 18:  Maui Marathon, Half-Marathon and Warrior Challenge

Registration fee also includes a t-shirt for all race finishers.

For more information, visit

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Romance your sweetie on Valentine’s with chocolates, chocolates and chocolates at Kaua‘i Beach Resort

Kaua‘i Beach Resort is the perfect romantic place to celebrate when thinking chocolates for your special sweetie this Valentine's.

For a delicious couple of nights, consider the “Valentine's Chocolate Package” for $495, plus taxes, per couple.  The special includes:

  • Romantic 2-night stay in Ocean View accommodations
  • Daily breakfast buffet for 2
  • Bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries on arrival night
  • Decadent chocolate truffle dessert on the second evening
  • Surprise take-away chocolate gift from the resort on departure day

The “Valentine's Chocolate Package" is available for stays February 6 through 17, 2011.  And, since Valentine’s Day falls on Monday, there’s yet another special treat in store for couples – E Kanikapila Kākou takes place in the Jasmine Ballroom with entertainment by Lady Ipo Kahaunaele and Kainani Kahaunaele.  Admission is free.

Adding a second layer of chocolate to the celebration, Naupaka Terrace presents Valentine’s Day Dinner Specials on February 14 including:

·         Heart-Shaped Ravioli stuffed with Lobster and Wild Mushroom served with a Tobiko Caviar Sauce, $23

·         Sliced Smoked Duck served with Wild Rice Pancake in an Apricot Gewürztraminer Sauce, $25 

-     Petite Filets with Garlic Red Potato and Pancetta Mushroom Demi. $27

All specials include the bountiful Salad Bar and fabulous (la pièce de résistance) Valentine’s Chocolate Dessert Buffet featuring:

  • Chocolate Fondue, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Dark Chocolate Brownies, White Chocolate Brownies, Chocolate Cups with Chocolate Mousse, Milk Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Bread Pudding, Tiramisu in Chocolate Cups, Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Frozen Yogurt with Toppings

The final layer of chocolate is offered by Hawaiian Rainforest Day Spa, located at the resort.  Couple’s spa packages are available including Cocoa Facials with antioxidants and Chocolate Fudge massages. 

The “Valentine’s Chocolate Package” cannot be combined with any other room offer.  Room rate quotes is for double occupancy, plus taxes and based upon availability. For reservations, see your preferred travel agent, call Kaua‘i Beach Resort direct at 808-246-5517 or toll free at 1-888-805-3843.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Queen Kapiolani Hotel welcomes 2011 and kamaaina with great rates

Newly renovated and celebrating a new year

Queen Kapiolani Hotel, a long-time favorite of kamaaina, has recently been renovated and is celebrating 2011 by welcoming Hawaii residents with special rates for stays now through March 31, 2011.

“We’re excited and want to show-off the hotel so we put together a couple options for kamaaina booking rooms with us,” said Elizabeth Churchill, Aqua’s VP Sales & Marketing.  “Queen Kapiolani Hotel’s prime location near Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium and Waikiki Shell makes it an excellent choice for anyone planning a visit to these attractions, attending concerts and events or just relaxing in Waikiki for a few days.

Queen Kapiolani Hotel’s kamaaina rate specials start at $80 per night for a city view room and $105 per night for a city view room and full breakfast for two people. 

Looking great after completion of a $5 million refurbishment and upgrade, most of Queen Kapiolani Hotel’s rooms have private lanai with beautiful panoramas of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach and Kapiolani Park. Hawai‘i residents staying at the hotel will appreciate its close proximity to the ocean as well as the many amenities offered including a mini-refrigerator, coffeemaker and daily local newspaper.  Another plus is the availability of nearby parking for visiting friends. 

“I’d recommend the room and breakfast special,” added Churchill.  “Located on the third floor, the new Kulana Terrace Restaurant features many island favorites on the menu such as Loco Moco, Kim Chee Fried Rice and Three Egg Omelets that will surely fill anyone up for a big day ahead.”

Queen Kapiolani Hotel’s kamaaina rate specials are available until March 31, 2011.  Rates quoted are for single or double occupancy, plus taxes, based on availability. There is no minimum night requirement. The special cannot be combined with any other offer and is subject to change without notice. A Hawaii I.D. will be required upon check-in.

For reservations, see your preferred travel agent, book online or call Aqua at 808-924-6543 or toll free at 1-866-406-2782

About Queen Kapiolani Hotel
Queen Kapiolani Hotel opened for business in 1969 and pays tribute to its namesake, Queen Kapiolani, wife of Hawaii’s seventh and last ruling King.  Gracing the hotel are museum-quality paintings of both King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani, along with their niece, Princess Kaiulani.  True to its cultural heritage, the hotel’s mission is to “tell the story of Hawai‘i through the Queen’s eyes and welcome guests from around the world.” 

Located at 150 Kapahulu Avenue, Queen Kapiolani Hotel is a 19-story, 312-room hotel offering a range of guest rooms with private lanai and magnificent views, high-speed Internet access, refrigerator and coffeemaker.  Hotel amenities include third floor swimming pool and sundeck, ballroom and event facilities, Kulana Terrace Restaurant & Bar and much more.

Queen Kapiolani Hotel is marketed by Aqua Hotels & Resorts; a Hawaii-owned and operated lodging hospitality company founded by Mike Paulin.  Aqua is represented in Australia and New Zealand by Travel Reflections, South Korea by Pacific Air Agency Group, China by Aloha Consultant Company, Japan by ARM International and United Kingdom by First Public Relations.  For more information about Aqua Hotels & Resorts visit  For more information Queen Kapiolani Hotel, visit