If you’re thinking about escaping to the Hawaii for the holidays or a winter break, good choice. Just so you know in addition to all the Aloha /Yuletide Spirit in the islands there are a some new airline connections and hotels to consider. For starters Delta Air Lines is adding a daily flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Kona International Airport beginning Dec. 19, 2015 on a Boeing 757-200. There will also be seasonal flights from New York, along with new seasonal winter non-stop flights from Minneapolis, Minnesota (from October through March) and Portland, Oregon (from December through January). Delta Air Lines is also offering discounts of up to 10 percent off domestic and international airfares to Hawaii when you use the NMMEN when calling Delta Meet Network at (800) 328-1111, or online.
- Wild and quirky San Francisco-based Virgin America kicks off San Francisco to Kahului, Maui service on Dec. 3 201 on its new planes that provide three custom-designed classes of service, touch-screen personal entertainment, and on-demand food and cocktail menus. The flights will leave from the stylish and convenient Terminal Two at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
- The new 385-room Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina – the fifth hotel in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ Hawaiian Collection – is taking early reservations for stays from June 1, 2016. The resort will reflect the brand’s deluxe style with all room sporting balconies and authentic Hawaiiana-style décor inspired by nature. There will also be five restaurants and lounges, four pools, a white sand beach, a multi-level spa and wellness center, expansive tennis facilities and multiple watersports activities, as well as preferred access to the exclusive Ko Olina Golf Club. The hotel is slated to open spring 2016.
- Over on luscious Lanai—the former pineapple plantation island– Four Seasons will reopen it’s re-invented 217-room resort after a multi-million-dollar transformation that turned the sprawling property into a island wonderland. There will also be some tasty new culinary offerings, a renovated spa, luxury retail boutiques and a new pro shop at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course.
- Timbers Resorts is heading to Kauai where it plans to develop and manage 450 acres on the island’s southeast coast at the former location of Kauai Lagoons. Called Hokuala (which means “rising star” in Hawaiian), the unique oceanfront development will be the latest resort in Timbers portfolio. Hokuala will also offer a private resident club, luxury whole ownership residences, custom golf course home sites, a retail shopping village and a boutique hotel featuring a destination spa, multiple dining options, extensive pools, and multiple wedding venues.
So if you feel like sampling something new, those are you choices. If you want to stick with the tried and true we recommend, based on personal experience, The incomparable Halekulani on Waikiki which turns into a magical fantasy-land of Christmas trees and decorations for the Yuletide season; fully-equipped, easy beach access condo-rentals at El Dorado by Outrigger on Maui; the Grand Wailea also on Maui; The Sheraton at Black Rock Maui; The fabulous Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui, and, for your dining enjoyment Chef Mavro on Honolulu.
Happy holidays and safe travels.