by Deanna Ting | March 24, 2015
Hilton is also busy adding to its Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Last summer, Hilton broke ground on a new 418-unit vacation ownership tower, The Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations Club, which is slated for completion in early 2017. The property also recently completed a five-month $21-million renovation of its 17-story Diamond Head Tower, including all 380 guest rooms, corridors, and the lobby. Last fall, Hilton Hawaiian Village debuted an updated version of its Waikiki Starlight Luau with new show numbers and a new show area that includes various pre-show activities.

The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is currently undergoing an $18-million enhancement project that includes the porte cochere, hotel lobby, guest registration desk area, meeting spaces, and Kuhio Beach Grill Restaurant. The renovation project is scheduled for completion in the fall.

The Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk completed a resort-wide refresh of its suites, and the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa is in the midst of a full $100-million renovation of its 1,230 guest rooms. The DoubleTree by Hilton Alana Waikiki just finished a redesign of its seventh-floor function room, The Pikake Room.

Starwood's Waikiki-based properties are also attracting meeting groups with a variety of group programs. At the historic Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, the 193-room resort specializes in offering "spaception" experiences for meeting groups in its intimate 390-square-foot Renewal Lounge. It also offers a Be Well Meeting Program with a variety of wellness-oriented experiences.

At The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, the historic property, built in 1927, specializes in a variety of special event experiences for groups. The "Pink Palace" as it is often referred to, has an event concept, the "Golden Age Gala," that pays homage to the 1940's era in its famed Monarch Ballroom. The hotel also offers a special culinary experience called Ethnic Epicurean Journey, which invites meeting attendees to enjoy ethnic foods prepared by the chefs for such dignitaries as the Sultan of Brunei; the princess of Thailand; and the Japanese Minister of Defense.

Another culinary group experience includes the Sheraton Waikiki's Project Runway Gone Culinary teambuilding challenge, in which groups team up with the property's F&B team to shop for ingredients, and then create a dish that is presented down a runway to a panel of judges. The 1,636-room property also recently partnered with Incentient to install customized iPads in each of its rooms; the iPads can be used by meeting organizers to send messages to attendees from their meeting groups.

Meeting groups staying at any of Starwood's Waikiki properties that want to engage in some corporate social responsibility can also work with Starwood Waikiki's Events with Aloha program to set up community projects that include gardening at local vegetable gardens, repairing fishpond walls, and more.

On Hawaii Island, Mauna Kea Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary as the first hotel property to be built on the island's Kohala Coast. The resort, which is comprised of two hotels -- Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel -- recently debuted new themed party offering for groups.  At Hapuna Beach, groups of up to 30 can take part in a Coast Grille Garden Party with a fresh menu filled with ingredients from the resort's on-site garden. At Mauna Kea, groups of up to 50 can hold a Plantation Beach House Party on Kaunaoa Bay's historic Plantation Beach House.

Questions or comments? Email [email protected]