Our news roundup is BIG today. Lots o’stuff to share.
* One of the biggest Hawaiian culture festivals starts tomorrow. It’s the Merrie Monarch Festival and you can watch the dancing competitions live and in high definition online at KFVE. See the schedule of events here — bearing in mind it’s all in Hawaii Time.
* The popular and free Kalapana Lava Viewing Area on the Big Island is now open three hours earlier, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Last car allowed in at 8 p.m. Currently, lava is not reaching the ocean, but a new trail allows visitors to hike out to view the mesmerizing glow and movement – conditions permitting – of the slow-moving surface flow above the pali (cliffs). Visitors should wear sturdy, closed-toe athletic shoes or hiking boots, bring plenty of drinking water, and carry a flashlight if planning to stay after dark. Call the Kalapana Lava Viewing Hotline (808) 961-8093 for current conditions. Also, see my article, How to Find Out What’s Going On with the Lava on Hawaii’s Big Island.
* The latest and greatest Carnival of Aloha has been published.
* Getting to the island of Lanai is about to get easier. go! Mokulele Air will begin offering two, daily flights from Honolulu to Lanai on May 20. (Source)
* Okay, this news bit isn’t a bargain, but WOWZA, what a unique experience! At Four Seasons Resort Hualālai on the Big Island, the Starlight Spa Voyage is a unique four-hour couples’ experience that begins with lomilomi massages at sunset by King’s Pond, a swimming pool/aquarium, to the accompaniment of Hawaiian music. The two are then set adrift on a raft (no worries; a rope tethers them to the dock.) Surrounded by candles, they float on the pond under the stars. If they see movement in the water, it’s likely to be curious manta rays. The cost for this experience is $750 per person.
* One of may absolute favorite places to stay in Hawaii is on sale. The Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay is on special offer at $295 per night. The offer is available through December 18, 2010 – including peak summer dates. You cannot find a better luxury rate in Hawaii. See this link for more details.
* How does a $55 per night, Waikiki Beach ocean view room strike you? Continental Surf Hotel is offering this deal. Read more about it here.
* Take advantage of the advance purchase Bed & Breakfast package at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Rates start at $219 plus tax/per night and include accommodations and daily breakfast for two. Call (808) 886-1234, (800) HILTONS, or visit www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com For this deal, request package code CX09AP. This deal is valid through Dec. 20, 2010, subject to availability, terms and conditions. Rate requires minimum 45-day advance purchase & full non-refundable pre-payment charged at time of reservation. No changes or cancellations.
* Holualoa Inn on the Big Island has a Spring Fever Special. Book either the Ginger or Orchid queen rooms through June 11 and enjoy 25% off the normal $290 room rate — a savings of $72 per night. Includes lei greeting, rose petal strewn bed, full breakfast each morning and afternoon snacks. Two-night minimum required. Book online at www.holualoainn.com or call (808) 324-1121. Use booking code QUEEN.