by Michael C. Lowe | March 01, 2015
Why Here?
Hotels all across the 50th state are making serious investments to keep the destination fresh for groups. Major projects in the works include a $100 million refurbishment at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach and a $70 million upgrade at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui (above).

Try These Activities
The Princeville Makai Golf Club in Kauai is now offering self-guided golf-cart tours at sunset. Guests have 90 minutes to explore the scenic vistas of the famed Makai Course, which overlooks Hanalei Bay.

North Kohala Farm Tours on the Big Island lets groups experience the farm-to-table movement firsthand with tours and culinary events.

Light Show
Every Memorial Day, some 40,000 people gather on Oahu's south shore to release lanterns onto the water. The ceremony is a show of gratitude to those who came before us.

Paths Less Traveled
Kapohokine Adventures on Hawaii Island offers small group tours of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in areas not typically seen by visitors.
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Local Update

 The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa is expected to  complete a $100 million renovation of its 1,230 guest rooms this month. The property also expanded its outdoor Na Lea Terrace for private events and group meetings. In all, the resort offers 19,500 square feet of function space.

 The 2,860-room Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has finished a five-month, $21 million renovation of its 17-story Diamond Head Tower. The project refurbished all 380 tower guest rooms, corridors and the lobby, incorporating natural and indigenous-inspired textiles. The property has more than 150,000 square feet of function space.

 The 558 Tower and Diamond Wing rooms and suites at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, have been refreshed and now feature contemporary Hawaiian designs and new bathroom fixtures. The property, which opened in 1901, has a total of 793 guest rooms, 10,782 square feet of function space, a spa with 14 treatment rooms, and a 1,400-square-foot fitness center.

 The 1,142-room Sheraton Princess Kaiulani recently completed a $2 million renovation, which included enhancements to its lobby, restaurants, fitness center and business center. Guest rooms have new flat-screen televisions, carpeting and bathroom fixtures. The property features 11,500 square feet of meeting space.

 The 317-room DoubleTree by Hilton Alana Waikiki has revamped its seventh-floor function room, which now sports floor-to-ceiling glass windows, upgraded lighting, and new carpeting and wall coverings. Meeting space at the hotel totals approximately 10,000 square feet.

 Slated to debut in mid-2015 is a new Courtyard by Marriott Laie on the North Shore of Oahu. The 144-room property will be adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie and will include a swimming pool, a bistro and meeting space; further details to come.

 The Ala Moana Center is undergoing a multimillion-dollar expansion to redevelop the west wing into an expanded three-level retail space totaling 650,000 square feet. Among the stores coming to the venue is a Bloomingdales, along with various dining and entertainment outlets.

 In West Oahu, a 1.4 million-square-foot mall is slated to debut in 2016. The mixed-use center will include 150 shopping, dining and entertainment offerings, including fashion retailers such as Macy's, H&M, Forever 21, Banana Republic and Gap. Hawaii's first Hampton Inn & Suites, which will have 175 guest rooms, also will debut as part of the complex.

Meeting Hotels: Properties on Oahu include the 2,860-room Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort; 1,695-room Sheraton Waikiki; 1,310-room Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; 601-room Hilton Waikiki Beach; 426-room Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach; 359-room Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; and 311-room Ambassador Hotel Waikiki.

To find and compare properties, and send RFPs, go to

Convention Center: Hawaii Convention Center; exhibit space, 204,249 square feet; meeting rooms, 49; (808) 943-3500

Airport Transit: Honolulu International Airport, eight miles west of the Hawaii Convention Center. Transfer cost by taxi, $35

Taxes: Room tax, 9.25%; sales tax, 4.712%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13.96%

Group Venue: The Hawaii Convention Center now allows for private dinner-party programs atop its beautifully landscaped 2.5-acre rooftop garden. The Hanohano Rooftop Barbeque Under the Stars includes a dinner buffet with a sumptuous array of grilled island fish, expansive views of the Honolulu city skyline and live entertainment. A minimum of 300 guests is required. (808) 943-3500

Contact: Oahu Visitors Bureau, (877) 525-6248