by Lisa A. Grimaldi | February 01, 2018

Local Update

 Beginning Jan. 1, state lodging taxes increased by 1 percent to help finance a $9 billion rapid transit project, which will extend from Kapolei in Leeward O'ahu to Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. Currently under construction, the 20-mile, 21-station system, which was approved by the government last fall, will include a station at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the 50th state's main port of entry and intra-island hub for air travel.

 The 563-room Prince Waikiki has completed a $55 million renovation. The property, formerly called the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club, also upgraded its meeting and event space, including the 6,960-square-foot Pi'inaio Ballroom, 1,293-square-foot Palolo Room and the boardroom, along with adding two meeting rooms.

 The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is undergoing a $5 million refresh that includes upgrades to its 1,000 guest rooms. The property has a total of 14,000 square feet of meeting space.

 Following a $60 million renovation, the former Aqua Wave Waikiki is now the 251-room Laylow, part of Marriott's Autograph Collection Hotel. Upgrades include a rooftop restaurant.

 The 791-room Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach, has completed a $20 million refresh. Guest rooms and the Beach Club have been upgraded. The hotel also has a 10,782-square-foot conference area.

 The 405-room Ali'i Tower, a new luxury-style hotel within a hotel, has debuted at the 3,400-room Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. The tower has its own front desk, concierge and fitness center, and offers guests priority seating at the resort's 20 restaurants and bars.

 The 180-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Oahu Kapolei has opened in West O'ahu. Features at the $60 million, all-suite property include a fitness center, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, a 24-hour convenience store and a meeting room spanning 2,600 square feet.

Meeting Hotels: Group properties include the 3,400-room Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort; 1,230-room Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa; 1,636-room Sheraton Waikiki Hotel; 1,310-room Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; 839-room Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach; 832-room Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; and 791-room Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center:
 Hawaii Convention Center; exhibit space, 202,249 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 47. (808) 943-3500

Airport Transit: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, eight miles west of the Hawaii Convention Center; transfer cost by taxi, $35; by shuttle, $25

Taxes: Room tax, 10.25%; sales tax, 4.71%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.96%

Group Venues: Michelin-starred and James Beard award-winning chef Michael Mina has opened his second Hawaii eatery on the ground floor of Waikiki's International Market Place. The Street, a Michael Mina Social House, is a culinary experience with 13 distinct stations ranging from pizza to poke and barbecue to beer. The 6,900-square-foot venue is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has space for up to 250 guests. (808) 377-4402

Hold a soiree at sea aboard Atlantis Adventures' Majestic. The elegant ship accommodates up to 300 people on three spacious decks. (808) 973-9805

Contact: Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, (808) 923-1811