Groups will find plenty of jaw-dropping vistas on Oahu
Excellent service in stunning surroundings
make these islands top picks for meetings
— BY JACQUELIN CARNEGIE —
OAHU AND HAWAII ISLAND
Considered one of the best gourmet
coffees in the world, Kona coffee
grows on the slopes of the Mauna Loa
and Hualalai volcanoes in the Kona
district on Hawaii Island. Its unique
taste comes from the rich, volcanic
soil combined with the area’s climate
of sunny mornings and cloudy afternoons that naturally shade the beans.
Punaluu Black Sand Beach
A result of volcanic activity, this
famous black sand beach on Hawaii
Island’s Kau coast is a unique delight.
Fringed with coconut palms, the
beach is also popular with sea turtles.
But it’s against the law to touch them
or to take any of the black sand, as
tempting as that might be.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau
Ancient Hawaiians lived by sacred
kapu laws; breaking them meant
death. The only chance of survival
was to reach the Pu’uhonua, a place
of refuge. Located on Hawaii Island’s
Kona coast, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau
National Historical Park is still one
of Hawaii’s most sacred sites, where
early Hawaiian culture is palpable.
Great weather and stunning scenery, enhanced with the captivating Polynesian culture, make Oahu and Hawaii Island
excellent destinations for a meeting or convention.
In addition to meeting space in the various hotels,
both islands have venues that give your attendees a
taste of the local culture in unique settings.
As Melissa Sullivan of Bob Jane T-Marts,
Australia’s largest independent tire retailer, which
held an event at the destination recently, points out:
“It’s hard to beat the announcement impact for a
conference of ‘We’re going to Hawaii!’”
When you imagine Hawaii, it’s the island of Oahu
you’re thinking of: Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, and
the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.
Nikki Shutkowski, group general manager of
Appliance Connexion, New Zealand’s largest in-
dependent appliance buying group, describes their
experience: “Our annual conference is one of our
key industry events; hence, we have extremely high
expectations of our venue and service providers to
make it a smashing success. We did site inspections
of several properties, but the fabulous Sheraton
Waikiki stood out from the rest. Their friendly,
efficient, professional assistance — and the sun-
drenched Waikiki Beach — made this our best
Oahu’s new luxury offering is the five-star Four
Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. In addition to
two ballrooms and numerous function spaces, rang-
ing from 432 to 14,960 square feet, the oceanfront
resort includes the 10-acre Lanikuhonua Cultural
Estate for exceptional events.
A number of Oahu properties are renovating and/or expanding: The Hawaii Prince Hotel
Waikiki and Golf Club has undergone a $55.4 million renovation. New meeting space options include
a 6,960-square-foot ballroom, a 408-square-foot
boardroom, and more. The Pacific Beach Hotel
plans a $115 million redevelopment and will rebrand as the Alohilani Resort at Waikiki Beach.
The Turtle Bay Resort, on 850 acres of stunning
shoreline, has expansion plans that include a spa,
golf courses and a clubhouse, and horse stables. The