While most of the country is enduring bitter cold and plenty of snow, winter is an ideal time of year to visit the Garden Island of Kauai with its warm weather, exciting outdoor adventures, lush natural beauty and breathtaking beaches, and perhaps a glimpse of the island's "biggest" seasonal visitors, the humpback whales that call the Hawaiian waters home during winter.
"One of the great reasons to visit Kauai this time of year is to escape the winter blues and be rejuvenated by the warmth and energy and activities of our beautiful island," said Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau. "Winter is a wonderful season on Kauai and a time to enjoy our unique festivals and events and take advantage of seasonal savings on lodging."
Let's begin by taking a look at what's new on Kauai for the winter of 2010. We'll them take a look at some great hotel and resort deals and finally look at the exciting festivals and events taking place on the island.
What's New on Kauai for the Winter of 2011
Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach Undergoing Major Renovation
The beachfront 311-room Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach is undergoing a comprehensive, multi-million-dollar renovation that will dramatically enhance the hotel's exterior look with lush landscaping and reconfigured pool and upgrade all public areas, including the restaurant, lounge and meeting spaces. Formerly the Aston Kauai Beach at Makaiwa, the refurbishment will bring the hotel in line with the Courtyard by Marriott standards of excellence while maintaining a Hawaiian look with many elements of local culture included in the project.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa Completes First Phase of Renovation
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa has finished its first phase of guest room renovations featuring new mahogany furniture, marble entryways, and upgraded bathrooms with marble counter tops, double sinks, and rain-style showers. The renovation will be complete in April 2011.
Kauai's Kanani Akina: 2011 American Girl of the Year!
American Girl kicked off its 25th birthday celebration with the debut of Kanani Akina, the 2011 Girl of the Year doll. Kanani's heartwarming story of sharing aloha takes place on Kauai and is told in two books that showcase qualities that make the Garden Island such a treasured place. In the first book, Kanani helps rescue a baby Hawaiian Monk Seal and raises awareness about protecting this endangered species. In support of educational programs for endangered animals, American Girl is donating $1 for every Kanani plush monk seal sold in 2011 to the National Wildlife Federation (up to $100,000).
Kauai Marriott Resort Completes $50M Renovation
Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach has completed a $50 million renovation that has brought improvements to all areas of the hotel. Among the highlights were a transformation of the 356 guest rooms with a timeless island elegance, a refurbishment of Kukui's restaurant and Aupaka Terrace lobby lounge, a newly built children's pool with a slide and water spout features, and an expanded porte cochere and improved main lobby.
Lights! Camera! Movies on Kauai!
Hollywood loves Kauai! The island has served as a location for the filming of more than 60 movies and TV productions over the past half-century. Moviegoers this year will see the island's beautiful scenery in three major motion pictures. The first film, Just Go with It, starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, will be released on February 11 and is sure to bring laughs to audiences nationwide. On May 20, Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides sails into theaters using Kauai's landscape as the backdrop to Johnny Depp's fantasy adventure film. And for those who enjoy a good drama, Kauai will share the spotlight with George Clooney in The Descendants, a film based on the popular novel by Hawaii author Kaui Hart Hemmings.
New Weekly Kauai Culinary Market
Kukuiula Village has introduced Kauai Culinary Market, featuring live music, live cooking demonstrations, ocean views from the wine and beer garden, and locally grown produce and other foods. This special new Market is open every Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Specials
Poipu Bay Golf Course is offering a Grand Slam Package for 2011 that offers three rounds of golf, green fees, shared golf cart, and use of the driving range, for the discounted price of $425 plus tax (all three rounds must be completed within 10 days after purchase). For guests at the adjacent Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, the package is offered at $367 plus tax. For golfers wanting to play more of Poipu Bay, a discounted five-round package price is offered for $660, along with a ten-round package for $1,200 plus tax.
Southern Star Yachting Now Offering Scheduled Tours and Private Charters
Southern Star Yacht has added two new tours for individual guests and small groups: a three-hour Sunset Prime Rib Dinner cruise off the South Shore, and a six-hour hour Napali Snorkel BBQ Sail. Southern Star is a fully custom 65-foot luxury sailing catamaran that delivers a new genre of the Hawaiian ocean experience. Each trip is tailored to an individual's desires and activity options include paddling into Napali sea caves, catching and grilling fresh fish or diving near the Forbidden Island of Niihau.
St. Regis Princeville Partners with Malie Organics to Open Bespoke Spa Experience
The St. Regis Princeville Resort, in partnership with Malie Organics, has introduced a new Bespoke Spa Experience at the resort's signature Halelea Spa. The new spa experience allows guests to blend completely customized spa products under the expert guidance of Dana Roberts, founder of Malie Organics. Guests create these holistic products from Dana's new Lahaole Pure Rituals Collection. Lahaole meaning "uncommon and rare," is designed exclusively for resort guests. Malie Organics is one of the foremost spa and beauty companies and transforms the island's purest ingredients, such as taro root, wild ginger, coffee berry and Kauai clay, into luxury spa blends. Indigenous to Kauai, many ingredients are rare and available in limited quantities.