Posts tagged with "hawaii"

Princess Cruises Receives Three First-Place Accolades

Princess Cruises Receives Three First-Place Accolades in Cruise Critic’s Annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards

Cruise Line Ranks #1 in Australia & New Zealand, the Baltic & Scandinavia and the U.S. & Canada

Recognized as a destination leader, taking guests to more than 380 worldwide ports of call, Princess Cruises has been awarded three first-place accolades in Cruise Critic’s fourth annual “Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.” Based entirely on consumer ratings, the awards name the world’s most popular cruise destinations – as well as the best cruise lines to visit each region. In the Large Cruise Ship Category Princess Cruises was named Top Cruise Line in Australia & New Zealand, the Baltic & Scandinavia and the U.S. & Canada.

In addition, the cruise line ranked in the top three as best in the British Isles & Western Europe (#2); the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda (#3); Hawaii (#2); Mexican Riviera (#2); the Panama Canal & Central America (#3); South America & Antarctica (#2); the South Pacific (#2) and the Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya (#2) – all in the Large Ship Cruise Line Category.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as the top cruise line to so many bucket-list destinations in this Cruise Critic destination awards,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Our dedicated team of destination experts, with decades of experience planning itineraries and shore excursions, offer our guests what we believe are the best in the cruise industry.”

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises was founded in 1965 with a single ship sailing to the Mexican Riviera. Today, the cruise line is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on more than 150 award-winning itineraries to destinations around the globe.

Cruisers interested in U.S. & Canada cruises can choose from several voyages during the upcoming Canada & New England season onboard Princess MedallionClass™ ships Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. Royal Princess, also a MedallionClass ship, is currently sailing the west coast with voyages to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera and the California Coast. More details regarding itineraries to all recognized destinations, including current promotions, can be found at www.princess.com.

Cruise lines awarded in this year’s awards stood out among all of the lines that sail in each region, receiving the highest ratings from cruisers who sailed with the line over the past year and shared their experiences on Cruise Critic.

“For most travelers, the decision of where to cruise is made before they think about all the other pieces of the cruise planning process,” explains Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “And for those looking for incredible cruise destinations and experiences, there’s no better way to narrow your options than by seeing which destinations and cruise lines are rated most highly by cruisers who have already been there, done that.”

Cruise Critic boasts the world’s largest online cruise community, with more than 50 million opinions, reviews & photos, covering approximately 700 cruise ships and over 500 worldwide ports.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

About Princess Cruises

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica and World Cruises. A team of professional destination experts have curated 170 itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days and Princess Cruises is continuously recognized as “Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.”

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to do the things they love most. MedallionClass Vacations will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.

Princess Cruises continues its multi-year, “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million-dollar product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements result in more moments of awe, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation. The product innovations include partnerships with award-winning Chef Curtis Stone; engaging entertainment inspired shows with Broadway-legend Stephen Schwartz; immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities; the ultimate sleep at sea with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed and more.

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship under construction, Sky Princess, scheduled for delivery in October 2019, followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess previously announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests are planned for delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 and 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

About Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic® is an online cruise guide, offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travelers, from first-time cruisers to avid cruise enthusiasts. The site features more than 350,000 cruise reviews and hosts the world’s largest online cruise community where travelers share experiences and opinions with fellow cruisers. Cruise Critic was the first consumer cruise site on the Internet, launched in October 1995 by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), the world’s largest travel platform, helps 490 million travelers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the TripAdvisor site and app to browse more than 760 million reviews and opinions of 8.3 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to TripAdvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. TripAdvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

The subsidiaries and affiliates of TripAdvisor, Inc. own and operate a portfolio of websites and businesses, including the following travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.comwww.bokun.iowww.bookingbuddy.comwww.cruisecritic.comwww.familyvacationcritic.comwww.flipkey.comwww.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.comwww.eltenedor.com, and www.restorando.com), www.holidaylettings.co.ukwww.holidaywatchdog.comwww.housetrip.comwww.jetsetter.comwww.niumba.comwww.onetime.comwww.oyster.comwww.seatguru.comwww.smartertravel.comwww.tingo.comwww.vacationhomerentals.com and www.viator.com.

5 Getaway Must-Haves Global Traveler Emilia Taneva Stashes in Her Bag

Before your feet hit the pavement for any getaway vacation you need to pack the must-have necessities for your trip. Traveling light is the only way to go, so choose the items you stash in your bag carefully. One of the worst mistakes people make while getting ready for a trip is leaving something important behind and either have to do without or purchase a new one. That’s why world traveler and influencer Emilia Taneva has put together a guide for getaway must-haves so you don’t forget any of your essentials at home!

Chanel Makeup Base. When you need a versatile makeup that does more than just mask your flaws, choose Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base. Ideal for travelers, this cream-gel bronzer can be used under your favorite foundation, as a spot cover-up, a smoother as well as a highlighter. Unlike other bases, Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup was formulated to leave your skin velvety soft with a light finish and a hint of color.

Love & Positivity Rose Quartz Stud Earrings by Congés. When you have finished traveling, are rested and want to stand out look to Congés. Designer Hasmig “Jasmine” Penna leaves her pieces untreated to harness their natural beauty. These hand-cut rose quartz stones represent love and are made in the heart of Los Angeles. In an evening outfit or daytime ensemble, add these 18k gold studs with a white diamond center to create an elegant look.

Rose Quartz rounded hand cut stone White diamond center (very good quality approximately 1.35 mm for each ear…

Mason Weekend Bag. Sole Society created this trendy tote for the stylish traveler. Made soft enough to sleep on, this bag features soft faux leather that will never leave you feeling stranded. The 19½ x 12 x 10 bag is one of the getaway must-haves that works with every outfit in cognac brown or black. What makes this bag a must-have? The spacious interior shoe compartment with a bottom zipper at the base. The sturdy bag still looks chic when it is packed to the seams so toss in anything you need and don’t worry! There are top carry handles, a removable strap, smartphone pockets, protective metal feet, and a sexy leopard lining so you never feel like you’re away from home.

Clinique Pep-Start™ Daily UV Protector. Ideal for daily sun protection the Pep-Start™ Daily UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 50 from Clinique meets all of the FDA’s standards for sun protection, stopping both UVA and UVB rays. Formulated with minerals to flawlessly blend into the skin for a better-than-bare finish on any skin tone.

Summersalt Swimsuit. With a colorful made in Italy style, this swimsuit is available in many different color combinations. Bold, elegant and sure to turn heads the colorblock swimsuit will make onlookers expect a cannonball or a swan dive. So, why not make a splash with this getaway must-have?

About Emilia Taneva:

Emilia Taneva is a creative photographer, travel blogger, digital influencer, and Board-Certified Orthodontist. She is ranked as one of the top influencers in North America, with a focus on travel, fashion, and lifestyle. Taneva was born in the medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) where civilizations and cultures have collided throughout its history. At a young age, she was captivated by history and tour books and would daydream about seeing the world one day. Today, Taneva runs the popular travel blog, Bubbly Moments. The Bubbly Moments is focused on the world’s most luxurious destinations and exclusive places. She has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents and knocked some big adventures off her bucket list along the way. Her all-time favorite destinations include Hawaii, the Maldives, Hong Kong, the French Riviera, and Singapore.

Man With The Halo: Iron Again

The emotional journey back to the Ironman World Championship by the legendary three-time Olympian, former triathlon World Champion and Ironman World Record holder, Tim Don, is now unveiled in a mini-sequel to the infamous “Man with the Halo” documentary by Don’s Swiss sportswear sponsor, On, today, Thursday, December 20.

On October 13th, Tim Don adorned his competitor number for what was to be the most emotional race of his career. Reacting to the sound of the starting gun at the Ironman World Championship in Kona this year marked a triumphant achievement for the 40 year-old, whose 10-month torturous rehabilitation has reverberated throughout the athletics world as one of this year’s most remarkable stories in sports. Don’s road to recovery, since surviving a near-fatal road accident that was feared to bring a sudden end to his esteemed career just days before the Ironman World Championships in October last year, has been portrayed in a powerful 5-minute mini sequel to the infamous Man with the Halo documentary. The sequel is entitled “Man with the Halo: Iron Again” and is now available to watch on www.manwiththehalo.com.

“This is the final chapter of the compelling guts and glory story that demonstrates how pure willpower can overcome any obstacle in sport,” says Olivier Bernhard, co-founder of On, the Swiss sportswear company. “After receiving such an overwhelming response from around the world to the Man with the Halo documentary following its release in May this year, we felt obligated to complete the tale of Tim’s heroism and accomplishment in reaching his goal across the finish line at Kona this year. It was quite an emotional day for all of us and a most memorable one for Tim, his team and entire family who have lived through the unimaginable pain and suffering that Tim endured during his fight to regain pole position at the top of his sport. This sequel brings the story full circle and shows how one man can conquer all.”

On, together with Emmy award-winning director, Andrew Hinton, revealed Tim’s remarkable story in a compelling short form documentary that chronicled his courageous comeback journey prior to competing at the Ironman World Championships in Kona this year – the pinnacle race he was robbed of as a result of his road accident that broke his neck. The popular “Man with the Halo,” documentary was released in May to commemorate the 1-year Anniversary of Tim’s world record-breaking performance during the 2017 Ironman South American Championships in Florianopolis, Brazil.

The Man with the Halo: Iron Again sequel begins with Don returning to the spot where the road accident took place in Hawaii, featuring roadside commentary from Don himself, complete with flashback footage and photography of him being taken to hospital moments after it occurred. This progresses to show his rehabilitation and training in the gym while wearing the medical halo device screwed to his head. Don gives a heartfelt and unfiltered account of his pain and anguish, as he sets his sights on his comeback race at the Boston Marathon, at which he finished in just over 2:49. The story jumps to Kona in Hawaii, with excerpts of his altitude training with commentary from his coaches and footage of his friends, family and fellow athletes embracing Tim days before the competition. The sequel finishes with video of Don competing at the World Championship and his own moving commentary on the experience and personal achievement after completing the race.

“It’s been a grueling journey for the last eight months, and one I will never forget,” says Don. ”I have learned a great deal about myself this year and particularly how the mind is the most essential element in the recovery process. Knowing you have the strength and believing in yourself, above all else, is my lifelong mantra that I would love to instill in others who may have experienced similar episodes. I would like to thank my team, sponsors, friends, family and everyone who has supported me towards making my life livable again. I have my sights set firmly on Kona 2019 and it’s business as usual.”

Following his accident in October 2017, Tim suffered nearly four agonizing months at his home in Boulder, Colorado – not being able to shave, shower or dress himself. He became entirely dependent on his wife Kelly, who would often have to clean around the metal of the halo to prevent infection and reduce the swelling where the pins were screwed into his forehead. Tim was on a heavy dose of prescription painkillers that would often add to the problem with frequent vomiting. For three weeks he was upright in a chair in a corner of his living room, unable to sleep for more than 90 minutes at a time. The entire right side of his body became black from bruising and swelling with his ankles becoming swollen despite his compression socks.

Following his excruciating period of mental and physical recovery, doctors ordered the removal of Tim’s medical halo the circular metallic support structure fixed directly into his skull. This marked the start of an intense chapter of rehabilitation, fueled by a fierce determination to rebuild himself as the world’s preeminent Ironman. Tim set his sights on his first comeback race – competing at this year’s Boston Marathon in April. Almost six months to the day after the accident, Tim remarkably finished in 2 hours and 49 minutes, just five minutes more than the marathon leg of his record-setting race at the 2017 Ironman South American Championships in Brazil.

The new mini-sequel entitled “Man with the Halo: Iron Again,” chronicling Tim Don’s road to recovery and return to the ironman World Championship in Kona, is produced by On, together with Emmy award-winning director, Andrew Hinton, is now available to watch at www.ManwiththeHalo.com.

Momentum Generation Debuts Dec. 11

HBO Sports takes a deep dive into the fascinating, constantly evolving world of surfing, exploring how a group of dedicated teenagers changed the sport and its culture in the 1990s, when MOMENTUM GENERATION debuts TUESDAY, DEC. 11 (10:00-11:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBOThe film will also be available on HBO On Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and partners’ streaming platforms.

From Emmy® and Peabody winners Jeff and Michael Zimbalist of All Rise Films, the HBO Sports presentation, in association with Priority Pictures and Sundance Productions, is executive produced by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn of Sundance Productions alongside Karen Lauder and Greg Little of Priority Pictures. Justine Chiara, Lizzie Friedman, Tina Elmo and Colby Gottert produced.

In the 1960s, surfing in America was known primarily as a California- and Hawaii-based phenomenon associated with surf instrumentals and Beach Boys songs. In films, it was a vehicle to infuse all-American romantic comedies with action or zany antics. Although equipment and skills evolved, the public’s perception of surfing as a novelty sport remained constant until the 1990s, when a group of punk rock-loving teens, many from troubled homes and backgrounds, found its way to a house on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, in the process changing their lives and the sport itself.

In MOMENTUM GENERATION, the core members of that legendary crew – including Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Benji Weatherley, Kalani Robb, Ross Williams, Taylor Steele and Pat O’Connell – tell their story together for the first time. Filmmakers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist draw on unprecedented access to their inner circle, as well as to tens of thousands of hours of footage in private archives, to highlight the deep friendships that were formed and tested during the surfers’ careers as top athletes and cultural icons.

“We’re proud to be the home for MOMENTUM GENERATION, a film that is obviously about a group of surfers at the zenith of the sport, but more subtly about their lifelong friendships,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “The Zimbalist brothers take us on an adrenaline-fueled journey spanning three decades, and the intimacy with which they reveal the ups and downs of some of surfing’s biggest stars makes this film unlike anything else of its kind.”

After relocating to Oahu, the young surfers courageously followed each other into Mother Nature’s most dangerous waves. When some of them didn’t make it back to shore, they found a way to mourn together – and adapt. Fueled by camaraderie and a deep-seated competitiveness, the tight-knit crew became known as the “Momentum Generation” after being featured in Taylor Steele’s groundbreaking films. Its members went on to win world titles, break records and redefine the world’s perception of the surfer, youth culture and what it means to be free.

Filmed over the course of two and a half years, the Momentum Generation surfers reflect on the complexity of the brotherhood and competition that have shaped their shared emotional journey, and made these pioneers both heroic and human.

The film made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York earlier this year where it won an Audience Award.  It has also won top awards at the Aspen Film Festival, Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival, Honolulu Surf Film Festival, Surfalorus and the Los Angeles Film Awards.

MOMENTUM GENERATION is directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist; executive producers, Robert Redford, Laura Michalchyshyn, Karen Lauder and Greg Little; producers, Justine Chiara, Tina Elmo, Lizzie Friedman and Colby Gottert; written by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. For HBO: executive producers, Bill Simmons, Peter Nelson and Rick Bernstein; supervising producer, Bentley Weiner.

Check out the trailer for MOMENTUM GENERATION here!

Big Island’s Bright Side

360 Magazine Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from the Big Island of Hawaii

The reason the 4,000-square-mile island of Hawaii is fondly dubbed the “Big Island” is because it’s the size of Connecticut—it’s so big, all of the other Hawaiian Islands would fit within the boundary of the island.

The island’s recent volcanic activity has impacted the economy due to substantial cancellations by vacationers. But there are major resort destinations far from the adverse effects of the lava flows and attendant air pollution.

For example, the Kohala Coast—with a large enclave of homes, condos, and resorts—is situated approximately 100 miles from the East Rift Zone.

Join the conversation with three islanders as they share their thoughts about the positive aspects of island life today. Simon Amos is the hotel manager at the Hilton Waikoloa Village; Vicky Kometani works at the historic Mauna Kea Resort in the heart of the Kohala Coast; and Laura Aquino is with Island Events based in Kona.

Mauna Kea’s beach is one of Hawaii’s most exotic

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NPR.ORG PODCAST INTERVIEW

Many local businesses island-wide are experiencing a downturn in business, and some workers have had their hours cut back or been laid off due to the decrease in tourism.

International news reports have been surgically focused on the Kīlauea volcano’s East Rift Zone volcanic eruptions and seismic activity—leaving many people with the false impression that the entire island is a disaster zone.

Big Island Hawaii’s Kohala Coast sunset

Paradoxically, Volcanoes National Park has been the island’s number one tourist draw for decades.

150 years ago, 31 year-old Mark Twain put the island’s volcanism on the world map when he came to the island specifically to experience and write about the island’s volcanic activity as a correspondent for the Sacramento Union newspaper in 1866.

Helicopter flightseeing companies, such as Paradise Helicopters, cater to tourists and locals alike signing up for over-flights of the volcano. Adventurous tourists and locals are hopeful that a viewing platform will open in the near future for up-close observation of the flows.

Volcanism and its attendant vog (volcanic fog) have been an intermittent part of island life for more than 30 years. Vog is definitely an issue in the Kona Kailua area, but most days up the coast along the Kohala Coast the sky is often bright blue and clear.

Hello Kitty Wines

Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty, announces the expansion of their popular Hello Kitty Wines portfolio.The highly sought-after wine collection now includes two new varietals, and the complete line-up is widely distributed across more grocery stores and retailers in the U.S. market. The wines are also available online at hellokittywines.com and can be shipped to 45 states across the country.

Debuting this Summer are new varietals of Hello Kitty Prosecco and Hello Kitty Pinot Grigio, joining the exclusive range of Sanrio’s wines, now totaling seven different varieties. The complete wine portfolio includes an award-winning Pinot Noir (recipient of the prestigious Vinitaly 5 Star Wines award in 2017 and rated 90 points by James Suckling), a “Sweet Pink” blend, Sparkling Rosé, Pinot Nero Vinified in White, as well as a special edition Sparkling Rosé with limited edition packaging. The timely Summer release of the new Prosecco and Pinot Grigio gives adult fans a reason to enjoy light and refreshing wines with Hello Kitty all season long.

The distribution of Hello Kitty Wines currently includes grocery chains and specialty wine retailers across the country. Supermarkets include Albertsons, Pavilions and Vons locations in California, Safeway in California and Hawaii, as well as Japanese specialty markets Mitsuwa Marketplace, Marukai and Nijiya Market. All Whole Foods locations in Oregon will begin to carry Hello Kitty Wines as of early October 2018.

Among the specialty retail locations selling Hello Kitty Wine are BevMo, Total Wine & More in California and Nevada, Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods in Texas, plus hundreds of independent wine stores around the country.

Fans can stay up-to-date on where they can find Hello Kitty Wine in their local area by visiting hellokittywines.com.

About Sanrio®
Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty®, who is gearing up for her 45th Anniversary in 2019. Home to many endearing characters including Chococat® My Melody®, Badtz-Maru® and Keroppi®, Sanrio was founded on the ‘small gift, big smile®’ philosophy – that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Hello Kitty-branded items are available in over 130 countries and upwards of 15,000 U.S. retail locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 35 Sanrio boutiques. For more information please visit www.sanrio.com and www.facebook.com/hellokitty.

UFC GYM® Set To Open Fourth Hawaiian Location

UFC GYM®, the rapidly expanding fitness franchise that creates training programs for all levels inspired by the training regimens of world-class UFC® athletes, today announced the opening of its fourth location on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. In partnership with UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn, this location in Kailua will provide members with a brand new, 20,000 square foot, full-service premium training facility that will include high quality equipment and amenities, including a Kids Club.

“We’ve experienced an amazing response from our membership community following the opening of our first three gyms and we couldn’t be more excited to open this new location in Kailua,” UFC President Adam Sedlack said. “Kailua has long been a priority location for our continued expansion throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and one of our key initiatives is to continuously provide our Train Different® philosophy throughout this incredible community.”

Since debuting in 2009, UFC GYM has opened more than 150 locations throughout the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, India, Ireland, Mexico, Oman, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

“I was born in Kailua Town and am proud to bring UFC GYM back to my hometown,” UFC Hall of Famer and UFC GYM franchisee BJ Penn said. “I’m really excited to connect with our Kailua community and allow families to train together, just as my family did growing up.”

Located in the Lau Hala Shops (573 Kailua Road), this new franchise will be the largest and most innovative fitness facility in Kailua. Featuring a large group fitness studio, boxing and kickboxing conditioning area, MMA and youth fitness classes, state-of-the-art equipment, full amenity locker rooms, a Kids Club and more, this location will have something for everyone. UFC GYM is also currently offering ‘Founding Member’ special rates for the first 500 prospective members who enroll. New members that enroll will automatically be entered to win a trip for two to Las Vegas, Nevada, home of UFC.

“For many local residents in Kailua, staying fit is part of their lifestyle,” said Lance Parker, Chief Real Estate Officer for Alexander & Baldwin, which owns Lau Hala Shops. “UFC GYM’s top-notch equipment, training programs, and services will help meet that need, so we expect they will fit in well with the community.”

UFC GYM programming has been developed through exclusive access to the training regimens of internationally-acclaimed UFC athletes, providing members access to a variety of energized group classes, world-class private coaching and an engaging, family friendly community of fitness enthusiasts who love to train different.

The Journey of Hilton Waikoloa’s Simon Amos

360 Magazine’s Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from the Hilton Waikoloa Village

More often than not, the coolest stories about upscale hotels and resorts are often untold. While resorts are quick to tout their alluring amenities such as a new spa, or rebranded restaurant, they too often take for granted the unsung, behind the scenes transformative environmental initiatives implemented by management teams.

A classic example is the litany of game changing environmental initiatives spurred by 42 year-old Simon Amos, Hotel Manager at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Amos and his associates at the Hilton were the first mega resort in the entire Hawaiian Islands’ tourism industry to ban plastic straws.

Amos noted that more than 800,000 plastic straws were eliminated from the waste stream by switching to a compostable alternative.

Simon Amos’s white board hit list of sustainability initiatives for 2018 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village

Another industry game changer was when Amos and his associates decided to install water bottle refilling stations around the Hilton property–mitigating the wasteful use of individual, disposable water bottles—eliminating as many as 250,000 plastic bottles from the waste stream annually.

Complimentary refillable water containers save hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles from the waste stream

Equally engaging but again not the stuff that a marketing firm would likely select for a glossy advert in a travel magazine is the incredible life journey of a hotel manager such as Simon Amos.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO SIMON AMOS’S NPR One Podcast interview

The hospitality industry started coursing through Amos’s veins as a 13 year-old in England when he was washing dishes and bussing tables.

Earning a National Diploma in Hotel and Catering from Hasting College of Arts and Technology, Amos’s early career path included the honor of serving Queen Elizabeth, a stint as assistant food and beverage manager at the iconic Hilton Park Lane, and working at the Cumberland, and Cadogan hotels in London.

He also worked a as headwaiter aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, training in food and beverage at the Ritz in London, and working at the fabled Lancaster in Paris. His term at Hilton’s flagship property the Park Lane in London led Amos to accept a position with Hilton Hotels & Resorts in China where he served for five years. He started in food & beverage before accepting the role as  Hilton Beijing’s Operations Manager.

During Simon Amos’s tenure at the Hilton Beijing was creating a special off-site catered dinner for 1,000 guests at the Great Wall of China

A Hilton Beijing Pole Competition instituted by Simon Amos was so successful that it went for five seasons

Simon Amos instituted a super popular Black Tie Charity Brawl during his tenure at the Hilton Beijing featuring eight U.S. fighters matched against eight Chinese

Amos departed China five years ago to work at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii, commencing with a position in food & beverage before assuming the duties as Hotel Manager.

Cherished time off for Simon Amos at the Hilton Waikoloa Village includes deep sea fishing expeditions along the Kona Coast

Amos retains a lifelong passion to source and showcase local culinary offerings, along with a never-ending quest to implement environmental solutions and initiatives at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, even though it’s not the stuff that typically makes the cover of The Sunday Times Travel Magazine or Condé Nast Traveler.

 

KELSEY NAPIER

MAKAPUU

oil on canvas

36″ x 60″

Kelsey NaPier

I spent the first eighteen years of my life growing up on the south shore of Oahu. I learned how to surf at age three, feeling grounded by the constant blue horizon and the majestic Hawaiian mountains. Growing up on the most isolated land mass in the world I paid attention to every brilliant piece of nature unfolding before me with the changing tradewinds. I often use the colors of my childhood, lush green, cobalt blue, tangerine, and magenta as building blocks for my paintings. In Hawaii, the people, language, food, and customs are a mixture of the many cultures of people who came to the islands – Samoan, Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, English, Korean, and Filipino. Beauty comes in unexpected forms and from many points of view.

When I see something beautiful that I do not fully understand, I have an impulse to paint it. What I’m physically attracted to may be the sherbert clouds resting on steep Hawaiian mountains in Paka Nahele , the porcelain skin of a friend in Amber , or the ephemeral floating tentacles of a jellyfish in Float . I find something physically stunning because there is a certain spiritual element beckoning me to search for the sublime.

Heaven is that feeling when just for a second you have a glimpse past our physical world and into something else. Just after the sun has gone down in Makapu’u , the ocean becomes mercurial. In Erin Surfs , my sister effortlessly dances upon the waves and becomes one with the ocean.

In Float I explored a recurring dream of floating through nebulas in space with no gravity. Weightlessness, a feeling similar to the buoyancy when swimming in the ocean, flooded my heart with a sense of peace. I sought to capture that by making a photo collage of nebulas, jellyfish, and synapse firing. I painted loosely from the collage, pouring paint from one canvas onto another. Every time I liked an effect, I replicated it and enhanced it by adding drop shadows and pops of color. I painted over the parts that felt unnecessary and moved forward adding, subtracting, and refining my vision.

I enjoy painting large pieces because they are challenging and take the movement of the entire body- the feet, the arms, and the core. Painting large makes me feel like I’m dancing with a partner.

My purpose is to seek these beautiful moments and to relay them to other people. I believe that we are connected in ways that we cannot always immediately see. My time on earth will have been meaningful if I have felt gratitude for the beauty around me, engaged with the sublime, and allowed other people to feel that same joy. This world is inherently meaningful. Art is the seeking of this meaning.

PELE RISES

32″ x 72″

oil on canvas

MIXED

72″ x 96″

oil on wood

_

For more artwork: http://www.kelseynapier.com

Big Island Romantic Dining

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from the Big Island of Hawaii where he discovers a romantic dining destination at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Kohala Coast.

 

Manta is the Mauna Kea Resort's fine dining restaurant overlooking Kauna’oa Bay

Manta is the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s fine dining restaurant overlooking Kauna’oa Bay

Everyone I’ve ever met who’s stayed at the legendary Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii —invariably speaks in reverential tones about the place, and they’re quick to voice a desire for a reprise visit. And those who’ve never had the pleasure of making a date with the Mauna Kea, often mention the resort as tops on their must-do list—typically inspired by the raves of their friends who who’ve been there, done that.

 

Kauna’oa Bay at Mauna Kea Resort. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Kauna’oa Bay at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel                                     Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a special destination-resort that touts an astounding multi-generational fan base. There are many who’s grandparents stayed there in the 1960s, and their parents first took them there as kids, and now they are making pilgrimage-holidays with their kids at the Mauna Kea.

 

Tranquility envelops the spirit upon entering the Mauna Kea's guest check-in reception area

Tranquility envelops the spirit upon entering the Mauna Kea’s guest check-in reception area                                                          Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The centerpiece of the resort’s setting is the seductive beauty of crescent-shaped Kauna’oa Bay–and the fine-dining establishment, Manta, overlooking the bay with ultra-romantic al fresco dining.

 

An LGBT couple enjoys brunch at Manta Restaurant at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island, Hawaii. zachstovall.com

Brunch at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Manta restaurant out on the Pavilion. zachstovall.com

Whether or not you’re staying at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Manta is a killer place for a bayside buffet breakfast, Sunday brunch, and of course a romantic dinner date—ideally out on the pavilian overlooking the bay, framed by palms and plumeria.

That’s the big story—the nuances that make Manta a must-do are predicated on the chefs’ culinary philosophies that honor and meld the multi-ethnic roots of the islanders, along with paying homage to the Hawaiian’s Polynesian roots through utilization of “canoe crops”.

 

Manta and Pavilion Wine Bar sunset dining

Manta is Mauna Kea Bech Hotel’s fine dining with sunset a most romantic time

Sourcing local/fresh from the farmer and sea are anchors of the culinary arts at Manta.

Manta sources everything imaginable from Big Island farmers, and the restaurant even put on special dinners—shades of a wine maker dinner–where a farmer or two will join the festivities and talk-story about their passion for producing fresh, local, healthy food with Manta’s dinner guests.

Seafood doesn’t get any fresher, as the local fishermen’s catch is delivered daily to the kitchen’s back door.

 

Mauna Kea Resort's Rio Miceli, Executive Sous Chef. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Rio Miceli, Executive Sous Chef. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Executive Sous Chef, Rio Miceli was raised on the island but honed his craft in Healdsburg, California, and subsequently fine tuned his skills at the New England Culinary School before returning to settle in on the Big Island.

Miceli’s duties include menu development, and innovations at Manta as well as the resort’s other dining venues.

A taste of Manta’s culinary offerings include a killer Kona Kampachi Sashimi and the Keohole Lobster Papperdelle with garlic cream, summer squash and pork belly lardon for starters.

Tempting entrees include Hawaiian Sweet Potato Encrusted Ahi, and the Mac Nut Encrusted Mahi Mahi.

 

 

Wendle Lesher Director of Food & Beverage at the Mauna Kea Resort and neighboring Hapuna Resort

Wendle Lesher Director of Food & Beverage at the Mauna Kea Resort and neighboring Hapuna Resort

 

Wendle Lesher, Director of Food & Beverage at the Mauna Kea and the neighboring sister property Hapuna Beach Resort, works with Miceli developing innovative new dishes.

Lesher also drives creativity in partnership with the mixologists, and plans special culinary events. Lesher’s latest passion is working with local beekeepers.

In addition to doing his part to provide onsite beehive habitats, the distinctive and incredibly flavorful Mauna Kea honey is utilized by the chefs and is available for purchase by the guests.

Click here to listen to Rio Miceli and Wendle Lesher talk about their culinary passions on the KCBX/NPR podcast.

 

 

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KCBX, NPR.ORG, NPR One, iTunes, Stitcher.com podcast

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Culture Editor @360magazine

 

 

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

 

Manta and Pavilion Wine Bar at Mauna Kea Resort

Manta and Pavilion Wine Bar at Mauna Kea Resort