Destination Highlight

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

Destination: Oahu, Hawaii

BY SUSAN B. BARNES
 

While we are showcasing Oahu in this feature, you may want to consider adding additional islands to your itinerary for a full Hawaiian experience. 

"With six unique islands, meeting attendees have an opportunity to make the most of their trip and visit another island for a completely different experience," says John Reyes, Senior Vice President and Chief MCI Sales Officer, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. "Especially after such a tumultuous year, island hopping is the perfect way to unwind before or after a program, especially with loved ones in tow."

Jump to properties on Kauai and the Big Island to learn more.

Oahu, Hawaii

Though it is Hawaii's third largest island, Oahu is home to most of the islands' population. Aptly known as "The Gathering Place," Oahu is a blend of East and West cultures, with deep roots in the values and traditions of the Native Hawaiians. From bustling city life in Honolulu and famed Waikiki Beach, which was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty; to laidback surf towns on the North Shore; to the quiet coastline of the Leeward Coast and lush landscapes throughout the island, the diverse island offers myriad opportunities to connect with the aloha spirit. Floating on the warm tradewinds, once you have experienced aloha, it will stay with you, always.

Why Oahu?

  • Average daily temperature of 75° - 85°F (24°-30°C); summer (April to November) is warmer and drier; winter (December to March) is cooler.
  • Find a cosmopolitan city in Honolulu, legendary surfing on the North Shore, and dreamy beaches all around
  • Domestic, inter-island and international flights arrive daily into Daniel K.Inouye International Airport(HNL)

What's New on Oahu

  • A multi-billion dollar renovation at Daniel K.Inouye International Airport(HNL) includes an extension to the Mauka Concourse and a consolidated rental car facility. The extended concourse will increase gate capacity and will be able to handle larger aircraft. The concourse extension is expected to be completed in August, and the rental car facility in December.
  • The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is building a 20-mile, 21-station light rail system that is expected to be completed in 2026.
There are plenty of options when it comes to things to see and do on Oahu, as well as places to grab a bite to eat, or host a power lunch or dinner. Here, we take a look at a few spots to pique your interest.
See
Art Deco Historic District

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

Iolani Palace

Built in 1882 by King Kalakaua, Iolani Palace is a National Historic Landmark and the only royal palace on U.S. soil. It is within this palace that the kind and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, entertained with balls and hula performances. The brother and sister were Hawaii's last reigning monarchs, and in fact the queen was imprisoned in an upstairs bedroom of the palace for nearly eight months after the monarchy was overthrown. Once the site of the state capital, the palace was restored to its original grandeur in the 1970s. Plan an outing for your group to learn this part of Hawaiian history.

Manoa Falls

You simply cannot visit Hawaii without seeing a waterfall. And on Oahu, one that is easy to get to and hard to forget is Manoa Falls, about 15 minutes from Waikiki. The 150-foot cascade plummets through a dense rainforest that set the scene for the original "Jurassic Park" and the TV show "Lost." The trail head is within the Honolulu Watershed Foreset Reserve, and is a terrific way for your group to get out and stretch their legs. 

Kaka'ako Mural Art Walk

Murals are popping up all across the U.S., and Hawaii is no different. Oahu embraces the street art community by hosting the WOW!POW! Worldwide Mural Festival. The festival celebrated 10 years when it was held last February, and the artwork created by artists from all over the world over the course of more than a week lingers. One place to see the Instagram-worthy art is in the hip, bustling Kakaa'ko neighborhood in neighborhood. Take your group on a guided walk to learn the stories behind the images.

For more activities and ideas ask your ALHI GSO about working with Global DMC Partners

Do
The Ancient Spanish Monastery

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

E ala e

One of the most magical, authentic experiences you can have in Hawaii and on Oahu is to participate in an e ala e ceremony. Held beachfront at sunrise, a Hawaiian cultural advisor will guide your group through the ceremony. As you walk into the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, facing the rising sun, your guide will lead an oli, or chant, that welcomes the opportunities of a new day.

Hang 10

Mix up your team building activities when you take a page out of the locals' book and go surfing. The waves at Waikiki Beach are ideal for beginning surfers, and lessons are readily available. In no time your group will hang 10, cheered on by one another as each person stands up and surfs their first wave.

Waianae Dolphin Adventure

Take a peek into the undersea world with this special Hawaiian family-owned outfitter. Not only will your guests go on a unique snorkeling adventure amongst coral reefs teaming with marine life like sea turtles and colorful fish, but there will likely be dolphin sightings, too. The family also shares its deep-rooted culture and genuine hospitality with their guests.

For more activities and ideas ask your ALHI GSO about working with Global DMC Partners

Eat
Ball & Chain

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

Pearl Harbor

Make a splash with your group by hosting an event at the #1 most sought-after venue in all of Hawaii: aboard the historic Battleship USS Missouri. The massive ship has four venues at which to host your event, from the expansive Fantail overlooking Pearl Harbor, to the intimate Captain's Cabin, a a step back in time to the simple elegance of the 1940s.

Kualoa Ranch

An event hosted at the 4,000 acre nature retreat is sure to be epic. After all, more than 50 Hollywood blockbuster movies and TV shows were filmed in the lush landscape, including some of Elvis Presley's classics and "Jurassic Park." Whatever size your group - from 15 to 5,000 - there's just the right venue, from a quiet beach to a a dramatic backdrop of soaring cliffs, to an ancient Hawaiian fishpond and more.

K Hana Distillers

The story of the Hawaiian heirloom ko, or sugar cane, comes to life at K Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum. Guests can tour and taste the rum made onsite, afterwards, enjoy a meal in an intimate settling that caters to smaller groups.

For more activities and ideas ask your ALHI GSO about working with Global DMC Partners

Stay/Meet

Just as Oahu has something for every meeting planner and attendee, so does ALHI. Popular Honolulu is home to two ALHI properties: Halekulani and Prince Waikiki. On the quieter side of the island and on the North Shore is Turtle Bay Resort, about an hour from Daniel K.Inouye International Airport(HNL).

Halekulani

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

Halekulani

Once you step onto the grounds of the Halekulani, you will instantly realize its meaning in Hawaiian: "house befitting heaven." Located on a piece of land that has welcomed guests since 1883, the original Halekulani began as a residential hotel with a beachfront home and a handful of bungalows. Today, the hotel features 453 guest rooms, five event rooms that can accommodate up to 500 guests, and myriad dining choices, including House Without A Key, an indoor/outdoor dining and gathering spot boasting a 130-plus year old kiawe tree and views of Diamond Head.

Prince Waikiki

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

Prince Waikiki

When business has wrapped for the day, your guests will make a beeline for their guest rooms. Why? Each of the 563 rooms and suites at Prince Waikiki has floor to ceiling windows that face the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and Pacific Ocean, making for spectacular views all around. When it is time to go back to work, the hotel's 39,708 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space can be arranged to fit your needs, and will inspire your guests.

Turtle Bay Resort

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

Turtle Bay Resort

On the opposite side of the island from Honolulu is Turtle Bay Resort, perched on 1,400 oceanfront acres on the North Shore with nothing but ocean views for miles. The resort is completing extensive renovations in anticipation of welcoming guests back this summer to a reimagined island luxury property. Arriving into the completely redesigned lobby, your guests will be awed by the unobstructed, inspiring views of seemingly endless stretches of beaches, surf and sky in either direction. Book your small incentive groups into the Ocean Bungalows, a new category with 42 expansive, completely renovated accommodations just steps from the Pacific Ocean; alternatively, the new Vista Level includes a host of upgraded amenities and services. When it comes to team building, visit the on-property Kuilima Farm, tee of on the resort's two golf courses, or learn about Hawaiian history, culture, and tradition with a traditional hukilau.

Kauai

Turtle Bay Resort

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort Lihue

The Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort Lihue on the Garden Island's oceanfront is within close proximity to Hanalei Bay and Waimea Canyon State Park, and offers more than 27,000 square feet of flexible meeting space for groups. The 800-acre resort features 345 guest rooms and 11 suites; five on-site restaurants and bars; complimentary cultural activities, wellness classes and hula performances; and the largest single story outdoor pool in Hawaii.  

The Big Island - Hawaii

Turtle Bay Resort

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS

Fairmont Orchid

The Fairmont Orchid boasts 108,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space that take advantage of the luxury hotel/s oceanfront setting along the Kohala coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. With 540 spacious guest rooms and suites, the award-winning Spa Without Walls and a variety of restaurants and bars, your guests will find plenty to keep them entertained after the workday draws to a close.


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