Oahu: The Gathering Place

Beautiful Beds

New places on Oahu to rest your weary self after a day of play.

With more than 38,000 lodging options on Oahu, here’s a quick breakdown of what’s new in 2017. More upscale lodging is on the way — for instance, Atlantis Resort, on a 26-acre parcel of land in Koolina, rumored to be one of the most expensive resorts to build in the world, and the new Ali’i tower at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, with its own private lobby and special privileges offered throughout the property.


For those looking for vetted value — with a healthy dose of kitsch — check out the Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club (pictured). Recently called “Waikiki’s hip new place to stay” by the New York Times, the property offers wellness activities and curated bike tours. Located on Lewers Street, this two-story escape is part of the Aqua-Aston group known for affordable lodging options. Enjoy a yoga or Pilates class on site, swim in the pool or dine at Mahina and Suns, which features, according to Hawaii Magazine, Oahu’s most visually stunning dishes. The eatery is the fourth by Honolulu-born celebrity chef Ed Kenney, who is also behind Town, Kaimuki Superette and Mud Hen Water.


The Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach at the former Waikiki Trade Center features 230 guest rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor swimming pool with private cabanas, a bar and restaurant, and a fitness facility. Also be sure to check out Maile Sky Court, with an expanded lobby area, a new restaurant and 596 rooms across 44 floors, or explore the midcentury vibe at The ‘Okina, Autograph Collection, a Marriott property right next to the redeveloped International Market Place.

Islands Calling

Hawaiian music legend comes to the Bay Area

Hearing that Grammy Award–winning musician Henry Kapono will be visiting the Bay Area this month on a “Songs of C&K” tour, we figured it would be a good time to get to know a bit more about this legend from the 50th state. As half of the very popular Cecilio & Kapono, Henry Kapono has been a household name in Hawaii for decades. Now living on Oahu with his family, he can be found most Sunday evenings playing at Duke’s Waikiki; he is also a regular at Duke’s on Maui and Lava Lava Beach Club on both the Big Island and Kauai. Find him on Facebook for tour dates.

What are your musical influences? My favorites were Jimi Hendrix, CSNY, James Taylor, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Grand Funk Railroad, Santana, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Young Rascals, James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone.

What are your local musical influences? When I was growing up, the Waikiki music scene was like Bourbon Street in New Orleans. There was great music everywhere. This is where I learned my craft. It was extremely inspiring. There was Don Ho, the Surfers, Kui Lee, Iva Kinimaka, SOS and so many more. I was surrounded by great music and great artists.

How would you describe Sundays at Duke’s? The party is “happy!” People having a good time. I would say 10 percent are regulars, 25 percent locals and a good 65 percent from all over the world. People plan their vacation around Duke’s on Sunday.