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Lanai: luxuriously local.

Lanai has turned from pineapples to pleasure as its main industry in the past few years. It's a four-wheel-drive kind of island, with two golf courses designed by Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus that astound the most avid players. The Experience at Koele course, in the cool Lanai highlands, boasts an eighth hole that tees off over a 250-foot drop.

Convention facilities are in a separate building at the oceanside, 250-room Manele Bay Hotel, but conventioneers can easily hop aboard a shuttle to a hideaway for dinner at Koele Lodge (where meeting rooms are also available) on the edge of quaint little Lanai City. Lanai is truly a get-away-from-it-all kind of place, including the separate convention center located near Manele's tennis courts, where six meeting rooms (12,000 square feet total) offer panoramic views of Lanai's southern coast and the neighbor islands of Maui and Kahoolawe. The center, a mini-museum of Hawaiiana, has hosted several groups of 80-220 corporate executives. The convention center's walls are handpainted with island scenes, and display cases hold ulu maika stones, poi pounders, and kapa beaters.

Hawaii has so much to offer that vacationers and conventioneers alike tend to return again and again. Once the new convention center is open, requests for ever-larger group accommodations are expected to escalate. Even now, some groups like Daiei Convenience Systems Inc., based in Japan, which has booked Hawaii meetings for a total of 8,000 members (half in May and half in September 1994), are content to divide in two conventions and spread their members throughout several hotels--Hilton Hawaiian Village, Ilikai Hotel Nikko Waikiki, Princess Kaiulani, Pacific Beach, Hawaiian Regent, and Hawaiian Waikiki Beach--just to enjoy the pleasures of paradise. There's a time for work and a time for play in Hawaii, but sometimes--when meetings are held in such beautiful surroundings and agendas are run so smoothly by hospitable staffs--it's hard to tell when work leaves off and pleasure begins.

For More Information

* Hawaii Visitors Bureau Meetings and Conventions (808) 923-1811


* Hyatt Regency Waikiki (808) 923-1234

* Hilton Hawaiian Village (808) 941-4321 or (800) HILTONS

* Kahala Hilton (808) 734-2211

* Sheraton Waikiki (808) 922-4422


* Maui Visitors Bureau (800) 525-MAUI

* Wailea Destination Association (800) 78-ALOHA

* Grand Wailea, Maui (800) 888-6100


* Hilton Waikoloa Village (808) 885-2883

* Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel (808) 880-1111


* Hyatt Regency Kauai (800) 233-1234


* Manele Bay Hotel of Koele Lodge (800) 321-4666

* Ala Moana Hotel (800) 367-6025

Life After Meetings

Nobody comes to Hawaii just for its convention facilities. Many meeting planners schedule outings before or after meetings during the week, or encourage conventioneers to add a little vacation time for the entire family.

Try an inter-island cruise on board American-Hawaii's SS Constitution or SS Independence, or try an excursion on Navatek I or II, two big catamarans sailing from Oahu and Maul Harbors featuring a SWATH design (small water plane twin hull) to keep an offshore ride as smooth as gliding on ice.

Slip away to Sea Life Park for whale, dolphin, and sea lion shows. Watch the divers feed colorful fish at the huge Hawaiian Reef Tank, and catch the Friday night musical entertainment by Hookena in the open-air Sea Lion Cafe.

The 42-acre Polynesian Cultural Center can be an all-day escape to seven Polynesian islands--without hopping on a plane. Villages representing Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Fiji, Marquesas. and Maori, are bisected by waterways and lagoons. You can go alone, with family and friends, or actually hold receptions and banquets here. After the meeting, you can take in Hawaii's most extravagant Polynesian show complete with fire dancers, waterfalls, and an erupting volcano.

Walk through a time tunnel to visit Hawaii in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and explore Waipahu Cultural Garden, where houses have been reconstructed to illustrate what life was like in a plantation village. Buildings and houses illustrate how Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, and other immigrants lived.

A meeting in the islands wouldn't be complete without the exchanging of leis, an evening of music, and perhaps the rekindling of romance under a big hula moon. Whether conventioneers slip away to a neighbor island or explore Oahu's ample attractions, they'll find enough fun under the Hawaiian sun to warrant another visit.
COPYRIGHT 1994 American Society of Association Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Guide to Hawaii Meeting Sites; includes related article
Publication:Association Management
Date:Jun 1, 1994
Previous Article:The Big Isle: Pele's playground.
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