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Grand Opening Coverage


Two New Restaurants by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto Opening in Waikīkī Soon


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Dressed in a sweater, white shorts and super-clean sneakers, chef Masaharu Morimoto holds up a whole roast duck made of plastic. “Made in Japan,” explains the Iron Chef, adding that these ducks—he’s got 10 of them—cost $400 each. “Looks good, yeah?”  The fake ducks will be hanging in a showcase near the glass-encased exhibition kitchen of his new restaurant, Morimoto Asia Waikīkī, which is slated to open on Feb. 15. The menu will feature, in fact, real Peking duck, along with other globally inspired creations, from Thai lobster chow fun to wok-fried kung pao chicken. The 250-seat restaurant, located on the second floor of the new Alohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach, will serve as the hotel’s signature restaurant. Downstairs from Morimoto Asia will be Momosan Waikīkī, a more casual restaurant by Morimoto that

focuses on noodles, small plates and yakitori, with an outdoor beer garden with signature sake, wine and local craft beers. There’s no date set for the opening of Momosan.



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Morimoto returns to Waikiki with 2 new restaurants


Point a camera at Masaharu Mori­moto and celebrity erupts. Great big smile, arms spread wide, as though ready for a hug or to take flight.

He is in “Iron Chef” mode, the man at the helm of more than a dozen restaurants, a full-on television personality. He climbs ladders, pushes a broom, pretends to operate a power saw, smiling and posing with anyone in his orbit.

Yet, he says, “What is celebrity? I am just a chef.”

Yet, he also says, his job extends beyond the kitchen, “I try to make customers happy — not just food, also my hospitality.”

Last week Morimoto toured the spaces that will be his two newest restaurants, in the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach. The locations are hard-hat zones, crawling with construction workers, but the bones are in place. They will be beach-view and beautiful, he said. “Not yet. Now, ugly.”

The chef has put down roots here: He bought a condominium in Waikiki, adding to homes in New York and Hiro­shima (his true home base, where his wife lives). He also just picked up a new Mercedes G-Class SUV. It’s orange.

“Nice color, huh?” he said as he approached the shiny vehicle parked just outside the hotel. He stopped to rub a fingerprint off the hood, using his coat sleeve. “Sunset color.”


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Hawaii is his paradise, Morimoto said. He already has six years of experience in Waikiki, at his former location at the Modern Honolulu, and he’s had a restaurant on Maui for four. The Alohilani restaurants represent “my dream come true again.”

A chef’s obligations: “I want to stay just a chef,” Morimoto said. “I want to stay in the kitchen.”

But with restaurants all over the world — “13, 14, 15, 16 — I don’t know” — he has responsibilites.

In Waikiki he’ll have 100 to 150 employees, he said, and with their families that makes “500 people on my shoulders.” Throughout his restaurants, “more than 2,000 people here” — he pointed to those shoulders.




Food & Lifestyle

First of two Waikiki Morimoto restaurants slated to open next month


Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will return to Oahu next month with the opening of Morimoto Asia Waikiki, one of two restaurants opening in the newly renovated Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach.

The restaurant is set to open on Feb. 15 and will be the hotel’s signature restaurant. It marks a return to Waikiki for the acclaimed chef, who shut down his only Oahu restaurant, located in The Modern Honolulu, last year.

Located in the former 24 Hour Fitness space on the second floor of the hotel—which opened in December after a $115 million redevelopment—the restaurant will have two lanais, a private dining area and seat 250 people. The 10,800-square-foot restaurant will be Morimoto’s second Morimoto Asia location, the first opened in 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort.



“I look forward to opening Morimoto Asia Waikiki at Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, especially since the island of Oahu is a very special place to me,” Morimoto said in a statement. “The stunning ocean and sunset views combined with the distinct culinary experience we will provide will surely leave a lasting impression with our guests traveling near and far.”

The restaurant will focus on Pan-Asian flavors with menu items such as Peking duck, dim sum and lo mein as well as traditional wok fry dishes including kung pao chicken and Thai lobster chow fun. The second concept, Momosan Waikiki, is expected to open later this year and will be the second iteration of the concept after first opening in April 2016 in New York. The more casual restaurant will specialize in ramen and also cater to those who want their meal to-go. The restaurant company previously told Pacific Business News that it plans to hire between 160 to 180 employees for both restaurants, which are designed by Rockwell Group. The spaces will include open floor plans and glass walls that separate diners from the kitchen but offer views of the food preparation. Morimoto, who also has a location on Maui, has a total of 15 global locations with another slated to open soon in the Middle East.



Morimoto finally returns to Waikiki

The Iron Chef will open Morimoto Asia Waikiki the day after Valentine’s
BY: GRACE RYU FEB 14, 2018


Fourteen months after closing Morimoto Waikiki at the Modern Honolulu, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto is back with a new concept restaurant at the other end of Waikiki. Morimoto Asia opens at the Alohilani Resort this Thursday, Feb. 15 in the former 24 Hour Fitness space across from Kuhio Beach. The restaurant has incredible beach views and a sleek interior with natural woods and finishes. And that’s not all: Momosan, Morimoto’s more casual ramen and yakitori spot, is slated to open later as part of Alohilani’s (formerly the Pacific Beach Hotel) $115 million redevelopment.

Morimoto Asia will open for dinner with dishes from China, Korea, Thailand and Japan. Unlike the high-end cuisine of the old Morimoto Waikiki, the Iron Chef’s newest restaurant more accessible and affordable restaurant. Here’s a sneak peek of the dishes to come from Tuesday night’s media preview party.


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Luxury Travel Magazine

Take Off for Adventure on these Thrilling Helicopter Tours

Take Off for Adventure on these Thrilling Helicopter ToursBlue Hawaiian Helicopters is partnering with Piiholo Ranch Maui and offer guests the Heli Ranch Experience, an opportunity that combines a private helicopter tour and horseback ride for the ultimate upcountry Maui adventure.

Guests who book the Heli Ranch Experience will fly from Kahului up the north side of Haleakala to Hana Town and view East Maui waterfalls before landing at Piiholo Ranch, tucked up at 2000 feet on the slopes of Haleakala. Complimentary pastries and coffee will be served at the Baldwin family cabins before guests embark on a two-hour horseback ride through lush green pastures and fragrant eucalyptus forests, experiencing both ocean and mountain views. The Heli Ranch package includes roundtrip SUV limo transportation from guest’s hotel to the Blue Hawaiian heliport in Kahului and from Piiholo Ranch to guest’s hotel. Packages begin at $3,355 and are available for two, four and six-person experiences. Custom itineraries are available upon request, group bookings and special occasions can be accommodated with advanced notice.


Blue Hawaiian Helicopters partners with Baldwin ranch
in combined tour adventure


Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, a tour company that services Hawaii’s four major Islands, has partnered with Piiholo Ranch Maui in a new service that combines a helicopter tour with a horseback ride.

“Partnering with Piiholo Ranch Maui allows us to offer our guests a unique air and land adventure,” Gregg Lundberg, president of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, said in statement. “The excitement of a helicopter tour combined with a peaceful horseback ride makes this the perfect tour for those who want to experience the beauty of Maui from different vantage points.”






The Senia Team Is Opening Their Second Restaurant

The chefs behind Honolulu’s most exciting new restaurant are opening in Maui

One of Hawaii’s hottest dining destinations is teaming up with Hawaii’s most luxurious hotel for a new restaurant: Senia chefs Anthony Rush and Chris Kajioka are opening Ondine in Maui’s Hotel Wailea, in collaboration with hotel owner Johnny McManus, according to a press release.

While Senia aims to be both a neighborhood restaurant, with a la carte options and a destination tasting counter, Ondine will be high end. The restaurant, at Hawaii’s only Relais & Châteaux property — meaning it’s a member of a “global fellowship” “of the world’s finest hoteliers, chefs, and restaurateurs” — will include garden terrace dining, a private chef’s kitchen with a tasting counter that seats up to 20, and a “treehouse private dining experience for intimate groups of eight.” The menu will focus on Maui ingredients and the chefs plan to develop exclusive relationships with local farms.

As Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison noted in a recent review, Senia was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2016. At just nine months old, it’s “a watershed restaurant for both its nationally up-to-the-minute menu and because of the sterling resumes of its principles,” Addison says.

Since it debuted in December, Senia has landed on “best of” lists, was nominated for James Beard Awards, and pastry chef, Mimi Mendoza, was named a 2017 Eater Young Gun. “To launch at Hotel Wailea, Maui, Hawaii’s only Relais & Châteaux property, continues the momentum of what we’ve accomplished in Honolulu,” Kajioka said in the press release.

Ondine is slated to open fall 2018 following a redesign of Hotel Wailea’s existing restaurant.

Acclaimed Chefs Find Maui Home At Hotel Wailea



Senia owners to open second restaurant in Maui hotel

Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush, the nationally and locally acclaimed chefs and owners of Honolulu restaurant Senia, will open their second dining concept next year at the Hotel Wailea.

The new concept, called Ondine, will be situated across three dining venues in the hotel: a private chef’s kitchen for groups of 6 to 20 people along with a tasting counter; a garden that looks into the kitchen; and a treehouse private dining experience for groups of eight. The restaurant will seat about 100.


Jonathan McManus, an Oahu-native who renovated and re-opened the Maui hotel in 2015, told Pacific Business News that the restaurant will undergo a complete redesign starting in the spring, and expects to open by fall 2018.

“This new restaurant is an exciting new direction for the Wailea dining scene,” McManus said.

The partnership between the restaurant and the hotel began last year, when McManus became a principal investor in Senia.

“The three of us have been discussing their involvement at Hotel Wailea since before Senia opened,” McManus, a principal investor in Senia, said. “As our discussions evolved, the Chinatown location became available. We decided it would make more sense to open a small restaurant first and get the market to understand Senia, and the type of food and casual culinary new direction that Hawaii is taking.”


Hotel Wailea Voted #1 Hotel in Hawaii
In Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers Choice Awards


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Condé Nast Traveler today announced the results of the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards, ranking Hotel Wailea as the #1 Top Hotel in Hawaii. Hotel Wailea is Hawaii’s first and only member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux hotel organization. 

“To be voted the #1 Hawaii Hotel by Condé Nast, the luxury travel industry’s most respected publication, is a great honor. We believe our ultra-private, behind the gates, ocean view setting coupled with only 72 one bedroom suites is a size and scale which is a very rare find in Hawaii,” said Hotel Wailea owner Jonathan McManus. “Our guests appreciate our staff is our brand, as well large open space and privacy is a feeling of luxury today.”



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Saving Money on Maui
Consider cultural attractions

la-1507831674-zhn7merq10-snap-imageThe Shops at Wailea offer a wealth of fun free activities, from lei-making to ukulele lesson to a Polynesian show. Check the website for details, along with info on concerts and farm-fresh shopping.

Read the full article at





The Shops at Wailea adds two new women’s boutiques

The Shops at Wailea has more than 70 boutiques, shops, restaurants and galleries and is managed by The Festival Companies.Imrie and TINA Stephens, two new women’s boutiques specializing in apparel and comfort wear, opened at The Shops at Wailea on Maui on Friday. Imrie, which has locations in Paia, Maui; Montauk, New York; and St. Barth in the Caribbean, is located on the upper level of the shopping center, next to Gucci and National Geographic Fine Art Galleries. TINA Stephens is located on the upper level next to the ABC Store. “My mission with every TINA Stephens boutique is to provide travel friendly lifestyle clothing that has a unique point of view on modern casual style,” said Stephens, the retail store’s owner and designer. “Our new boutique at The Shops at Wailea will cater to the needs of visitors and full-time residents alike with a range of clothing perfect for both island wear and travel to every and any destination.”

The Shops at Wailea has more than 70 boutiques, shops, restaurants and galleries and is managed by The Festival Companies.









Mangolani Inn Coverage

Plenty of people who visit this island tend to get stuck depending on where they find themselves situated. Although the resorts here are absolutely stunning, skip the tourist trap of Kaanapali and cozy up in a luxe beach resort at Mangolani Inn. Located in Pa’ia, a town at the northern coast of the island, this small and quaint town is home to several amazing restaurants, surf shops, art galleries, and plenty of big surf breaks near by. Mangolani Inn prides itself with tropical ocean views and an exclusive 6 bedroom property all within walking distance to Maui’s best restaurants, shops, and beaches. The entire property boasts beach-like vibes with a burst of luxury feels. The tranquility of Mangolani Inn comes from their “home away from home” aesthetics. Think: mango tree hammocks,  tropical fruits and flowers to pick, BBQs, hot tub, and picnic tables to enjoy the cool Maui evenings outdoors. The rooms are each intricately designed with a flare of South Eastern decor while bringing in pops of colors and furnishes resembling the authentic Hawaiian culture. The best part of staying here is that guests are able to experience the best of both worlds: a local Maui feel with a touch of luxury.


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Renovations complete at inn

Upgrades and renovations, including insulation, have been completed at the Mangolani Inn. Originally built as a single-family home, the house lacked insulation, allowing noises to be heard between neighboring rooms, according to a news release from the Paia inn. With the recent refurbishment, proper insulation was installed using QuietRock, a drywall panel that incorporates both sound and vibration suppression as well as fire resistance.

Other upgrades at the property owned by Dave Stein include recessed lighting, custom tile, custom cabinetry, new appliances and granite countertops. The boutique inn, located at 325 Baldwin Ave., features five rental units.





Kohea Kai Resort Now Offers Single Night Stays

kohea-300x200Kohea Kai Resort Maui announced it will now offer single night stays as an option for business travelers seeking a resort experience without the minimum stay restrictions.

The resort, which is steps away from Mai Poina ‘Oe la’u beach, features multiple guest room styles from studios to penthouse suites with ocean views. “We understand that air travel can sometimes be unpredictable,” says Kohea Kai General Manager Sean Curtis. “There’s no reason a planned or unplanned stopover should mean compromising on quality accommodations. Kohea Kai gladly offers single night stays and we welcome guests to take advantage of all our resort has to offer, regardless of their length of stay.”