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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, November 5, 2006

Volcano tours explore arts scene

By Chris Oliver

Volcano Art Center's three-night tours explore the community of artists in Volcano Village on the Big Island. "Inspired by Kilauea: Where Art & Nature Meet" is Dec. 3-6 and April 22-25. Limited to 15 people, the packages include three nights' accommodations, all meals and transport to and from Hilo Airport for $565. Reservations: (808) 967-8222, or programs@volcanoartcenter.org. Information: www.volcanoartcenter.org.

Whale experience: The Ka'anapali Beach Hotel offers a Whale Encounter package in January and April 1-15. The five-night package includes a partial-oceanview room, compact-car rental, daily buffet breakfast, whale-watching cruise, admission to the Maui Ocean Center and hotel activities and amenities for $1,469 per person, double occupancy. Reservations: (800) 262-8450, www.kbhmaui.com.

Top Watering hole: Playboy.com has named the Grotto Bar at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa among its Ten Best Hotel Bars in the United States, said to be the "most impressive and happening right now" for a hot date, a good drink, a dance floor, a view, or a scene.

The Grotto Bar shares the honors with watering holes in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Las Vegas. The Ten Best Hotel Bars in the U.S. list is at www.playboy.com.

Free night: Kona Village Resort offers a fifth night free through Dec. 16. Accommodations in thatched-roof bungalows come with three beachfront meals daily (fifth night is room only, meals subject to meal-plan rate), fresh flower lei, in-room coffee and use of beach and kayak equipment. Rates begin at $580 per bungalow per night, based on double occupancy. Reservations: (800) 367-5290, www.konavillage .com.

Upgrade your room: Royal Kona Resort will upgrade reservations for an Aloha Garden View room to a new Deluxe Partial Ocean View room for $105 per night through Dec. 20. The upgrade, with daily buffet breakfast for two, is $129 per night, or with a daily economy rental car is $131 per night, double occupancy. Reservations: (800) 222-5642, www.royalkona.com.

free tours: Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co. offers free tours and samples at its new factory store in Kawaihae. (888) 643-6688, www.hawnnut.com.

Reach Chris Oliver at coliver@honoluluadvertiser.com.