So staying home for the holidays isn’t your thing… but you do enjoy celebrating the Christmas spirit. You can have it both ways at several of Hawaii’s premier resorts, where traditions of the season unfold against a backdrop of sunny skies, surf-washed beaches and the blue ocean.
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, Oahu
Hula dancers and island-style holiday music welcome Santa to the shores of the Outrigger Waikiki. On December 10, children can greet Santa as he makes his first visit, where he will arrive by outrigger canoe. A chat with Old Saint Nick and a photo session takes place in the resort’s main lobby, which is the site of more family holiday festivities through the month of December. The resort is decked in traditional Hawaiian Christmas decorations, gingerbread houses and edible Christmas trees. Eggnog is at Friday evening receptions on the 16 and 23 of December, and festivities staged throughout the month give guests the opportunity to learn about Hawaiian Christmas culture and celebrate the holidays with island style. http://www.outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/hawaii/oahu/outrigger- waikiki-beach-resort
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Kona, Big Island
From December 19, 2016 until January 3, 2017, in-house resort guests and homeowners at the Four Seasons can look forward to an array of special activities to celebrate the holidays. Premier events are the luaus and Polynesian shows that take place on December 20 and 27, adding a touch of the islands to the holiday season. On Christmas Eve, families gather at the resort’s Hualalai ballroom for arts and crafts, face painting and a special appearance from Santa. The following day, Christmas dinner takes the form of a buffet at the ULU Ocean Grill with sushi, seafood cold bar, carving board selections, and seasonal-inspired favorites. New Year’s Eve kicks off with a buffet under the stars, and afterward guests are encouraged to kick off their shoes and head to the sand for dancing and a dessert buffet. As the year comes to a close the fireworks begin. http://www.fourseasons.com/hualalai
Sheraton Waikiki, Oahu
Each December for nearly a decade, guests heading into the lobby of this Waikiki oceanfront resort are greeted by holiday images in the form of sand sculptures. Every year the hotel ships in several tons of sand and invites skilled sand sculptors to create unique wonders. The first creation of the 2016 holiday season is a family of four ready to surf, snorkel and hit the beach. The most iconic creation of 2015 was a tableau of Santa Claus playing the ukulele and singing to Mrs. Claus. These sculptures bring people in from all over the islands and returning guests come back year after year to participate in this unique tradition. On Christmas Day, guests enjoy a special dinner buffet masterfully prepared by Executive Chef Darren Demaya and his team, served at Kai Market overlooking the infinite edge pool and Waikiki Beach. http://www.sheraton-waikiki.com