Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio Shownotes - September, 24, 2011
"Travelers411" Radio Show - September 24, 2011
img Hawaiian Storytelling at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii; Swim with the Dolphins at Dolphin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii; Have Car, Will Travel with National Car Rental on Big Island, Hawaii; Get in the Game at Waikoloa Kings' & Beach Golf Course on Big Island, Hawaii; Seeing is Appreciating at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii; Pamper Yourself at Kohala Spa at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii; Kids Enjoy Good Eats Through the Keiki Dining Plan at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii; Gastronomic Delights at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii; Why Visit the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii?

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Hour 1

Topics Include:

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Dawn Harris, Guest Activities, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams takes listeners on a tropical adventure this week on the "Travelers411" Radio Show as she discusses the many sights and attractions of Hawaii.  Her first guest, Dawn Harris, is a local storyteller who works in Guest Activities at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island.  Stephanie asks about the themes of Hawaiian folklore.  According to Dawn, most stories paint a picture of how Hawaiians lived.  These oral tales were not written until missionaries came to the island; they were spoken word stories passed down from generation to generation.  In fact, Hawaiians today continue this tradition of oral storytelling.

Dawn's grandparents introduced her to legends about where they lived and its history.  While some storytellers like Mary Kawena Puki created printed compilations of stories that Dawn uses for various tours at the property, Dawn's grandmother passed down the tradition of lifestyle storytelling.  She also learned how and why Hawaii and Big Island's geography came to be through these folklore tales.

For example, the story of "Pele's Migration to Hawaii" recalls how the volcano goddess came to reside in Kilauea, one of five shield volcanoes that together form the Hawaiian Islands.  Originally from Tahiti, Pele and her sister, Namakoakaha'i, the oceans goddess, fought constantly.  This prompted their mother to ask Pele to find another home so the sisters would not destroy one another.  She entrusted Pele to her brother, Kamohoali'i, the shark god.  Their first new home was at the top of the Hawaiian Islands chain, where Pele dug a volcano for herself.  Namakoakaha'i followed her and extinguished the volcano's fire with her oceans.  When Pele and Kamohoali'i moved to Oahu, Namakoakaha'i followed them again and forced them to leave.  The siblings then settled on Maui, and this time Pele refused to leave.  Namakoakaha'i destroyed Pele's body form, but did not realize doing so made her more powerful.  There is now a place on Maui called Kaiwio-Pele, which means "the bones of Pele," where visitors can see the outline of her body in the hillside.  Her spirit traveled to Kilauea and formed a hole so big and deep that her sister could not flood it, which is why the volcano is still active.

Dawn says most Hawaiian stories are about love and conquests, reflecting the passion of the people and bringing the tales to life for the listener.  Another story about Pele describes her selfishness when she began to fight with one of her lovers, Kamapu'a, a demigod who was half man, half pig.  As a man, Kamapu'a was very handsome, but in pig form, which he hid with a cape, he had eight eyes and long bristles.  Kamapu'a called on the gods of rain to extinguish Pele's flames, but she chased him into the water at which time he transformed himself into humu humu nuku nuku apua'a, Hawaii's state fish.  Those who hold the fish in their hands will hear it snort like a pig.  When Kamapu'a returned to the island, he and Pele agreed to live on opposite sides of it.  One side of Big Island is renowned for its lush rainforests and wet, cool climate; this is where Kamapu'a resides.  The other side of the island is dry and very hot; this is where Pele lives.  In short, the former lovers agreed to disagree.

Stephanie asks Dawn if there are specific times for storytelling sessions at Hilton Waikoloa Village.  Dawn says there is a "Legends Tour" at least twice per week that includes an hour-long walk around the property during which there is storytelling about it and Hawaii.  There is also an "Evening under the Stars" each month after the new moon during which staff from Guest Activities lead a "Talk Story" session and take turns sharing different Hawaiian tales.

Related Photo Galleries:
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Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13393

For more information visit www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com


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Adrea Gibbs, General Manager, Dophin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.dolphinquest.com

Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams now talks with Adrea Gibbs, General Manager of Dolphin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village.  Stephanie says the dolphin experience at the property occurs in a lagoon bordered by a sandy beach, creating a very natural setting unlike most dolphin encounters.  "What makes this particular dolphin experience different from others?" Stephanie asks.  "We are educationally based and our philosophy is we want to touch hearts and minds," Adrea responds.  "We have beautiful animals [that] act as marine ambassadors for all the other marine mammals around the world.  Their main goal is to remind people how special they are, how special the ocean is to us and how important it is for all of us to take care of the world."

Adrea, a former performer and choreographer with The Walt Disney Company, has managed this attraction at Hilton Waikoloa Village for a little over four years.  Stephanie asks her about the various kinds of dolphin experiences the property offers.  Adrea says it depends on guests' interests.  They have a variety of programs and can accommodate most individuals' needs.  There is also a Wee Tot Program for children age two to four so the little ones can touch and feed a dolphin with their parents.

Adrea points out that the Hilton Waikoloa Village's dolphin experience takes place in the oldest natural habitat.  Founders Drs. Rae Stone and Jay Sweeney were adamant about maintaining a natural environment for guests and animals.  The property is home to eleven dolphins, including a newborn.  Anyone who wants to help name the baby dolphin can visit the Dolphin Quest Facebook page and enter the naming contest.  The new calf, born August 20, 2011, is the baby of proud mother, Eva, a forty year old dolphin that is the oldest of the dolphin pod.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13394

For more information visit www.dolphinquest.com


Fun Facts:

Dr. Jay Sweeney, co-founder of Dolphin Quest, received the 2005 Sonny Allen Professional Achievement Award at the 2005 International Marine Animal Trainers' Association conference.

Dolphin Quest was named one of the top "50 Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for in America" in June 2006. 


Guests Include:

Dawn Harris, Guest Activities, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Adrea Gibbs, General Manager, Dophin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.dolphinquest.com

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Rodrigo "Rod" Iasuda, Group Rental Manager, National Car Rental, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.nationalcar.com

Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams welcomes Rodrigo "Rod" Iasuda, Group Rental Manager at National Car Rental on Big Island, Hawaii, to the "Travelers411" Radio Show.  Rod works with Enterprise Holdings, a company that owns and markets vehicles under the Alamo, Enterprise and National car rental brands.  Cars under any of these brands can be rented on both the Kona and Hilo sides of Big Island.

Stephanie asks about car rental loyalty programs that Enterprise Holdings offer.  Rod highlights National Car Rental's Emerald Club, which allows frequent travelers to pick the car of their choice without having to stand in line to complete paperwork.  Stephanie knows this is a longstanding National program, which she calls "absolute genius."  Emerald Club members only need to go to the parking lot, select the automobile they prefer and use the keys already in the ignition to take off!  "It's brilliant," she says.  Rod says this is part of giving their best service to customers.  "We're very customer service oriented and we want to make sure that if that's what the customer wants, to get in and get out, National Car Rental has that service for you." 

Rod's company considers a five-day rental a weekly rental, so those who rent a car for seven days actually enjoy two free days.  In addition to rental depots at the Kona and Hilo International Airports, travelers can rent National cars on all of the Hawaiian Islands.  They can also pick up a car in Kona and return it in Hilo, or vice versa, for a fee.  If they choose, customers can request a GPS programmed with all of the popular spots be included in their rental.  Enterprise Holdings offers vehicles to meet a variety of customer needs, such as SUV's for golfers with equipment, minivans for families with children and Jeep Wranglers for those who want to go exploring.  "And, for the wild and crazies who just want to feel like they're seventeen again, will you have convertibles?" Stephanie wonders.  "I'll have a convertible for you tomorrow!" Rod promises.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13395

For more information visit www.nationalcar.com


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Kevin Ginoza, Head Golf Professional, Waikoloa Kings' & Beach Golf Course, Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.waikoloagolf.com

For travelers looking to include a bit a golfing on their trip to the fiftieth state,  Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams consults with Kevin Ginoza, Head Golf Professional at Waikoloa Kings' & Beach Golf Course on Big Island, Hawaii.  Kevin describes the golf courses, which are located at Waikoloa Beach Resort, as unique.  The lush greens of the Beach Course emerged from an area that was covered thirty years ago with lava while those of the Kings' Course include deep bunkers and adjacent fairways.  Kevin says they rent clubs on both daily and weekly bases since leaving personal clubs at home may make travel easier for some visitors.

Stephanie asks if other golf courses are within easy reach since some players like to experience different greens.  Kevin notes that there are several top notch courses at resorts in the area as well as several public courses within a ten to twenty mile radius.  Golfers, he says, can take advantage of a great value and a good experience at different types of courses, including where the locals play.  He recommends that those who want to improve their game practice their putting because putting, he says, makes up about fifty percent of a player's game. 

Stephanie wants to know if there is a picture perfect hole on the two courses that creates an excellent photo opportunity.  Kevin suggests players snap a shot at the signature seventh hole of the Beach Course, which is located beside the Ocean Tower of Waikoloa Beach Resort.  It's a dogleg left hole, meaning it goes straight before bending to the left. 

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13396

For more information visit www.waikoloagolf.com


Link to this segment

Leanne Pletcher, Director of Marketing and Communications, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Leanne Pletcher, Director of Marketing and Communications at Hilton Waikoloa Village, closes this hour of the "Travelers411" Radio Show.  Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams says that although Leanne has previously been a guest and talked about the resort, one has to see the property to truly appreciate it.  Leanne agrees; pictures do not do it justice.  That is one of the reasons she and her husband relocated to Big Island from South Bend, Indiana a decade ago after marrying on the island seventeen years ago.  "It just felt like a real sense of home here every time we came," she says.

Leanne has been with the property for eight and a half years.  She says the weather is beautiful year-round and one can tell the seasons only by knowing what flowers are blooming and whether the water is seventy six or eighty two degrees.  Snow on the top on Mauna Kea helps indicate the winter season.  Tourists also appreciate that there are no billboards or skyscrapers on the island as well as the amber colored overhead lights, all of which help to make the stars more visible.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13397

For more information visit www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com


Travel Tips:

Renting a car from a hotel or resort may not only be convenient, but it may also be cheaper.  Airports charge an airport fee for vehicles rented on-site, so if possible, travelers who need a car may want to rent at one at their hotel if it offers rental services.
Fun Facts:

Visitors to Big Island, Hawaii may want to visit one of the waterfalls on the Hilo side of the island, which are only about fifteen minutes from town.  The path to the waterfalls is well traveled and the falls are inside the rainforest.

Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world from base to summit, reaching approximately fourteen thousand feet; however, much of its base is underwater.


Guests Include:

Rodrigo "Rod" Iasuda, Group Rental Manager, National Car Rental, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.nationalcar.com

Kevin Ginoza, Head Golf Professional, Waikoloa Kings' & Beach Golf Course, Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.waikoloagolf.com

Leanne Pletcher, Director of Marketing and Communications, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Hour 3

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Kate Botzau Foss, Assistant Director of Kohala Spa, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Looking for a way to unwind?  Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams knows this tops the list for many travelers, so she talks with Kate Botzau Foss, Assistant Director of Kohala Spa at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii.  Kay has been with the spa, which is over twenty five thousand square feet, since 2000.  The hotel offers both fitness facilities and body treatment services.

Two cardio rooms, a main room and a garden room, comprise Hilton Waikoloa Village's fitness center.  Both are outfitted with elliptical trainers and treadmills as well as other equipment to get the heart pumping and the blood flowing.  The center is available from 5AM until 11PM each day.  Guests can enjoy massages in either individual or couples rooms.  The spa facility also offers facials, Vichy showers and hair and nail care.  Treatments begin at 8AM.

Stephanie asks what about the spa creates that "wow" factor.  Kate says the treatment facilities are located behind walls so guests enjoy a true sense of privacy.  Once they descend the staircase, spa staff greets visitors and escorts them to a candlelit lounge.  They can begin their spa day in either the lava rock, sandy bottomed Jacuzzi or in either the men's or women's eucalyptus scented steam room.  For those seeking the ultimate in relaxation, a local practitioner created the spa's Signature Naupaka White Flower Ritual, which begins with a ginger and 'awa root foot ritual before transitioning into a full-body massage and concluding with a scalp massage.  "Every time I see someone coming out from that service," says Kate, "they look as though they've melted!"

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13398

For more information visit www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com


Link to this segment

Abby Murtagh, Director of Food & Beverage, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams says she can think of places in gorgeous settings to which she never goes back because of their poor food and beverage.  She understands the importance of guests' dining experiences, particularly when they have young children who do not have an exotic palate.  She welcomes Abby Murtagh, Director of Food & Beverage at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island, Hawaii, to talk more about kids' dining at the property.

As the mother of two children herself, Abby recognizes parents' need to find easy ways to feed their children so that all travelers can enjoy their time at the table.  For this reason, Hilton Waikoloa Village has developed a Keiki ("children" or "the little one") dining plan for its youngest visitors.  The wristband program allows kids to collect different color wristbands from the hotel's restaurants with the aim of earning special perks.  After collecting six wristbands, kids earn free ice cream; seven earn them a photo with their parents in the hotel lobby.  Program participants also do not have to order from the children's menu.  Abby says the Keiki program has become all the rage, particularly since her department partnered with the hotel's Club Keiki kids' program to create menus with foods children really want to eat.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13399

For more information visit www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com


Link to this segment

Charles Charbonneau, Executive Chef, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams talks gastronomic delights with Charles Charbonneau, Executive Chef at Hilton Waikoloa Village.  She credits him as the gentleman responsible for the amazing food presentation, variety and appeal at the property.  Charles said he developed his interest in cooking from his parents, both of whom were excellent cooks.  In fact, he began cooking before age five and even sold dishes like omelets and French toast to his older brother in exchange for favors.  His first professional cooking job was as a teenager in Fort Dodge, Iowa where he transitioned from dishwasher to cook within two hours when the breakfast cook failed to show for work.  He later studied at the world renowned Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

Hilton Hotels General Manager Debbi Bishop recruited Charles to the property since the two had previously worked together in Florida.  Once he visited Hilton Waikoloa Village, he fell in love with the hotel.  "This was my new mountain to climb," he says.  When Stephanie asks what kinds of challenges he faces on Big Island, Charles says the biggest obstacle to overcome in Hawaii is the shipping of food.  To mount this hurdle, the culinary staff immerses themselves in the local food market as much as possible, sourcing ingredients from local farmers.  Although all of the fish is local, they still need to import shrimp.  They also import beef from California, which takes from nine to eleven days to arrive since it has to cross more than two thousand miles of ocean.  "It's a little more expensive out here; that's the cost of paradise," Charles says.

Stephanie wonders if Charles loves to do anything in particular in the kitchen.  "My love is to deal with fish.  I love fish.  The product here is pristine; it's not going to get any better than this," he believes.  Stephanie also points out the popularity of the hotel's lobster burger.  Although he was hesitant to include it on the menu because of the cost, Charles says they sell several each day and folks who are Maryland crab cake lovers like himself are not afraid to pay for it.  Charles says the rural setting of Big Island means his multicultural staff grew up cooking in the traditional style, so he only needed to teach them a few nuances and to show them a few presentation styles.  "I believe my staff is the heart and soul of the resort," he says.  Stephanie agrees that the food is superb and extends a special thank you to all of those in the kitchen who do such a great job.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13400

For more information visit www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com


Link to this segment

Leanne Pletcher, Director of Marketing Communications, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams concludes this week's "Travelers411" Radio Show with a follow-up dialog with Leanne Pletcher, Director of Marketing Communications at Hilton Waikoloa Village.  Stephanie asks Leanne to share what makes the property and Big Island, Hawaii so special.  Leanne says it is all about diversity and adventure.  Visitors can enjoy everything from volcanoes to rainforests to beaches.  They can also either marry or honeymoon at the hotel and on the island.  Stephanie adds that when one also considers Big Island's golfing, spa, shopping and Kona coffee drinking experiences, the destination is truly unique.

Stephanie tells listeners that she is currently sitting on a wonderful terrace overlooking the sapphire colored Pacific Ocean as well as dolphins that are swimming in the Dolphin Quest lagoon.  "There must be fifty people sitting on blankets and grass mats and little chairs on the grass overlooking the dolphin pool," she comments.  Leanne says this is the complimentary dolphin show held each Tuesday.  Stephanie notes the newest addition to the dolphin pod, born in August.  Leanne says this is the fifth calf to be born in her eleven years the hotel.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13401#

For more information visit www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com


Travel Tips:

Coffee drinkers can choose from several Big Island Kona coffee tours.  Visitors see firsthand how the coffee is processed and roasted as well as sample a delicious beverage before shopping for products to take home.

Before the year ends, Hilton Waikoloa Village visitors can enjoy a 2011 special at the property's Lagoon Grill that includes two lobster burgers and a bottle of Dom Perignon for two hundred dollars.

Headed to Hyde Park, New York?  Enjoy fine dining at one of the Culinary Institute of America's five award-winning, student-staffed, public restaurants.  In addition to a gourmet meal, visitors can tour the campus and shop for food, cookbooks and kitchen utensils.


Guests Include:

Kate Botzau Foss, Assistant Director of Kohala Spa, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Abby Murtagh, Director of Food & Beverage, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Charles Charbonneau, Executive Chef, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

Leanne Pletcher, Director of Marketing Communications, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com

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