Hogan Hospitality Group PRESSROOM

Royal Kona Resort 11th Annual Don The Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii  (June 24, 2019) – The Royal Kona Resort announced the 11th annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival on August 17. The Festival will host the world’s top bartenders as they mix it up to compete for the title of World’s Best Mai Tai and a $10,000 grand prize.

Celebrity judges at this year’s event include the return of award-winning chef and TV personality, Aaron Sanchez, who is also a judge on the hit series MasterChef. He is joined by Shawn Ford, resident bar expert on the popular Bar Rescue show and Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, recognized by Imbibe magazine as one of the most influential cocktail personalities of the past century. Topping off the panel of judges are brand ambassadors Manny Hinojosa representing Tequila Cazadores and Juan Coronado for Bacardi.

Royal Kona Resort overlooks Kailua Bay on the Island of Hawaii. Its annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival is free and open to the public and boasts a range of family-friendly activities and entertainment, including:

Mai Tai Marketplace featuring crafts and island treats from local artisans and merchants (11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)

Battle of the BBQ, serving Hawaii’s best barbecue (11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.)

Pool party featuring Hawaiian music legend, Henry Kapono (2:30-4:00 p.m.)

The main event, the Mai Tai Mix-off, will start at 4:30 p.m. Bartenders from all over the world will compete for the title of World’s Best Mai Tai. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. The three-hour contest pays tribute to the classic rum drink and original cocktail creations are judged based on taste, creativity and name.

The 2018 Festival crowned Justin Park of Bar Leather Apron in Honolulu, Hawaii the winner of the $10,000 first-place prize and the coveted title of “World’s Best Mai Tai.” Kevin Beary of Three Dots and A Dash in Chicago, Illinois placed second, and Cory Star also with Three Dots and A Dash placed third.

For more information please visit http://www.donsmaitaifest.com.

About Royal Kona Resort

Located on the Island of Hawaii’s scenic lava-lined coast, the Royal Kona Resort is an oceanfront landmark in the heart of Kailua-Kona. The resort is centrally situated near renowned Alii Drive and a variety of restaurants, shops, historical sites and activities. The newly renovated Alii, Lagoon and Bay Towers offer spacious guestrooms with sweeping views of the ocean and mountain skylines. Home of the World’s Best Mai Tai, the resort also features a private saltwater swimming lagoon and world-class tennis courts that accommodate guests day or night. For more information on the Royal Kona Resort, visit www.royalkona.com.

About Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts and Hogan Hospitality

As pioneers in hospitality and tourism, Hogan Hospitality is a hotel management company with a growing portfolio of properties. Its flagship business in Hawaii – Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts – manages over 1,200 rooms on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. Born out of hotel ownership, Hogan Hospitality and Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts have a unique understanding of the hospitality industry, offering hotel owners measurable results in profitability and guest satisfaction, and unparalleled management experience. To learn more about Hogan Hospitality Group, visit www.hoganhospitalitygroup.com.

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The Governor of Hawaii mandated that as of Thursday March 26th, all new arrivals into Hawaii are required to complete a 14-day quarantine. “Stay in Place” policies have also been issued for some islands requiring all non-essential services to be closed. The health and safety of our guests and employees is paramount. We understand that collective action is needed to slow the progression of COVID-19, and because of this, we are joining many other hotels and businesses in temporarily closing the Hawaiian Hotels & Resorts Properties effective March 25, 2020.

We are currently scheduled to re-open on May 1, 2020 and are honoring existing bookings and accepting new reservations for travel from that date onward. We are closely monitoring the situation which has been changing rapidly and will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so, following guidance from the CDC, Hawaii Department of Health and state and local officials.

We will be waiving all fees for any guest reservations that include travel from March 15, 2020 thru December 20, 2020 that need to be cancelled or changed.

During these uncertain times, we are focused on supporting our staff members and community as best as we can. We will continue providing updates on our website and on our social media channels. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Mahalo for your understanding and support.
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