During the 45- to 60-minute mani-pedi, Nicole Christian, who has more than 14 years of nail-makeover experience, trims overgrown cuticles and claws after they've soaked in a soothing whirlpool bath. Next, Nicole massages legs and feet with a salt scrub, dislodges calluses, and gives quilting tips. A bright lacquered shield in your choice of color then protects digit keratin caps. During nail rejuvenation, complimentary purified water, coffee, or herbal tea refreshes insides, and minds relax even more knowing that the salon's $2 validated parking, good for up to 2.5 hours, secures coveted spots for cars and hovercrafts.
Students at Paul Mitchell the School Honolulu learn techniques cultivated by the widely acclaimed brand that has received many honors, including mentions in Esquire, Seventeen, and Allure magazines. The school’s pupils prettify clients with a host of guest services including manicures, haircuts, color treatments, perms, and updos to match the ice sculptures you saw at your cousin’s wedding.
Fire dancers, fireworks and all-night tunes can only mean one thing—it’s the New Year’s Eve “Party of the Year," top-rated by the Honolulu Pulse in 2012 and 2013. Divided into different zones, the party offers more than 20 live bands—including national recording artists The Cataracs—and DJs that pump out hits throughout the evening. Partiers enjoy entertainment such as food trucks, beer gardens, an LED ferris wheel, and carnival games. Hourly fireworks shows lead up to the big finish, a $25K display set to help ring in the new year at midnight.
Sports FanAddicts' culinary crew prepares a hearty spread of sports-watching favorites, strewn with island-inspired accents. Ravenous steak knives sink into 12-ounce ($15) or 16-ounce ($23) rib-eye steaks or pork chops ($15) with Indian curry ($2) or mushroom-and-onion ($2) adornments. Chicken katsu ($12) reaps ear-pleasing crunch from its Asian muse: a thin coating of panko breadcrumbs. The watering hole also fills mouths with a classic pub-style selection of 12-inch pizzas ($10–$16) and Angus beef burgers ($9–$13).
The glow of flat-screen TVs and projectors dances in blues and whites off leather furnishings and acres of hardwood and brushed aluminum. At Nocturna Lounge, sharply dressed guests gain confidence as they belt karaoke classics and headbang over faux drum kits during games of Rock Band. The sprawling karaoke list includes time-tested numbers such as "You’ve Lost that Lovin' Feelin'," new songs from artists including Cee Lo Green, and obscure numbers from films including Team America: World Police. The melodies drift through an open lounge and four private suites, which shelter visitors during songs or rounds of Xbox games such as Call of Duty and Street Fighter, in which martial artists battle evil cobblestones. Customers even vie for prizes against members of Team Nocturna. In between each bout, barkeepers decant imported beers and specialty cocktails behind the icy silhouettes of a forest of bottles.
Big Wave Dave Surf Co.'s staff of experienced wave riders hits the shores of Waikiki Beach for private and small-group lessons in surfing, standup paddleboarding, and outrigger canoeing. Each instructor's résumé boasts at least 10 years of teaching experience, an extensive knowledge of first aid, and at least one semester as Poseidon's college intern. During classes, first-time surfers learn the basics on land before heading into the warm waters to hang their first 10, whereas advanced riders barrel out into the waves atop fiberglass and epoxy boards. Outrigger canoes recall ancient Hawaiians' exploration of Oahu's colorful reefs, and standup paddleboards combine an intense workout with clear views of the pristine waters below. The shop also offers daily and long-term rentals of equipment, with complimentary delivery and pickup from local hotels.