When winter hits, taking a warm weather vacation is imperative for us east coast folks. Two weeks ago I visited the beautiful island of Hawaii and it was brimming with vibrant culture and gracious hospitality. From beautiful sunsets and beaches to delicious food and hiking trails, Hawaii has it all for the adventurous or laid back traveler. Whether it be your first trip or fifth, here are a few of my experiences to add to your list during your visit to the Hawaiian islands.
Booking at the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach hotel
Thankfully, Booking.com took the work out of planning the important details such as my hotel. I knew I was looking for accommodations that were both modern and luxurious. So when I discovered the newly renovated Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach it was obvious that it was the right choice. The first thing I noticed when I got to my room was the breathtaking view I had of the ocean. Not only is this hotel kid friendly, but also has a concierge, spa, fitness center and infinity pool! They also had pool side cabana’s you could rent for either half/full day and I sipped on delicious pina coladas while soaking in the hot tub. My 5-night stay included a breakfast package which was reasonably priced at $33 per person (adult) for the buffet – absolutely worth it. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The savoury food, fresh fruit and pastries were easily the hardest thing to leave, breakfast will never be the same.
Hiking on the Diamond Head Summit Trail
Before I even left for Hawaii, a few friends recommended I do the Diamond Head Hike while I was there. I’ve never done a hike before and i’m afraid of heights but I was up for the challenge, you only live once right? I still have flashbacks of the sun hitting my skin and the beautiful scenery that surrounded me as I reached the summit of the Diamond Head Trail. The scenic view is well worth the trek for individuals and it’s family friendly too, I literally saw babies strapped on to their mothers to seniors during the trail. It took me about 1 hour to reach the top and about 45 min to get back down. This experience was probably one of the most memorable moments of my trip and something i’ll always cherish. I decided to take the waikiki trolley for a tour through diamond head and the surrounding areas back to Waikiki beach instead of an uber, which was more of a scenic route. The trolley’s are a great way to tour the city and they’re super inexpensive.
Shopping in Waikiki
Like a true fashionista I treated myself to some shopping and visited some of Waikiki’s popular Shopping Plazas. The interesting thing is, their tax is almost half of what New York charges, so that was more of an incentive for me to get my shop on. I started with the Waikiki Shopping Plaza, then made my over to Luxury Row which had stores such as Saint Laurent, Chanel and Gucci. I also had a chance to check out the popular Ala Moana Center which is one of the largest shopping malls in the US. Whether I was looking for luxury goods or simple easy-to-wear pieces, all the stores were aligned with a string of restaurants to visit for great eats and perfect way to refuel before the next adventure.
If you follow me on IG stories then you know how much of a foodie I am! Hawaii did not disappoint in the food department at all, as I said earlier, even breakfast was amazing. My first night I had dinner at Morimoto an asian fusion restaurant housed at the Alohilani Hotel I was staying at. Everything I ordered was delicious and flavorful, if you’re into Asian cuisine I highly recommend. Hawaii is all about catching the sunset, so I wanted to make sure I had an early dinner at one of the beachside restaurants. Beachouse at the Moana Surfrider hotel was prefect to do just that. I watched the sunset while sipping on some yummy mai tai’s can’t beat that. For entertainment I checked out Sky Waikiki a rooftop bar/restaurant, it rained the night I went so I had to sit indoors but the view was great nonetheless. On Saturday night it was time to party! I’m not much of a club girl but I was on vacation so why not? Addiction Nightclub inside the Modern Honolulu hotel had the perfect vibe. It’s an upscale club and the DJ played the latest hip hop hits, I literally danced all night.
Travelling to North Shore
One thing that was told to me upon arrival was you can’t visit Honolulu without heading up to the North Shore. Don’t get me wrong Waikiki is great but it’s similar to Miami or Vegas. Hawaii is all about the scenic views…The beaches, waterfalls mountains etc. Since my trip wasn’t long enough to fly over to Maui, I rented a car and headed up to the North shore. Shrimp trucks are very popular in North Shore, but there was a specific shrimp truck in the area called Giovanni’s Original that locals demanded I try. After waiting in a long line to taste their highly sought after Shrimp Scampi and the “No Refunds” hot and spicy shrimp, I’ve been telling everyone I know about this hidden gem, seriously the best shrimp i’ve ever had in my life. Food is one treasure, but watching the hues of the sky change right before your eyes at Sunset Beach is an experience money can’t buy, this truly felt like a once in a lifetime experience. It’s common to see locals enjoying their meal beside a scenic view. Grab a seat at one of their spots overlooking the beach to experience a sunset you will never forget.
Overall Hawaii was nothing short of amazing! The food, the culture the scenery were all outstanding, But what I’ll always remember is how friendly the local community is. From the Uber driver to the hotel staff, everyone was so courteous and answered my questions with a smile throughout my trip. My only regret was that I didn’t get a chance to visit the Dole Pineapple Plantation seeing how much I love pineapples lol but overall Hawaii was phenomenal. Booking the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach was easy through Booking.com. The website has tons of great reviews, but I want you guys to experience it for yourself. Get $40 cad/$30 us off on booking.com for your next trip here. Have you visit visited Hawaii? Tell me about it below!