My friend Em and I just got back from Hawai’i, and we are already missing everything that is the beautiful aloha state. Our first stop was Honolulu, where we checked into The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, right on Waikiki beach!
Where: Oahu, Hawaii
When: March 2017
Stayed: The Royal Hawaiian
The Royal Hawaiian is a pink and palm dream. From the walls to the robes to the umbrellas to the towels – candy pink everything! We were so, so happy to have stayed in a tower room, which faced the ocean and had a view of the pool below. We kept the balcony doors open 24/7 and fell asleep to the sound of crashing waves. Nothing better than that.
The Mai Tai Bar mixes up delicious cocktails – any of which can be served in a hollowed out Dole pineapple, straight from the plantation. We spent most of our time either on the beach (sunrise swim, please!), by the pool, or enjoying a decadent breakfast at the Surf Lanai. From fresh-pressed guava juice to macadamia nut french toast with tahitian vanilla butter, we loved starting our mornings there.
Right off the airplane, we had rented a Wrangler from Avis, and I would definitely recommend having a car while you are on the island. We spent one day hiking up Koko Head Crater, and then driving all through Kailua and that side of the island. Some recommendations of spots to check out in that area: Lanakai Beach, ChadLou’s Coffee, The Local shave ice, Island Snow shave ice, San L0renzo bikinis (Em found two fun ones), Kailua Beach and Hanauma Bay.
Our favorite beach of all though was Waimānalo! White sand, turquoise water – quite truly a perfect beach. Right before Waimānalo is Makapu’u Beach, also quite stunning. We hiked the lighthouse trail in search of the tide pools, but weren’t exactly sure where to go, and decided scaling a mountain without actual directions seemed a bit risky. But if you can find the tide pools, they look incredibly gorgeous!
Back near Honolulu, we ate poke every day, and we both truly believe that Ahi Assassins is the most delicious poke ever created. It doesn’t hurt that it is also run by the nicest people ever, willing to let you sample just about every flavor and every fish. Some other spots I would recommend in the area: Pig & The Lady or Piggy Smalls (dinner), wandering Chinatown (pork buns from Char Hung Sut, shave ice from Wings Enterprises), Waiola (shave ice), Arvo Cafe, Island Vintage Coffee, coffee at Surfjack / dinner at Mahina & Suns, Maguro Brothers, Mud Hen Water, Leonard’s Bakery, Poi Glaze Doughnuts at Kamehameha Bakery, Helena’s Hawaiian (classic dinner) and Mitsu Ken for Bento Boxes to go.
Thank you to The Royal Hawaiian for collaborating on this post, and to you for reading! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.