My mother, sister-in-law, 13 year old niece and myself.
How did we get there?
Hawaiian Airlines - we left Sydney at 9:50pm on Friday 3 June and arrived in Honolulu at 10:50am on Friday 3 June, fabulous we travelled back in time!
Why did we choose Hawaiian Airlines?
Simple … 2 x 32kg baggage allowance, plus meals and drinks included and the fare was good.
How would we rate them?
This was my first ever overseas trip so I didn’t have anything to compare them to internationally, but for me the flight was good, and the cabin crew were excellent.
My mum and sister-in-law have travelled extensively internationally and they thought Hawaiian were great.
How did we get to our Hotel?
After we cleared customs and collected our empty bags we met Mark from Hawaii23 as pre arranged via their website a couple of months prior. Their communication via email was excellent and they reconfirmed with us two weeks before our arrival. The door-to-door service straight to our Hotel was what we were after. Mark is a really nice guy, very friendly and informative.
Where did we stay?
Some DE’s will poo-poo me - Hotel Renew.
Because it ticked all the boxes on paper that we were looking for and a recommendation from a friend of my mum’s.
Did it tick all our boxes?
In one word … yes!
Very comfortable, clean, modern rooms, slightly on the small side but this didn’t bother us in the slightest as we only slept there and didn’t intend on having a party every night!
Elevators are slow but hey, we were on Hawaii time!
Breakfast was included every morning which was great, a selection of Granola, Special K, toast, fresh fruit, pastries, the yummiest yoghurt I have ever tasted in my life, tea, coffee and pineapple juice.
Every single staff member was fantastic; we really enjoyed having a chat and finding a little bit about each of them personally.
Location was perfect for us, only a 5 or so minute walk to the centre of Waikiki but far enough away that enabled 7 wonderful nights sleep.
Will I stay there again?
This I will answer at the end!
How did we get around?
The Pink Trolley to Ala Moana, PG Plover Shuttle to Waikele, our legs around Waikiki, taxi’s from Ala Moana (too many bags to carry … hey there were four of us!) and hired a car for 3 days.
What were the main things we did?
I have three words for everyone … we are AUSTRALIAN!
Therefore mainly we shopped til we dropped (side note – thanks to Camdenmum, Yodelia and Beedoo747 for their fantastic trip reports and shopping tips for Aussies).
Ala Moana was for me, very intimidating … so many stores, so few days, how would I do it???
Waikele is a must for Aussies – you will not believe the prices – for those who have been you will know what I mean!
Nordstrom Rack was pretty good, Walmart was good for souvenirs, chocolate, cosmetics, shaving gel and fishing reels (my husband was very happy)!
Even though initially I was petrified at the thought of driving on the wrong side of the road and steering from the wrong side of the car I am soooooo glad that we did hire a car. Within 5 minutes I was absolutely fine with the help of my little assistant, GPS!
As I drove past the signs for Mililani I thought of Dusty, never met the man but have heeded some of his words of wisdom silently on this forum.
On the way around we stopped to absorb the beauty and take photos and videos at many places including the Dole Plantation, Haleiwa, Sunset Beach, Turtle Bay, Waimea Falls, Kailua Beach Park, Pali Lookout to name a few.
Pearl Harbor – a must in my opinion for any visitor from any where in the world. I found it very moving and the way the grounds are set out is just beautiful and everyone was very respectful. I drove and got there about 8:00am and received tickets for the 10:15am tour (we went back to Waikele in the afternoon)!
My sister-in-law and niece went parasailing and loved it, my mum and I had two massages at a great little place inside the Queen Kapiolani on the 3rd floor. We swam, we ate, and we met some wonderful locals at cash registers, walking down the street and in taxi’s.
Where did we eat?
Not ‘local’ places that I would have loved to have tried. We did eat at Dukes, Chuck’s Steak House, Cheesecake Factory, Quick Thai at Waikele, had a Garlic Shrimp Plate at Waimea, food court at Ala Moana, Teddy’s Big Burgers and Subway. Everything that we ate was good but the serving sizes are HUGE!
How was the weather?
I was in Hawaii, who cared?
Did we miss our respective families?
My niece summed it up best, she said to me on our last night, “you know what? I have had the best holiday ever but I’m ready to see my mum and dad” and I told her I felt the same way about my husband and son. I spoke to her on the phone the other day and she said to me “I’ve had my fix of mum and dad, I want to go back to Hawaii” and I replied “me too!”.
Will I go back and will I do different things?
I have started planning for March 2012, this time with my husband only. He likes a pool and a lanai, therefore our accommodation requirements have changed so we are going to stay at the Queen Kapiolani – I really liked the look of it and the location. We are going to hire a car for the entire stay so we can explore more of the island, and we will eat at more ‘out of the way’ local places that I have heard about on this forum, and maybe – just maybe fit in a couple of shopping trips!
Mahalo Oa’hu, keep your beautiful people safe and see you next year!