My wife and I just spent two weeks on Oahu and here is my report. Due to my being on holidays this isn't in any kind of order, just our observations of things we did and our likes and dislikes.
We stayed at the "Aston at the Waikiki Banyan" with a extended stay package. With this package you only get a towel and linen change once a week which worked fine for us. I don't enjoy trying to arrange my daily schedule around trying to be away from the room when the cleaning people are there. We changed our own garbage when needed and basically just moved in and lived there for two weeks. We had a suite with a full kitchen in Tower 1 on the 30th floor with an excellent view of the ocean and the golf course. We bought groceries from the Food Pantry on Kuhio Avenue (only a few minutes walk away) and many of the numerous ABC stores in the area and had breakfast every morning in our room. We find this much nicer than having to get cleaned up and dressed first thing everyday before breakfast. With the extended stay package there was an option to also receive a daily newspaper and wired internet capability which we also selected. The room was good, furniture was somewhat dated as has been reported before on this site, but everything was clean.
What we did:
Diamond Head - We took "The Bus" to Diamond Head and did the climb one morning. The view makes it all worthwhile but I would recommend getting there as early as possible to avoid the crowds. When we were there were lots of empty tour buses which translated into a lot of people on the trail. Once we were down off the trail we decided to walk back to our hotel. It took us about 45 minutes but it was interesting to get more of a residential feel to the area.
Manoa Falls - We rode "The Bus" again. Interesting hike (I didn't know that I could sweat that much). As previously recommended elsewhere - wear proper footwear - the trail is slippery.
Hanuma Bay - You guessed it -we got there on "The Bus". We had purchased an Olympus TG310 camera for this trip based on it's being waterproof. We didn't get any great shots of underwater fish but there is a good shot or two of my feet. The video that you have to watch before they let you down to the beach is very informative and its a great beach even if you just want to sit and people watch (which is actually one of our favourite things to do in Hawaii).
Iolani Palace - This was our one cultural stop. Very interesting but we found it hard to find. A few more signs in the area would have helped.
Places to eat:
House without a key - Our new favourite restaurant. What could be better than sitting with a view of Waikiki beach listening to a three piece band while sipping a cold drink? No reservations accepted, reasonable menu prices and the food was good. Entertainment starts at 5:30PM. We got there twice just before 5 and got a great table both times. Our waiter the first time was Courtney (not sure of the spelling) and he was great. Good service and a sense of humour at the same time.
Rainbow Drive-Inn - We had to try a "plate lunch" so we went to Rainbow twice. Small, quaint and within walking distance from the beach. Its not gourmet dining for sure but it was tasty and filled us up.
Dukes - Had to go - it was good but House without a Key was better.
Oceanarium at the Pacific Beach Hotel - We went here for dinner the last time we were in Hawaii and we went again this time. The aquarium is interesting and there is a lot of food to choose from. I felt that I was in the middle of a shark feeding frenzy the last time that we were here and the feeling came back this time. Maybe its a buffet restaurant thing but its a little too hectic for my liking. Three kinds of crabs legs to choose from but not really our style.
California Pizza Kitchen - I know, chain restaurant and all, but we liked it. We sat at a table that overlooked the Waikiki beach walk and watched the world go by. Good food at a reasonable price while in paradise. Went there twice and would recommend it.
Other things we did:
People watched while lying on Waikiki Beach - our kind of spectator sport.
Sitting on the lanai at the end of another perfect day with a rum and POG (We tried to find POG at our local Safeway with no luck - We'll have to keep looking).
Thanks for reading - hopefully some of my observations will help make someone's holiday better.Edited: 5:52 pm, October 31, 2011