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My Oahu trip report

Wetaskiwin, Canada
Level Contributor
83 posts
41 reviews
34 helpful votes
My Oahu trip report

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
Burr Ridge, Illinois
Level Contributor
4,307 posts
104 reviews
13 helpful votes
1. Re: My Oahu trip report

Glad you like House without a Key.

Thanks for sharing

Pillager, Minnesota
Level Contributor
166 posts
9 reviews
5 helpful votes
2. Re: My Oahu trip report

Thanks for your trip report. I wish we had made it to House without a key - but I think hubby was getting tired of my expensive drinks and when he saw the menu on line that their specialty drinks were $12 he kind of balked. Next time maybe I'll start there so we'll be at the beginning of the spending rather than the end.

Wetaskiwin, Canada
Level Contributor
83 posts
41 reviews
34 helpful votes
3. Re: My Oahu trip report

Yes, their drinks are $12 but their beers are only $6.50. We adjusted accordingly on our second visit and I thought that their entree prices were reasonable.

Level Contributor
29,245 posts
79 reviews
42 helpful votes
4. Re: My Oahu trip report

Nice report, thanks!!

Sounds like my kind of vacation if you eliminate all the walking and hiking !!

We can enjoy just sitting and watching the people and the water and enjoy all the different restaurants and shops.

We had a room at the Marriott for 10 days in October that had a million dollar view of Waikiki looking back towards the Royal Hawaiian. We spent many an hour sitting on our lanai and just enjoying the view. Beers on my lanai are only about $1 !! LOL

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
30,608 posts
5. Re: My Oahu trip report


Mahalo for the report

Sydney, Australia
2 posts
6. Re: My Oahu trip report

Sounds like you had a blast, a friend of mine recommended this website full of things to do in Oahu...its pretty comprehensive, written by a sydney girl


Edited: 7:53 am, November 01, 2011
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
1,069 posts
20 reviews
54 helpful votes
7. Re: My Oahu trip report

Nice report. Just sitting and watching people is one of my favorite things, too. If you don't mind, approximately how much did you pay per night for your extended stay? I'm already planning my 2013 visit. thanks.

Wetaskiwin, Canada
Level Contributor
83 posts
41 reviews
34 helpful votes
8. Re: My Oahu trip report

I believe it was about $130 a night. There may have been better deals out there but we've been to the Waikiki Banyan three times now in the last 30 years and we've always enjoyed it there and like the area.

9. Re: My Oahu trip report

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