Thanks to everyone on Trip Advisor that helped me plan our holiday. I hope my trip reports can help other indecisive travelers.
Honolulu, for 4 nights, was our last stop before returning home to Melbourne. So far we had been to Anaheim (5 nights), LA (3 nights), Las Vegas (3 nights), New York (4 nights), San Francisco (2 nights).....a whirlwind tour. We had packed a lot in and looked forward to relaxing in Waikiki.
Our flight from San Francisco with Hawaiian was nice, their seats are larger and a family of 4 can sit together in the middle of the plane. When you board there is lovely Hawaiian music playing, rum cocktails are given out....makes you feel chilled out!
When we arrived in Honolulu it was overcast, nothing of interest on the drive to Waikiki, just some old grey buildings. I had been told that Waikiki was over rated...maybe it was true. Sooooo wrong!
We arrived at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Ali'i Tower, checked in with no wait. Our Ocean View room (facing Diamond Head) was fine but I really wanted a room over the super pool, in case the kids went down to the pool before us we could see them. If you want quiet the Ocean View facing Diamond Head would be perfect but we wanted to feel the energy of the resort. My request to change rooms did not seem to be a problem and our new room ended up being a corner room facing the super pool and the side view was the beach..... Wow!!! Spectacular Views, beautiful renovated room, gorgeous bathroom, large balcony. Our room was over Tropics Bar and you could hear the music at night but it finishes quite early around 10pm so was never a problem, more like a bonus!
The first day was spent checking out the huge resort, loved the pools including the Ali'i Tower pool, the view from there is so amazing....photos don't do it justice. Dinner was take away pizza (round table restaurant at the resort), it was good and not too expensive.
The next day, after a good breakfast at Wailana Coffee House, we headed off to Ala Moana Shopping Centre where Macy's had begun their 4th July sale and again my daughter and I could not resist Forever 21. Our son was not impressed with all the shopping as there were beaches and pools waiting for him at the resort.
Back to the hotel for a swim before exploring the beach and Waikiki. Heaps of restaurants to try, it was hard to choose one. Dukes looked like fun. We ended up just going for snacks and drinks and watched the sunset at the barefoot bar, not far from our resort.
A swim at the Tapa pool and some time at the Tapa bar, these are open later than other bars and pools, until 11pm from memory.
The next day was 4th July, we could see tents set up around the lagoon by 7am for family bbq's and parties. The atmosphere around the place was great. Breakfast was at Snappers Bar and Grill....good value, back to the Macys sale (couldn't resist) and a visit to the sporting authority to get some ASICS runners, a great place to get runners as they know their stuff.
Back to the hotel to get ready to meet up with some friends at the barefoot bar and then off the watch the fireworks with the locals. So many people. Amazing fireworks. A late dinner at Red Lobster, why did we not find this restaurant earlier?
The next day we had the Hilton honours breakfast, just pastries, cereals, toast but it was good and great view, nice way to start the day. No shops today....hung around the beach and the pools, lunch around the super pool. The beach at the resort is huge, beautiful white sand, crystal clear water. The pools were all very busy but we had the Ali'i tower pool as well which had the comfiest lounges and best view. That night there were complimentary snacks served around the Ali pool so we stayed there to watch the Friday night show (very limited view) around the super pool and the fireworks (good spot to see the fireworks). When I heard music "somewhere over the rainbow" and the fireworks started.....wow! so amazing, gave me goosebumps.
The view of the fireworks and the show would have been even better from our room....with cheaper drinks. We would do that next time if we were able to get such a great room again.
The next morning my husband and I were up at 6.30am and walked along the beach. We decided that we would be back. And next time for around 8 to 10 nights. Would love to walk up Diamond Head, visit Pearl Harbour, go back to bars and restaurants missed and perhaps visit another island.
The people in Hawaii have a beautiful friendly calm spirit and it is an idyllic holiday destination, the four of us absolutely loved our visit to Waikiki, it was a perfect way to finish our big adventure.
We will cherish the memories and the photos of our 3 week holiday. Thank you to all the friendly people we met along the way.