Recently I had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, specifically Waikiki and the Oahu North Shore with a friend. I also went to see friends who now live there in North Shore Haleiewa. Two different experiences on one island.
Waikiki is not for everybody. It has become less Hawaiian and more commercial. Nevertheless, everything is there for your enjoyment. The big hotels, beaches, bars and still a bit of history awaits. We stayed at the newly refurbished Waikiki Prince Hotel at the entrance to Waikiki, near the famous Ala Moana Shopping Center. The hotel has never looked better. A new infinity pool, updated lobby and refreshed rooms were well received. We also had access to the Executive Lounge just off the pool area with indoor and outdoor sections. The lounge has potential, but the food and drink offering were basic.
We made good choices as we walked over to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for the Friday night 7:45PM fireworks and spent the next day exploring. Of course, I could not miss the Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Bar, where we were up close to the sand drinking and then dining at sunset. It is also nice to know the hotel will validate parking, especially if you are not within walking distance. It was indeed a pleasant evening.
After a few days of exploring in and around Waikiki/Honolulu, it was about a scenic two hour drive with stops to the much more native Haleiewa town on the North Shore. With very few tourists and less crowded beaches, this area is wonderful. No high rise buildings, few chain outlets, more real and native food and stunning sunsets, we finally felt that we were really in Hawaii. There are very few accommodations here, basically the Turtle Bay Hotel is the only 4-Star beach property in the area. It was even better staying with friends in their home.
Delta Airlines was the carrier this time. It was economy all the way, but with a very pleasant attitude from every touch point. This made it much more pleasant.
If you are seeking some of the Aloha spirit, give us a call.