We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa on our honeymoon and decided to stay there again because we loved it so much! It is at the end of Waikiki and within walking distance to everything Waikiki has to offer yet you feel secluded because it is nestled on 22 oceanfront acres that give you just the right amount of privacy. The grounds are filled with tropical gardens, fish, exotic animals, 2 swimming pools, a water slide, a lagoon, restaurants, and lots of stores. Our room was comfortable, spacious, and overlooked the lagoon, marina, and the ocean!
As much as we love trying new things, I don’t know if we’ll be able to go back and not stay here! We love it!
The Rainbow Tower next to the Lagoon and a few other pics from around the Resort…..
Adorable little penguins……
The Chapel….Maybe Spencer and I will renew our vows here one day!!
View from Tropics Restaurant at the Resort…
The view from the beach…Diamond Head Crater….
The resort’s beach (Kahanamoku Beach) was actually named the #6 beach in 2010 by Dr. Beach. It is protected by a reef so the waters are calm making it a perfect beach for children. (The lagoon is actually perfect for kids, too). On our first trip we were snorkeling past the reefs and saw an eel! It was a little way out past the reef so don’t worry about them close to shore…it was so cool! It was my first (but not my last) time seeing one in the open ocean!
A highlight of this trip was when one afternoon we were just relaxing on the beach (reading) when all of the sudden two huge monk seals swam right into the beach! We couldn’t believe it! We ran to the water and watched these two playful creatures wrestle and bark at each other. It was amazing. I guess it is rare that they go into Waikiki so I consider us lucky.
People that were out on paddle-boards saw the commotion and paddled right up to them…..
Here we are paddle-boarding for the first time in the lagoon! Stand Up Paddleboarding is a great way to have fun and get a work out at the same time. As a first timer I caught on very fast. The boards are wider and more stable than a surf board and the paddle helps you keep your balance. We rented from the boards from the Hilton Hawaiian Village and got a quick lesson before heading out on our own.
I know it was a vacation, but we are practical people so as soon as we checked into our room we made a quick trip over to Walmart which is only a couple of blocks away. We bought a cooler to take in the car for day trips. We bought drinks and a few necessities. It was soooo convenient to pack cold drinks and snacks while we explored the island. (The rooms have mini fridges, too). The ice machine was right down the hall from our room so we just filled up on the way out and stuck it in the back of the car!
Friday nights the Hilton Hawaiian Village does a spectacular firework show over the ocean so if you can, try and plan for it! It can be seen from most of Waikiki!
Right across the street from the Resort was the best little local diner…we ate there almost every morning (never tried lunch or dinner). Good pancakes, OK coffee…ask for your eggs well done if you don’t want them wet!
Because of the time difference it is easy to get a serious case of jet lag! We took a morning flight which put us there in the early afternoon. Stay busy and stay up late the day you arrive and you will wake up feeling great and hopefully not be off by the time change! Drink plenty of water on the plane and get up to stretch your legs often!
9-10 days after a full moon box jellyfish routinely swarm to the leeward shores. These include Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana Beach Park, Hanauma Bay, and the Wai’anae Coast. Lifeguards will post warning signs, but still end up treating hundreds of people from stings. This happened while we were there….here are a few pictures of them at the marina……
Places to Eat:
Wialana Coffee House – Best known for its hearty breakfasts and old-school menu of burgers, sandwiches, and broasted chicken, this restaurant quickly became our favorite morning spot! It is located directly across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village at 1860 Ala Moana Blvd. at the corner of Ena Rd. 808-955-1674
This spot is more of a locals diner and offers a very reasonably priced menu. The coffee is just OK and if you get eggs order them well done unless you like them wet. They are open late, but we only had breakfast there every day. Spencer enjoyed the all you can eat pancakes..YUM!
Leonard’s Bakery – Known for its Malasada’s. Located at 933 Kapahula Ave. This place got rave reviews so of course we had to try it. It is a tiny, old-school bakery that can definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. We picked up an assorted box of these delectable pastries and watched the sunrise at Sandy Beach! You may have to wait in line because they are extremely popular with tourists and locals alike….well worth it!
Lulu’s – Directly across from the world famous Waikiki Beach, this restaurant has priceless views with an open air dining room and retro surf atmosphere. The food and drinks were ok, but the location is fantastic. It also sits across from Kapoilani Park. 2586 Kalakau Ave. 808-926-5222
Tropics at the Hilton Hawaiian Village – Great views, good food.
Cheeseburger in Paradise – Not to be confused with the chain here in the states, although that is what we though when we went. Fun Atmosphere, open air seathing, tiki-hut like decor. Located in the middle of Waikiki Beach.
Outback and PF Changs – YUM and within walking distance to everything!
Things To Do:
- Get a taste of Hawaiian Culture by attending a Luau
- Watch water shoot upwars of 30 feet in the air at the Halona Blow Hole
- Pick up some Malasadas and watch the sun rise at Sandy Beach
- Snorkel among sea turtles, tropical fish, and coral reefs at Hanauma Bay
- Hike to the top of an Extinct Volcano for panoramic views of Waikiki
- Take a stroll through the gardens at one of Hawaii’s top visitor attractions or have a race in the World’s Largest Maze
- Relax on one of the best beaches in the world
- Drive around the Island and make a stop at the Famous North Shore
- Watch Sea Turtles bask in the sun among beachgoers
- Take a ride on a submarine and go 130 feet under water
- Go shopping in Waikiki