Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hawaii Vacation in Oahu

First time I went to Oahu, I stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki (right on the beach) with partial ocean view in 2003. I enjoyed it. The last time I was in Oahu was earlier this year in February. Stayed at the Kahala Hotel in Diamond Head area ($315/night was the special at that time). Hotel was grand and nice, slightly outdated and needed some upgrading. Despite that, I had a garden view (the golf course view next to the hotel with partial ocean view) which was . The room (Room 1128) was quite large with his and her bathroom and large bathtub. The employee who checked us in said that most Kahala hotel employees like to stay in Rooms 1126 and 1128. I loved this room because of the location - it was literally steps away from the beach, unlike some of the other hotel rooms in the main part of the hotel-I think the building our hotel room was in was an addition to the hotel (separate building), but connected to the hotel. Definitely rent a cabana $50/full day/$35 half day. Totally worth it - more privacy and protection from the sun. Sun rays are very strong in hawaii so i probably would not have been able to stay out all day without the cabana. I would have turned to a lobster color even with spf 30 sunblock. 2 cold bottled waters and 2 oranges given in a cooler to each cabana when we rented cabana for full day. Service was excellent and all employees were very friendly. Stay at one of the oceanfront hotels in Oahu. Hotel merely across the street is less convenient. I had a great experience.

Flight out of Oahu was 10 pm. Kahala gave me keys to use the showers which was very nice of them. Everything you needed was there including shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, disposable loofah and towels (same products were in the hotel room).

The other option besides the Kahala Hotel (4 stars) I was thinking of staying at was the Halekulani in Waikiki next to Sheraton Waikiki (5 star) at that time. I found a deal on for $360 (American Express Centurion Cardholders) . Apparently, lots of construction was around waikiki at that time, so I decided on the Kahala.

I ate at Diamond Head Market and Grill (3575 Campbell Ave at Monsarrat) quite a bit during my trip of 4 days. Gourmet plates and sandwiches. Great char-siu plate. $10 All plates served with rice and macaroni salad. Open for lunch and dinner.

Had heard raving reviews about the Kahala Hotel restaurant Sunday brunch at Hoku's. Was pricey at $55/per person, so I didn't try it.

Kahala Hotel also offers complimentary introductory surfing and scuba lessons which are taught in the pool at the hotel. Did not try. Kahala hotel beach is calm and has no waves. Surfing is not possible there. Small reef further out; met a local hawaiian who was trying to catch fish/octupus there. Fun to watch 3 dolphins swimming in the kahala hotel lagoon. Lots of weddings held there. Both valet and self parking were both $22/day. Was worth it to rent a car and pay for parking even though it was pricey, however the hotel did offer a free shuttle that takes you into waikiki and back every half hour until 9 pm.