Aloha from Hawaii…
Well, sadly I am not in Hawaii anymore, but going over my notes from my stay has got me dreaming of the blue waters, warm sun and all the glorious elements that come along with the amazing place that is Hawaii! I am going to break down our trip for you and share our experience of this beautiful island.
We only stayed on the "Main island" of Honolulu because of our newborn Jagger. Seaplanes and boats just wasn’t us this trip. We had also heard that everything we would need would be at our fingertips, which was absolutely true.
How to get there:
Jetstar was the only direct airline in Melbourne which flew to Honolulu. The flight time was around 10.5 hours from Melbourne.
If you book Hawaii early, you can get some pretty excellent deals.
*We bought our tickets on the Australia day sale 2017 and paid about $750 return each "economy."
With a newborn, we didn’t want to move around a lot.
For the first nine nights we stayed at "The Hilton Village" in Waikiki, we were lucky enough to stay in one of the Hiltons service apartments. That had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, lounge, kitchen and a washing machine and dryer #winning which cost around $500 AUD per night (we booked through Qantas website).
We stayed at "Hilton Waikiki Village" because of the pool areas, which had water slides for the kids and a beach/pool saltwater lagoon. You can hire watersports equipment, such as stand up paddle boarding, canoes and snorkel gear etc. The Hilton also has traditional Hawaiian classes available which include hula dance, lay making and Ukulele classes.
Kids club: Something new I've learnt- check the age level on kids club! I didn't check it this time and you had to be 5 and over to enter, of course River wouldn’t go without Scarlett #damit.
• If you have kids that are over the age of five years, and you need a break, Hilton is known for its "kid's club" in Hawaii. For $95USD a day (I know little expensive), they feed and entertain your kids, from excursions to the zoo, to traditional Hawaiian classes (lay making and hula dancing) - the list is endless.
Room service- We all love room service when holidaying and especially when the kids are asleep, but with the Hiltons size and multiple towers, you have to pay a delivery fee of $9USD on top of your room service meal... so don't be ordering one glass of wine ha.
Other Hotels that made our top list, that were all kid friendly and had a kids club.
Sheraton in Waikiki - Central to the beach and shopping district on Kalakaua Ave.
The Royal Hawaiian (The Pink Palace)- the Iconic bright pink hotel that’s on the beach and central to the shopping district.
Aulani (Disney hotel)- Just a short drive from the airport, this was where we originally booked our nine-night stay, but thought it was a little far to where everything was happening. We are a family that loves to explore, walk and not catch taxies to go out for dinner or surf. This hotel is any child's dream! Disney characters walking around and of course the best kids club, activities and pool. Highly recommend.
Follow the link to other fabulous hotels and deals in Waikiki that’s suitable for all budgets.
TURTLE BAY/ North Shore
We loved the North Shore, it was like stepping onto a movie set of Jurassic Park/ 50 first dates (true Hawaii). The surf was epic, the scenery is incredible, and the locals are friendly.
We stayed at Turtle Bay resort, in a little beach bungalow overlooking the ocean that had X2 queen beds.
Even though they don't yet have a kids club, there was plenty to do and see, a kids club didn't seem necessary and it felt like a more organic experience.
They have activities for kids like surf lessons, kids pool with a slide and pony rides.
The resort also has its beautiful "private beach" where you can snorkel and watch the seals come up onto the sand and bask in the sun next to you.
At sunset make sure you grab a cocktail at "Turtle Bay's" pool bar and watch the locals catching waves. After the sun has gone down, stay back and watch the locals put on a traditional fire and hula dance show, which was a massive hit with the kids.
Note: The fire and hula show only happens on certain nights so check with your concierge on what nights that is.
Things to do
> Kualoa Ranch (where Jurassic park filmed)
> Hanauma Bay (best snorkeling in Hawaii)
> North shore “Pipeline” (surfing)
> Diamond black (if you love to Hike)
> Honolulu Zoo
> Dole Plantation (pineapple farm)
> Surf lessons- hotel surf lessons can be expensive. If you don't want to spend that kind of money, head down to the local beach and see some of the many surf lesson companies that are scattered along the beach. You can pay from anywhere between $50USD - $100USD
> Atlantis Submarine- The sub was incredible, and one of my highlights of the trip... Seriously how many people in the world can say they have been on a submarine. A huge hit.
• Waikele Premium Outlets- Check out Saks on 5th Ave and Barney's at Waikele outlet, they have all the fantastic brands like Stuart Weitzman, Balenciaga, J-brand, Paige denim, Balmain, Givenchy the list is endless for 50-70% off.
• Ala Moana center- Plaza, (Mall whatever you call it) with all the brands we love.
• Kalakaua Ave- This is the main strip when it comes to nightlife, food, and shopping.
Note: If you're looking for a "Coles" or "Woolworths" haha in Hawaii? "Foodland Farms" is the best place to shop on the island for all your baby, snack, and general food needs.
"ABC shop" another one-stop shop, it's like our 7/11 except they sell alcohol and there is one of those on every corner.
Note: Most big hotels in America at checkout, will give you a bill, that will charge you for your room turnovers and towels etc. It's a service and tax bill. Just a little reminder, when booking your hotel that it will be another additional $35-$50 USD on top of your nightly fee, depending on how fancy you are staying.
Overall: When we go back to Hawaii, North Shore would be our choice of stay for the majority of the time; it's relaxing, beautiful and peaceful. North shore is what you should do at the start of your trip and finish up in Waikiki, to shop and explore the night's atmosphere.