All the details on where we stayed while in Hawaii! We had some great experiences, some amazing experience, and a few not so great, so sharing all of my thoughts for anyone planning or considering planning to visit!
This was the first hotel we stayed at in Hawaii, and it was a solid thumbs up! The room was clean and a simple, neutral aesthetic. Nothing fancy, but for the price, $144/night + a resort fee, I was happy (and I’m picky haha). The pool area is gorgeous, with two different pools on different floors. I loved that both were a story to two up from ground level, as it made them seem like of like an oasis and allowed for more of a breeze. The higher one was sort of a sitting/wading pool with sand, where I took the above photo! The pool had a bar with solid snacks and drinks, and the sitting area near it was great for working at, especially during the evenings. Lots of comfy seating, twinkle lights, and a breeze!
The hotel is a little to the left of the main area of Waikiki beach and a it set back from the beach, but it wasn’t more than a 5-10 minute walk to the beach and all the shops and restaurants. Waikiki is packed with great shopping and dining, so while it’s definitely not a quiet getaway spot, it’s fun and still has gorgeous water and beach to enjoy.
Hotel Wailea was wow. Luxury and serenity. It lives up to it’s reputation as one of the most romantic hotels in the world! The hotel made sure we were well taken care of and made to feel so special, as they do all guests… we were spoiled with champagne while checking in, driven along with our bags to our room, and had fruit, more champagne, and lies waiting for us when we arrived. The suite we were in was huge… with views of the skyline and sunsets along with a jacuzzi, beautiful balcony and giant comfy bed.
The dining was beyond excellent; the food 5 stars (we were especially fond of the scallops and spicy tequila cocktails!) and the restaurant + birdcage lounge were gorgeous spots perfect for a romantic date night…. both had views of the ocean skyline and sunset. Even just walking around the resort was romantic, every corner is beautiful, flowers blooming everywhere with quiet paths through them, and a plush pool area with beds for cuddling while sunning. The prices match the exquisiteness, but if you’re looking for luxury, you can’t find better.
Maui is much more chill than Oahu, especially Honolulu, and more of a relaxing retreat comparatively. It’s quiet and has more of a resort feel, where you want go to unwind and feel like you’ve escaped. Hotel Wailea is a 8ish minute walk up the hill behind the beach front, which is where a whole row of resorts are. It added to the quiet serenity of the resort, but never left us feeling like we were missing out, as there are Tesla’s available to chauffeur you down to the beach from to the hotel’s beach area or the resorts, shopping, and restaurants there.
This was our dud of the trip. The Ilikai is a pretty old building, but the VRBO must have used very old photos from when new or touched them up quite a lot, because we were quite shocked upon arrival, The pool and amenities were especially old and just not that nice. The porch was covered in bird poop, and room just not as clean as it should have been. The building says it’s ‘luxury’ but it’s definitely not, and the prices were higher than many other hotels including The Modern Honolulu, yet it was nowhere near as nice. I don’t know if all the VRBO listings for this building are a bit deceptive like ours was, but they gave us half our money back, so we happily moved on. The Ilikai is right next to the Modern on Waikiki Beach, so the area is good, but we wouldn’t recommend staying there.
This was definitely our favorite spot in Honolulu. Our friend Jason recommended to me, and he couldn’t have been more spot on! Kaimana is right on the beach all of the locals go to, so it’s less crowded. It’s special because monk seals often come up to rest on the shore during the day, so you might get to see some if you stay there! The hotel’s restaurant, the Hau Tree, is especially gorgeous with amazing food & drink. It’s right on the beach too, which creates an amazing atmosphere for both the hotel room and dining at the Hau Tree. While it was a bit more of a walk to everything (the closest ABC store is maybe an 8-10 min walk vs 2), it has a more exclusive and authentic feel and the prices were solid. We loved it!
(Photos from Hotel Wailea)