In the beginning of this year I wrote my Hawaii travel guide on the islands of Oahu, Maui and Kauai. I recently just went back on a girls trip with my mom and sister to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We only visited Oahu this time but wanted to write out my favorite moments and adventures from the trip!
I love Oahu. I feel it is the most well-rounded of the islands- it has the city culture of Waikiki while still possessing the beauty of Hawaii’s nature and beautiful beaches.
My mom really wanted to stay at The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu because we vacationed there as a family when I was little with my grandparents, and she felt the need to go back years later and experience it again with my sister and I. The Kahala Hotel & Resort is probably considered one of the nicest, if not the nicest resort on the island. It’s in a quiet part of the island and the resort feels remote and removed from all the action of Waikiki which is only around a 15 minute drive from the Kahala. I remember back in the day they had a dolphin pond in the middle of the hotel with dolphins that spend their lives there. You can pay to feed them and get pictures with them and as a kid, I obviously loved it. Now going back almost 20 years later, I actually hated seeing the dolphins in captivity- it was just a completely different experience for me. Dolphins are my favorite animals and I just felt bad that they live their lives in this small “pond” in the middle of this resort. I’m sure they are treated and fed very well but I still felt sad about it. I don’t like seeing any animals out of their natural habitat and in captivity for the sake of human enjoyment and entertainment. That is one of the reasons I am against zoos and won’t go to them. What do you think about this? Am I being dramatic? Would love your thoughts.
Besides that, the hotel property is beautiful and the beach is nice and private. Just be prepared to spend a good penny, because this resort isn’t cheap.
After the Kahala, we stayed in Waikiki for a few days at the Alohliani Resort. It’s located right across the beach in the heart of Waikiki. Contemporary chic and newly renovated, this luxury boutique hotel was the perfect choice for our stay. The rooms are spacious, light and airy with a clean and modern elegance. We were on the top floor and stayed in a Beachside suite so we had a great view of Waikiki beach. The beach in front of the resort is great- it’s in the middle of all the action. I also really loved the breakfast buffet each morning and the lobby Oceanarium, a 280,000-gallon wall aquarium with colorful Hawaiian reef fishes.
The staff and service at Alohliani was exceptional. Everyone was so friendly and attentive with everything we needed. They found out it was my sister’s birthday and sent cake and champagne to the room which was really thoughtful and sweet. Thank you so much for an incredible stay! To see more on the resort, click here.
We rented a car for a day and drove around the entire island. Unfortunately it rained the entire day which was a bummer, but we made the best of it and basically went on a food tour. See below for my foodie favs on Oahu:
- Diamond Cove Health Bar- great acai and Pitaya bowls. Also great ahi wrap!
- Banan- Dairy Free Vegan Banana Soft Serve (made from Banana)
- Bogarts Cafe- great Acai bowls and breakfast
- Pupukea Grill- Best poke on the North Shore
- Haleiwa Bowls- Acai bowls
- Ted’s Bakery- Haupia (coconut) Pie
- Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck- North Shore food truck for amazing garlic shrimp
My favorite beach I found was Waimanalo Beach. It had water like the Bahamas!
To see more of my Oahu guide with my favorite hikes, beaches etc., check out my blog post on my guide to the Hawaiian islands HERE!