Waikiki - A Bustling Retreat
Whenever I long for a getaway with warm air, sunshine, blue skies, sand and sea, I'm usually daydreaming of Hawaii. Lucky for me, I recently was able to make that daydream come true. And as a mom of a 2 year old, I was eager to decompress, have some fun and let's face it, sleep in. But I had to face the fact that I was also there on business (that may have been the excuse I used to get me to Hawaii quicker). Business in Hawaii, you say? Not too shabby. Nope it wasn't shabby at all. And I was able to get private tours of 10 Waikiki hotel and condo properties to further my repertoire.
For those of you not too familiar with Hawaii, Waikiki is the well known beach made famous by who's-who of the 1950's and 60's. It is on the island of Oahu and part of the capital city of Honolulu. But, why Waikiki? Doesn't it feel like Los Angeles? Well, I can see where people get that idea, it does have quite a few high-rises and plenty of traffic. But, it absolutely still screams HAWAII. The turquoise-blue waters of Waikiki beach mesmerize me in a way the Southern California waters don't. The Aloha spirit welcomes you the moment you arrive on Oahu island. The Hawaiian people and local residents are warm, friendly and never short on smiles or recommendations. And there are so many hotels that have amazing views of Waikiki Beach AND Diamond Head!
It's usually very easy to get to Honolulu from the mainland, there are tons of flights into Honolulu compared to neighboring islands. And more flight options usually means cheaper flight options. And with many hotels in Honolulu, they tend to be more affordable than neighboring islands.
I focused my touring on properties closest to Waikiki Beach. After all, if I'm going to place clients in Honolulu, they are going to want to be close to Waikiki Beach. Several have beach access and others are steps from the beach (but have gorgeous beach views from their high floor rooms, I mean, gorgeous views!).
Besides the Aloha spirit and the beach, what else is there to love about Waikiki? How about the SHOPPING! The Waikiki Beach Walk just behind the beach front hotels, has some of the best shopping one could ask for. It New York City level shopping: Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Lilly Pulitzer and more... with an ABC Store thrown-in on every block. It's high end and tropical and fun. And let's not forget the close proximity to tons of really great restaurants. And an abundance of Uber drivers happy to chauffeur you around Honolulu.
There really is tons to offer visitors to Honolulu. Whether you are longing to decompress, want to do sightseeing and beach activities, want to see shows, want to eat well, want to shop-til-you-drop, Waikiki has it. It's also just minutes to historic Pearl Harbor. Or, if you want to visit the North Shore for some world-class surfing experiences, it's only an hour away from Honolulu. There's plenty to see and do on Oahu, you really can't go wrong. And wondering what I thought of the 10 properties I just toured? I will be featuring some of them in upcoming blogs. Stay tuned. Mahalo!