Happy 2019! I hope you all had an amazing holiday season full of lots of laughter, love, presents, booze and whatever else your heart desires.
If you keep up with me on Instagram than you would’ve seen that I celebrated my birthday (Dec 31st) in a major way! I travelled to Guam and then Honolulu – why you might ask?
Well, the time difference between Guam and Honolulu is approximately 20 hours, so that gives me enough time to celebrate the New Year in Guam then take an 8hr flight to make it to Honolulu to celebrate it once again! This is hard to do (unless you’re flying private) and many said Australia as an option but it’s too far so I wouldn’t have made it to Honolulu (or anywhere else for that matter) in enough time.
Guam was nice, cute and quaint and nothing short of extraordinary however Honolulu is slowly becoming a personal paradise.
(Outfit linked here)
I originally wasn’t going to create a Travel Guide but one of you lovely lot asked me for one and I reconsidered – so thank you! I always love content requests, so I definitely appreciated that. I can get a bit lazy sometimes with blogging but if you ask for something, I will always provide and Travel Guides are so incredibly helpful.
As I mentioned in one of my most recent Instagram posts, there are a couple of places that I visited during my short stay in Honolulu that I would highly recommend…
The Laylow Hotel, Autograph Collection or The Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort– Hands down. The first time I visited Honolulu back in 2014 I stayed at The Moana, this time I did the Laylow – both very different but equally amazing. The Laylow is very modern, chic and Instagrammy. The Moana is classic, historical (the oldest hotel in Waikiki), big and beautiful (sort’ve reminds me of a plantation layout – absolutely gorgeous).
The Moana is Beachfront, the Laylow is not. At first I thought this would bother me, but honestly I didn’t even care/notice much. Waikiki beach is literally right around the corner so it’s not necessary to pay a premium to be Beachfront unless that’s important to you.
The Laylow had really great genuine service (TBH, that’s one thing you’ll notice in Hawaii – compared to let’s say most of mainland USA), gave out free shaved ice between 1pm – 2pm (!!!!). You better believe that I was right there, lined up with all the children waiting for my shaved ice, LOL!
I definitely had breakfast at The Hideout – which is the restaurant at The Laylow, everyday. Again, service great – cocktails tasty and their Breakfast Sandwich with Avocado and Spicy Pineapple Jam was worth staying on the property. So incredibly good.
Also popped by Tanaka of Tokyo Central because I was craving Wagyu beef (I mean, I’m in Hawaii and it’s my birthday – Why not?). It definitely satisfied my craving however, if you’re a Wagyu snob you might be a tad disappointed BUT the price was definitely right and since it’s a Teppanyaki restaurant, it makes for an interesting atmosphere. My dress definitely smelled of food after though, lmao!
Dress: Fashion Nova – Purse: Gucci – Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana
Finally, I love the NOBU brand/restaurant and always visit if I’m in a city that has one since Toronto doesn’t have one and I have yet to visit the two in London. I couldn’t go to Honolulu without popping by Nobu! I remember the first time visiting the Waikiki location and absolutely loving it. While I must admit, – it wasn’t as delicious as when I first visited. The Fatty Tuna/Chutoro was just as decadent as I expected. Highly recommend for amazing sushi and usually celebrity sightings (Will.I.Am was seated right next to us!) and the dessert they brought out for my birthday was SO good.
Sky Waikiki, easily. Rooftop bar that opens at 5pm – however reservations are an absolute must. We didn’t have any and they didn’t hesitate to be annoying AF about it. It kinda dampened our experience in the beginning but the drinks, food and views changed our mood pretty quickly. I would just make sure I have reservations to avoid the whole ridiculousness in the future.
Also, The Beach Bar at The Moana Surfider is gorgeous. Strong cocktails, great service and if you’re seated during sunset (absolutely unreal views of Waikiki Beach) and they play live Indigenous music during that time (complete with a Hula dancer). It’s so vibey and chic – loved it. A really great option to enjoy The Moana and take pictures if the property is out of your budget!
The Waikiki Trolley I think is the best option. I’m a big advocate for the “Hop on, Hop off” type tours. I don’t really enjoy a ton of typical touristy activities – I really just like to soak it all up and explore. Simply being wherever I am is usually enough. I did the Red Line which is the Honolulu Cultural experience so it provided for a lot of cute places, art murals and the like.
When I return to Waikiki, I’ll definitely do the Blue Line (Panoramic Coastline tour) or the Green Line (Diamond Head Sightseeing Tour).
Last but certainly not least, I went to the Magic of Polynesia show – haha! This was a random last minute thing to do before my 10:45pm flight home. I’ve never been to a live Magic/Illusionist show before and it was cute/fun. Very ideal for families as most of the audience was kids with their parents and the kids reeeally loved it. I definitely had a few “WTF/How did they do that” moments myself!
…and that’s it! Have you ever been to Honolulu and/or Waikiki? If so, what did I miss? Overall, I can’t wait to return – I’m willing to make it an annual trip and even looked into apartments there. I’m telling y’all, there is something about Hawaii – so beautiful, peaceful and happy! It’s also one of the few places that I’ve been to where I think everyone and anyone can have a good time. Young children, Teenagers, Families, Couples, Friends! Beach bums and Adventure seekers – it has something for everyone!
LMK if you would love to see any other Travel Guides and definitely check out a previous one here!