In the words of Depeche Mode, “I just can’t get enough”. So to quench our thirst for aloha we returned for our Anniversary trip to wonderful Oahu. This time we decided to get our fill of Waikiki at the start of our holiday and then wind down during the second course at the always relaxing Aulani. With the plethora of properties in Waikiki, you can be overwhelmed. If you are looking for bargain, there are plenty to be had. If you’re looking for the most amazing 16+ Infinity edge pool with a killer view, floating bean bag chairs, poolside service and “cheap” (60 bucks for the day) cabana type chairs, several food options, Baskin and Robbins, shopping and easy walking distance to everything Waikiki, then look no further – Sheraton Waikiki is it.
It’s been recently renovated and the rooms are fine. Nice and large, basic, comfortable. But the property as a whole is great. The infinity pool ha been voted “Best Pool in Waikiki”. Plus, join their Starwood Preferred Guest program and receive an adorable Gift Bag that you take to their Starwood Amenities Shop and fill up. You’d be amazed at how much fun that is.
While in Waikiki, take advantage of the happy hour at the Top of Waikiki, a revolving restaurant and bar. They have an early happy hour and a late happy hour. $5 drinks and unique view of the sunset.
Now for phase 2 of the trip – Aulani. 40 minutes to the west of Waikiki lies Ko’Olina. Many of you read my first post about our trip there last year and if you didn’t, well then, you’ve got some homework! So I’ll hit the highlights of the updates they’ve done to the property and some of our new discoveries.
The updated Ka Maka pool area is the main focus of the updates. There is a beautiful Infinity pool for the family with an adorable cove area. Also for the keiki (kids) there is a splash pad zone as well. In the much needed dining improvement category, they have added the Ulu cafe – it’s a counter service restaurant that opens early and closes around 9 pm, so you’ve got some alternatives now!
Since we were at the resort longer this time, I did purchase the refillable mug (aprox $19). There were several stations available in the Ulu cafe, outside of Ama’ Ama and near the center of the pool area near the Lava Shack. I feel like I got my money’s worth in diet coke, lemonade and hot chocolate. Steve discovered that the Ulu Cafe serves 100% Kona coffee, so he had an alternative to Ama’ Ama for breakfast and his Kona addiction.
This time around, along with immersing ourselves in the pools, napping away in the afternoon breeze, getting incredible massages at the Laniwai Spa and going on all of the water slides and lazy river, I decided to give the Rainbow Reef a try. It’s a great way for new snorkelers to get their feet wet and get used to the sport. The Rainbow Reef area has day long and full stay passes. I would recommend the one day pass, as it’s a small reef.
We had adjusted enough to the time change to enjoy the resort’s Starlight Hui show. The production combines Disney showmanship with Hawaiian culture, with lots of pre-show activities for the kids and a post-show dance party for the family with some familiar friends. It’s a “don’t miss” while you’re at the resort.
Our trip was nothing less than relaxing and with tears in my eyes (again!) we left Oahu – “A hui hou kakou Until we meet again.”