A September 2004 trip
to Honolulu by kimca
Quote: Our honeymoon consisted of 2 weeks in Hawaii, 1 week on the Big Island, and 1 week on Honolulu. This proved to be a perfect mix for us: relaxation combined with activities.
The condo we had was gorgeous; it consisted of a modern kitchen with everything you'd need, a good-size bathroom, a large bedroom with TV, a dining area with dining table, and a good-size living room. It had an average size balcony with a table and chairs if you wanted to sit out in the evening.
The pools were gorgeous: there was one strictly for the timeshare Lagoon tower, the large Super pool, and the Tapa pool, which is smaller. Both the Super and the Lagoon pools close quite early (around 6?), but the Tapa pool is open later. All the pools are busy during the day, so if you are looking for a peaceful pool with no one at it, this probably isn't the place. There is enough space however, so it doesn't feel really crowded.
There is a beach along the front of the Hilton as well that is very clean and manicured as well as many (overpriced) stores. Avoid these stores, as the same merchandise is much cheaper when you go into Waikiki.
We walked to and from Waikiki quite a bit and I'd say it was about a 15-minute walk. It's a nice walk, and when you are on vacation, it's no big deal. It does get quite hot though, so bring some water if you are walking in the heat of the day.
We did try the buffet breakfast one morning. I believe it was in the Rainbow Lanai. It was very good and there was a wide range of options.
If you are around on Friday nights, the Hilton puts on a fireworks show. We were at the Honolulu Business Center street party however and missed them, but I'm sure they were beautifully done, like everything else at the Hilton!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 21, 2004
Hilton Hawaiian Village
2005 Kalia Rd.
Attraction | "Hanauma Bay"
We drove further on, got out at some scenic points further along the road, and when we returned, they were letting a few cars in again. If it's full when you get there, don't lose hope; try again in a little while and it should be fine.
If you are planning on staying for the day, it's probably worth it to take one of the cheap bus tours that drops you off and picks you up to save the hassle and parking cost.
If you climb up the cement stairs from the parking lot, you will get some great views and photo opportunities. This is a fantastic chance to use a polarizing filter if you have one, as it emphasises the color of the water and makes the clouds look pronounced.
Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays, and there is an admission fee of $5 for those 13 and above. There also is a parking fee of $1 per car, but like I said before, the lot fills up really quickly. You are able to rent masks, snorkels, and fins at the beach.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2004
Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
7455 Kalanianaole Highway
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
While we weren't going to be there for the main Waikiki Ho'olaule'a (street festival), we did get to go to the downtown Ho'olaule'a, located in the business districk of Honolulu.
They closed down Bishop Street, and the street came alive with bands playing on stages, food stalls, and general entertainment. I was sorry we had already eaten, as the food smelled delicious.
There were various stages set up along the street for music and different bands were scheduled at different times. Towards one end of Bishop Street, there was a kids area with mini-rides and fun activies.
Another event we were lucky to be there for was the Floral Parade. It snaked its way from Ala Moana Park to Kapiolani Park and came down right by the Hilton where were staying, which was perfect. The floral floats were beautiful and there were many marching bands and other participants. The Aloha Island Princesses on horseback were stunning in their detailed costumes.
There are various events on all the islands going on during Aloha Days. Read Less
Attraction | "Dole Plantation"
There wasn't anything that was all that interesting, but I did enjoy seeing how the pineapples were grown and the different varieties, but that's about it.
We tried their pineapple Dole Whips, which were tasty and probably the highlight of the stop.
In order to go on the train or through the maze, you have to pay which we really weren't willing to do cause they seemed expensive for what it was.
They do have a large store of all kinds of products as well if you want to pick up some gifts for those back home.
All in all, if you have kids and want to pay to take the train around, it might be worth it or if you are already heading out that way, it's not a bad stop. I don't see us ever going back as there wasn't as much as I thought there would be to see.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 21, 2004
Dole Pineapple Plantation
64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy.
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786
After the sun goes down and it's a bit cooler, it's wonderful to walk around the grounds, as the smallest detail has been looked after. Have a drink at one of the cafes or just sit on the beach and relax - paradise!
There is a small ice-cream shop near the Lagoon Tower that makes great ice cream. They have the usual flavors as well as Hawaiian specialties like Chocolate Macadamian and Kona Coffee.
Here are more photos taken of the Hilton, only these shots are taken at night. In order to get a good night shot, I turned off my flash and used a tripod to allow the shutter to stay open.
The first two are taken from the balcony of our condo in the Lagoon Tower on two separate nights.
The last two are taken from by the Hilton. Walk to the Lagoon Tower and then go towards the water. Towards the right you will see the sailboats. You can go into this marina (there is a door but it doesn't lock until later in the evening) and take pictures. I took the one with the single sailboat in the distance from there and the one of the multiple sailboats as I was walking back from the marina.
My tips on Hawaiian sunsets are to start taking pictures before you think the colors have started, as the sun is going down. Often this is when you get the best shots. Also, wait for the flash of color right as the sun is almost gone, often it's just stunning. Some nights you get it (like in the multiple sailboat shot) and some you don't.
The North Shore If you are looking for beaches that are less crowded, this is definitely the way to go. In the winter, the beaches on the North Shore can be crowded due to those watching surfing competitions, but in the summer, there is plenty of room. It's interesting to see these beaches that are shown all time on TV for their huges waves when the waters are totally flat and calm.
Our favorite of these was probably Waimea Beach, which was uncrowded and unspoiled with a beautiful setting.
I recommend stopping for lunch at a great Mexican food place, Cholo's Homestyle Mexican. It's located at 66-250 Kamehameha Highway in the Northshore Marketplace in Haleiwa. Delicious. Haleiwai is a cute little town in itself to check out if you have extra time.
Make sure to look for the roadside stands along the North Shore selling pineapple, mango, coconut, and a variety of other things. The one we stopped at had fruit already cut up and they gave us spoons to eat it with - delicious!
Victoria, British Columbia