September 19, 2014

The Perfect Day in Waikiki at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort

The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, opened in 1927 and has gone through some major renovations over recent years. Rich in history, this "Pink Palace of the Pacific" attracts guests from all around the world who wish to experience first-class service and luxurious accommodations.

I was fortunate to be hosted for a night at this magnificent hotel, where I experienced The Perfect Day: Waikiki.

The Pink Palace of the Pacific
After arriving at the hotel and leaving my car with the valet (no need to search for a parking spot!), I proceeded to the lobby for a seated check-in (I love seated check-ins).  Everyone was friendly, and I was even greeted with an orchid lei!

Orchid lei upon arrival

I stayed in an Historic Garden and Grove Jr. Suite.

In the suite was a King Size Luxury Collection Bed, a work desk, wet bar, sofa, 2 flat screen TVs, an arrival amenity of banana nut bread, and a customized welcome gift of macarons and a cupcake (I'm a "dessertaholic").
King Size Luxury Collection Bed with a bag of Banana Nut Bread on the tray
TV, wet bar
TV, work desk
Living room area with a sofa and chairs
Malie Amenities
Customized Welcome Gift
View from the suite
The decor was warm and inviting - a nice mix of contemporary and Hawaiian designs.
Detailed wood carvings on each room door
Shades of pink were everywhere, which nicely complemented the green and dark brown hues throughout the suite.

In the room there was also a mini fridge, bath scale, T3 blow dryer, coffee maker, and two pink Frette Robes.

Frette Robe
After getting settled in, I roamed the grounds of the hotel to take in the views and all the beauty of the resort itself.

Shades of pink everywhere!

One of the beautiful halls in the resort
Pink parasols and pink-tinged sky
Rocking Chairs

Stunning views

There are several dining options on property.  I had the privilege of enjoying a Royal Papa`aina Dinner from Azure Restaurant (you can read about it here), and I also enjoyed breakfast at Surf Lanai (which you can read about here). There are also numerous other restaurants within walking distance.

Other Services and Amenities
  • Use of an iPad loaded with information about The Royal Hawaiian
  • 24-Hour Room Service
  • Keiki Aloha Children's Program
  • Two pools, including the Helumoa Pool that has a 70-foot long water slide
  • Nightly turn down service upon request
Click here for a list of more services and amenities.
iPad loaded with information about The Royal Hawaiian

Helumoa Pool
Chocolates at Turn Down Service

Final Thoughts
There is so much to see and do while at The Royal Hawaiian, and I look forward to visiting with my family one day - The Royal Hawaiian is very family-friendly, with lots of activities for the keiki, such as Pool Games and a Mermaid Appearance at Helumoa Pool, a Royal Young Chef Program, and more!

Although I didn't get to see and do it all, my day was still perfect - a warm welcome, a gorgeous suite, beautiful views, great dining, and amazing service - all at The Royal Hawaiian.

I was treated like royalty in the Pink Palace.

Thank you for a Perfect Day in Waikiki.

The Royal Hawaiian
2259 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 923-7311

September 18, 2014

Surf Lanai

The Surf Lanai at The Royal Hawaiian, situated right on Waikiki Beach, is the perfect spot for a delicious breakfast.

Complimentary Mango and Banana Smoothie

Scrambled Eggs, Rosti Potatoes with Bacon and Onion, Smoked Bacon

White Toast

Banana-Macadamia Nut Stuffed French Toast, Berry Compote

Steel-cut Irish Oatmeal Brulee, Dulce de Leche, Raisins

The smoothie was a refreshing way to start the day - especially since it was already warm when we arrived at the restaurant.

I ordered the Eggs, Rosti, and Bacon, which came with toast. It was a simple, yet tasty and satisfying meal.  I personally enjoy just about any breakfast that involves bacon! I really liked the rosti - some of the best rosti I've had anywhere.
I shared the French toast with a friend, which I thought was delicious and not overly sweet.

Service was a bit slow, and despite typical Waikiki (high) prices and gutsy little birds constantly flying onto our table, the food, view, and company made for a great breakfast. 

Surf Lanai
2259 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 931-7194

Azure Restaurant's Royal Papa`aina Dinner

Azure Restaurant, located in The Royal Hawaiian, offers a Royal Papa`aina Dinner, allowing guests to indulge in an eight-course chef's degustation menu with wine pairings while seated in an oceanfront cabana. 

I was fortunate to attend a special event where the guests were hosted to this amazing dinner prepared by Chef de Cuisine Shaymus Alwin in the beautiful Kamehameha Suite at The Royal Hawaiian, courtesy of The Royal Hawaiian, The Luxury Collection, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

The most beautiful table setting
Amuse Bouche - Hibiscus Ginger Shooter; Pier 38 Onaga Ceviche, Ginger Scallion Espuma, Onaga Cracklings
2nd - Japanese Hamachi Crudo

3rd - Kona Lobster Brioche

4th - Olive Oil Confit of Big Island Abalone & Shinsato Farm's Pork Tonkatsu

Intermezzo - Pop Rocks Sorbet

6th - Smoked Duck & Foie Gras Raviolo
7th - Parmigiano Reggiano Mousse

Lavosh (to go along with the mousse)
8th - S'more Waialua Chocolate
I have never experienced a dinner as amazing as the Royal Papa`aina Dinner.

The amuse bouche was a strong indication of the dishes to follow - pleasing to the palate, and highlighting the flavors of each component (the ceviche, espuma, and cracklings combined were so delicious!)

I've only eaten Hamachi once before, and I really enjoyed the Japanese Hamachi Crudo dish - especially the accompanying Caviar Dressing.

The 3rd course, the Kona Lobster Brioche, was my favorite dish of the evening.  It was only the second time I've ever eaten lobster, and it was simply divine.  I thought the Brown Butter Vinaigrette really made the dish shine.

I really enjoyed the Pork Tonkatsu in the 4th course, and the dish offered me a chance to try abalone for the first time.  It was very tender.

The Intermezzo was a nice surprise - a sorbet with Pop Rocks - what a way to cleanse the palate!

The 6th course consisted of more foods I tried for the first time - foie gras (very smooth and rich), and squid ink pasta (a nice complement to the duck and foie gras).

Another of my faves was the Parmigiano Reggiano Mousse.  It was a nice combination of sweet and savory. 

The final course, the S'more Waialua Chocolate was magical.   

The Royal Papa`aina Dinner was a treat for the senses - visually stunning, with a variety of textures and flavors to create the ultimate dining experience.

Mahalo Chef Shaymus Alwin for an amazing meal!

For reservations and more information, click here.

Azure Restaurant
2259 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 923-7311

September 17, 2014

Forty Niner Restaurant - Just Desserts

After having dinner in Wahiawa one evening, we sought out somewhere to have desserts, and Forty Niner Restaurant was the perfect spot.
Deep Fried Brownie a la Mode

Strawberry Cheesecake

Both desserts were very good, but my favorite of the two was the Deep Fried Brownie a la Mode. The brownie itself was really fudgy, and paired with the vanilla ice cream - the entire dessert delicious.

Forty Niner was a great spot for desserts!

Forty Niner Restaurant
167 S Kamehameha Hwy
Wahiawa, HI 96786 

Hana Hou / Wordless Wednesday - Cancun

In Hawaii, Hana Hou means to repeat; do again, so on this and every Wednesday, I'll be posting a photo of a place that I'd love to visit again, or of an activity that I'd love to try again on a future trip.

Where would you like to visit again?

The view of Cancun, Mexico from the airplane

September 16, 2014

Snow Flakes in the Summer in Hawaii at Aloha Crepes & Snow Flakes

Aloha Crepes & Snowflakes is a small shop in Waimalu that serves decadent crepes as well as yummy Snow Flakes.  I've tried both their crepes and Snow Flakes before, and I think both are great, but on a recent visit we decided to indulge in some Snow Flakes only.
Chocolate Snow Flakes, Mochi, Chocolate Syrup, & Condensed Milk

Orange Creamsicle with Mochi, Condensed Milk, and Ice Cream

The Snow Flakes are so yummy and refreshing! I shared the Orange Creamsicle with one of my kids. I don't usually add mochi or condensed milk to my Snow Flakes, but the manager suggested I add those (he also suggested the flavor), and I'm so glad I listened to him. Everything was so delicious! 

The Snow Flakes are very light, but very flavorful, and also quite messy. 

A small serving goes a long way, and is more than enough for two people to share.

Aloha Crepes & Snow Flakes
98-042 Kamehameha Hwy
Aiea, HI 96701
(808) 483-4448

September 15, 2014

Top 10: Waikiki Staycation Eats

Since we only spent a weekend in Waikiki, we didn't get to dine at as many restaurants as we usually do when we travel out of state, but there were still a lot of great eats.  Here are my top 10:

1. White Chocolate and Banana Bread Pudding from Hula Grill Waikiki - A creamy and delicious bread pudding that was the highlight dish of my staycation.
2. OREO Dream Extreme Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory - Definitely a cheesecake/OREO/dessert-lovers dream!

3. Local-style Fried Rice Omelet from Mac 24/7 Bar & Restaurant - I was impressed with how big the omelet was, and how tasty the fried rice was.

4. ReaLicious Mango Ice Cream from Henry's Place - Light, fruity, and refreshing!
5. Lemon Ginger Roasted Chicken from Hula Grill Waikiki - Flavorful and juicy, this chicken dish was my favorite entree of our staycation.
6. Complimentary Foccacia with Olive Oil and Chili Pepper Water from Hula Grill Waikiki - The foccacia itself was good, but with the olive oil and chili pepper water, it was VERY good.

7. Pina Colada Bread Pudding from Duke's Waikiki - My favorite menu option from the breakfast buffet.
8. Parmesan Crusted Chicken Schnitzel with Creamed Corn and Fennel Slaw from bills Sydney Hawaii - Very flavorful with a nice crunch.

9. Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter from bills Sydney Hawaii - Fluffy and sweet, yet slightly savory and rich.
10. Grilled Chicken & Avocado Club from The Cheesecake Factory - Simple, yet so satisfying!

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