This past week we took a four day six night trip to Hawaii. We flew out from Narita at 9:20 in the evening on Saturday March 14th and got back at 3:40 on Thursday the 19th.
We bought tickets through IACE. There was a little delay in getting the information for our trip (we weren’t sent the flight information until a few days before our trip) but we were lucky to get a direct flight from Narita with Korean Airways.
We had no problems checking in and getting through customs on either side as Naho had already completed her ESTA forms online and I had my resident card at the ready.
The service onboard the plane was great as well. The food was warm and tasted great, there were some great movies available and the C.A.s were all friendly and attentive.
We crossed the International Date Line during our flight so we landed in Hawaii at 8:30 on the morning of the 14th! Naho got to have two birthdays!
When we got off the plane our first order of business was to find our way to the hotel. I found out from the money exchange clerk that the best way to get to Waikiki from the airport was to take the city bus. After a short wait we got on the bus only to be told our suitcase was too big! So we waited for the next bus where we had a little better luck and we were on our way to Waikiki!
The bus took one and a half hours and cost 2.50 per person whereas the taxi takes a half an hour or so but costs 40 dollars. Some hotels also offer a free shuttle bus to and from the airport so that might be something worth checking out before you book!
Hokele Suites is located just off the corner of Lewers and Kuhio in the Waikiki. It’s a ten minute walk from the beach and a five minute bus ride from the Alamoana Shopping center.
The room comes with a kitchen and spacious bathroom with complimentary hair dryer, queen size bed and flat screen TV and even had a balcony. There is also a nice pool outside and free coffee downstairs.
However, the internet only works in the downstairs lobby area, the card key sometimes didn’t work properly and the walls were very thin. Also, when we checked in we were hit with a surprise 10 dollar per day maintenance fee. Check with your hotel to see if there are any resort fees you might have to pay!
Since we were early for check in we left our luggage with hotel reception and took the bus to Alamoana Shopping center. We visited the food court for lunch and then shopped around for the rest of the day. The mall has a wide range of stores from Harry Winston to Macy’s. Don’t forget to check out the make your own sandals We came back to the hotel with a new dress and shoes for her, a new shirt and pants for me and filled up on steak and smoothies.
After a quick nap at the hotel we headed out to Alan Wong’s to celebrate Naho’s birthday! There’s not much left to say about the restaurant that hasn’t been said on Yelp or the like but I hope I made her first birthday with me something special!
The next day we attended a wedding for one of Naho’s friends at the St Catalina chapel overlooking Makapu’u Beach next to Seaside Park. The wedding was beautiful and moving but exhausting! We headed back to the hotel for another nap before going to the after party.
we took it easy for most of the next morning. In the evening we went to a luau which included a ticket to the aquarium. The aquarium was small but the jellyfish were fun to look at and there was even a tank full of newborn seahorses and their father!
Exiting the aquarium for the luau, we were greeted with kava, a traditional welcoming drink with a calming effect similar to alcohol, and then walked out onto a large green lawn.
There was a three piece band playing Hawaiian traditional songs on ukulele, drums and guitar and a few blankets spread out where guests were busy making crowns from palm fronds and making flower bracelets.
Later several dancers came on stage and showed the traditional dances of the different cultures represented on the islands. We watched Samoan, Tonga, Maori and native Hawaiian dances.
There was also an all you can eat buffet style dinner with mahi-mahi, kalua pork, poke and more.