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Luxury Row at 2100 Kalakaua Avenue
Luxury Row is an area of shopping in Waikik located on Kalakua avenue that caters to high end retailers. Some of the stores we found were Tiffany & Co., Coach, Gucci, Chanel, YSL to name a few. My wife and I had a fun time checking out the merchandise in some of her favorite stores.
The Banyan Courtyard at the Moana Surfrider was a favorite place of our to enjoy some drinks and entertainment when we stayed at this hotel. There are plenty of tables ;some with umbrellas sit sit and enjoy a cocktail. There is nightly musical entertainment and this is the perfect spot for viewing. The centerpiece of this area is the very old; very large Banyan Tree in the center. I am a lover of trees and this particular Banyan is quite a sight to behold. I am glad the hotel made it a focal point and didn't tear it down to increase property space.
Kalakaua Avenue is Waikiki's 2 mile long oceanfront street. The street is lined with hotels, restaurants, stores, shopping centers and is what I would call the center of Waikiki.
The streets are always jammed packed with pedestrians either shopping or walking around looking for places to eat or drink.
I enjoyed walking along Kalakaua Avenue, stopping in some of my favorite shops or grabbing a bite to eat or just some drinks.
- Food and Dining
- Spa and Resort
- Arts and Culture
Take a dip in the Super Pool
The weather in Oahu is almost always fantistic which is ideal for lounging around at the pool. We were staying here at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and decided to take advantage of the pool grounds during our visit.
Althought we normaly leave the pool/beach lounging to one fo the other islands (usually Maui), during this particular trip we decided to relax more and enjoy the rest. The pool area is quite nice with plenty of lounge chairs along the pool with or without shade.
You aren't allowed in the pool area unless you are a guest of the hotel. Towels are provided free of charge.
- Water Sports
- Spa and Resort
- Luxury Travel
The First Lady of Waikiki
The Moana Surfrider Hotel on the island of Oahu is also known as the First Lady of Waikîki. This grand hotel on Kalâkaua Avenue is a historic spot registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
The hotel was built in the late 19th century and was the first hotel in Waikiki. The doors opened in 1901 and the tourist rush of Hawaii had begun.
The Moana's architecture was influenced by European style. Large Ionic columns dominate the front of the hotel along with its large veranda. When the hoel was built it was considered the high end of luxury due to its in room telephones, private bathrooms, and electric powered elevator.
In the center of the Moana Surfrider's courtyard stands a majestic Banyan tree. The Indian Banyan tree was planted in 1904 by Jared Smith, Director of the Department of Agriculture Experiment Station. When planted the tree was nearly seven feet tall and about seven years old. It now stands 75 feet high and spans 150 feet across the courtyard. The hotel is still beautiful after several renovations and keeps its old world charm.
The lareg Banyan tree on the property has been listed on Hawaii's Rare and Exceptional Tree List. It has also been selected by the Board of Trustees of America the Beautiful Fund as the site for a Hawaii Millennium Landmark Tree designation, which selects one historic tree in each state for protection in the new millennium.
Famous people such as King Edward VIII and Duke Kahanamoku have graced the halls of this hotel.
Because of its beauty and history my wife and I chose to stay here during our latest visit to Hawaii.
The Pink Palace
The Royal Hawaiian is one of the two Iconic Hotels of Oahu; the other being the Moana Surfrider. The Royal Hawaiian is also known as the "Pink Palace" due to its colorful pink exterior. The hotel opened in 1927 and is still one of the leading hotels in the area for tourism.
The property is very beautiful with lush foliage that is impeccably maintained. The interior was redone in 2008; so we were fortunate to see it in its new state when we last visited Oahu.
Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is just another one of the many shopping centers in Honolulu. Whenever my wife and I are on vacation we enjoy a bit of retail therapy so to speak. What I enjoyed most about the Royal Hawaiian was the Ferrari Store; since I'm a huge Formula One fan this was heaven to me.
The Mall has a large variety of shops from everyday items to high end stores such as Rolex, Hermes and Cartier. Some chain restaurants are on site: P.F. Chang's, Cheesecake Factory and Senor Frog's to name a few.
Jump on a Catamaran and go for a sail!
This was the best spontaneous activity! As I sat and enjoyed a burger on the beach (after a morning of surfing) This catamaran pulled up on the beach.... for $15.00 you get more than an hour of sailing off the shore of Waikiki - I reccommend sitting on the net to stay cool and have a fun ride! (but you will get wet!)
- Sailing and Boating
Enjoy the Beautiful Sunset
Each sunset is different and has it's own personality. The color spectrum and light is never the same on any given day.....hues of pink and purples, golds and reds or deep blues and orange. Hawaii does have some magnificent sunsets that should not be missed. Grab a spot on the beach, get a table outside or relax on your balcony to watch this awesome color display.
Kalakua Avenue is a major thoroughfare. Pedestrian traffic can make the sidewalks very crowded especially during prime shopping times. The shops lining the street draws people in and there are plenty of places to grab a snack, meal or refreshing drink. My favorite time to walk this avenue was in the early morning as the sun rose in the sky; the street was quiet and we felt totally alone. It also helped us to a litle uninterrupted window shopping so we could return later when the stores had opened.
The Royal Grove
The Royal Grove of the Royal Hawaiian Center is a large garden area in the middle of the shopping area. There are sevral coconut trees as wel as grass and benches to sit. Cultural displays, exhibits and activities occur daily here. Liz and I watched a dance exhibition along with some traditional Polynesian music.
In the center of the Grove is the bronze statue of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop who was the great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha. In her will she established the Kamehameha Schools for Hawaii's children. The statue depicts the Princess sitting with a child on a bench reading. The Royal Hawaiian Center is the Schools’ largest real estate asset, generating revenue to continue providing education for Hawaiian children.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Royal Hawaiian Center
The Royal Hawaiian Center is a large plaza of shopping, dining and entertainment. The food options range from Cookies, Starbucks, P.F. Chang's, Senor Froggs and The Cheesecake Factory. Shopping here you can find "everything". They have ABC stores, jewelry, clothing, perfume, souvenir and specialty stores. I loved the Ferrari Store although they don't allow pictures in the store except for the model car; quite dissapointing. Liz liked that there was a Hermes store as well as a White House/Black Market and a swimwear store.
The stores Liz and I enjoyed strolling through the many shops and even catching a cultural show in the Royal Grove.
Ala Wai Canal
The Ala Wai Canal is a man built freshwater waterway. It was built in 1922 and drains rainwater. Along the canal there are always joggers, people riding bikes, walking and outrigger crews in the canal.
The Hawaii Convention Center, golf courses, apartments, and condominiums line the canal all the way to the ocean and the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.
***No swimming is allowed in the canal***
Princess Kaiulani Statue
Princess Kaiulani was Crown Princess of Hawaii. When the HAwaiian government was overthrown in 1893, she lead a campaign to restore the monarchy. She even had an audience with the US Congress, President Cleveland and President Harrison. The monarchy was never restored but she is remembered and loved by the Hawaiian people. Just recently a movie of her life was released in theatres while we were visiting Hawaii.
Waikiki Baptist church
We visited this church (pic 1) one Sunday morning because we saw a leaflet that was saying that they had gospel songs during the mass and I never had the chance to see one live. We watched the Sunday worship (usually starts at 10.30am), it was kind of weird for us with all the people there smiling to each other and then singing all these songs about jesus with the keyboard based music on the background. So we just listen for some minutes and we left without destracting them.
Before we take the bus again we visited the statue (pic 2) of king David Kalakaua (1836-1991) the last king of the Hawaii. He is known as conservative monarch (really? How come?), he travelled a lot and wanted to brought hula, hawaiian music and surfing out to the world. He built the Iolani palace. He lost most of his power after 1887 when he was forced to sign a new constitution. Three years later he was very ill to rule and his sister Liliuokalani took his place on the throne not for too long though as the overthrow of Hawaiian kingdom came two years after.
- Religious Travel
- Budget Travel