Much To Do On A Luxury Stay In Waikiki On Oahu Hawaii
We started our first visit to Hawaii with a luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu. Our flight to Oahu from our stay in Vancouver on this trip west was direct and easy.
For this first stop, we planned a luxury stay at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. We wanted a lazy start to our Hawaii vacation and had only 4 days to begin our explorations on Oahu. The Waikiki Beach area was great to explore on foot. And one day we did a full day private tour on Oahu and saw such an amazing variety of sights.
A Great Luxury Hotel
We considered many of the great beach hotels in Waikiki Beach area. The idea of being right on the beach was attractive but we did not want the crowds. So we decided on the Ritz-Carlton Residences just a few blocks up from the beach area.
When we arrived we were welcomed with a traditional lei. I got a flower lei and David got the Kukui Nut necklace. We knew the lei was considered a symbol of affection and Aloha (“greeting”).
At the Ritz-Carlton Residence our elite status with Marriott Bonvoy got us fewer of the standard benefits for stays. We managed without the free breakfast. But we were delighted with the suite upgrade and the amazing welcome amenities we found in the suite. The huge box of fruit was a healthy morning treat for us.
The suite had a small kitchen which was great when we wanted to make our own meals. A great way to save some money in expensive Hawaii. When we went in the bedroom, we smiled at the “Aloha” welcome we found on the bed.
We were happy we booked the Ritz-Carlton Residences for a luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu.
Relaxing At The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki
We loved having lots of space to spread out in our suite. But we enjoyed the great outdoor spaces at the hotel even more. One of the attractions of this hotel was the infinity edge pool high above the city.
When we headed back to the hotel in the afternoons, we always got a treat. The hotel had an ice cream cart on the pool deck for “Happy Hour”. And everyday we tried a new flavour.
On our luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu we took some down time to start our visit to Hawaii.
Great Water Views All Times Of Day
The panoramic view was one of the great advantages of a hotel back from the beach. From our balcony we looked out over the coast line and the beach area.
While the view was great during the day, it became quite magical as the sun went down. We got some amazing sunsets every night.
We were happy we booked our stay on Oahu over the weekend. The fireworks on Friday night were a local treat. So we made sure we were on our balcony for the stunning light show.
We had amazing views day and night on our luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu.
Tasty Food And Drink On A Luxury Stay In Waikiki On Oahu
On a luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu we sure ate and drank well. Without a free breakfast provided by our Elite status, we enjoyed our great fruit plate and then wandered out to find nearby options. On the lower level of the hotel we found the Island Country Market. They had a great selection of both packaged and prepared foods. At the other end of the hotel, the Dean & Deluca was a great coffee shop that offered many gourmet treats. We never had a problem finding great food to start our day.
When we lazed by the Ritz-Carlton Residences pool in the afternoons, it was easy to order lunch right to the poolside. For dinner we enjoyed a great sunset dinner on the patio at Quiori.
One day we visited the Tommy Bahama Restaurant on the top patio for lunch. And of course, we had to order a traditional Mai Tai. The view from the restaurant looked back towards the pool deck at our hotel.
When we visited Hawaii, we often went in search of local Kona coffee. This gourmet coffee was grown on the Big Island of Hawaii. We were delighted that even the local Starbucks offered 100% Kona beans. On our road trip around Oahu, we stopped at the Waialua Coffee Mill. The coffee and cacao were grown on the Waialua Estate.
A Short Walk To Waikiki Beach With Views Of Diamond Head
From our hotel, it was an easy walk down to the Waikiki Beach area. We wandered along the streets and found “Beach Access” signs at regular intervals.
We kept walking until we reached the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku statue. This iconic 9’ bronze statue honoured the Olympic champion who was also considered the father of international surfing.
When we wandered onto the beach, the first thing we found was a large booth for surf board rentals and lessons. As we walked along the beach, we saw many people waiting for the right waves.
As walked down the sand we looked back and got our first view of the iconic sight of the Diamond Head Crater. Diamond Head stood about 760 feet above the sea and the crater on top was about 560’ deep. As a monogenetic volcano, Diamond Head erupted only once over 150,000 years ago. Sadly we did not get to hike to the Diamond Head Crater on this visit.
On a a luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu we enjoyed spending time on Waikiki Beach.
Visiting Great Hotels Right On Waikiki Beach
As we walked around Waikiki Beach, we checked out some of the great hotels right on the beach. The colourful Royal Hawaiian was a big draw. The patio on the back had a beach view and was a wonderful spot to see Diamond Head.
One of the Marriott hotels we considered for stop in Waikiki on Oahu was the Westin Moana Surfrider Hotel. We planned a stop on our beach walk to check it out for a future visit. The huge banyon tree at the back was a draw for visitors. But I found my rocking chair on the large patio to enjoy our iced Kona coffee and snack treat.
We stopped in several of the hotels along the beachfront. As expected, they were indeed more crowded and far noisier with a livelier atmosphere. But for this visit, we were still happy with our choice for a luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu.
Day Trips Around The Island
We were content to enjoy a lazy stay on Oahu but we wanted to see a little of the island on this first visit. We looked at several tour options and finally booked with Blue Hawaii Photography Tours for a private full day tour of Oahu.
Our tour took us counter-clockwise around the island towards the North Shore. And then returned through the valley between the two mountain ranges in Oahu to Waikiki. We started early in the day with some great sunrise views at Makapu’i Beach with a view out to the Makapu’i Lighthouse perched on the edge. A second stop at Lanai Lookout gave us more amazing cliff views with the Koko Crater in the distance behind us.
We arrived before the crowds at the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park at the foot of the Koʻolau Mountains. It was great to enjoy the Byodo-In Temple in peace.
Our visit to the North Shore gave us a view of the surfing waves. It was still a bit early in the surfing season. But that did not stop people from practicing on the smaller waves.
As we headed back to Waikiki Beach, we went through vast pineapple fields. But we did not have time to stop for Dole Whip at the Dole Plantation. We arrived back on our luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu very happy we saw so much on our private tour.
A Great Luxury Stay In Waikiki On Oahu
We had great time for 4 days in Oahu. We really used this first stop on our visit to Hawaii to unwind and get on island time. It was great to have a luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu and enjoy the views day and night.
Every day we wandered out from the Ritz-Carlton Residences and explored the area around Waikiki Beach. We loved exploring the beach and the iconic Honolulu sights. A long day trip around Oahu gave us a good flavour of the beauty of this island and other spots we wanted to explore on a return visit.
When we planned our visit to Hawaii, we had many things on our list for our stay on Oahu. But we barely got started. An injury just before we headed to Hawaii meant we moved a little slower on this trip. The Waikiki Trolley offered hop-on-hop-off tours and were a way to get around the city. But we were not up to long bus trips.
We were sad we never booked time at Pearl Harbour. And sadly water sports were out for this trip. The early Fall was not the right time for whale watching or for great surfing. So we know we will be back another time to enjoy those Hawaiian treats.
We left Oahu relaxed and with a small taste of Hawaii. Our next stop was a longer stay on the Big Island of Hawaii. And we had more adventures planned.
Did you enjoy a luxury stay in Waikiki on Oahu?
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