Tag Archive | hawaii

Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hubby and I went to Hawaii and stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

We flew into the Honolulu airport and the hotel is in the heart of Waikiki. Getting there was easy since we had our GPS. The street names are Hawaiian and all seem super long where the consonants "K" "L" and vowels "I" and "U" are used in great frequency in various combinations. Needless to say, we depended on the GPS to tell us where and when to turn.

This hotel is on the beach and in walking distance from a really nice mall. A hotel’s proximity to a mall or shopping center is always a positive in my book.

First of all, staying anywhere in Hawaii is very expensive. Since that is the case, we thought it would be better to go with a recognized hotel chain that is known for quality and good service. That is what we received at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Everyone was smiling and welcoming as we arrived.

The complex is so big that there are several check-in desks. We went to the first check-in location we saw, but our room was located on the opposite side of the village. I think they need better signage because it was all a little confusing for me. They were doing some construction, so I think that some of the obstructed roads usually would have been open for passage. This created additional congestion, but everyone seemed really patient considering the slow traffic. I think the island air has a calming effect on people.

Calling this a "village" is an understatement. The resort is huge with plenty of pools, restaurants, and shops. You do not have to leave for anything, if you do not want to. Everything in the village is very "touristy" priced, so if you step outside the complex, you might get a better deal across the street. I know we ended up eating at the food court at the mall instead in the Village. We walked instead of driving there. For souvenirs though, if you go to one of the many ABC stores, you can find little knick knacks for all those family and friends back home without spending a fortune.

Knowing this trip was going to "break the bank", we opted for a resort facing room in an effort to economize. The views of the mountains to our right were breathtaking. We had a great view of the resort and could spend some time people watching as we relaxed on our balcony. And our room was on a high enough floor that if we squinted our eyes just right, we could see a little bit of ocean. Considering that we were in a veritable paradise, we could not complain that there was an unpleasant view. There is no such thing as "unpleasant view" in Waikiki, Hawaii.

Since our hotel was on the beach, midnight walks on beach were mandatory. Feeling the soft, cool island breeze on my face convinced me that the 12-hour plane flight to get there was worth every minute for that moment.

If you decide to rent a car for your trip (I advise it so you can see more of the island), valet parking is around $30 per day. Self-parking is only a few dollars cheaper, so it is worth it to valet park. Since Hawaii is a very popular vacation destination, be prepared to wait when you request your car from the valet. Use that time to take in the pretty views of the ocean and the greenery. Listening to the sounds of the ocean can be so relaxing.

Overall, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is a great resort for your trip to Waikiki Hawaii especially if it is your first trip. It is in a good location and the service level of the everyone working there is top notch. They show that they want to make sure you have a wonderful vacation. You will hear "Mahalo!" a lot. That means "thank you".


Rainbow Drive-in Honolulu, Hawaii

Our first stop in Hawaii was to get something to eat. I already checked to see what Guy Fieri triple D restaurant was between the airport and our hotel: Rainbow Drive In.

I told hubby that was where we were going. He was understandably hesitant because he knew that the quality of triple D restaurant were sometimes hit or miss. We have had awesome experiences and then there have been mediocre ones.

When we arrived, I was excited. I do not let hubby’s lack of enthusiasm affect me. And the crowds of people there bolstered my confidence that this was a good place to eat. I ordered the mahi-mahi plate with fries and coleslaw. Hubby ordered a hamburger.

The best part of the meal was the anticipation. It did not live up to the hype. In the picture is my food. The mahi-mahi was tough like it was overcooked. I think maybe they fried it and had it sitting under heat lamps (I do not know, just guessing). The coleslaw was good. It had a nice vinegary, light peppery taste. The fries were okay-nothing outstanding or special about them. Hubby’s hamburger was one sorry little sad piece of meat between two pieces of bread slathered with their special sauce. To me, it looked like one of those 59 cent burgers from McDonalds.

Hubby said that he was picking the next restaurant meal. Justifiably so. I did not even argue. I felt like I wasted my pick because I bought into what Guy Fieri was selling.

Overall, if you are in Hawaii, do not fall for the hype. The food is average, not spectacular.