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Archive for the Category "The Best of Oahu"

Hawaii Royalty – Places to visit on O’ahu Dec 05

Unfortunately, sad to say that many visitors to Hawaii do not realize that Hawaii’s rich history includes Hawaiian Royalty. There are many sites throughout the islands where one can learn about this rich history, O’ahu is the home of many of these royal sites.

Probably, the grandest and most well known is the Iolani Palace,  where visitors are invited to take a step into Hawaii’s past-  guided and audio tours are available – Open Tuesday through Saturday – Reservations are suggested as tours are limited in size and number – 1-808-522-0832  – The Palace is located at 364 South King Street – Iolani Palace(completed in 1882) chronicles the reign of  King David Kalakaua and his wife Queen Kapiolani , and later Queen Liliuokalani. King Kalakaua and his queen traveled the world, bringing home tokens of esteem and affection from heads of state around the world.  The story of Hawaii’s Kingdom is told through portraits, show pieces such as the Grand Staircase made from Koa wood (said to be the largest such structure in the world) , visitors are asked to wear booties over their shoes as they move from room to room on magnificently restored Douglas fir floors, the dining room is set as if waiting for guests to arrive for state dinner. One sad fact in Hawaii’s royal history is that the Hawaiian monarch was overthrown in 1893, and the new provisional government could not wait to toss the treasures of the king and his queen, but luckily the Friends of the Palace organization have searched the world trying to acquire as many of the original artifacts as possible and restore the Palace to her original glory for visitors from around the world to see.

Nearby the Iolani Palace, you will find Washington Place, the home of Queen Liliuokalani before she ascended to the thrown in 1891, she wrote of her home in her book “Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen “.

Mauna Ala -(fragrant mountain)  after Albert’s death, Kamehameha IV ordered a new mausoleum to house his son, the royal grounds are very close to Summer Palace – Mauna Ala is the final resting place of the Who’s who of Hawaiian Royalty.  Mauna Ala Royal Mausoleum is located 2261 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu   – Open 8am-4pm – Monday-Friday

My personal favorite of all the Royal Residences by far is Queen Emma’s Summer Palace – a graceful home set against the lush backdrop of Nuuanu Valley. Sadly, the palace had fallen into disrepair and almost became a baseball field, but luckily the  Daughters of Hawaii intervened in 1915 turned the home into the showplace it is today. The palace is located about three miles from downtown, filled with beautiful artifacts including some originals to Queen Emma and her husband King Kamehameha IV and was used  to escape from Honolulu’s heat in the summer. The saddest thing for me and always brings me to tears is the beautiful cradle in which the king and queen’s son, Prince Albert slept (who sadly passed away at the sweet age of four) they say the bedroom where the cradle sits overlooks the Royal Mausoleum below where the child is buried, as a mother, I just always feel the grief Queen Emma must have felt over the death of her young son, but the peace of being able to look below to his final resting place. Queen Emma’s Summer Palace is located 2913 Pali Highway, Honolulu (808) 595-3167

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum  one of the best places in all of Hawaii to be introduced to Royal bloodlines, culture, and the rich history of the Kingdom of Hawaii – located 1525 Bernice Street (808) 847-3511

For more information or to book your visit to O’ahu Contact: Linda Dancer

Direct Line (828) 256-1520 – Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331  Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

The Kahala’s “Kolohe” Ohana Nov 28
Waiting for breakfast

Waiting for breakfast

Kolohe is the Hawaiian word for rascal!  True to the definition of the word, the family of six Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins are as playful as they can be and is just another treat for the guest of  The Kahala Hotel & Resort on O’ahu.

Soon after The Kahala opened in 1964, nearby Sea Life Park asked the hotel to temporarily host two Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins took their relocation in good stride and soon fell at home in the Kahala lagoon. Their arrival was so popular with guest, The Kahala invited them to stay on a permanent basis, and have been part of the Kahala ‘ohana’ (family) ever since.

Since 2000, Dolphin Quest has managed the resorts Dolphin Experience visitor education program. The Kahala ‘ohana’ is now up to six : Kolohe, Hoku, Liho, Lono, Liko, and Nai Noa. Hoku was actually born at The Kahala in 1991. Guest who interact with the six members of The Kahala dolphin ‘ohana’  learn to enjoy and respect the wonders of the ocean.

For a really magical experience (especially if you are traveling with your children) book your room in the resorts Dolphin Lagoon wing overlooking the dolphins as they play throughout the day.

For more information on booking your Honeymoon, Milestone Anniversary or Family Vacation at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, contact Linda Dancer  O’ahu Master Destination Specialist.

Direct Line 828-256-1520  Toll Free:  1-888-811-1888 ext 331  Email: linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

Haili’s Hawaiian Foods Nov 07
Haili's Hawaiian Foods

Haili’s Hawaiian Foods

Since the 1950’s  delicious original Hawaiian island cuisine has been  served at Haili’s Hawaiian Foods, now relocated in Oahu’s  trendy Kapahulu neighborhood.

For over three generations recipes have been handed down since Mom Haili started her secret process shared only to the family of sisters who continue offering traditional Hawaiian food made fresh for a good price. However, times have changed and prices are a little more than in the original days of  Mother Rachel Ching Haili’s day  where poi was “one dollah” for three bags, and thirty five cents for  one laulau – visitors today at their new home on Palani Ave can expect the same  award winning wonderful food and service.  Awards such as Winner of the O’o Award-Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, 2010 Honolulu Advertiser Hawaii’s Best Restaurant Award for Best Hawaiian Foods, 2011 Recipient of the ‘Aha Hipu’u Award-Contributions to Hawaiian Culture-Winner of Healthy Plate Lunch Contest – Department of Health continue to be earned by this O’ahu favorite.

Haili’s Hawaiian Foods – closed on Monday – Open Tues, Wed and Thurs  10am-7pm, Fri and Sat  10a-8pm and Sun 11a-3p

Phone number  (808) 735-8019

Location:  760 Palani Ave ( Just ask your hotel concierge for directions)  at the corner of Kapahulu Ave.

Looking to book your vacation to O’ahu – Contact Linda Dancer   Email  Linda@honeymoonsinc.com

Direct Line 828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Remember the best way to enjoy your visit to the Hawaiian Islands is to get out and explore the culture !

 

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Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck Oct 24

Located on the iconic north shore of O’ahu Giovanni’s White Shrimp Trucks have been part of the local landscape for years.  Starting with a converted 1953 bread truck, a few recipes for great shrimp and an entrepreneurial spirt, the truck originally drove around the North Shore stopping for a couple hours along the side of the road, word of mouth spread about the delicious shrimp being sold out of the white truck.

In 1996, the decision was made to park the truck at 56-505 Kamehameha highway in Kahuku town, in 1997  a second truck was parked on the edge of an overgrown, swampy field at 66-472 Kamehameha highway in Haleiwa Town. Back then, no one wanted that land, but now it is one of the busiest spots in Haleiwa! IF you ever asked for directions of where to find the Shrimp truck more than likely it included “across the street from McDonald’s” as part of the directions.

The custom of signing the truck as the story goes started in 1993 when Ed Hernandez from El Paso, TX  signed the shrimp truck, after closing that day, the employees noticed the signature and decided to leave it on the truck. The following day a few more signatures with pictures appeared and this has led to thousands of customers leaving their mark on the shrimp truck , mine included. This popularity led the purchase of the land and the building of a pavilion so patrons and visitors could sit and enjoy their shrimp and visit with others their to enjoy the magic of Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.

The winners of national and international food show contests for their Hot & Spicy and Scampi Marinade – have received much press including www.hopper.com, www.buzzfeed.com and www.seriousseats.com just to name a few.

If you are planning to visit O’ahu log onto their website www.giovannisshrimptruck.com for directions.  Follow them on social media as well.

If you need assistance planning a visit to O’ahu  Contact Linda Dancer – Oahu Master Destination Specialist  Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

Direct Line 828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Waikiki Vow Renewal Ceremony Oct 10

Celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary soon and thinking about a Vow Renewal?

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort offer couples to Hoi Hou Ke Aloha (Fall in love all over again) –

Free vow renewal ceremonies are held every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings on  iconic Waikiki Beach  – many husbands score extra points for planning with me in secret to share as a surprise to his bride once they arrive on the island , to express to his bride he would in fact do it all over again.

The non-denominational ceremony is conducted by a Hawaiian officiant. Couples are welcomed with a Hawaiian chant that celebrates the occasion – then led to the ocean’s edge to be honored with a graceful hula and serenaded with Hawaiian song. Couples are blessed with a gentle sprinkling of sea water before reciting vows in Hawaiian language. The ceremony concludes with a beautiful song and hula. Following the ceremony each couple is presented with a certificate to commemorate their vow renewal.

If you are looking to travel to O’AHU and are thinking about a vow renewal arrangements need to be made in advance as space is limited and participation is subject to availability and is complimentary to registered guests of Outrigger Waikiki and Outrigger Reef

Let’s get started planning your romantic stay on O’ahu contact  Linda Dancer The Knot Best of Weddings Winner today!

 

Best of Weddings

Best of Weddings

         Email   linda@honeymoonsinc.com

         Direct Line  828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Farm to Table in Hawai’i Aug 15

 

Working with a trainer for the last six months or so, I have developed a whole new appreciation for holistic living, organic produce and ingredients and am learning to incorporate fresh ingredients in cooking whenever possible.  Naturally, visiting the Hawaii islands several times a year, I am aware first hand of the amazing dining opportunities being offered with many chefs at some of the most amazing resorts on all the islands. Several resorts such as  Hawai’i Island RetreatGrand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, and  Four Seasons Hualalai  now have their own organic gardens and produce a good amount of their own fruits, vegetables and culinary herbs for the resorts use.

Hawai’i is blessed with perfect conditions to grow amazing produce , the waters of the pacific provide incredible fresh fish and seafood and with many working farms producing  cattle  farm to table dining is just another reason  why I think  Hawai’i is one of the interesting places to visit on earth.

Contact: Linda Dancer  Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com   Direct Line 828-256-1520

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Duke’s Oceanfest – August 16-24, 2014 Aug 08

The 13th annual Duke’s OceanFest will be held at venue sites throughout Waikiki from August 16th – 24th 2014. The annual event features a variety of ocean sports that were close to Duke Kahanamoku’s heart . Duke (Hawaii’s ambassador of Aloha)  is thought to be the father of surfing so this event featuring Longboard Surfing, Paddleboard Racing, Swimming, Tandem Surfing, Surf Polo, Beach Volleyball and more is the perfect way to celebrate this man thought to be the greatest waterman who ever lived.  He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming, an actor, lawman, a pioneer player of beach volleyball and a businessman credited with spreading the sport of surfing.

To book your trip to O’ahu contact  Linda Dancer – Hawaii Master Destination Specialist

Direct Line 828-256-1520  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

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Kahala Celebrates 50 Wonderful Years Mar 21

Since  January 1964, The Kahala Hotel and Resort  on the island of O’ahu has been celebrated as one of the top resort in Hawaii, providing world class service to discriminating world travelers. Over the years the Kahala Hotel and Resort has hosted countless film, television and music stars along with dignitaries and heads of state from around the world.

The Kahala  Hotel and Resort is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and continues to draw new and returning guests. Those familiar with the resort love the dolphins, the amazing multi-colored lobby chandeliers, friendly faces of employees that welcome them home again and signature service they have come to expect from the resort.

With revitalized guest rooms and wonderful dining opportunities it is safe to say that the Kahala Hotel and Resort will continue to have a virtual who’s who by the resort pool for years to come. Why not add yourself to the list of visitors to the Kahala and let’s get busy planning your honeymoon, milestone anniversary or next family vacation at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

In celebration of 50 years – some fun facts you might not know about the Kahala Hotel and Resort:

** The resort cost $12Million to build

** The resort site is 6.5 beachfront acres

** The dolphin lagoon is 4 feet above sea level, the first dolphins to inhabit the lagoon were names Uku, Nihoa and Kui and were flown 4500 miles from Gulfport, Mississippi

** The resort opened January 22,1964 – the room rates were $26USD a night and a night in the Presidential Suite cost $150

**  The Kahala Hotel and Resort  was the first major resort to have air conditioning in all rooms.

**  There are 28,000  multi-colored pieces of Italian fused glass in the lobby chandeliers

**  A Beach Bar was opened and used expressly for “Rick’s Bar” in the TV Series “Magnum PI”

For more information on O’ahu and The Kahala Hotel and Resort  Contact: Linda Dancer

Direct Line: 828-256-1520  Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331 Email: linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

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Hawaii’s Iconic Mai Tai Mar 07

The actual origin of the iconic Hawaii cocktail the Mai Tai is still up for discussion but for many visitors to Hawai’i the vacation begins when they have been served their first official Hawaiian Mai Tai. An alcoholic cocktail based on rum, Curacao liqueur and lime juice and normally served in Polynesian-style settings and usually garnished with pineapple, a cherry and an orchid blossom.

Hawaii Mai Tai

Hawaii Mai Tai

The source of the name is  “Maita’i” the Tahitian word for “good” , but the drink is always spelled with two words Mai Tai  – One popular story that has always been associated with the origin of the Mai Tai  belongs to the Victor J Bergeron (Trader Vic’s Restaurant in Oakland, Ca.  in 1944) when he put together the ingredients for friends visiting from Tahiti,and one of his friends responded with “Maita’i roa ae!”  which means very good  and the name stuck.

Everyone has a favorite, but these are a few of my mine-

The “Mai Tai” Bar at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, has been serving this original Mai Tai recipe since 1953, many have tried to improve upon Mr. Bergeron’s original recipe but most agree there is nothing better than the original.

Personally, my favorite has to be at the House Without a Key at the Halekulani on O’ahu. For nearly a century locals and visitors to Hawai’i alike have gathered under the century-old Kiawe tree to share cocktails and listen to Hawaiian music. House Without a Key is Halekulani’s popular indoor/outdoor gathering spot for informal breakfast, lunch, cocktails, appetizers and entertainment.  Famous Waikiki Beach sunsets paired with Hawaiian music and graceful Hawaiian Dancers and a Mai Tai, the perfect end to a day at the beach.   

Mai Tai at  Tahiti Nui  Hanalei - Kauai

Mai Tai at Tahiti Nui
Hanalei – Kauai

Tahiti Nui Bar and Restaurant   located in Hanalei, Kaua’i has been welcoming visitors for three generations, world famous Mai Tai’s are made from Grandma Louise’s secret recipe – amazing food and personality combine to make every visit a fond memory, whether you are staying in Princeville, or just making a day trip at least stop by for lunch and a Mai Tai.

Regardless of the islands that you visit, just ask the locals where to go for the best Mai Tai on the island.

To get started planning your visit to Hawaii contact Linda Dancer , Direct Line 828-256-1520, Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

 

 

 

Honolulu City Lights Tour Dec 06

Planning on visiting Oahu during the Christmas Holiday?   If so, you should check out the Honolulu City Lights Tour , aboard a Double Decker Bus.

Nightly December 8th- 30th  from 6pm-10pm. If you do not hop on and off the bus you can expect to complete the loop in about one hour.

Complimentary earbuds are given so you can listen to holiday music while you are touring through Honolulu and enjoy the lights.

Aloha Bus

Aloha Bus

  Adult $26.10 / child (ages 3-11) $13.50  ** includes taxes and applicable admissions

Travel through from Ward Center, Downtown circling the Honolulu Hale(City Hall) giving visitors the best opportunity to see the Honolulu city lights. I suggest that you hop on and off the bus at one of the two nearest stops to the Honolulu Hale for best viewing of the decorations and to participate in the festivities.

Honolulu City Lights are presented by the City and County of Honolulu and the Friends of Honolulu City Lights! for more info you can email them at citylights.honolulu@gmail.com   Great T-shirts and ornaments are available on their website as well -a great way to support this wonderful celebration.

ADA Compliant Buses with lifts – please contact reservations at 1-888-206-4531  or (808) 833-3000

So relax  take a deep breath and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Christmas Holiday !

Contact:Linda Dancer Toll Free:1-888-811-1888ext 331 Direct Line: (828) 256-1520

Email: linda@honeymoonsinc.com

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