Resort Review: The Kahala Resort

Rainbow over Hawaii

I don’t even know where to start with The Kahala Resort.  It’s so luxurious and amazing!  Coming here was a total surprise from my honey for our 4 year so as we walked in, I was floored.  Not to mention my eyes welled up with excitement when I saw the dolphins (see my last post for pictures of the happiest girl in the world and her dolphin pal).

We might be the luckiest people to have gotten an upgrade to the 9th floor with views of the ocean and the dolphin lagoon.  We were able to sit on the balcony, enjoy our celebratory mimosas, and watch the dolphins play frisbee with their trainers.  The Kahala is also a hugely popular place for weddings and we saw at least 3 happening daily.

The resort is a place for relaxation and since cabanas come with the room, we spent many hours soaking up some rays, eating lunch in the sand, and snorkeling the reef that starts just feet from the shore.  You can paddle board, kayak, and do yoga classes on a paddle board as well but we decided to be lazy so swimming and snorkeling were our activities of choice.

The Kahala is also home to Aracino, one of the best Italian restaurants we’ve ever been to.  We had the 5 course meal with wine pairing and could hardly believe how delicious everything was.  The service was amazing as well and they were able to answer all Tyler’s questions about the meal (he’s an aspiring chef so there were many questions!).  If you’re on Oahu, I highly recommend coming here for dinner.  It’s one of the top 3 meals I’ve ever had so this is an absolute must-visit in my book.

Overall, The Kahala has everything a relaxing Hawaiian resort should have.  I did not want to go home at all after staying here.  I mean, life is good but there’s just something about a vacation that makes everything even rosier.  5 stars Kahala… 5 stars…

You would have found me in this position often

You would have found me in this position often

The Grand Entrance of The Kahala Resort

The Grand Entrance of The Kahala Resort

Super excited about the view for our balcony

Super excited about the view for our balcony

I loved watching the sea turtles swim

I loved watching the sea turtles swim

The view from our balcony

The view from our balcony

Sunset in Oahu

Sunset on the balcony

Sunrise in Oahu

Sunrise on the balcony

Swimming Pool at the Kahala

Look at those people doing that exercise thing *sips mimosa*

Look at those people doing that exercise thing *sips mimosa*

There's a gorgeous wall of orchids that leeds down to the beach

There’s a gorgeous wall of orchids on the way down to the beach

 

Swimming with Dolphins

Swimming with DolphinsDuring our stay at The Kahala Resort and Spa, I had the pleasure of meeting an Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin named Liko.  For my experience, I so lucked out that I was the only one to sign up for that time slot.  That means I got to paddle around the lagoon with my arm around Liko for about 20 minutes all my myself!!  It was so much fun!!!  I basically turned into a giggling little girl and couldn’t break my giant grin.

The dolphins are so sweet and gentle with their guests.  I even saw a girl no more than 3 years old in the water with them at some point!  They’re like water puppies!  They love rubs, praises, treats, and toys.  So adorable.

You also get to learn some dolphin commands such as holding out both index fingers and lowering them to the water will tell the dolphin to sink down to the bottom of the pool.  They love coming back to get their fresh squid for a job well done.  If you’re ever in Oahu, you must at least swing by The Kahala Resort and Spa to watch these guys at play.  They’re hysterical!

For more info on how you can book your own dolphin experience, click here or call 1-808-739-8918.

Dolphin ExperienceHappy girlswimming with dolphinsDolphin experience at the kahala

Wandering in heels swims with dolphins

Dolphin hugs!

Rental Review: North Shore Beach House

Hawaiian Rental House

I won’t lie… we totally lucked out on our rentals while in Hawaii.  I mean, this place is directly on the water, there’s great snorkeling right out front, and sea turtles swimming by every few minutes.  I’d give it 5 stars if it was just a place to pitch a tent with those credentials but it was so much more.  The 4 bedroom 4 bathroom house was set to impress.  There was everything you could possibly need to cook and BBQ, lots of snorkeling gear, and water shoes/fins.  We ended up spending many nights just creating our own personal luau and playing “The Turtle Game.”  The rules are basically just shout “Turtle!” when a sea turtle pops it’s head out of the water and scramble to get a glimpse.  Yeah… it’s a totally stressful environment… Not!  I think the only negatives are, for the price, we might have expected more amenities in the bathrooms (i.e.- soap, shampoo, hair dryers) but nothing you’ll die without!  The salt water will give you the best bath anyway!

Check out more details at www.HawaiiNorthShoreBeachFront.com.

Relaxing on the beach

set in hawaii

There’s a stunning view of the sunset here!!

Here's the view from the back yard.

Here’s the view from the back yard.

We're only steps from the ocean!

We’re only steps from the ocean!

Ocean sunet

 

 

Matsumoto Shave Ice

Shave Ice

While visiting Oahu, I think it’s a mandatory stop to pick up some shave ice at the famous Matsumoto Grocery Store.  I’d like to point out that in Hawaii, it’s called Shave Ice not Shaved Ice.  The line was horrendous all the days we were there but we finally decided to brave the masses.  It wasn’t so bad and the line moved really quick since they have a perfect assembly line set up.

I got the Hawaiian flavor (I mean… we’re in Hawaii afterall!) which was 3 flavors of Pineapple, Coconut, and Banana.  Frankly, it’s a little bit too sweet for my taste so I couldn’t finish it.  But for the fun and experience, it was totally worth it! Especially since my giant (truly a size small) was only $2.50!

Matsumoto Shave Ice

Wandering In Heels

Wandering In Heels At Matsumoto Shave Ice

Top: Matthew Williamson Escape

Airport Style

Airport look

Hey! I’m in Hawaii!  Is that a happy face or what?!  Whenever I fly, I try to make life as simple and comfortable as possible.  I’m not the hugest fan of flying so I don’t want to add even a little extra stress.  So I always wear shoes that just slip on and off and a soft easy-to-wear outfit.  Today I chose a fun red jersey dress with a crochet overlay.  I took the hat off during the flight but wore it otherwise so it wouldn’t get smashed in my suitcase.

We’ll be spending the next 3 days in Oahu, 5 days in Hilo (on the Big Island), then back to Oahu for another 2 nights.  I’m so excited to hike, paddle board, snorkel, and do absolutely nothing.

Crochet Dress

 

Hat: Eric Javits, Dress: Anthropologie, Bracelet: Anthropolgie

 

Monday Must-Have Lust List

Woohoo!!  Hawaiian vacation here we come!  We’ve just touched down in Oahu so this week’s lust list is largely inspired by our coming adventure.  Happy lusting!

1) MAI TAIS

When I think Hawaii, I think of this fun tropical beverage.  So while I’m here, this will be my drink of choice!

Mai-tai

2) SPENDING TIME WITH OLD FRIENDS

We’re really here because we surprised my good friend of 15 years.  She currently lives in Australia and Hawaii is about as half way as you can get to California.  She didn’t know that we were coming to crash their vacation so the look on her face when we knocked on the rental place door was absolutely priceless.  There’s nothing better in the whole world than good friends that love you no matter how silly/crazy/weird/obsessed/awesome you are.

3) JUMPSTART TO SKINNY BY BOB HARPER

Thanks to this diet and exercise program, I’m officially back down to the weight that my drivers license says I am!  Before heading on our Hawaiian adventure, I knew I wanted to lose a few pounds before spending 24 hours a day in a bikini.  So I researched and researched and this program seemed to have rave reviews!  Well, I only had time to do 2 of the 3 week program and I lost 8 pounds!  I’m feeling WAY more confident in my bod for its bikini debut.  I’m not a doctor so always make sure you check with those guys first before starting any diet and exercise program but if you get the OK, I’m a huge advocate for this one.  Pick up your copy here.

Jumpstart

4) REVLON BY MARCHESA NAIL ART

I’ve definitely mentioned my love of nail art before (see here and here) so when I got wind of this, I made a mandatory stop at my local drug store.  These things are little works of art for your nails!  Not all of us are able to buy (or have a reason to wear) a Marchesa gown so now we get a little piece of it right at our finger tips!  And since they last for up to 10 days, it’s an absolute must have!  Hurry up and run to the nearest drugstore now!

Marchesa Nail Wraps

5) LAVA

I don’t think I really need to go into much description on this one… I mean… it’s LAVA!!  We’ll be heading to the Big Island and I don’t care if we do nothing but find lava.  If we find it, I’ll definitely be showing you the photos!