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!

Kilauea Caverns of Fire

Kilauea Caverns of Fire

We knew this place was going to be amazing when we called and Steve responded with so much enthusiasm about showing us the lava tubes.  Especially when he told us he had already headed home but was “totally cool” with coming back.  Normally I would have just waited until the next day but since we were on our last few last days in Hilo, we took Steve up on his offer.  I’m so happy we did!!  Granted, driving there I was pretty sure we were entering the beginning scene of a scary movie.  You know… the part where the tourists are super stoked to be somewhere remote but there are spooky yellow eyes peeking out from the brush ready to pounce?

We were greeted by Steve’s dog Cinnamon and all the creepy feelings went away.  The lava tubes are absolutely amazing.  There’s a beautiful sparkly bacteria on the ceiling of the entrance that looked like the night sky when you shined your flashlight on it.  Steve knew everything about how these spectacular lava rock formations were formed.  When we were fairly deep into the tube, we all turned out our flashlights to feel true darkness.  You literally can’t see your hand in front of your face!!  It’s such a unique feeling.  I highly recommend a visit to the Kilauea Caverns of Fire on your next visit to The Big Island of Hawaii.  It’s truly a fantastic experience!

volcanic bacteria

cave entrance

lava ripples

This amazing lava rock was formed at the exact moment a rock dropped into hardening lava but was still fluid enough to ripple.

The iron content in the rock is what forms all the different colors of lava rock.

The iron content in the rock is what forms all the different colors of lava rock.

 

 

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

 

 

Hike to the Northern Point of Oahu

Hiking in Hawaii

When I think of hiking in Hawaii, I think lush tropical flowers, waterfalls, and vine canopied trails.  Not so  much on this hike.  The manager of the house we rented suggested we take a hike to the Northern tip of Oahu to catch a glimpse of seals lounging on the beach and get an amazing sunset view.  Sounded great!

Well, the hike was not exactly as described.  It was essentially an off-roading track thats main features included tire tracks, empty beer cans, and panties left behind.  Not exactly the picturesque trail we were expecting.  We turned back after talking to someone that said we had a long ways to go… by car.  Since we didn’t want to be walking back in the dark and wine on the beach sounded so much better, we turned around.

The best part was climbing over the rocks along the beach.  Here are some shots of that portion of our walk.  The moral of the story, take advice with a grain of salt and make the time to research the destination yourself.  Oopsy!

Wandering in heels

Rocky Beach

hillside of oahu

Random office chair left behind

Random office chair left behind

rocky beach

Wandering in heels

Wandering in heels hiking

Top: Equipment,  Swimsuit: J.Crew, Shorts: Jolt, Shoes: Toms

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