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January 26, 2016

My Kama'aina Staycation at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort






After the busy and hectic holidays, I thought it would be a great idea for my family to take a day off with a mini-staycation.  Our mission was to take a break from our busy everyday lives and to focus on our family unit.  It was easy to pick a destination.  The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort was the first to pop into my head and I had 10 great reasons why!  My family’s one night stay at the historic and iconic "Pink Palace of the Pacific" turned out to be everything I had hoped for and more.   

We arrived at the hotel a little bit before the check-in time so we hung out in their hospitality suite where the kids pretended to play on the 3 computers available for business use.  There’s ample room to freshen up, relax, and watch some television until your room is ready.


Guests will love that The Royal Hawaiian does not have a resort charge.  That's right.  No extra charge for WIFI or use of the fitness center.  Among the other complimentary items guests receive are limited quantities of bottled water, access to daily cultural activities, and coffee/tea available in the lobby.  Families will appreciate that kids under 5 eat free off the kids' menu with a paying adult and receive a free portrait session from Sharp Shooter Imaging.  

The kids had so much fun with the photo opportunity and received a free 4x8 photo keepsake to remember our good time at The Royal Hawaiian.  We were off to a great start!


Our room was located in the Historic Tower, which I loved.  The hotel is rich with history and culture and it is apparent throughout the resort.  There are ample places to sit, relax, and let the beauty of the view sink in.    

The kids had so much fun relaxing in the wooden rocking chairs overlooking the Coconut Grove.


But I could sit and relax here under these gorgeous arches all day.
The elegant walkway is lined with resort shops featuring specialty retailers from Collections of Waikiki.

Everywhere you turn, you will find a beautiful and modern place to lounge.
    
Our room was located on the fourth floor, equipped with two double luxury beds, and perfect for our family of 4.  The d├ęcor is both modern and elegant with dark woods, crisp white bedding, and platinum headboards that look luxurious against the pink and silver wall.     
The rooms are fresh and vibrant with luxurious and comfortable beds.
My daughter likes to check out the desk area for the hotel's stationery and write a note.
My son prefers to get comfy.  

Our room also had a wide screen LCD TV and a small sitting area.
The bath area is small, but adequate and our family didn't have any problems sharing.  I adored the toiletries from Malie Organics.  The aroma is intoxicating and I couldn't get enough of the Koke'e scent.
I squealed at the sight of the pink and white striped robe and loved the oversized plush towels!
Of course one of the outstanding attributes of our room was the gorgeous ocean view.  I found myself frequently stopping at the window to admire and appreciate it.  

After exploring the room, the kids quickly changed into their swim suits (and applied sunscreen) and we headed across the porte cochere to the Helumoa Playground at the Sheraton Waikiki.  The Helumoa Playground features two fresh water swimming pools, a 15-foot high by 70-foot long water slide, two large whirlpool spas with sweeping views of Waikiki Beach, and an interactive fountain area for kids!  My kids loved it! 
You can't waste a beautiful and sunny day like this indoors so we headed to the pool!
The kids love the water especially swimming pools!  They are standing in front of the interactive fountains.

One of the two freshwater swimming pools.
Lauren went on the slides again and again.  Because Cade is between 3 and 4 feet, he was required to wear floats to use the slide.  This gave him more confidence coming down the slide. 

After a couple of hours at the pool, Cade started to fade so we went back to the room to rest before dinner.  When he saw the "Only at The Royal" signature pink haupia cake, he instantly perked up.  The cake was amazing!  Even better than I remember when I first had it a couple of years before.  It's layer and layers of pink haupia cream and coconut soaked white sponge cake and covered with toasted pink coconut flakes and fresh berries.  It was the best welcome gift ever! 

Do not miss the "Only at The Royal" signature pink haupia cake.  The banana bread from the Bake Shop welcomes all guests upon check-in. 

He was too tired to swim, but not too tired for delicious cake!
As the sun was setting, we arrived at The Royal Hawaiian's legendary Mai Tai Bar situated just steps from the beach.  My ocean and Diamond Head views wouldn't be complete if I didn't enjoy one of their specialty Mai Tais.  I opted for the Scratch Mai Tai, the resort's original mai tai recipe from 1953 created by Victor Bergeron.  
Both the Mai Tai Bar and Surf Lanai are featuring new menus from the resort's Executive Chef, Colin Hazama.  Hazama, a new father, is the youngest executive chef in the nearly 89-year-history of the hotel (the hotel will celebrate it's 89th Anniversary come February 1).  Look for Hazama's new culinary series, Fanta-Sea which showcases island farmers and Hazama's creativity and passion for using locally sourced products.
At the Mai Tai Bar, we viewed a gorgeous sunset, had a family cheers, and enjoyed a delicious meal of crispy chicken wings (that Lauren hoarded), a margherita pizza, royal garlic steak served pupu style, and the best tavern parmesan truffle fries we have ever tasted.  The best part for me aside from spending time with my family was NO dishes!  Content with full tummies, we headed back to enjoy our room.
  

Even the kids were eager to relax in the ultra plush bed. 
The next morning, I got up early to enjoy the sunrise and get in a quick workout before breakfast at the Surf Lanai where I planned to consume massive amounts of calories.  I enjoyed how quiet the resort and beach were in those early hours. 
The sun beginning to rise.
I love the rows of pink umbrellas on the resort's private portion of Waikiki Beach.
The lovely view of Diamond Head from the resort. 
Breakfast is easily my favorite meal and it can't get better than right on the beach overlooking a charming sea of pink umbrellas.  I knew I had to have the Royal Loco Moco with port wine braised short ribs.  It didn't disappoint.  In fact, it was so good, my family started asking for more and more bites.  My husband really enjoyed his snow crab omelet which was paired with three potato hash brown.  Because my kids wouldn't share and insisted on having both the Belgian waffle and the banana macadamia nut buttermilk pancakes, I sadly decided to skip The Royal Bake Shop French toast.  At least now I have a reason to return!
Our sunny and stunning view.  You can also opt to dine indoors.


Breakfast was delicious!  Surf Lanai serves up an extensive menu with dishes made with quality ingredients. 

After breakfast, my family went back to the room to have some more of that amazing pink haupia cake while I headed off to the Abhasa Spa located within the resort.  I decided I just had to squeeze in an hour to enjoy a massage in Oahu's only spa that offers outdoor treatments in a tropical garden setting.  It was amazing and I loved the outdoor experience.  Even better is that they offer kama'aina a 15% discount off treatments.  

I had the 50 minute abhasa Harmony - a Hawaiian inspired Lomi Lomi massage infused with Japanese Shiatsu in this outdoor cabana.
After the nice recharge I got from the massage, I arrived back to the room just in time for check out.  As the door shut, Lauren yelled, "Wait!  Just one more bite of the cake!"  Yes, it was that good.  We left our luggage with the bell desk and headed to the beach to enjoy the beautiful day.  Guests of the Royal Hawaiian have access to the hotel's private beach area which offers chaise lounges and umbrellas for rental.  I'd opt for this except the kids wanted to get into the water.  After some time in the sand, we headed back to the hotel to play in the Maulani pool which is exclusive to guests of the Royal Hawaiian.  The pool is heated and uses fresh water with a salt water pool system.  

    
The beach is just steps away for the hotel.



The Maulani Pool is exclusive to Royal Hawaiian guests only.
My kids always have the best time in the pool!

The Royal Hawaiian was the perfect setting for my family’s quick getaway to reconnect, recharge, and play together.  We had such a great time and the best part of it is we will always have this family memory.  Mission Accomplished!

 

Back to reality, but our fun time won't be forgotten! 

Thank you to Starwood Hotels and Resorts Waikiki for hosting our stay and our meals at the Mai Tai Bar and Surf Lanai.  All gratuities were paid on my own.  All opinions are entirely my own.   


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