Saturday, March 30, 2013

Princess Kaiulani Sheraton

I posted about my trip to Hawaii  Friday.  I had an incredible trip, and as I said at one the end of the post, Hawaii is the one place I'd tell everyone they had to visit at least one time.  You go'll  see once isn't enough.  As a teacher, I certainly haven't found a clever way to make enough money that going on any vacations doesn't mean careful saving, but my Mom has always been really good about finding great deals for vacations.  She searches for months, on random days via the internet. We try to do a mother/daughter trip each year.  She found a great deal this time (pretty much for the same price I've paid for a plane ticket to Brazil the last few years. I was able two fly direct and stay the week in the Sheraton for an equal price to the ONE to Brazil).  There are always tons of options when traveling as far as hotels go, and thus far we've stayed in three different hotels.  Truly,the Sheraton was my favorite.  It's definitely where I'd try to stay next time in in Waikiki.    I got an upgrade in room when I told them I was blogging about them, but I can honestly say this was the nicest hotel we've snagged regardless of the upgrade room-I really am fond of Sheraton hotel rooms.  The expense of Hawaii is the travel, and the point is to hit the beach (at least for me), so I've tried to locate hotels closest to the beach in the past, but not on the beach-this was the best location and the nicest room by far.   With one day completely rained out, it turned out a  nice room was a great idea-with a big balcony to overlook the city.  All the rooms have balconies overlooking various things (ours had a slice of ocean on one side, the International Market (with nightly music wafting up) and the city to the other side (there are two towers-and your location=the price of the room, but they all have fun views of various slices of Waikiki and balconies).  There is a main road that runs along the beach and a few hotels that directly back up to the beach, and on the other side of the street (and several streets back) house most of the hotels).  This is directly behind the Moana Surfrider.  The beach is one street away, and you can see it from the hotel.  
The thing that struck me the first time we went to Hawaii were the number of 'open' side= walls, and the other side-flowers and pools and fresh air.  Even the airports have this same set up, so bizarre.  I guess with the difference between winter and summer being 5 degrees (80 vs 85) it's not a big deal to be able to hide from the climates.  One side of the lobby (the left here) is open to the pool area that leads to the street/beach.
 The room was big, and the best part-bath tubs (I'm sorry, but whoever started building hotels without tubs-I can't take it.....I'm just a soaker....and I want my options open on vacation).
 The one thing I always love about a Sheraton-pillows and beds.  Oh.  My.
 I was there a week, and this greated me-a snack pack filled with Hawaiian flavors:  Maui chips (I ate so many my tongue is raw), chocolate covered macadamia nuts (I ate so many my feet better be sore soon so I can run those off), tropical drinks, and lots of fruit (also provided in bowls by the pool).
View to one side-the water (the other side of the hotel would be facing the water as well, along with Diamond Head).  
 Side two-a view of the city, and below is the International Market place, which serenaded me nightly.  I opened the balcony every night to listen.
 Two bottled waters left in the room daily (a fridge is also in the closet), towels you can trade out to take to the beach by the pool...
 ...and beach chairs you can take with you to the beach to hang out.  They also had drink service on the beach during certain hours....
 During the day there were 2-4 people who brought their local crafts (an artist with some really beautiful carvings, a lei making sessions, a man with wooden carvings, he was even creating one on site, ladies with quilt kits (of course, I got a little something there), and lots of jewelers.  Every night they have a band/hula dancers poolside (that take request) and then they seemed to move (all three steps) in the restaurant (which is open towards the pool and has pretty great looking buffets-I didn't try it out because there are only so many meals in a day, but it was always crowded.
 They also have a show on sight that includes dancing and tells the story of the various Polynesian islands.  Again, I didn't go, but got to see the crowd coming out happily taking photos with the various acts.  It was the one night I used the gym (once....better than none-and they had a great set up with free, bagged, headphones and towels you could snag to take with you to the equipment).  
Next time I head back to Oahu (please let it be soon), I am going to try to stay at the Sheraton-it really has been my favorite, with the best set up, and the nicest rooms.  I wanted something affordable, but close enough to the beach that I didn't forget where I was.  I love the location-beach in front, King's Corner to one side, and International Market place to the other side.  Super clean rooms, great balconies, regardless of where you are housed.  The staff was really helpful at the check in counter/pool side, and the bell hop by the drive was always quick to find out what we were waiting on (tours/pick ups etc) to help out.  I know so many people that don't think Hawaii is a viable option, but it's one of my very favorite spots, and it's a lot more affordable (room wise etc) than most of the big cities I've stayed in throughout the country.  So if it's your dream-check it out before you check it off as something that's not an option-it's a pretty incredible state that the US gets to claim!