5 Star and bang for buck!

Staying 5 star is affordable! Don’t scoff, it can be if you’re canny and do it right……
Most of us like the luxury, comfort, service and the facilities a 5 star resort will or should offer, so how do you make it worth the cost and even save a little?

Easy you read my post………

Most ( in fact I’d say all ) hotel chains have reward schemes these days and they are usually free to join….do so and they will offer you great discounts and even great bonuses like “priority checkin”, club access etc giving that little glam edge over the mere mortals standing in that long winding queue (the horror!!!)

Also when you are registering at checkin a great way to save some dough is to ask if there are any upgrades available….please don’t expect this for free, it can happen (a bit like finding a golden ticket in your Wonka bar can happen!) but rarely does. You might get a greatly reduced rate though, turning that teensy tiny City view room into a spacious Ocean view room for just a little extra!

Hot Tip Time

Ask about their Executive Club.

What is a this you ask and why would I want it?

Well you might not want it but bang for buck you can save money sometimes if you get a good deal. The Executive Club that 5 star hotels offer is a divine little enclave that you have private access to and will offer a deluxe continental breakfast, refreshments, plus in the evenings (perhaps from 5pm until 8pm) you get a great selection of hot and cold appetizers and all the wine and beer you can drink!

At the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki they have a fabulous Beach Club which offers all this and more. We got a discount at the desk for booking it there and it worked put at $50 USD a day for up to 2 adults and 2 children. It can actually save you quite a bit on breakfast and dinner costs. Alcohol in resorts and holiday destinations can be pricey, having a couple of wines and appetizers will decrease your need to buy more later. We found that the appetizers were more than enough on most evenings and we didn’t feel like dinner at all!

The Beach Club is also at the beach level allowing us to watch the glorious sunsets on Waikiki every evening sitting on a breezy verandah and sipping a cold glass of wine.

Below are a few photos of the Beach Club

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It’s food for thought, if you have a hankering to stay in a gorgeous resort on your next holiday it may be more achievable than you imagine.

Anyhow I’m off to enjoy the sunshine of Hawaii so…

Mahalo

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Kailua and why it rocks

Have you ever been to place and felt a real heart connection?

37617_444286858453_3746137_nI have and it’s called Kailua. Kailua is on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, it’s a breezy, laid back coastal town that is on the Windward side of the island and about thirty minutes drive from the hype of Waikiki.

I can categorically state it is worth the visit when next you visit Hawaii.

So as a courtesy to you and your future trip to a little slice of heaven, I’ve put together 5 must do things while visiting.

1: Spend a day at Kailua Beach Park and simply enjoy the white sands, turquoise warm waters. The beach here is much quieter than the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and you will feel like a local

2. Grab lunch at the Kalapawai Market at the start of the Kailua Beach Park. Its a beachy casual feel store with a great lunch menu and wine bar, plus a general store where you can pick up all sorts of things.

3. You must indulge in a Acai (A-SIGH-EEE) Amazon Bowl from Lanikai Juice. An Acai Bowl is a delicious blended tasty combo of Acai berrys, banana, blueberries and apple juice (or soy milk for those inclined). Each bowl is topped with crunchy granola and banana slices. You can get extra toppings like local organic honey (my choice!) and they offer “gourmet bowls” with all kinds of yummy combinations to choose from. I love this place and could make it my breakfast every day if only…….

4. Stroll to Lanikai Beach and gaze out at the Lanikai Twin Islands. So so so beautiful and picturesque, the water is divine and the houses surrounding this area are amazing. Lanikai is in Kailua and while the beach isn’t as big as Kailua Beach it sure is dang pretty.

5. Go on a Food Tour of Kailua with Flavour of Hawaii. I must admit I haven’t done this myself yet! I’ve got it on “my must do tour list” for my upcoming trip in September this year. I’ve heard really positives about this tour and being lovers of food, I think Mark and I will really enjoy this. I will blog about it after the fact of course. They also do a Waikiki version which looks just as interesting.

Hope that gives anyone thinking of going to Kailua some helpful ideas. You won’t regret it that’s a promise.

Mahalo x

A Honeymoon at long last.

Well I’m thrilled, happy, elated, overjoyed and probably going to be a pain in the butt of all that know me for the next 15 months…..

Mark and I have booked ourselves a wee honeymoon next september 2014!!! I know, why so far away? A couple of reasons (maybe more)

1. The cruise we want to go on is happening either this September with about three crummy cabins left on deck 2 or next September with a large oceanview on deck 8. I have done my research people, and I want deck 8!

2. Our eldest is doing her HSC (leaving school exams) this year and it would be a bit mean to abandon her throughout them.

3.All the children will be 15 months older and more able to cope with Mum and Dad going away WITHOUT THEM for nearly 4 weeks!!

So where are we going you ask……?

Well we are flying to Hawaii, Oahu for a week in Waikiki and possibly a night on the North Shore staying here – keikibeach,  as recommended by the lovely Natalie – a distance relative of my husbands who lives in Kailua with her Mum and Dad and two sisters.

Last time we stayed in Kailua and I loved it there but this time we really would love to stay close to the action of Waikiki so we can at least experience that and see what we prefer. I love, love, love Hawaii and this will be my third trip. All very different mind you. The first was as a 20year old with a great friend on our way back from Canada, we stayed in Waikiki and hit the beach by day and night clubs by night. Second was in 2010 as a family of 6 staying in Kailua in a holiday rental house and this third trip will be as a loved up couple, child-free and in need of a honeymoon.

After that week we board the Royal Carribean cruise ship The Radiance of the Seas for a 18 night cruise back to Sydney via French Polynesia and New Zealand! Yay!! Here’s the intinery:

The Path we shall take...

So Hawaii here we come, stayed tuned folks.

Mahalo