Waikiki Chill: The Laylow, Autograph Collection

Laylow Waikiki Main Entrance

I had an event in Waikiki this past Saturday and decided to take advantage of the night out and book a hotel. I had come across pictures of the newly renovated Laylow on Instagram and instantly became obsessed with staying there. A mix of post-modern and beach-chic, the Laylow seemed to encompass my ideal chill spot. So get on with it, you say? Show us this magical place! Ok, let’s start with the lobby.

Laylow Waikiki lobby sitting area

Laylow Waikiki lobby check in area

The lobby is adorable. With space to check-in, lounge about and even sway gently in one of two hanging chairs, it doesn’t feel very lobby-like. Our check-in was super easy and they were even able to upgrade our room to a higher level. We were offered a snack of some sweet pineapple as we waited, which I thought was a nice touch.

We were given a room on the 12th floor and I was super stoked to realize that it was a corner room! That typically means more space and potentially windows on two sides. We entered the room and honestly could not believe how spacious it was. There was space for a king bed, large lounging couch, super cute accent chair and even a table with space to seat maybe 3 people. The room also had two walkout balconies with chairs! The bathroom happened to be handicap accessible, so it was spacious as well.

Laylow Waikiki room overview

Laylow Waikiki room couch

Laylow Waikiki room decor

Also in the room was a lovely basket full of goodies provided by the Laylow as a welcome gift! What a special touch. It included Laylow branded slippers (flip flops), Waialua soda bottles, taro chip snacks and some other local goodies. I love stuff like this and it’s nice when a business realizes how the little things can go a long way in making a great impression of your brand.

Laylow Waikiki Gift Basket

Although I could lounge around in this incredibly chic and tropical boudoir all day, I was itching to explore the property. We decided to head back downstairs to the main floor. Adjacent to the lobby is the hotel restaurant and bar, The Hideout. It follows the same beachy, jungalow vibe as the rest of the property and I just love how it’s styled. There are many different areas to hang out. Chairs and cushioned benches, cafe tables and even two large fire pits.

Laylow Waikiki Hideout

Laylow Waikiki Hideout Seating

Laylow Waikiki Hideout firepit

Laylow Waikiki Hideout Drinks

We decided to partake in an adult bevy at the bar and asked the bartender to whip up a tropical drink. She surprised us with a couple of pina colada type cocktails which were delish. We hung out a bit and then headed up to the room so I could get ready for a work event I had to attend.

The next morning we decided to continue our exploration of the property. One area we hadn’t experienced yet was the pool. I was up bright and early to take advantage of the quieter morning hours, hoping that most other guests were sleeping-in so I could snag a lounger.

The pool, although a bit on the smaller side, has a very modern, posh feel to it. Cedar deck with wide double loungers, sitting chairs and even a couple of cabanas makes for an amazing space! There are towels available that have the same branded palm print seen throughout the hotel as well as a station that has water, some fresh fruit and even some suntan lotion, all complimentary.

Laylow Waikiki Pool

Laylow Waikiki Pool Loungers

I was super excited that one of the cabanas happened to be available, and after asking if it was reserved, we were given the go-ahead to claim it! I was pretty much in heaven at this point.

Laylow Waikiki Pool Cabana

Oh! And one more thing to add. Breakfast. We ate at the Hideout and it was ah-mazing. I had this sort of eggs benedict style plate with shrimp crab cakes and potatoes. Oh my god, it was so delicious. The Mr. had the breakfast sandwich with Portuguese sausage and potatoes. Oh, and the coffee was top notch as well. An excellent choice for brunch whether or not you stay here.

Breakfast at the Hideout Laylow Waikiki

Breakfast at the Hideout Laylow Waikiki

So I didn’t want to leave but we needed to check-out by 11AM. I’m sure if we had asked they would have given us a later checkout (because they had given us an early check in!) but we needed to get back home to relieve Nana of her babysitting duties.

I had to leave my little Laylow dreamworld for the time being, but I know that I will return soon. If you are looking to stay in Waikiki I highly recommend The Laylow. It’s uniquely styled, has great staff and as of right now has some pretty amazing rates. Check ’em out! Aloha.

The Laylow, Autograph Collection Waikiki

(Here are a few more photos to drool over. This place is super Instagram friendly)

Vintage Hula Dolls at The Laylow Waikiki
Vintage Hula Dolls at The Laylow Waikiki
The Laylow Waikiki Pool
The Laylow Waikiki Pool
The Hideout at The Laylow Waikiki
The Hideout at The Laylow Waikiki
The Hideout Coffee Bar at The Laylow Waikiki
The Hideout Coffee Bar at The Laylow Waikiki
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Hawai‘i Hikes: Kuliou‘ou Ridge Trail

Kuliouou Ridge Trail

We checked another Hawaii hike off our list last weekend and I have got to say it might be one of my favs. Safe enough to take the kids but challenging enough (at points) to break a sweat and absolutely ah-mazing payoff views at the top. Kuliou‘ou Ridge Trail really has got it all.

Let’s start with location. The trail starts off in a residential neighborhood located in Hawaii Kai. Just type “Kalaau Place” into Google Maps and you’ll see the trailhead is located at the end of the street. The streets are residential and pretty crowded so take your time finding a spot. We had to park a few blocks from the trailhead, just think of the additional steps as a bonus warm up 😉

Once you get to the trailhead you’ll start off on a pavement. You’ll soon approach a split in the path, take the right path to hit the ridge trail, otherwise you’ll head down the valley side. We haven’t done that trail as of yet.

Kuliouou Ridge Trail Start

You’ll trek along some pretty easy terrain for a good while. Lots of shade and many switchbacks as you make your way up the mountain. Really gorgeous scenery with some areas even reminding me a bit of New England landscape. It doesn’t take long to reach a peek-a-boo view of the valley below.

Kuliouou Ridge Trail View

The hike continues much the same way until you start to reach a bit of an incline. There are roots and rocks to help guide you but be sure to take a break if needed, there is plenty of space to do so.

Up next is the most aggressive part of the trial that includes quite a few steps. My advice here is to just take your time. It’s really to your advantage to do so. Check out these amazing views.

Kuliouou Ridge Trail View

Kuliouou Ridge Trail Stairs

And finally, after a lot of sweat and maybe a few tears, you reach the top.

Kuliouou Ridge Trail Summit

Kuliouou Ridge Trail Summit Helicopter

Pretty amazing right? We even got a little flyby from a Fire & Rescue helicopter. There is area up at the summit to chill a bit. We had some snacks and took a break. With the exception of my toes slamming against my sneakers, the hike down was pretty relaxed. Just go back the way you came and be sure to snap a ton of photos.

Until the next hike. Aloha!

Craving more Hawaii adventure? You might wanna check out:

Hawaii Hikes: Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail

Magic in Waialua

Westside Wandering: Pokai Bay and Coquitos

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Hawaii Hikes: Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail

Checking out Hanauma Bay is often on a visitor’s list of sites to see while on Oahu. What many might not realize is that there is a great hike just above, that offers an amazing downward view of the bay and gives you a pretty decent workout. Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail is one of my go-to hikes on the island. It offers varied terrain, unique landscape views and makes you sweat.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike
Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike

The last time we hiked this trail we brought along our rhodesian ridgeback. Although this trail is dog-friendly, make sure you feel comfortable with your dog’s fitness level. Our pup is pretty active, and even he was a bit sore after this hike. Although he is kind of a baby.

We park on Nawiliwili Street, which is a side street off of Kalanianaole, and walk a short distance towards Hanauma Bay. We then take a right up an access road towards the trail. You’ll see where you can cut through some tall grass to meet up with the paved portion of the hike. Its an easy incline up the ridge, you’ll see people of all ages hiking this part of the trail.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike Tall Grass  Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike Paved Portion

As you hike you’ll enjoy some amazing views from all sides. Koko Head Crater is behind you and Hanauma Bay is on the left. Oh, and more beautiful coastline can be found on the right.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike View
Koko Head and Bay View
Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike View
View to the right

So this is the easy part of the hike. The challenge comes when you trek down the ridge to the left. There are two main ways to make the decline. The first is a bit steeper then the second and I prefer to be hiking up a steeper part on the way back rather than down it. Here is an idea of the two options as well as where we park.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail Map
Where to park and decline options (Kaihuokapua’A for an easier decline)

Take your time walking down. The landscape here is very different from up above. It’s almost like you’ve landed on mars by the time you get to the bottom of the trail.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail
Bottom of trail, Mars?
Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike Bottom
Looking to the left
Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail
View towards the right

Not far from here is a spot thats known as the “Rock Bridge” Many people try to get a photo while standing on the rock bridge. I don’t really recommend it. People have been washed off of it by rogue waves.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail Rock Bridge
Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail Rock Bridge

The hike takes about 2 hours at an easy pace. Be sure to slather on the sunscreen because the hike is completely exposed. Bring lots of water and enjoy the raw beauty that is Hawaii.

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