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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Honolulu Zoo: Invest in Some Family Fun

Everyone loves getting a lot of bang for their buck. And when you have kids, value becomes even more crucial in your everyday purchase decisions. For today’s post I wanted to reflect on one of my most satisfying investments, a family membership to the zoo. Our current beloved animal hangout: The Honolulu Zoo.

Honolulu Zoo Elephant Area

Almost every place we have lived we have always purchased a family membership to the local zoo. If you have close enough proximity and children under the age of 12, you should definitely think about getting a membership. Not only is the zoo a great place for kids but for adults too! A zoo membership often pays for itself in one visit. After that its like getting getting VIP entry into the hottest club. (I kid.) It’s easy for us to find ourselves at the zoo at least twice a month.

Honolulu Zoo Entrance

The Honolulu Zoo is located on the edge of busy Waikiki on the corner of Kapahulu and Kalakaua. As far as zoos nationwide are concerned, it is relatively small, but in my opinion the perfect size for wandering around for a couple of hours. Small enough that the kids will be able to see everything without burning out too fast. Along with your membership at the Honolulu Zoo you get some sweet discounts including at the Cafe and the gift shop. One thing that I also love about membership is that you get to go through a special entrance line. Like I said, VIP.

Here are a few photos from our last trip.

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honolulu-zoo-food-healthy-fruit honolulu-zoo-food-burger-fries

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The cafe is pretty good! You get a discount on food that comes closer to restaurant quality that you would think. Oh, and there are free range peacocks to keep you company. Or, try and steal your grub.

honolulu-zoo-playground-kids honolulu-zoo-playground-kids-fun

There is also a new rope style jungle gym for the kids to play like monkeys. My girls love the new addition. We were on it a few different times during our trip. There is also a “Keiki Zoo” within the zoo that has goats you can pet and other interactive activities.

honolulu-zoo-keiki-zoo honolulu-zoo-giraffe

We always enjoy ourselves at The Honolulu Zoo. It’s clean and the animals seem happy. A great way to get out of the house and spend half a day with some amazing creatures.

A couple tips:

  • Zoo opens at 9AM. Get there early to get good parking and enjoy a less of a crowd.
  • Bring water bottles to fill up at the fountains and umbrellas for shade and in case of rain.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen. I haven’t noticed any need for bug spray.

Have fun!

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Local Vibes: International Market Place

I finally made it out to the new International Market Place located right in the heart of Waikiki. What was once host to many, many local vendor kiosks selling touristy type items (i.e. tee shirts and tchotchkes) has been transformed into an upscale shopping venue.

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There are three levels of shops and restaurants that give off a high-end vibe without feeling stuffy. You feel welcome (even if your wallet doesn’t) and just walking around the newly renovated space is a pleasant experience.

int-market-5     int-market-2

We wandered around a bit but didn’t have a chance to grab a bite at any of the restaurants. Next time for sure. Here are a few highlights I wanted to note.

  • They preserved the original banyan tree (planted in 1850) and added an elegant treehouse that pays tribute to the history of the land through an educational display.
  • 3 story water wall, a really gorgeous feature.
  • Rocking chairs and other comfy seating areas to rest.
  • Entertainment stage and garden area.
  • Larger parking garage that tells you the number of spaces available on each level (cool!)
  • Validated parking when you spend $10 (easy to do even if its just buying a few drinks at the ABC store)

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Overall I enjoyed the new International Market Place. It mixes in well with other Waikiki shopping areas while defining its own space as unique. I look forward to the addition of even more stores and restaurants. Learn more at http://www.shopinternationalmarketplace.com/

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