As good as we have it in Hawaii, even in our golden years the grind can get to us. The best way to beat the blahs? A weekend of ease and indulgence without breaking the bank, close to home yet a world away: Waikiki. The new Waikiki, that is — fully restyled with fresh local appeal and new-millennium spirit. You’ll escape not only your daily routine, but also the chaos of the unfamiliar, the craze of airport commutes and the cost of a rental car. In fact, you don’t need a car at all. Plus, the fall season is filled with kamaaina and seniors hotel discounts, so you can afford an oceanfront room. Hele mai! Rediscover why there’s no place like home.
A Prescription for Paradise
FRIDAY :: Check in and settle on your balcony for full oceanview relaxing. Then ease into sunset bliss at the immortal waterfront lanai, House Without a Key, where savory pupu, cocktails and vintage Hawaiian melodies soothe the soul. Stay put or take the beach boardwalk to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for 7:45 p.m. fireworks and Lappert’s ice cream.
SATURDAY :: Begin with coffee on your balcony. For a bagel or strawberry waffles, try Honolulu Coffee Co. For an oceanfront breakfast, Hula Grill is an affordable gem. Grab homemade sandwiches from Panya to take back to your room, then laze away the day with a mid-morning nap, lunch on your balcony and a good book.
To sup in slippers, go Mexican-Carib at Cha Cha Cha or all-American at The Cheesecake Factory. Wrap with shopping on Kalakaua or a nightcap at the beachfront Mai Tai Bar. For fancy fare, Roy’s, Nobu and Azure are the new Waikiki dining dream team. The also-new Rumfire serves tapas and a tremendous selection of rums. The Manhattan-style jazz Lewers Lounge is decadence deluxe.
SUNDAY :: Enjoy an early-morning stroll to Kapiolani Park, where area residents walk their dogs. Relax with a classic Island breakfast at Hau Tree Lanai. Afterward, take a dip at Kaimana Beach, wander the Waikiki Aquarium or head back to your hotel for balcony time before checkout.
Leave your bags with the front desk so you’re free to roam. Trade lunch for leisurely afternoon tea service at The Veranda, a 100-year-old Moana tradition. End your weekend with pampering treatments at the Moana’s new spa, Moana Lani.