Being part of the team at helloworld Travel in Thames has seen me planning some amazing journeys for people over many years and has been incredibly rewarding and exciting! However, nothing has been as fulfilling as arranging the honeymoon for my eldest daughter Chelsea and her fiancé Sam. To be involved in one of the most important times in any girl’s life, was truly an honour.
It was crucial for me to get their honeymoon right. Together, we looked at many different and exotic destinations and in the end they decided on one of the most romantic places on Earth… Hawaii!! The helloworld Travel Gift Registry was an easy and fantastic way of allowing friends and family to assist Chelsea and Sam in having their dream honeymoon. Eight spectacular days were spent on the famous Waikiki beach, staying at the Sheraton Waikiki, followed by a further week on the equally magnificent and beautiful island of Maui, staying at the Hyatt Regency Ka’anapali. This is Chelsea and Sam’s story…
“The views from our room alone offered instant relaxation – a feeling that was gladly welcomed after a busy last few months! Our first day in Waikiki was spent primarily scoping out the hotel and nearby surrounds. The infinity pool was the perfect place to cool off and enjoy a cocktail while gazing out across the beach and ocean. If you are lucky, as we were, you might even spot a turtle or two swimming in the surf.
We were able to walk straight onto the beach from the hotel, and it’s a great place to sunbathe, go for a swim, take surfing lessons or just people-watch, day or night. Waikiki is always buzzing with people and things to do. If you are looking for some good nightlife there is plenty in Waikiki, including the Sheraton Waikiki’s own RumFire bar, where we spent a couple of nights enjoying an array of rum-based (my favourite) cocktails and great entertainment.
We were also lucky to experience Hallowe’en in Waikiki, which saw the whole main street packed with people dressed up in every costume you could imagine! Although one could easily spend a whole week just relaxing by the pool or on the beach drinking cocktails, there is just too much else that the island offers.
A circle-island tour with Discover Hawaii Tours was the perfect way to see as much of Oahu as possible in one day, and it included exploring coffee, pineapple and macadamia farms, seeing part of a surfing competition on the North Shore, swimming beneath a stunning waterfall, exploring a sacred Japanese temple, and much more. Pearl Harbour is also a must-see, and it is both informative and humbling to explore the museums and the impressive submarines, ships and planes on display.
On other days during our stay on Oahu we explored the many shops, restaurants and cafés in Waikiki and Honolulu where you can find a variety of different culinary delights including Hawaii’s own “fusion” style of food. To top off our stay on Oahu, we took a (rather expensive) plunge and booked a helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, which offered amazing aerial sightseeing. For Sam, this was the highlight of our trip so far, but being a little weak-stomached I did not enjoy it quite as much.
We were reluctant to leave Oahu but excited to see what Maui could offer, and we were not disappointed. Gorgeous Ka’anapali Beach on the west coast of the island is well worth the 45-minute drive from the airport at Kahului.
Maui has the relaxed, laid-back feeling you expect of a tropical Island. The resorts are more spread-out and the Hyatt Regency where we stayed had a selection of four different restaurants, plus a huge swimming pool complete with an adult-sized water slide and a faux waterfall leading to a hidden cave with a swim-up bar.
We took the opportunity to experience a luau – a traditional Hawaiian feast – accompanied by great entertainment, Pacific Island-style. This was a really enjoyable night as well as delicious, and I highly recommend it. Maui also has a multitude of activities to choose from. A sunrise tour to Haleakalā volcano found us being driven right to the crater at an impressive 3,000 metres, at which point we found out that not everywhere in Hawaii is warm! Although it can be weather-dependent, we were fortunate to observe a beautiful sunrise above
the clouds, one of the most beautiful sights we have both ever seen. This was followed by an exhilarating bike trip back down the volcano.
Another highlight of our trip on Maui was a half-day snorkelling excursion on the luxury sailing catamaran, Alii Nui. This was a perfect day spent cruising on the Pacific Ocean, with the wind in our hair, sun on our backs, good music and plenty of food and drink, as well as some great snorkelling at the secluded volcanic reef on Molokini Island, midway between Maui and Kaho’olawe.
Sadly, our journey had to come to an end but as far as holidays go, this took the top spot. For us, it really was the honeymoon of a lifetime!”
What were the highlights of your Hawaiian holiday? Let us know in the comments below.