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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Travel » » Hawaii Vacation Tips
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Hawaii Vacation Tips
christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2004-05-24 7:31 pm   Permalink

JohnnieVelour, Thanks for the Oahu tips:

Dine at Chan's Island bistro at the Ala Moana Center and, of course, at La Mariana. Smorggy's Buffet for cheap eats.

Shop at the Flee Market at Aloha Stadium and the International Marketplace.

Sunset at the MaiKai Bar at the Royal HawaiianPink Palace or the House without a Key. Visit the punchbowl for the pre-sunset view.

For more tiki, Bishop Museum and PCC.
Hula & show at the PCC.

Free hula and torch lighting ceremonies apparently occur at Kuhio Beach Park, followed by a Conch Shell sounding and a Hula performance by local halaus nightly at 6:30 p.m.

. . . and Rebecca's very necessary recommendation for cheap eats & fresh fish from the graffiti art decorated fish truck towards the PCC on the North shore.

I fear I can not recall all of your insightful suggestions - I need a MaiTai or two to return me to the same state of mind as when you were telling me.

[ This Message was edited by: christiki295 on 2004-05-24 19:45 ]


 
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Iolani
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 30, 2003
Posts: 89
Posted: 2004-06-09 11:14 am   Permalink

Just adding this blog to the list of resources:

http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com/ono_kine_grindz/

Auwe! This page is making me crave squid luau something fierce. I need to go back for an extended vacation.


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Kawentzmann
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 28, 2002
Posts: 254
From: Berlin, Germany
Posted: 2004-06-09 2:50 pm   Permalink

I just discovered this topic. Mariana and me would like to go to Hawaii this year, and all the hints and recomendations are very welcome.
Now, the thing is: we consider tieing the knot right there! And the from what TikiChris said the Big Island seems to be great.
So we would be happy if somebody has got experience to share about wedding in the islands (…for foreigners).
By the way has anybody here got pictures show from the Kailua-Kona Tiki Hotel?

KK


 
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Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2004-06-09 3:12 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-06-09 14:50, Kawentzmann wrote:
Now, the thing is: we consider tieing the knot right there! And the from what TikiChris said the Big Island seems to be great ...
So we would be happy if somebody has got experience to share about wedding in the islands (…for foreigners).

KK



we got 'officially' engaged on maui & went to the big island for our honeymoon. it was perfect. i highly recommend staying at the rain forest retreat in volcano & the cliff house just above the waipio valley.

my friend michael at
http://www.blackbamboohawaii.com/ lives on the big island & actually helps lots of germans book their trips. michael has a lovely place w/ a view of kealakekua bay that he rents out. here's a pic:



one half of the folks at http://www.bebackhawaii.com/ is german. they have places on oahu & molokai.



[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Chris on 2004-06-09 15:14 ]


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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-06-09 3:37 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-06-09 14:50, Kawentzmann wrote:By the way has anybody here got pictures show from the Kailua-Kona Tiki Hotel?



I have some from a few years back but I don't know if I ever scanned them. I'll look on my home computer tonight.

It's not very fancy but it's a good, friendly, and clean place to stay for not much money. It's a small two-story building right on the shore (a rocky shore, no beach) with tiki faces on each door but no tikis on the grounds. The lower units have little patios overlooking the ocean. I think the second floor units have lanais but I can't remember. I believe all the units have kitchens. There are no TVs or phones but we heard a TV next door - I think it was the owners' unit. We also left the windows open all night and slept to the sound of the waves.

There's a great lava rock pool right above the ocean. Waves sometimes crash over the lava rock wall and splash into the pool. There's some tables and chairs around the pool where they serve continental breakfast. There are barbeques for guest use and beach chairs and other beach gear in the office that can be used.

The location is a couple miles south of town. There's a small beach within walking distance towards town.


 
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artbyanne
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 50
From: Pioneertown,CA
Posted: 2004-06-12 11:25 am   Permalink

Hi everyone,
My husband & I(and daughter) have finally saved to go to Hawaii(Oahu) in 2005.

Has anyone seen Chief Sielu Avea's show at the Ali'i Tour at the Kualoa Ranch?

Also,what luau is the best?We were wanting to see the one at the Royal Hawaiian,but can't find any reviews of it.

What restaurant has the best fish?We eat "kosher" fish if you all know what I mean,and vegetarian fare.

Any recommendations for things to do with kids?

Mind you,we want the most bang for our buck,since we may not be able to go back for a long time.

Mahalo!


 
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artbyanne
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 50
From: Pioneertown,CA
Posted: 2004-06-12 12:06 pm   Permalink

P.S.-Anyone ever stayed at,'The Breakers?'

 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-06-12 12:46 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-06-12 12:06, artbyanne wrote:
P.S.-Anyone ever stayed at,'The Breakers?'



We booked a room there for 3 nights once. I liked the original 50s styling on the outside, and love their beachcomber mascot sign, but the inside of the room we had was somewhat dreary. I did like the Japanese style sliding screens in the room but I was hoping for a room with a lanai that was a little brighter.

The staff were very friendly and accomodating.

We ended up checking out after one night because there were no other rooms available and switched to the excellent Hawaiiana Hotel down the street.

I would definitely consider staying there again in a different room. These low-rise older hotels are rare in Waikiki and it would be a shame if it closed.


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-06-12 12:48 pm   Permalink

The Breakers' web site:

http://www.breakers-hawaii.com/

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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2004-06-20 8:22 pm   Permalink

I found the website 100 Things To Do On Oahu very fun and informative.

It also gave me idea of going to hear the beautiful cadence of the Hawaiian language at the services at Kawaiahao Church.
http://oahu.101thingstodo.com/guide/thingstodo/detail.php?id=171

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lanikai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 15, 2004
Posts: 490
From: Hawaii
Posted: 2004-06-20 11:54 pm   Permalink

[quote]
Has anyone seen Chief Sielu Avea's show at the Ali'i Tour at the Kualoa Ranch?




he's cool. did a good show at da PCC and now does even better here.


Also,what luau is the best?


that is a verry subjective question.

We were wanting to see the one at the Royal Hawaiian,but can't find any reviews of it.



do it anyway. The RH is a classic and you won't walk away thinkin; 'well, we coulda been shopping at walmart!"


What restaurant has the best fish?

again, very subjective. depenbds on what kinda fish. keonis and leos is great also Buzzes and chucks.

We eat "kosher" fish if you all know what I mean,

well some of us have not a clue what that mea\ns.


Any recommendations for things to do with kids?


zoo, hanauma bay, wakywaky beach. window shop alamoana ctr when da hula show is on...
PCC


_________________
malama ki'i kahiko


 
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Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1496
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2004-06-22 3:10 pm   Permalink

Marian (The Bamboo Blonde) and I are back from Hawaii a week or so, but still moving into our new house - so I only have time for a quick run-down on our trip.

Hawaiiana Hotel -- perfect old style lodging in the heart of Waikiki. One of the best recommendations I have ever recieved from Tiki Central. Mahalo for that one Hoity-Toity folks.

La Mariana -- We meet Gecko, Freddie and Mogambo there. A true tiki time capsule. Wonderful treasues everywhere you look. And, Gecko arrived with an armload of Aloha spirit. What a great guy. Thanks for the welcome home bruddah!

Tiki Bar & Grille -- kinda like Taboo Cove in Vegas. New style and old style all mixed up. Nice place for drinks and dinner. Go there.

Moana Banyan Tree Courtyard & Bar -- Beautiful ( and free) Hapa Haole music at 5:30 pm each day. Totally transported us to the days of Webley Edwards and Hawaii Calls. Great beachside bar.

Mai Tai Bar @ Royal Hawaiian -- decent Mai Tai w/ killer views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. Also did the luau there. Great setting, but the food was not as good as at the PCC.

Chucks Steak House in the Edgewater hotel -- First Mai-Tai we sampled and kept going back for more. Bartender there is Gecko's good buddy and he learned his craft from none other than Donn Beach. Great decor and across the street from the hotel. Can't ask for more than that.

Buzz's Steak House in Kailua -- coldest Hinano beer on best beach on Oahu. Also, it's in my hometown.

Polynesian Cultural Center -- fantatsic shows, great tourist luau, best place to buy tapa, carvings, etc.

Duke's Canoe Club -- Great place fo' breakfast. Barefoot bar is good too.

Overall, Waikiki is THE place for Hawaiian urban archeology, but you better see what's left while you can. They take down International Marketplace next summer and there's no guarantee places like Chuck's will survive much longer.

One last ting. Don't get in an outrigger canoe with four little Japanese guys. That's really messed up.

Aloha till later,
KG





_________________
Mainstream? I don't think so.



[ This Message was edited by: Kailuageoff on 2004-06-22 15:14 ]

[ This Message was edited by: kailuageoff on 2004-06-23 09:44 ]


 
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Tikiwahine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Ontario, Canada
Posted: 2004-06-22 5:18 pm   Permalink

Kailuageoff,
I arrive on Oahu for a week next Tuesday. Thanks so much for the great trips! I've already printed them out. I booked at the Hawaiiana as soon as I read about it here, that was indeed a great tip.
Thanks again, I very much appreciate your reviews!

_________________

Great Minds Drink Alike


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dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2241
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2004-06-22 6:01 pm   Permalink

i've been meaning to post our travel experiences in Oahu Nov 2003 ~

Saturday: Got off the plane Saturday afternoon and, upon picking up the rental car and dropping off the luggage, immediately started zooming around. Didn’t know our way around yet and had only one of those vague maps from the rental car place, but there are L&L Drive-insall over Oahu so that’s where we had a late lunch. L&L is a good local plate lunch chain; I had the mahi, my husband had the chicken katsu with curry, both “minis” (only one scoop of rice plus mac salad) since it wasn’t that long until dinner. L&L is always a safe choice and a good way to try plate lunch if you haven’t had it before.

After lunch we picked up some coconut turnovers from Ken’s Bakery(41-865 Kalanianaole Hwy, in Waimanalo) just because they looked so good (they were, too).
Dinner was at Sam Choy’s Diamondhead on Kapahulu Ave. (a ritzier place than the other Sam Choy’s on Oahu, the Breakfast, Lunch and Crab on Nimitz Hwy.). We loved the Sam Choy’s on Maui before, and this one is still great; I had a combination dinner with pan-seared moi (fresh-caught) in an edamame-garlic sauce, a small lobster tail, and an excellent piece of lamb in a peppercorn sauce, while my husband had the moi in a sweetish ginger vinigrette. Good food, the service was a bit off that night.

Sunday: The day for the big swap meet at Aloha Stadium, and breakfast was warm malasadas (fried dough rolled in sugar, Hawaiian/Portuguese doughnuts) from a truck there. The swap meet was a bit disappointing, almost all the stands sold exactly the same mass-manufactured stuff, but by chance we met Gecko (!) there, the first day he had put up a stall at the swap meet. We arranged to meet later in the week.

Lunchtime we wanted to try something truly local; problem is, a lot of the truly local places aren’t open on Sundays. We ended up going to the New Uptown Fountain (from the “Puka Guide”) which is at 522 N. School St. ; what the “Guide” doesn’t tell you is that it’s on this little, one-way stub of School which you can only reach going north from Liliha St. (also, the Chevron station the guide talks about is gone now). The place looks like a dump, but it had fantastic saimin. My husband had what the “Magee [=really big] saimin”(comes with vegetables, char siu, stuffed won tons), and it was truly huge. Oddly, the bowl that came with my combination was just as big and had more won tons in it! Mine came with a hamburger, homemade old-style patty on a nicely-grilled bun but no fixings at all, not even a pickle slice. Amazingly cheap and filling food.

We went to Germaine’s Luau that night. Germaine’s has the usual crummy luau drinks (watery mai tais and such) but the food was pretty good, better than you get at a lot of luaus anyway; there was decent mahi, nice kahlua pork, good haupia. (If you’re really interested in authentic Hawaiian food, though, see Tuesday below.)

Monday: For breakfast we head for Leonard’s Bakery on Kalahulu Ave for fresh-baked malasadas. Leonard’s is often considered the Malasada Mecca; they bake fresh throughout the day and offer five varieties, unfilled rolled in plain or cinnamon sugar or filled with custard, haupia (coconut “pudding”), or chocolate creme. The chocolate was the best filled one, but my personal fav was the unfilled cinnamon sugar.

Since we visited the Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor) that morning, we chose Shiro’s for lunch as all four of them are in the Pearl City area; the one we went to is in a strip mall on Hwy 99, on the right as you head west from Pearl toward Ewa (Waimalu Shopping Center is the name, had a number of other interesting-looking food possibilities as well, and is across the street from a Goodwill which has a really large selection of used Hawaiian shirts and is worth checking out). At Shiro’s my husband had the Beeg Shiro, a double-decker sandwich with char siu and teriyaki, while I had saimin again, I forget the name of the dish but it had ten different toppings including a nice butterflied shrimp which came on the side so you could choose to dip it or plunge the whole thing into the broth. The broth at Shiro’s is chicken rather than the bonito flake broth they used at New Uptown Fountain; I liked it better, but my husband is a fan of the milder-tasting fish broth and didn’t. Again, an excellent, filling, and pretty cheap lunch.

A visit to the Bishop Museum followed (great Hawaiiana, including a large display of tapa cloth), then we went for a sunset cocktail at the [/b]House Without a Key[/b] at the Halekulani; terrific view, really fun live entertainment, and good tropical drinks, but expect a wait for a table even just for cocktails so show up early. As a bonus, they validate you for four hours of parking in the hotel garage, so after that we just walked up the street to the House of Hong for dinner.
[/b]House of Hong[/b] has that wonderful old-style Chinese restaurant decor giving it a fun atmosphere, but the food was only adequate. (Be warned; fried tofu there is not Japanese-style seared tofu in broth, but battered deep-fried tofu with a small saucer of very weak sauce on the side, rather strange to our taste.) We’re told the bar downstairs is good, but people were smoking and we decided against hanging out there.


Tuesday: Our day for the Polynesian Cultural Center on the north shore, so we drove up to Kailua first to check out some antique shops. Breakfast was malasadas from the Leonard’s Jr. truck (noticing a pattern here yet? .) Alii Antiques in Kailua (21 Maluniu Ave.) was the real find, though. Hard to locate (the storefront’s not really on Maluniu) and there’s actually two shops, one off the parking lot and one across the alley leading to the parking lot; the one across the alley is chock-full of Hawaiiana and tiki stuff. Prices aren’t low, but are better than you find in Honolulu.

Heading away from Kailua on the Kamehameha Hwy. we regretfully bypassed Giovanni’s shrimp truck in order to have lunch at the Waihole Poi Factory, 48-140 Kamehameha Hwy. (This one needs some directions; first, it’s on the Hwy 83 Kamehameha, not the Hwy 99 Kamehameha; also note that as you head north it splits into Hwy 83 (which is then named Kahiliki Hwy) and Hwy 836 (which takes the Kamehameha name), but then these two come back together after awhile and it’s Hwy 83/Kamehameha. The Factory is not too far past the junction of the two highways). The place looks really run-down from the outside, but DO NOT BE PUT OFF. This is real Hawaiian food, the kind which the stuff at commercial luaus is only a pale imitation of. I had the tripe, stewed in a tomato sauce just like my Aunt Betty used to make, with absolutely incredible chicken long rice on the side. My husband had the Aloha (?) plate with lau lau, lomi lomi, and chicken long rice; he also chose to have poi (you can have rice instead) which I admit was better than the poi you get at luaus, but was still poi (he liked it; some Hawaiians there mistook us for locals, me because I looked local, him because he was eating the poi). The meals also came with little hunks of steamed taro and breadfruit and with two squares of haupia, one traditional coconut, one chocolate. The coconut was the best haupia I’d ever had until I tasted the chocolate, which was even better! They sell boxes of haupia for $5, you should strongly consider bringing along a cooler and buying some to go.

By the way, seating at the Poi Factory is on picnic tables outside, and the place is only open from 10 to 2. But you just can’t get more local than this. Again, don’t pass this up when you go to the windward or north shores.

The rest of the day was spent at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Great entertainment including a fantastic show that evening, but don’t expect good food. The culinary highlight was the Pineapple Delight, ice cream and canned fruit in a hollowed pineapple.

Wednesday: We broke the malasada streak by going to Wailua Bakery and Shave Ice(525 Kapahulu) for breakfast, which was a variety of filled buns: sweetish Portuguese egg bread, like King’s Hawaiian Bread only fresh, filled with char siu, inuki bean paste, or custard. Also got some excellent butter cookies and a “honey cake” which was basically a giant Twinkie without the fake cream filling. Really good. No coffee, so we went up the street to a Starbucks, bought a tall drip and used their outdoor tables.

The bakery is on the same block as Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts, which is great fun to check out; they have the real article, shirts from the 1940s and 50s, at prices you probably won’t feel like paying (looking is free, anyway). We did get one of the modern reproduction shirts they also stock; there’s a variety of tiki mugs and other memorabilia offered as well.

Lunch was Tiki’s Grill and Bar at the Aston on Kalahua. The decor is the main draw, lots of Shags and other tiki artists on display here. The food was pretty good, with local fish (opa in this case) in the fish and chips and a good fried calamari steak. Drinks can be ordered in a souvenir hurricane glass or a coconut shell with a Tiki’s logo silkscreened on it, $9.

We met Gecko that evening for cocktails at La Mariana Sailing Club. This place is nearly impossible to find: Go down Sand Island Rd. until you see Auiki St., then start looking at the right side of the road until you see a little sign that says “La Mariana” on a driveway; take the driveway back until you see the club, you can’t see it at all from Sand Island Rd. Anyway, the decor here is unbelievable and should not be missed, much of it rescued from extinct tiki bars such as Trader Vic’s Waikiki. We had drinks and some good lumpia, also a great time with Gecko, his girlfriend and brother, and Tiki Royale who was also in town.

After that, we went to Alan Wong’s (1857 S. King St., on the third floor of a very nondescript building, watch for the valet parking sign). Great higher-end food, with a terrific selection of fresh fish; they had opakapaka! (Never pass up opakapaka if you find it, even places where it’s on the menu often are “out” of it.) We had that and the ginger-encrusted onaga, both wonderful. Corn chowder with lobster to start was served as little piles of ingredients in the dish which the hot chowder was then ladled over. Desserts were also terrific, fantastically rich “chocolate crunch bars” and a banana cream “pie” (a saucer of crust balanced on bananas and creme anglaise, whipped cream and chocolate ice cream on top). Plus they had a coffee menu with about a dozen different Hawaiian beans available. A small, very popular place, so reservations are a must.
Thurday: The end of the Oahu portion of the trip was breakfast at our hotel (the Doubletree Alana) just because we had a $25 meal credit there. Well, $25 just paid for one (quite ordinary) continental breakfast, one (pretty good) carmelized banana upside-down pancake, and a side of linguica. Not great by any means.

To be continued with our adventures in Kauai..



[ This Message was edited by: dogbytes on 2004-06-22 18:04 ]


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2004-06-22 7:20 pm   Permalink

Dogbytes: Way to Bring it! Excellent travelouge.

 
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