|I finally understood what this 'Rainbow Tower' was that all the staff were talking about.|
The view from our room in the Kalia tower was spectacular. It was like this every single day.
There was a little balcony attached to our room that was handy for many things - leaving bathers out to dry, getting a little sun on your legs in the late afternoon, just enjoying the view.
|Another balcony shot.|
The property really is more of a village than a hotel. It's up the beach from the main shopping and restaurant area of Honolulu, probably 15 minutes by foot from where we were staying earlier, The Royal Hawaiian.
|Private pool for the Kalia tower, just out from the private gym and uber luxurious Mandara day spa which Mr SSG rates highly.|
There are private pools and beaches within the complex as well as a 'village' of restaurants and shops (yes there were both a ABC Store and a Louis Vuitton in there). There is a separate business facilities area which houses a post office open 6 days a week. Thank goodness I'm not the only holiday maker out there who has to post things back home in advance of flying.
|The village has an Asian theme with Japanese inspired lamps and light fittings and little pagodas here and there.|
The whole resort is very pedestrian and family friendly. The patrons of the resort are a mix of casual tourists and people who have leased or bought apartments on site. We also bumped into a few members of the defence forces. They were all unfailingly polite and friendly. From what they were saying, some areas of the resort are allocated to members of the military who are in the process of relocating to Hawaii. This mix of residents gave the place a less touristy feel and I for one, really enjoyed this.
There are dedicated children's activities as well as some amazing gardens and animal enclosures dotted around the grounds. On Friday evenings, there are fireworks and drinks held near the main bar.
These are some of my favourite photos of the grounds.
|A parrot with a very funky installation of a scratching post.|
|Flamingos from a different angle. Do flamingos have a bad angle?|
Having the animal enclosures with their lush plant life and water features really made the Hilton Hawaiian Village stand out for me. It's hard not to feel relaxed and full of the zest of life when you have the beauty of the plant and animal kingdoms sharing your personal space.
|Happy footed penguins.|
|Turtles hanging out and shimmering in the evening light.|
As we got to the end of our stay in Hawaii, Mr SSG and I were keen to squeeze in a couple more larger than life meals before heading home to the relatively healty conscious, portion controlled eating habits that we try to stick to in Sydney (except for weekends, it all goes out the window on weekends...).
Mr SSG got a hot dog, fries and coleslaw from CJ's New York Style Delicatessen which is on site.
And a slice of cheesecake.
Which we were sharing as I typed this post about pictureless postcards from Hawaii on the new iPad. How's that for neatly closing a circle of blog posts?
I went for some Japanese deli items from the ABC store.
|Japanese tuna and lettuce sandwich.|
|Day spa or coffee? Decision, decisions.|
This property also has its own direct access to Waikiki Beach and there's always things going on beachside! There was a surfing competition going on whilst we were there.
There was a good mix of price points with regard to food options. I do not mean the following to be a criticism, just an observation. Probably because this is a family focused resort, the food isn't fancy. It's reasonable value for resort dining and the serves are very generous.
For our last dinner in Hawaii, Mr SSG and I went to Sergio's Italian Table which is within the village area.
The decor was cosy Italian which was a bit trippy considering we were on a tropical island. But trippy can be good on holidays.
We shared an entree of bacon wrapped prawns on a bed of mustard based sauce and salad. Very tasty. I don't get enough bacon wrapped crustacea in my normal diet.
I had meatballs and spaghetti for mains. The sauce is lighter and sweeter than the way it is often served in Australia. The tomatoes must be different too.
|Actual size of each meatball was close to a tennis ball. Plus a very generous mound of pasta.|
As always, we had room for a shared dessert. The tiramisu was fab. Not too heavy.
So I guess this is it. Goodbye, Hawaii. Thank you for being such a gracious host with your perfect weather, wonderfully friendly locals and jaw dropping shopping opportunities.
Until next year! I'm working on Mr SSG but I don't think it will take much, to be honest.