May 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
Anyone traveling to Honolulu and looking for somewhere to stay in the Waikiki Beach area should consider Hotel Renew. When I began searching for a hotel to stay in, I turned to my trusty resource Tripadvisor. Hotel Renew was the #2 rated hotel in Waikiki, and the #1 rated hotel just seemed too far away from the beach (about 4 blocks). Given that the rate was reasonable (and the military was paying–thank you Uncle Sam!), we booked it.
When you walk into Hotel Renew, no matter how bright, loud, hot, or crowded it is outside (and it is often all of these things at once in Waikiki), you instantly feel calm. The entire hotel is decorated in shades of gray and white, with very sleek, modern furnishings. It is nice and cool inside (love the air conditioning), and you are greeted with a cold glass of pineapple juice and icy towels. There is a small bar downstairs that opens at 5:30 pm. The bartenders are usually very friendly, with good restaurant suggestions, and there is a flat screen television mounted on the wall to watch. The bar wasn’t very crowded whenever we went there (1-2 other patrons at the most), and the drinks were pricey (as everywhere in Waikiki) but delicious.
There are 2 elevators to take you to your room, and one of my complaints is that there are no stairs. There is an emergency staircase, but I discovered the hard way that this only leads to an alarmed exit. So there is no choice but to take the elevator, even if you want to get a little exercise.
The room was a dream. Just like the hotel lobby, decorated in white, gray, and black, with very contemporary finishings. Black tile entry way, black burber carpet, soft white linens, and really good lighting. The bathroom was also very modern with beautiful fixtures, but the shower door wouldn’t stay shut (maybe it was haunted). I especially liked the square sink with a faucet in the corner as opposed to the middle. The desk is extremely large, with a cabinet, a mini-fridge built in, and a drawer to keep clutter and receipts (which you should save from the ABC Store, because you can get a free gift if you turn them in on your last day…I got an adorable hula girl coffee mug).
I spent a lot of time in the hotel, because the beach was too crowded and it was just so relaxing. If I had to do it over again, I would have looked for a hotel with a kitchenette, even though I loved the Hotel Renew. After 2 + weeks here, eating at a restaurant 2-3 times a day just really started to wear us out (we felt like this just after a few days). I haven’t weighed myself, but I am guessing I’ve put on 10 lbs. Ugh. The location in Waikiki was nice because there was so many different amenities, restaurants, and bars in easy walking distance, but I am so over the touristy location. If we didn’t have to be in Honolulu to be close to Camp Smith for Bryan, we would DEFINITELY have found a resort or hotel on the North Shore, or maybe even a rental house with a kitchen.
But all in all, if you HAVE to stay in Waikiki, and you aren’t going to be here for longer than week (which in my opinion requires a kitchen so you can cook healthy meals), then absolutely stay at the Hotel Renew. It is calm, reasonably priced, and really does what it says–renews you.
*There was also a morning breakfast. Fruit, coffee, juice, muffins, toast, croissants. Not exactly paleo, so Bryan never ate it. I did…and usually had more croissants than I should have.
**Bryan would disagree with some of my review. He would have preferred a hotel more “in the action” closer to the restaurants. I disagree–we were at most a 10 min walk from the busiest part of Waikiki, and I didn’t mind the “distance,” if you can even call it that.
May 13, 2010 § Leave a comment
Get your minds out of the gutter people, I’m talking about Hawaii! As we speak, I am downloading ebooks and audiobooks, packing bathing suits, flip-flops, and floral dresses, and just generally trying to put my broken self back into shape so that I can get to the airport tomorrow. Bryan is already in Hawaii, sleeping in our cushy bed at our hotel. I’ll have a lot of time for blogging when I am in Hawaii, as I don’t have any actual plans for the entire 2 weeks! Read fiction? Get a massage? Spend time with my husband? Go to the beach? Check out a luau? That’s the basic plan, and I’m very comfortable not having any other plans than that. 1L year has left me feeling pretty shell-shocked…I feel like maybe 50% human at this point. I function, I get myself from point A to point B, but I feel like I’m on autopilot. I need some serious decompression, relaxation, recharging time–I guess it’s perfect that our hotel is called Hotel Renew!
Do you have any ideas for things we can do while in Honolulu? Any can’t miss sights, restaurants, or things to do?
May 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
I haven’t mentioned this yet, but on Thursday, the day after my last final, I am flying to Honolulu (in a first-class seat, no less) to meet my love for our “Mini-Moon” (it’s not a real honeymoon because Bryan has to work, but such is life).
I need summer beach read recommendations! If it will make me think, please don’t recommend it. In the vein of Harry Potter, Twilight, and other trashy, mindless, romantic, sexy novels…let’s hear your picks! I’ve been thinking of starting the novels that True Blood is based on, to give you an idea of how little I want to think.
What is your all-time favorite beach read or other guilty reading pleasure? Leave your picks in the comments!
May 1, 2010 § Leave a comment
It’s finals period now, and one of my goals this period is to relax and not stress too much about it. My daily routine includes waking up, having breakfast, trying to get studying by 9 or 10 am, and studying more or less until 10:00 pm. Unfortunately for me, I think I have a mild version of adult ADD, because I am physically incapable of concentrating on *law* for that many hours a day.
Solution? Planned mini-breaks! I set the timer on my iPhone for 50 minutes, and I am not allowed to get up (unless I have to use the ladies’ room), check email, facebook, Twitter, my Google Reader, etc. until the timer goes off. The only glitch is that I then do all of those things for at least 20 minutes before I set the timer again. New goal: keep it to ten minutes of goofing off, so that for every hour, I am focusing for 5/6 of it.
I also have set larger breaks for meals and the gym. And then I quit around 10:00 pm and let myself watch a movie or TV show on my laptop.
Since my first final isn’t until next Wednesday, I feel like I’m in a strange sort of limbo right now, where I know I should be studying a lot, but I don’t have that “OMG MY FINAL IS TOMORROW SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN CRIM LAW TO ME NOW” feeling. I’m sure that will come soon 🙂
The good news: this, too, shall pass. I will get through this and then finals will be a distant memory. The better news: May 13, the day after my last final, I will be on a plane, in a cushy first-class set to HAWAII!! Yep, Bryan has a business trip and I’m accompanying him. Thank you Uncle Sam! (Well, Uncle Sam is paying for the hotel, not the flights or anything like that).
In other news: Bryan and I have scheduled to have our engagement pictures taken while we’re in Honolulu! Our AMAZING photographers, The Sloans, recommended Natalie Norton to us, and she responded so quickly and we booked her right up. I can’t wait for our shoot! Although it is kind of interesting to me that our relationship has gone like this :
Dating –> engaged –> engagement party –> marriage –> engagement pictures –> bridal shower –> bachelorette party (#2) –> wedding
My sister says that as long as I don’t try to sneak a baby somewhere in there, I’m fine.
Anyways, gotta study!