Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Waikiki
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Waikiki.
Aloha! We’re Natasha and Jarden of A Global Stroll. We are two high school sweethearts who were both born and raised here on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii, so we both know this place pretty well.
While we absolutely love traveling and visiting new places, Hawaii is a beautiful place to explore, and Waikiki is constantly growing and expanding. It’s nice to be able to escape to your “backyard” for a little staycation.
What makes Waikiki a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Waikiki is truly a vacationer’s paradise! White sand beaches, luxury shopping (check out Ala Moana Mall!), and near perfect weather make for a great time here in the islands.
Waikiki is the main hot spot for nightlife, has a huge number of hotels and spas, and there are numerous 5 star eateries in the area.
What 5 star hotel is the best in your town?
You can’t go wrong with The Trump Hotel in Waikiki if you’re looking for ultimate luxury. A lot of celebrities choose to stay there (we’ve actually seen one during our stay!), and it has an amazing infinity pool and spa.
What about boutique hotels, of them all, which would you send your friends or family to stay at?
We’ve heard that The Modern Honolulu is an amazing spot! It also boasts an insane infinity pool that hosts a lot of popular pool parties. They also have a club downstairs that we frequent, Addiction.
(editors note: I stayed at the Modern and wrote a review, check it out!
Another popular boutique hotel is Hotel Renew. A block from the beach, near popular shops and restaurants, and some rooms are even dog friendly!
Are there any fun activities for the adventurous traveler?
There are truly a countless number of adventurous activities for the thrill seeker in Hawaii. There are a ton of watersports available at Waikiki from parasailing to jet ski, and for the truly adventurous there’s shark cage diving! (All of which we’ve done!) We’ve also recently gone sky diving, and Hawaii is probably one of the most beautiful places to jump out of an airplane.
Where are the best hang outs during the day?
The beach is an obvious option, and living on an island, there are plenty to choose from. We also have a big food truck scene, and Salt at Kaka’ako is a fun place to try new, local cuisine.
We also love to hike on our days off, and the views here are gorgeous! Try out Lanikai Pillboxes, Diamond Head, or Kokohead.
If you have a big date night, what are the most delicious restaurants in Waikiki and what are their best dishes?
Italian is our favorite type of food, and La Cucina and Arancino on Beachwalk have some of the best pasta dishes we’ve ever eaten!
La Cucina is run by a singular chef who hand makes all of their pasta dishes. The Ravioil Gorgonzola comes with a roasted garlic cream sauce and cranberries; simply out of this world!
Arancino on Beachwalk is known for their Spaghetti Ai Ricci Di Mare, aka their uni pasta. Fresh uni, or sea urchin, is paired with a sweet garlic wine cream sauce that’s absolutely delicious! If you’re a seafood lover and you’ve never tried uni, this is a must!
What’s one local food that needs to be tried?
Poke, definitely! Pronounced “poh-kay”, it’s fresh raw fish that’s often garnished with sauces/spices and put on rice. (A poke bowl.) While there are many different kinds and you can find them almost anywhere, our favorites are the spicy ahi bowls.
Let’s talk desserts- what place makes the best?
When you come to Hawaii you NEED to try shave ice! You can find it almost anywhere, but our favorite place to get it is at Ailana’s, across from Ala Moana mall. Definitely try their homemade haupia and strawberry milk syrups! Shokudo also makes a drool-worthy honey toast dessert.
What are a couple of the best salons and spas in Waikiki?
The Moana Lani Spa at the Moana Surfrider is one of the largest and luxurious spas in Waikiki. It also boasts great ocean view rooms, and offers a variety of treatments.
Another great one is the Spa at Halekulani, which offers a variety of polynesian inspired treatments.
Time for a great sunset view… where would you go?
Honestly you can catch an amazing sunset anywhere in Hawaii; it’s one of the perks of living here! Lay on the beach after a long day of surfing and feast your eyes on some of the most picturesque sunsets you’ve ever seen.
Now that the sun’s gone down, fill us on the best places to go for some evening drinks or a great pre-gaming spot.
A really popular place that offers unique cocktails and food is Bevy, a classy bar with fancy drinks and $1 oysters during happy hour.
If you’re looking for something different, often before a night at the club we like to go to Air Park Karaoke with friends. They have a bar area and private karaoke rooms that are very modern and have the latest songs. They also have ahhhmazeball cocktails!
If you end the night at a fancy club, which one do you head towards?
Our favorite clubs are The M or District Nightclub. Both have great music and are very popular clubbing spots. The District also has amazing $5 drink specials until midnight; can’t beat that.
Natasha and Jarden are the two Hawaiians behind A Global Stroll. While they currently grind the 9-5, they explore and travel as much as they can, working towards their goal of full-time travel. A Global Stroll is filled with adventure guides, money-saving tips, and cringe-worthy travel stories, introducing you to your next adventure and filling your palate with wanderlust. Check out A Global Stroll and see where they are off to next! Connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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