Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Honolulu Hideout: The Pink Palace!

I have a romantic fascination with historic hotels.  I love walking through their corridors and looking out upon their gardens or beaches and imagining the celebrities of the past doing the same. On my trip last September to Hawaii, much to my boyfriend’s dismay, I insisted that we stay in “The Pink Palace.”  At the time we made the reservation, I didn’t know much about its history, but I knew it was a nice resort on the beach and that was enough for me.

I was immediately fascinated upon checking in.  We arrived at night and the hotel seemed mystical tucked into a jungle, with a long drive underneath the pink, Spanish-Morrish structure. The lobby was grand and open to the beautiful landscape and warm air of the Hawaiin night. I loved it! And our room was small, but gorgeous, with a separate sitting room decorated with pink pillows and looking out onto the pink roof. I'm so glad we stayed in the historical side of the hotel and loved the upgrade!

What I love so much about the resort, is the idea that it was one of the first resorts, and it looks so different than the other hotels located on the beach.  I imagine what it must have been like in the early days, to embark on a long five day sea voyage, only to arrive with numerous trunks, servants, and your own Rolls Royce vehicle. But beyond the grandeaur and luxury, I was so relaxed in its interior, perhaps the most relaxed after enjoying a couple mai tai’s and rocking back and forth on one of its many rocking chairs overlooking the evening scene on the beach.

It was truly one of my most favorite travel experiences, and hotels. And as you now know, my love goes way beyond its gorgeous pink color!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On the Relay to Hana...

Most people are familiar with the famous Road to Hana in Hawaii, and honeymooners from across the nation commit to their Jeep and the windy road for an enjoyable day of gorgeous sites. Although I did not have a Jeep, I ventured out, a little later in the day than I would have liked, only to discover we would have plenty of company on the road, as we joined the popular "Relay to Hana..."

At first, we groaned thinking about backed up traffic, difficult driving maneuvers to avoid the runners, and the possibility that their vehicles would block our much desired views. But as we pulled up behind the trucks below and had our first encounter, we thought, "Wow, we could not pick a better day to be entertained on this drive..."

We cheered for them as we drove past, waving at Pirates, Disco Queens, Abba, and Monkeys, watching them sweat and struggle around each windy hill and curve. I was amazed! I've never been a runner myself but this is definitely something I could get behind, even train for! It was truly so much fun.

And the view along the way was not bad either... Highly recommended and traveler approved, the 2012 Relay to Hana! Any takers?

Spending a Day in a Hammock

My boyfriend and I decided to take a short trip down to warm weather before Christmas (who couldn't use a little sun before the holidays).  We used our Starwood points to book The Westin in Key West... and after a strenuous drive, and strenuous check in, we explored the city. Key West is a wonderful town full of off-the-beaten path restaurants, and watering holes for debauchery (I won't share any stories about what we did there...).

 The view from our table at the most charming spots we discovered...

However... I must admit that the charm of the city could not compare to the fabulous day we spent crashing the beach at the Casa Marina hotel. We passed by at the recommendation of my parents, and were at awe of its beach scene. It was so wonderful that we returned a second day... grabbed a hammock, and had the most wonderful time staring up at the palm trees and enjoying our beach side concierge...

Think towels refreshed at a whim, cold cucumber slices and Popsicles delivered without ask. A wonderful experience, spent with a wonderful man, and a wonderful view... now I just need a white sand beach, two palms trees, and a hammock for two of my own! Perhaps I should add that to my Santa list for next year...