When it’s your first time to a destination, like Hawaii was for us, finding the right hotel in the best location, within budget and availability can be a momentous task and at least 2-3 weeks of research, pouring over Trip Advisor reviews and filtering the many recommendations from friends, family and sometimes strangers. After deciding to only stay in Waikiki instead of heading to different islands, we thought changing up hotels whilst we were there would make the trip and little bit more interesting. So, the first stop on our hotel crawl was the Laylow Hotel, Waikiki.
After some late night google-ing I discovered this review by a local US blogger. Let’s be honest – after seeing the wallpaper it was love at first instagram sight. We arrived at the hotel, did a quick scope of the café in the lobby (which would not look out of place in the laneways of Melbourne) and were lucky enough to be upgraded to a room on the Executive Level.
One of the BEST things about this level is the free snack, coffee and water station, which are replenished and changed morning and night. And this is no ordinary water station… it has a still, filtered and wait for it – sparkling water on tap! So now, obviously we must have one in our future house.
The rooms at the Laylow are modern, large and have so much personality. Every detail is considered. Forget your standard mini bar, awaiting us was a welcome gift that included some water, local Hawaiian chips, Hi-Chew lollies (my fave!), biscuits and his and her Laylow thongs.
Unfortunately our first few days in Waikiki, it was pouring rain so we didn’t get to take advantage of the pool, but from what we saw it looked cool albeit a touch small with ample seating for the size of this boutique hotel. We made use of the gym however which had around 4 treadmills, a few bikes, free weights and swiss balls – oh and delicious infused water for post-workout hydration (told you they were all about the small details).
There are plenty of affordable and delicious places to eat next to the hotel but the bar and restaurant, Hideout, was definitely a local hot spot with happy hour drinks, live entertainment and an extensive menu. It was pumping on the weekend so it’s definitely a hit with the locals. Waikiki Beach and Kalakaua Ave are a five-minute walk away, and that’s a real five minutes, not actually 15-20 minutes that is so often the case in hotel brochures.
If there’s something you want to do in Honolulu other than lying by the pool or beach the extremely friendly concierge team can organise everything for you – surfing lessons, car hire, shopping outlet tours, Pearl Harbour trips, sunset cocktail cruise – you name it they can help you. And, best of all – it can all be charged to your room so you don’t have to worry about a thing!
Overall we LOVED our three-night stay at the Laylow and would definitely recommend it for those visitors looking for a boutique hotel with a cool downtown vibe and an abundance of personality.
The Laylow, Autograph Collection
2299 Kulio Ave, Honolulu
Now we’re onto the next stop – The Modern Hotel