Home is where the Hotel is.
And as I mentioned in my a couple of posts back this hotel stay is worthy of its very own praise.
Let me remind you that why I never went to O’ahu for a decade. In my already limited experience it’s busy, overwhelming and slightly smelly. It’s s city thing and I’m a country girl.
Find yourself in the heart of fabulous Waikiki. Nestled between the bustling streets and the 1,000 noodle joints and night clubs you will find a large frond leaf adjacent an unassuming escalator. A sign, “LayLow” beckons you. If you go up this unassuming escalator you will be instantly transported to an extremely clean, calm, welcoming site of the LayLow Waikiki lobby.
The design aesthetic would make any plant lovers wet in their planties. Fiddle leaf figs hug desert toned walls, the street sounds all but disappear, replaced by a musician nestled up next to an amply stocked bar.
Customer service–top notch: kindness, helpfulness and high energy in the most mellow way possible.
Are photo-ready, and Pinterest worthy: funky fronds against a sleepy pink base, (fake) wood shower walls, great lighting and probably the most comfortable hotel beds I’ve ever laid my tired, vacationing body on.
This a very important aspect for me, and in this case, the pool was a simple one. A small, natural setting, with in-water lounge chairs. Nice and shallow for kids to bounce around safely for hours while mom relaxes and enjoys the no pressure vibe. The drink menu did not disappoint; with some of the most satisfying poolside beverages ever. My favorite was the happy hour “Pain Killer” with coconut flavors and topped with nutmeg. This situation was pure bliss.
Location, Location, Location
This location could not be more convenient for vacationers wanting that true Waikiki experience. A 20 minute walk to Honolulu Zoo, 5 minute walk to Kalakaua Avenue (the main strip) and 30 seconds walk to the International Marketplace where you can find high end shopping, more easy eats, or get a blow out.
My favorite part of the hotel was definitely the Hideout at the LayLow. This open air lounge is probably the most well thought out and cutest fucking place I’ve ever seen. On our first night at the LayLow, we enjoyed a desert of wine and deep fried pineapple cake on our first night.
The deck is lush with yet more fronds (I’m sensing a theme), hanging plants and a small crowd that seemed like they were hired to just sit there and look pretty. But then again who isn’t gorgeous under the warm glow of tiki torches, fire pits and the setting Hawaiian sun. As I sipped my wine I saw a crescent moon rise and people watched the tourists down below. The warm energy of the city juxtaposed the delightful chill of safe space was the just-right cocktail for my dream family vacation. This magic moment would become the happy place my mind goes to when times get sad.
And there’s one totally serious, totally vital, totally amazing bonus for me was that the coffee bar opened at 4:00 a.m.. I almost cried when they told me that. This sounds ridiculous but my lifestyle is early to bed, early to rise, even on vacation. You have no idea how many hours I’ve spent laying in a dark hotel room watching the clock until the coffee bar opens at 6am in most resorts. So for an early riser like me, the love was finally there. And the coffee was delicious!
This one’s for the Kama’aina. As you know, the Kama’aina Rate has really gone the way of permed bangs and anything affordable around here in the past decade or so. It rarely exists so when you find it, its a true gem. The LayLow had a fabulous Kama’aina Rate, as well as additional benefits including a waived Destination Fee and Valet Fee.
How wonderful that the LayLow supports the local experience as well as providing a truly amazing space for mainland and international visitors.
I feel so grateful for this place that held the memories my family with cherish forever. I owe it all to my seasoned staycationer friends who suggested it in the first place.
Thank you. I’ll be back.