Thursday, 12 May 2016

The Halekulani Hotel
Honolulu - Oahu

When a family of 11 undertake a holiday together, it's got to be organised!  I had never been to Hawaii and am now a huge fan!

I think the 9-hour flight is a big plus as most destinations are so very far away from Australia.

The first hotel we stayed at was the legendary Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki which was fabulous!  

The photo above is the very first photo I took... it was my first impression of this wonderful hotel.  Having never visited before,  I was keen to discover more about the history.  The Halekulani - meaning "house befitting heaven" sits on 5 acres and has 453 rooms.  The original hotel consisted of an informal group of bungalows surrounded by simple gardens which were unpretentious. With views to Diamond Head and the proximity to Gray's beach, the site was very appealing.  Originally opened as the Hau Tree Hotel and owned by Robert Lewers, the hotel has been in existence for 109 years!  The Kimball family purchased the hotel in 1917 and owned it for 45 years before selling it on to the Clapp family, in 1962.  The current owners bought the hotel in 1981 and after a huge renovation, it re-opened in its present incarnation in 1984.  

A fashionable gathering under the Kiawe tree. Visitors of the era sailed to Hawaii on luxury liners, sometimes bringing along their own cars and staff.

Halekulani’s Main Building, guest cottages and tropical grounds in the early 1950s. The automobiles are parked in the area that today forms the serene Courtyard.

We spent four nights at the Halekulani Hotel.  The evenings were spent on the lawns, facing the ocean and the magnificent century-old Kiawe tree.  The little girls loved the freedom of running around and the magic of the warm balmy evenings was accompanied by charming Hawaiian music and Hula dancing.  The sunsets were spectacular.

The photo above was of the view from our room.  The pool at the Halekulani is rather special.  The oval pool is graced by more than a million glass tiles designed and made in Italy.  Each tile was numbered and they were laid as if putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The magnificent Cattleya Orchid on the floor of the pool, is just visible on this photo.

The lawns around the pool have plenty of loungers to enjoy and I spent a happy day here with the little girls while others visited Pearl Harbour

Busy little people

Gray's beach - seen above, is directly accessible from the Halekulani Hotel.   This beach  has been known for its healing waters and many Hawaiians have sought relief from ailments in these waters! We had a few swims there in the late afternoons and the light and water temperatures were truly glorious!  In the very early days,  Waikiki was made up of coconut groves and fishponds and this reef-protected beach allowed ease of travel for the Hawaiian canoes.  As we swam here, I tried to imagine how peaceful and beautiful it must have been.  When Waikiki started to change and give over to residential use in the 1800s, private homes for Hawaiian royalty and Westerners were built along these shores and one of them was owned by the original owner Robert Lewers.

Below are more photos of this fabulous hotel. 

 From the beautiful gardens, buildings and courtyards, floral displays, excellent service and white shutters in the bedrooms, my whole experience at the Halekulani was blissful.  I cannot wait to visit this beautiful establishment again soon.   From Oahu Island, we made our way to Maui.   Stay tuned!!

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