How We Vacation In Hawaii

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aloha from hawaii

We’ve been home for 5 days now and we are still talking about Hawaii non-stop. 

The girls are asking when we are going back, and I told them that I would love to make another trip out this fall. It’s a place that you just can’t stay away from. The more you see, the more you want to explore everything. We were there for a week and we feel like we just scraped the surface of all that there is to see and do. We had a big list of places we wanted to go to, and we made it to less than 50% of them. The island is much bigger than I expected.  The places we stayed at instantly put us into a relaxed, vacation mode, so we totally could have hustled more, but really we loved those calm down time moments.  We are all okay that we didn’t check everything off our list. That just means that we HAVE to go back, right?

We went from being smack dab in the middle of Waikiki, to the farthest north end of Waikiki. They say it’s where Waikiki starts… and I totally agree. 


The feel of Suite is intimate in a large style resort. It’s not so big that you get lost in the crowd, but it has the amenities that are typical and appreciated at a larger resort.  Pete and the girls loved the pool and the lagoons that are right below the hotel, and I loved that there was a coffee shop restaurant. Yes, coffee means that much to me.

The decor is aligned with the Hawaiian style and the resort is immaculate. The staff is very friendly and helpful. There is a team of concierge staff just waiting to help you plan tours or anything else you may need. One day we needed help finding a place to eat dinner, and they were able to offer multiple options for us. 


There are waterfalls and lush, tropical foliage throughout the property.  The open-air lobby is perfect for relaxing and planning out your days.


Straight through the lobby is the marina. If you are taking a boating adventure, chances are it will leave from there. 


The pool is the perfect place to cool off and there are great lounge chairs to relax on.




I opted for the macadamia nut pesto pasta for lunch one day. Sooo good!


There is even a convenience store off the lobby with everything from sundries to snacks, and by snacks, I mean full meals that you can reheat in your own kitchen. The luxury suites have full kitchens. We bought juice, yogurt, and snacks to keep in our room since Emmy is a non-stop grazer. It was so nice to have the store there to be able to stock up on some things to keep in our room. 


Speaking of food… there is also a coffee bar with light meal options. 

We had some amazing lattes and panini’s here. The caprice one is so flavorful. They also had sweet treats, acai bowls, and more. 

All Hotels and Resorts that we stayed at have a DVD rental box inside them. I can’t tell you how brilliant they are. Originally I didn’t think they were going to get any use from us.  I figured we would pass out into bed at night and never get the chance to watch a movie. I was so wrong. We used this all the time. The best part is that there is no fee to “rent” these DVD’s…they are included in the room rate.

Since Pete and I both work, even when we are traveling, we always have some downtime. Ash and Maddie use this time to work on school work, but Emmy gets antsy and having a movie for her to watch saved us over and over again. There were a couple nights when Pete and I were exhausted, but the girls still had energy. We were thrilled to have the option of watching a movie all together back in our suite.

One of my favorite things to do when we are traveling is to sit and enjoy my coffee and just take in the sights and sounds. I will never forget this morning’s coffee time. I ended up bringing my computer out on the veranda and working out there. It was paradise! Take a look at all the views we had!
veranda Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites

Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites ocean view pictures

The room had an upscale, modern, and elegant feel. I loved the hip decor! It was light and bright and dreamy for some major relaxation.

Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites for families

The master bedroom was so comfortable and stylish!

Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites review

Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites review kids

aqua resorts hawaii

Pete stole this work area as soon as we got there. Don’t worry about me, I was just fine working on the balcony. But seriously look at that view!

Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites

Our suite had a fully stocked kitchen with everything we needed. The coffee was quite good too!

Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites kitchen

The kid’s room had another large king size bed and their own bathroom.

kids room

We were greeted with a box of Hawaiian Cookies. Emmy tried each one and loved them. I didn’t know that cookies were such a big thing out there… until I saw these. They are really cool. Shaped like pineapple and each one has a different flavor. They make the perfect gift to take back home to friends and family too… if only we had any left over!


Here is a room tour video we made of our suite:


Emmy bought her first ukulele and she played it all night long! Her favorite spot was on the balcony though… can’t blame the girl. You could just feel the Hawaiian spirit in the air here! 

Where is your favorite place to enjoy a cup of coffee?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


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