Five “5 Star” Waikiki Beach Hotels

1) Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach

Trump International Waikiki Beach

A two-level, open-air lobby welcomes guests with ocean view and interiors reflecting the island’s rich history. Thirty-eight stories high, the spectacular views continue from inside each of the hotel’s 462 luxury guest rooms and suites. The emerald waters of the Pacific Ocean stretching out beyond Fort DeRussy Park, Diamond Head, the Honolulu skyline – each landmark dominated by the backdrop of the magnificent Ko`olau Mountains.

Trump Waikiki hotel offers all of the exceptional amenities and superior services of the Trump Hotel Collection to help guests live the life Hawaiian style. A 6th-floor infinity pool with an expansive lanai deck, world-class indoor and al fresco dining, The Spa at Trump and signature services of Trump Attaché – only the best will do at our Honolulu luxury hotel. This is paradise, after all.

2) Halekulani

Halekulani

Nestled on five acres of lush gardens fronting Gray’s Beach, the Halekulani (“house befitting heaven”) has long been synonymous with gracious Hawaiian hospitality. From humble beginnings a century ago, the hotel grew into a sophisticated destination for discerning guests like Clark Gable and Doris Duke and has remained the standard for polished service. Guests can lounge by the freshwater pool, which shimmers with a mosaic of 1.2 million pieces of blue South African glass, indulge in a traditional Lomi Lomi massage and dine at La Mer, the hotel’s much-praised French restaurant. The rooms, most with ocean views, are located in five buildings connected by courtyards.

3) The Royal Hawaiian Waikiki

royal hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian has refreshed its grandeur with a multimillion-dollar transformation, taking “The Pink Palace” a step beyond traditional luxury resort expectations. The redesign has revitalized the entire property, conjuring a decidedly chic and modern atmosphere that is still captivatingly Hawaiian, making this Waikiki’s finest luxury resort.

The Royal Hawaiian is a playground for international royalty, Hollywood elite, and heads of state, this legendary pink-hued retreat is ushering in a new era of Hawaiian-style luxury on Oahu’s golden Waikiki Beach with striking décor and unmatched service.

4) The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Honolulu, Oahu

Kahala Hotel

The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a luxury destination resort unto itself, yet just minutes from the shopping and nightlife beyond the Kahala area.

This is a legendary resort well-known for the sheer beauty and grace of its rooms and suites, for the innovation of its restaurants and for the grandeur of its banquet rooms

5. Hyatt Regency Beach Resort & Spa

hyatt regency waikiki

Experience the ancient spirit of aloha from our luxury Hyatt Waikiki hotel. The past and the future are united in fresh and surprising ways in this world-famous neighborhood (known in Hawaiian as “spouting waters”) that was once the playground for Hawaiian royalty. Hyatt Regency Waikiki offers the ultimate combination of personalized service, oversized, luxurious guestrooms, inspired culinary creations and a perfect location close to all that embodies our island

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Destination: Waikiki

waikiki

Waikīkī is a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oʻahu, in Hawaii, United States. Waikiki is best known for Waikīkī Beach, the white sand beach shoreline fronting the neighborhood.

Things to do in Waikiki:

1) Kayak, Surf, or Snorkel on Waikiki’s iconic beach.

2) Take a submarine tour and descend 100 feet underwater witnessing the beautiful coral and fish of Waikiki and  seeing sunken shipwrecks and airplanes.

3) Take a hike at the famous Diamond Head State Park for the best views of Waikiki.

4) Take a trip to the famous Waikiki Aquarium and take a look at zebra sharks,octopuses, and more underwater creatures.

5) Visit Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial, and the Battleship Missouri Memorial. The history of Hawaii comes to life at Honolulu’s Pearl Harbor. Tour the legendary USS Arizona Memorial, commemorating the soldiers and crew who perished during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Take a guided tour of the sunken hull of Battleship USS Arizona and the museum, featuring WWII history exhibits and a documentary film. Celebrating US victory and the end of WWII, the Battleship Missouri Memorial is a living museum with exhibits, memorabilia and activities that tell the history of the world’s most famous battleship.

The Best ‘Cyber Monday’ Travel Deals

cyber monday travel deals 2013

This Cyber Monday (December 2nd 2013) the travel industry is offering many great promotions and deals. Here are a couple of the best deals to save you money.

1. American Express Travel is launching its first-ever CyberMonday promotion, with substantial hotel discounts and deals throughout the U.S. and Canada for Jan. 13-31. The promotions will be bookable at http://www.amextravel.com beginning Monday (Dec. 2) at 12:01 a.m. and will last 72 hours.

2. Liberty Travel has participated in CyberMonday before, but the volume of deals and their promotion is bigger this year and offers deeper savings. Liberty has assembled 99 deals with up to 65 percent off, bookable Black Friday through CyberMonday (Nov. 29-Dec. 2), featuring resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico along with cruises and escorted tours.

Liberty is also giving a credit of up to $100 on all new bookings made in Liberty Travel stores Friday-Monday (Nov. 29-Dec. 2). Get a Black Friday code at http://www.LibertyTravel.com , available as of 12 a.m. Friday (Nov. 29), then present it to an agent to take $50, $75 or $100 off (depending on how much you spend) on trips worth $2,500 or more.

3. Priceline.com is doing a one-day sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday (Dec. 2) promising “50 percent off all flights for travel before Dec. 18” on select flights from unsold inventory. Spokeswoman Leslie Cafferty says “there are a lot of options for those who are there first,” advising deal-seekers to “start searching early.”

Five ‘5 Star’ Maldives Hotels

Here is my list of five ‘5 star’ Maldives Hotels:

1. Diamonds Thudufushi

Diamonds Thudufushi

Kick off your shoes and unwind at Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas, a little piece of paradise on its own private island in the Maldives.

Set on a white sand island within the turquoise waters of a shallow lagoon, Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas offers luxurious accommodation and outstanding levels of service. Located on the south-western rim of Ari Atoll, just a 35-minute seaplane flight south of Male’ International Airport, the resort is secluded and tranquil, providing optimum privacy in unspoilt surroundings.

The natural beauty of the island has been retained and enhanced. Beach Bungalows have individual verandas and private beachfronts along the coral-sand shore.

Experience the diversity of the Maldives by pairing your visit with a stay at Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas, offering intimate village charm.

2. Shangri-La Villingili Resort

Shangri-La Villingili Resort

The southernmost island in the Maldives, Villingili has room to spread out — and Shangri-La’s Villingili takes full advantage. But even though the 132-villa resort is large by Maldivian standards, it doesn’t sacrifice privacy, comfort or intimacy, offering top-notch service, beachfront or overwater villas and places to get social. To wit: the infinity pool, where the chill bar, comfy loungers and Indian Ocean views make lingering all day a real possibility.

The resort’s size means there’s plenty to keep guests busy, and there’s a long list of daily activities, from jungle walks through the island’s lush interior to an extensive roster of water sports and a well-rounded treatment menu at the property’s Chi spa.

The three restaurants are actually worth eating in (not always so on these isolated islands). Drawing heavily on the cuisines of China, India, Vietnam and the Middle East, Dr. Ali’s has three dining rooms, each themed around Asia’s bodies of water. In the Indian dining room, you can enjoy fragrant curries, while the South China Sea room serves up specialties from across Southeast Asia (including an amazing pomelo salad with prawns).

The beachfront Fashala puts a gourmet spin on local ingredients, with seafood cooked en papillotewith indigenous herbs and spices. And at Javuu, the buffet breakfast is an impressive spread of fresh-baked breads, congee, sushi, fried noodles and more — a great beginning to a full day, whether you’ll be out on the water or ensconced in your villa.

3. Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu

The 14th-century explorer Ibn Battuta called the Maldives “one of the wonders of the world.” At the Six Senses Laamu, you’ll see why. On the tiny island of Olhuveli, in the Laamu Atoll, its 97 villas are secluded and luxurious, with indoor-outdoor spaces and beach access. Throw in the lovely Indian Ocean vistas from the six restaurants and bars, the glamorous spa and water activities, and it’s clear that this lauded resort is an beach vacation slam dunk.

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean. Just an inter-island plane trip from Malé International Airport and a short boat ride brings you to a place where dolphins swim. The resort is a combination of on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials and set around the palm-fringed paradise.

At several lounges and restaurants our chefs from East and West prepare mouthwatering dishes, many created from produce grown in the island’s organic gardens.

4. Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru

Enjoy the surreal view of miles and miles of turquoise waters. Venture into the ocean and watch dazzling marine life. Take a break from civilisation and live on an uninhabited island for the day. Wake up to a sensory experience, every day at Angsana Ihuru.

Angsana Ihuru brings out the romantic in you. Our resort, located on the Ihuru island in North Malé Atoll, is 20 minutes by speedboat from Malé. Romance is always in the air when you have the privilege of seclusion and privacy.

Woo your ‘special one’ with a dash of adventure. Discover our house reef or explore an uninhabited island. Learn the fine art of Maldivian cooking from our master chefs or get a relaxing massage at the award-winning Angsana Spa.

5. Niyama Maldives

Nayama Maldives

This younger, larger sister of luxury Maldives resort Huvafen Fushi opened in 2012 with a blitz of publicity. Most of the attention centered on Subsix — its unique underwater nightclub — but there’s a lot more to the resort on Olhuveli Island, in the Dhaalu atoll. An awful lot more. From global campfire cuisine to a riot of boys toys (including motorized boats and cars) to an art studio and a marine biology lab. Bright, coolly contemporary Niyama ensures there’s no excuse for boredom or desert island ennui.

The 86 overwater and on-land studios and pavilions are bright and light, with cream walls, wood floors and glass partitions. They offer state-of-the-art technology, complimentary movies, and enviably stylish bathrooms containing vast trapezoid bathtubs. The overwater decks support white chaise longues and smoke green infinity pools: ancient Rome meets 21st-century L.A. All have well-stocked minibars to go with the obligatory Nespresso machines; Niyama’s ‘deli-in’ concept means free Häagen-Dazs and superb value snacks, including Tuscan antipasto mix and triple-cream brie.

Fine dining restaurant, Edge, is accessible only by boat and offers panoramic views of the ocean. Equally spectacular, and slightly more hearty, is the meeting of African, Asian and South American cuisines at Tribal, surrounded by fecund foliage and a bushfire. Multiple activities — many, unusually for the Maldives, away from the ocean — are what Niyama is all about. The energetic vibe, captured in punchy buzzwords — Float (water sports), Quench (spa/juice bar) and Active (computer games, sports simulators, pool table, darts and ping-pong) — should please the more energetic, young and young at heart. Enjoy.

Destination: The Maldives

Maldives

“The Maldives lies in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. The country is made up of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, spread over 90,000 square kilometers. These atolls structures are formed upon a sharp ridge rising from the ocean, making way for their secluded uniqueness.

Ninety-nine percent of the Maldives is made up of sea. The people of the islands are widely dispersed across the atolls, with about 200 inhabited islands. About 90 islands are developed as tourist resort and the rest are uninhabited or used for agriculture and other livelihood purposes.

maldives

The weather in the Maldives is usually picture perfect: sunlit days, breezy nights, balmy mornings, and iridescent sunsets. The temperature hardly ever changes – which makes packing for your holiday an easy task. With the average temperature at about 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year, the sun is a constant on most days, shining through treetops, creating lacy patterns on your feet, healing cold-bones with its warmth. Throughout the day, the sun will make itself known, ensuring that it will be remembered and missed, like an old friend, as you pack up your suitcases to leave.
Maldives has two distinct seasons; dry season (northeast monsoon) and wet season (southwest monsoon), with the former extending from January to March and the latter from mid-May to November.”

Get Inspired to Travel!

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As we all know traveling has many benefits. It makes you more worldly, smarter, pushes you out of your comfort zone, more adventurous and the list goes on! Not everyone has the desire and urge to travel, here are some of the best travel quotes to make you want to see the world!

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How To Make Going Through Airport Security Less Stressful

It’s that magical time of year… the time where traveling can be a nightmare. Make the time you spend getting to your destination easier with some helpful travel tips to get through airport security a little faster.

TSA

Here are some tips I found to make you less stressed when traveling! (curtsey of on call international)

Double-Check Tricky Items: You could go to TSA’s website to review the list ofprohibited items, but why waste time when there’s an app for that! You can download iPhone and Android versions of the TSA App on iTunes  and Google Play.

Pack Strategically: Layer items neatly in your suitcase and keep your plastic bag of toiletries/liquids in an outer pocket or at the top of your bag for easy access so you can quickly move through security. Make sure your laptop or tablet is easy to retrieve as well since it will need to go in a tray by itself.  By now you’ve memorized the TSA 3-1-1 rule: liquids and gels must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and these containers must be in a single quart-size zip-lock bag. Not sure what exactly constitutes a gel? See a list of gel-like substances that are NOT checkpoint-approved here.

Get with the Program: TSA’s PreCheck program that is! Flyers eligible for TSA’s PreCheck are pre-screened and then get to breeze through security, sometimes without even taking off shoes or removing laptops from cases. Caveat:enrollment is not free and you’ll have to disclose a good amount of personal information during the application process. A small price to pay for your time? You be the judge! Visit the TSA’s website for more information and to apply.

Be a Frequent Flier (or Buy Status): When booking your flight, find out if there are any perks that come with it.  Many frequent-flyer programs offer access to faster airport security lines for their higher-status members and their travel companions. Flying business or first class? You could benefit from expedited security lines as well. If purchasing a premium seat isn’t in your near future, just wing it! When you get to the airport, ask the agent (or electronic kiosk) if there are any discount upgrades available. Depending on how strapped you are for time, it might be worth the extra money to hustle through security.

Dress the Part: Anything you can do to avoid extra screening, do it. This includes removing all items from your pockets (keys, smartphone, spare change, etc.), as well as certain accessories like bulky jewelry, belts with metal buckles, and body piercings. Wear shoes that you can easily slip on and off, and remove jackets and bulky sweaters early in the security line.

Avoid Peak Times: If you can, plan your travels to avoid the peak airport times of 6:30-9:30 AM and 3:30-7:30 PM. Some times of year, like the holidays and spring break, will always be busy, so plan accordingly.

*Bonus Tip* Buy Now, Wrap Later: With the holidays approaching, we couldn’t resist including this tip for any traveler! While wrapped gifts aren’t officially prohibited, they could get torn open at the security checkpoint. Save yourself the heartache of watching a TSA agent open your gifts for Grandma and wrap them at your destination instead.

Safe Travels!