We just got back from a trip with the kids to Oahu and it was such a welcome bit of paradise in all the cold we’ve had in the last little while. We usually don’t spend more than three nights in one place so we’ve stayed at three places over the course of this trip and our last one was definitely a gem of a hotel that actually made it to my Hotel Love list.
I was thinking we would book at least 1 vrbo/airbnb/homeaway rental for this trip so we could just enjoy some slow days at the beach and lazy meals over our own table but I booked a little late and a lot of the properties we wanted were already promised to other guests. And then a friend (thanks Kara!) told us about Paradise Bay Resort and it sounded perfect.
If you are looking for a big, cookie cutter resort with theme-characters, waterslides and tall elevators, this is not your place. But if you like to feel some lovely local hospitality in a place that’s almost like you’re in your own little vacation rental this is the perfect resort for you.
We booked one of the last two-bedrooms so we were were told we had no ocean view but we had a significantly better view of the water than the partial-ocean view we paid nearly double for (ouch!) at another resort the same week. In the morning we could just walk out from our door to the kayak launch or eat snacks on the dock and it felt so tropical, serene and beautiful. (Even with two energetic boys in tow!)
We enjoyed the amazing breakfast that was included in our resort-fee. (10 dollars per person for daily breakfast, free parking, free slow-but-working- wi-fi, free kayak rentals, free pool and mini gym) And the boys had a blast one afternoon in the pool.
On Wednesday nights the hotel has a reasonably priced dinner buffet with a singer (uncle kimo played on our night and he was so sweet with my family and we loved his singing and guitar playing) and we listened to birds chiming in with his music and filled our bellies as the sun set over the lanai.
We made use of the free kayaks both mornings we were there. This alone would have cost at least 50 dollars a kayak at any of the other hotels we’ve stayed at in Hawaii over the years. It was lovely to just pop out of our room, put on our life-jackets and walk a few steps to the kayaks and paddle away. We saw turtles swimming on the reef one afternoon and even though the next day was rainy we had a once-in-a-lifetime kayaking adventure when three little fish jumped into our boat.
The pupus and fire show that happens on Friday night was the perfect mini-almost-luau for my guys. Again, there was a full buffet of food and plenty of mai tais and I’m still dreaming about the pineapple pizza. We’ve taken the boys to luaus before where they’ve gotten antsy and tired so this was simple and intimate and they loved watching the hula girl and listening to the singer while we ate, then walking down to the dock near our room to watch the fire show.
I wish we were here for the boat cruise morning. (It happens on Saturday) I think a perfect stay would be at least a Wednesday through Sunday to make use of all the neat entertainment they have here, but again, we don’t ever stay in one place for too long. All the staff at this resort were so friendly and so pleasant too-I think that helped make our stay so special as well.
Nearby Kailua town was such an appealing place to visit.
and some tasty fried bananas from Otsuji farms. Next time we go to Oahu, I totally want to do the Otsuji Farm to Table tour, now that I know their food is delicious and they have a farm tour. We also enjoyed a coffee shop called ChadLou’s
and had some hot delicious malasadas from the Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop.
One afternoon we had amazing lilikoi and blueberry and corn pancakes at Cinnamons for lunch (it’s neat because they’re opening one in Yokohama, Japan this week too) and then marched upstairs to learn a little bit about a cool bean to bar Oahu chocolate factory I’ve read about called Manoa Chocolates.
(We just popped in so we didn’t have an actual tour-it was all booked up and I especially wanted to go to do the farm tour to see Hawaii grown chocolate-but a lovely lady there gave us a mini-tour and it was fantastic.) I love that they have so many homemade touches to how they make their chocolates-this bike was apparently used until just a few months ago as a winnower.
Who wants regular factory-made chocolate anyways? I wish they still used the Dora Bike and I really liked their Breakfast Bar-a unique espresso and nib studded delight of a bar. (You know I’ll take any excuse for chocolate for breakfast right?)
The weather (and our bodies-all of us got colds at some point on this trip!) didn’t cooperate for beach visits here in Kailua but I heard they are absolutely spectacular-especially Lanikai beach. I know we would definitely think of visiting Paradise Bay Resort again when we come back to explore this area and I totally recommend this fabulous family-friendly Oahu hotel!
(PS. I have more pictures to add from my new Nikon Aw1 camera and I will do that as soon as I figure out how to upload them. It’s a rugged, water-proof camera that was awesome on our kayak and beach adventures-I love that I can take nice pictures but don’t have to worry about breaking my camera too easily. We even got pictures of the turtle underwater! I think it’s my new favorite camera.)