Alohilani Resort & Spa Waikiki

Hi friends! Welcome back to the my little blog. I am excited to share our recent trip to Hawaii for our honeymoon! We got married in October, but delayed out honeymoon until this summer due to work schedules. Although I think it is probably exciting to jet off to a honeymoon destination right after the big day, it was nice having something to look forward to. We also did not start planning our trip until well after our wedding was over, so it was one less “to do” I had to worry about prior to our wedding day.

It took us a while to decide on a destination. We considered Italy, Paris, London, Greece, Napa Valley and Bermuda, but Hawaii was the winner.  Hawaii has a good mix of adventure, relaxation and history. Once the trip was booked I could not be more excited! Within the next few blog posts I will share details of our time on Oahu and Maui, and of course tons of gluten-free recommendations.

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I found planning a gluten-free trip to Hawaii to be a bit difficult. When I was doing my research I struggled to find restaurants that offered GF options. At some point during my search I stumbled on a helpful blog and the wonderful blogger behind the site responded to my email with a lot of suggestions. Unfortunately, I lost that email and cannot find the link to her site again. I hope my blog helps to fill the current void of gluten-free Hawaii tips!

We flew direct from JFK to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines. It was an 11 hour flight and to our surprise it did not seem that bad! I can’t say either of us were overly impressed with this airline. There were no complementary movies or TV shows and limited snack and beverage services. Although the flight attendants were friendly, they were not as attentive as those on some other airlines we have used.

We started off our honeymoon and my birthday weekend on Oahu at the Alohilani Resort & Spa, which was recently renovated. A complementary bottle of champagne was left in our room which made our arrival even more exciting. The resort is on Kalakaua Avenue and no other hotels are obstructing its views to the ocean. This was a key criteria in my hotel search because there are many hotels in the city. We had a partial ocean view room with a king bed in the Beachside tower {the tower closest to the ocean}. I think the view from our room was excellent, especially for the sunset. The only disadvantage of this area is the city noise when siting on your balcony. We thought our room was perfect; very clean, sleek modern decor and a comfy bed. The only minor flaw I can think of is that the bathroom was a little blah. All white everything {literally}.

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When you walk into the hotel you enter a grand, yet modern lobby with views of the O-Bar floor to ceiling aquarium. On the 5th floor there is an inviting infinity pool overlooking Waikiki beach, a kids pool and the Swell bar area. We loved the pool area and the pool bar staff were very attentive. It’s not a huge space, but we lucked out with only having one overly crowded day. You can also pay extra reserve a cabana or lounge chairs in the pool. We considered renting a cabana, but once we realized they were not alongside the pool, we passed. The resort also has a gym and on-site parking for a fee.

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If you are considering renting a car, I highly recommend booking through Costco if you are a member. The Costco site compares about 5 major car rental companies; all of which were much lower than booking through any other sight. I also liked that through Costco, I only made reservations and did not make a payment until we picked up the car. When we arrived in Honolulu, the line for Avis was very long and slow moving. I was quickly able to change out reservation through Costco on my phone then popped over to one of the rental places with no line. To my surprise, I was able to save another $15 and the car rental person upgraded us to a Mustang because she thought, “we needed something nicer for our honeymoon.”

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We ate at two restaurants at the Alohiliani; Morimoto’s Asia and Momosan’s. Morimoto’s Asia has gluten-free options identified on the menu, knowledgeable waitstaff and outdoor seating. Although it is not overly fancy, I would say the dress code is a step up from casual. As usual, Mike enjoyed his dinner, but I was a bit taken by surprise when mine was placed in front of me. {Side note: he always teases that I don’t order well}  I ordered the garlic shrimp expecting something along the lines of what I order at PF Chang’s. That is NOT what garlic shrimp is in Hawaii. A classic garlic shrimp dish consists of gumbo shrimp {shells and legs included} in a garlic broth. Be prepared to work and get messy to enjoy this meal. Although the shrimp and garlic broth were very tasty, this style dinner was just not for me. Not to mention, gumbo shrimp give me the heebie jeebies.

Momosan’s has a casual atmosphere and also offers outdoor seating. Their menu doesn’t indicate gluten-free, but all grilled skewers can be make gluten-free (without the sauces and just with salt). We actually ate here twice and all of the waitstaff who helped us were very knowledgeable. I tried the chicken and beef skewers with a side of edamame. I highly recommend the beef skewers and a glass of rosé.

Head over to my Instagram to see more photos from our trip and stay tuned for my next Hawaii blog!

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