Insider’s Guide to Hawai’i


My first and perhaps what you could call most random side post from the usual Parisian patisserie updates, however as a travel blog I think it is only necessary to write a post about one of my favourite places on earth – the beautiful islands of Hawai’i.

I learnt that the name is spelt Hawai’i by native Hawaiians, and the ‘w’ is actually pronounced as a ‘v’, so you’re really pronouncing it ha-vah-ee, but that’s by the by. For Christmas 2014, when I was the tender age of 18, I was lucky enough to spend 15 days cruising the luscious green islands of the 50th state with my family. I honestly really didn’t know what to expect except beach after beach after beach … And that’s exactly what it was, perfection.



Now everyone is different, but I definitely prefer the sun, beach, views-of-the-ocean kind of holidays, so for me, each port of call being a new island with a new sandy beach to sunbathe on, I was in heaven. Of course my family and I did other things too, but that was the main activity in question for our trip.

Here is a little list I’ve put together of the places we visited and the best things about them:

Over 150 year old Banyan tree, in Lahaina, Maui

Ka’anapali Beach, Lahaina, Maui – We wondered through the main street of the img_8231 own just on the waterfront (Lahaina is quite small!) and we stopped off at a shaved ice shop where you can get colourful ice cones. There was also a beautiful banyan tree in the centre, which we were told was over 150 years old. We went to the Sheraton Maui hotel resort and spent the day chilling on the sand under the sun, while kids jumped into the sea off “Black Rock”. You can also hire snorkeling equipment to go and explore the coral reef and turtles that gather together just off the beach. Plenty of bars for a Mai Tai. It just so happens this is how we spent Christmas Day 2014, Mele Kalikimaka!

Lahaina, Maui

Hilo – For us, Hilo wasn’t a beach stop. We had a helicopter tour planned to take us over


the live volcano of the island, however once up in the air the pilot told us he had to land as the weather wasn’t good enough to continue flying. Still an amazing tour to get some great snaps of the beautiful green island scenery, even if it was a bit cloudy.

Helicopter ride in Hilo

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu



Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, O’ahu – Yes, Waikiki beach really is what


you think it’s like. White sand, beautiful view of the rocky green mountains out to the left, palm trees and restaurants lining the beach … However so so busy. You can never really get that perfect shot of the beach with the trees and the mountains in the background without an American tourist walking in front of the frame. We had an amazing lunch at Duke’s, an Hawaiian restaurant on the beach, where there was a live band playing just below on the sand. The ship set sail later in the evening at this port, so we spent it strolling through Honolulu, which I have to say basically resembles L.A.. The main cities of Hawai’i have been very westernised since


becoming a part of the United States, which is fine if you want to go shopping or are there for business, but sometimes I do feel it takes away from the natural beauty that the islands have to offer, like their beaches and rainforests and volcanoes …

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu

img_8290Duke’s, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu

img_8398Kalapaki Bay, Nawiliwili

Kalapaki Bay, Nawiliwili, Kauai – Although nearly all beaches in Hawai’i are rammed with tourists, I was pleasantly surprised by Kalapaki Bay. A smaller beach in Nawiliwili, and just around the corner from where the ship was docked, we walked over to find a small cove-like beach, with a couple of food bars and a place to hire surfboards. We ended up sunbathing, swimming and eating mexican food on the beach, all without the usual hustle and bustle of tourists.

img_8356Kalapaki Bay, Nawiliwili

img_8382Kalapaki Bay, Nawiliwili


Now I’m also going to give

Ensenada, Mexico a little shoutout as it was a port of call at the very end of the cruise just before we arrived back in L.A.. Great stop for just a wonder through the city (I’ll admit there isn’t much to it) however we did end up at Papas & Beer drinking bowls (yes, not standard glasses) of margaritas and well, I’m sure you can guess how that ended up …

Ensenada, Mexico

Now I know Hawai’i is an incredibly long way to go for anyone, especially us Brits, but I have to say the best way to do it is by cruise. We spent 4 days out on the Pacific getting there and 5 days back, and if you like being out on the open ocean like I do, it’s a perfect way to visit the islands. You wake up and you’re in a new place every day. As well as setting sail in the evenings, which always feels magical it doesn’t matter where you are, watching the sun set in Hawai’i made me realise that I really was in paradise.



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