Laying low at The Laylow, Honolulu Hawaii

You know what I love. When you can walk into a hotel lobby after traveling for hours on end wearing a full black ensemble (not appropriate for the weather) and not feel like you’re totally a fish out of water. This was my reality a month ago at the Laylow in Honolulu. 

Riding up the escalator, I was immediately transported to a hotel lounge with a cool island vibe.  The lobby of the Laylow is complete with palms, and wicker egg chairs hanging from the ceiling. There is an assortment of Hula Dancer figurines that serve as decor adding some slight whimsy.

At one end, the secluded pool can be found and at the other, the restaurant/lounge called the Hideout is open early for breakfast until late serving cocktails served by two fire pits.  The live music was a nice touch showcasing Honolulu’s most talented. Big kudos for the Stumptown coffee bar – although born in Portland – I’ve only had it in NY. 

Nothing overly contrived, The Laylow has a beautiful aesthetic.  Vintage Surfer memorabilia and authentic ukuleles can be found in each guest room to heighten the mood. The custom designed monstera leaf wallpaper is a perfect backdrop to an Instagram photo or to set the scene as you decompress for the night.   


See Paradise with Paradise Helicopters!


The last time I was in a helicopter, I was 10 year old. It was a family trip to the Grand Canyon and like most of our road trips, it was packed with adventurous activities. I remember floating in the middle of the Canyon like birds. It was definitely a unique way to see the rocks.

Because it had been so long, I wanted to revisit the idea of a helicopter tour. This time – it would take place overlooking the popular tropical island of O’ahu.

Although there are many helicopter companies out there, we went with Paradise Helicopters. They operate from all of the islands with 25 different tours offered. There is even a doors-off option and don’t worry – they take safety seriously as they have been operating for over 20 years. I felt like I was in capable hands and was not nervous about our pilots’ navigation skills, after all – he once was a (Presidential) Marine One pilot.

In addition, Paradise Helicopters have become the first helicopter tour company in Hawai’i to be awarded a Sustainable Tourism Certification from the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association while also launching a carbon offset program to support reforestation of trees in the state.

On the plane to Honolulu, I watched a recent Jurassic Park movie that made me excited to see part of the set from the sky. I could just image all the actors running through the Ka‘a‘awa Valley dodging various fallen trees and charging dinosaurs. One afternoon we climbed the Diamond Head Crater, which was fun, but seeing it from the air is majestic and you can appreciate the size.

In fact, seeing the whole island from a bird’s eye point of view was breathtaking. You definitely do not get to see some of the island just by driving.  The surfers look like little ants and the North Shore surf break shine like cellophane in the sun. I had no idea about the tiny islands that are easily accessible by boat or the large Sandbar that you can visit in low tide.

There is so much to see, but don’t worry about what side you are sitting on (the pilot will loop back to make sure both sides see it). Just make sure you have a full battery in you camera or phone to capture everything that Hawai’i has to offer.

Here is a Discount Code you can use when booking with Paradise Helicopters: *IRESNUMBERI* Give them a call at 866 876 7422 with my last name and reservation number to receive a special offer.