By Diane Ako
For spring break, my family decided to stay the weekend at Sheraton Waikiki. I've stayed at hotels all around it, but I haven't stayed there before, and it has a fantastic kid-friendly pool. You see where my priorities are?
We stayed for two nights, the perfect amount of time to enjoy Waikiki and unwind. One night would have been too short. We were upgraded to a one bedroom suite, which was so kind and luxurious.
Olivia has grown up around privilege. When I worked at Waikiki's top luxury hotel, we regularly stayed there. Rack rates started at $500 and went up to $7,000 a night, and we stayed across all categories.
For years, that was her favorite hotel. Kid has taste. Her standard against which all other hotel rooms were measured was if the room had a chromatherapy hot tub and came with its own butler.
I'm saying all this because it means a lot when she now deems Sheraton Waikiki her favorite hotel. Factors: the pool has a slide; the same pool has a waterfall; the infinity pool looks cool even though she was not old enough to be allowed in; the view from the room overlooked the pool so we had the best seats for the nightly 3D pool light show.
Secret to the seven-year-old: Win her over with cool water features. What the kid likes, the mommy likes.
So we passed the time alternating between the pool and the beach. We dug holes in the sand. We all used the slide and liked it. We warmed up in the hot tub and made a new friend for the weekend, a ten-year-old from Texas. We fell asleep in the red-awning pool cabanas.
One afternoon, we walked around Waikiki, and found a little restaurant called Heavenly in the Shoreline Waikiki. We stopped in for a bite and were pleasantly surprised. It's fun to discover new things.
Heavenly offered the oddest dessert: sea asparagus ice cream. I like to try new things so I ordered it. It was mildly salty at first and then mellowed out to a sweetness. It was just OK - not horrible, not amazing. I wouldn't order it again, but I liked trying it.
It's fun to be a tourist in my own town. We'll have to do this again soon.
Where's your favorite place to staycation?