After more than a year and a half, I found my way back on a plane to Oahu. It seemed like a lifetime ago that I was on Oahu, hiking my way around the island and enjoying all of the beautiful beaches. Here I was, stepping out of the airport at 630 am after a horrendous red-eye flight.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to stay at the Laylow Autograph Collection, which is in the heart of Waikiki. The purpose of the stay was to help an incoming media team create a promotional video as part an ongoing series of clips they are producing. My friend Pema came across from LA to spend a few days on Oahu. Here are some of the behind the scenes shots. I am shirtless I the restaurant and it’s a video I am sure I will cop some stick for when it hits the screens.
The Laylow is part of the Autograph Collection, which was created by the Marriott. The idea is to create a boutique style, luxury hotel encompassing a local flavor. What the Laylow has managed to do is create a luxury accommodation on par with a Marriott super hotel but with the feel of a smaller, one-off boutique. This place was so cool it was locals visiting the bar at night, not just the guests.
During our stay at the Laylow, we enjoyed all the facilities you would expect from an accommodation produced by the Marriott. Spacious studio rooms with modern design, a large gym, stunning pool, and a rooftop restaurant/bar. A daily, free shave ice stand and Ukelele lessons were several activities offered among many.
The Laylow Autograph Collection is ideal for the upmarket traveler, who wants to stay somewhere with more thought than a big chain but wants the luxury that big chain comes with. It’s the aloha vibes mixed with pure luxury.
The other drawcard to my visit to Oahu was a flight with Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours. I will be flying with Mauna Loa on Oahu and Kauai, which has been on my bucket list for a long time. Mauna Loa is one of the best tour companies on the island and they don’t just do regular tourist flights but also special photography flights. On these photography flights, the route is different and the way the pilot flies is with a thought regarding lighting and angles. On several occasions I was able to ask Josh, our pilot, to loop back around at a slightly different angle for a shot I had missed on the first pass.
These are some quick edits with my flight over Oahu but I will create a full blog post featuring everything you need to know about booking a helicopter flight and also detailing the Oahu and Kauai flights.