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Review by Shelley Seale, 2019.
A refreshing, tiki-style Mid Century Modern vibe hits you the second you walk into The Laylow. Fun and retro, stylish and whimsical — this hotel brings plenty of unique, personal touches and a casual, “at home” feel that instantly envelope you.
The Laylow is slightly off the beaten path, yet in the midst of everything Waikiki has to offer. Waikiki Beach is a five-minute walk, and all the shopping, dining and entertainment of the area can be found within a short walk (or ride the complimentary cruiser bikes that the hotel provides!)
Style and personality virtually ooze from every pore of The Laylow. The design aesthetic incorporates the clean, classic lines of the mid century era, while putting a 1970s, Don Ho, Hawaiian tiki-bar spin on it. The second-floor open-air lanai serves as reception, lobby, concierge and bar/restaurant area, with cool ocean breezes flowing through. A collection of classic hula dancer dolls greets you at check-in, and The Laylow’s striking blue and pink palm tree signature motif is placed strategically among the whites, warm natural textiles, and pops of orange throughout the hotel.
Service & facilities 9/10
Staff are engaging, casual, and attentive. Everything feels like team spirit here, in a low-key way. The main common area on the second floor serves as the lobby, with casual settees and wicker swing chairs for lounging. On one side are the coffee and cocktail bars and restaurant; and on the other side you’ll find the swimming pool, surrounded by cabanas and large lounging chairs. Adjoining the pool is a fully-equiped fitness room. Cruiser bicycles are available on loan, and fun touches like daily shave ice and poolside drink samplers are served. Regular cultural events also take place, including free ukulele lessons three times a week — just bring your own personal ukulele from your room and join!
Each of the 251 guest rooms welcomes with calming white walls and neutral flooring as the perfect backdrop for the furniture, made of warm woods, rattan, industrial metal and rich textiles. The Laylow signature tropical motif adorns some walls, while pops of original art and vintage photography are on others. The gorgeous shelving units are filled with books about Hawaiian living and style, along with high-tech, pairing entertainment systems. Bathrooms are well-stocked with fantastic-smelling lemongrass and ginger toiletries, thick bathrobes and towels, and deep-brown faux-wood walled showers with multi-function rain showerheads. The daily destination fee of $29 (£23) includes a nice “E Como Mai” welcome basket with local snacks and two pairs of Laylow rubber sandals.
Food & drink 9/10
The Hideout at The Laylow continues the retro-modern décor in a restaurant and bar space. The menu starts with modern Hawaiian breakfast featuring omelettes, benedicts, pancakes and a la carte items, with the coffee bar serving Stumptown products. The lunch and dinner menus offer everything from burgers and tacos (with Chef Bryan Byard’s Hawaiian spin on ingredients, such as squid, pineapple and local seafood), to classic Hawaiian staples including Kalua pork and Ahi poke. A full pupu (appetizer) menu delights with guacamame dip (a combination of avocado and edamame), chicken satay, Kalua egg rolls and poke tacos. A slightly limited menu is available in-room, poolside, and as takeaway picnics. Nightly live music happens in the open-air Hideout every night, as well as during weekend brunch.
Value for money 10/10
Double rooms from $319 (£250) in low season; and from $349 (£274) in high. The hotel welcomes one dog guest per room weighing up to a maximum of 50 pounds (25 kilograms), with a one-time, non-refundable fee of $150 (£118). The hotel offers valet parking at $39 (£30) per day. Breakfast is not included but available at the restaurant from $10 (£7) and up.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Yes, with elevator access to all floors and rooms that are mobility accessible and roll-in showers. Hearing accessible rooms are also available, with visual alarms and notifications for door and phone.
Yes, the hotel accepts all guests. Cribs are available upon request, and many rooms have daybeds that would work for children. The hotel offers free ukulele lessons and lei making and these activities are also open to children; and the concierge can set up family activity packages and suggestions.
2299 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815, United States
Phone: (1)(808) 922-6600
X Small group
X Hen do
X Stag do
X Room only
Bed and breakfast
X Fitness Centre
X Room service
Fairfax is a 45-minute drive over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, if conditions are right. So avoid commute hour and you can be years away from the bustle of the city in no time. One of the few little towns in the Bay Area where you can still enjoy genuine hippy values, eat and shop at locally owned restaurants and quaint stores, and have a unique California experience. No high rise or franchises here. Just good old fashioned hospitality, peppered with a good dose of genuine concern for the environment, nature, new age philosophy and a rocking night life! You’ll find world class live music every any night of the week, and twice on Sundays! Fairfax is home to a variety of musicians, and hosts an eclectic range of original sounds. Check out and the bars; Peris’ and 19 Broadway as well as smaller venues hosting open mic and acoustic sets.
If you’re looking for some peace of mind, Spirit Rock Meditation Center is just 10 minutes away, with it’s beautiful new meditation hall, talks and residential retreats. You can drop in and hear world renowned Buddhist speakers every Monday night, from the founder Jack Kornfield, or one of the many Western Buddhist teachers, who put the concerns of every day into easily reachable perspectives of Buddhist meditation and philosophy. Or try one of the local yoga studios, Yoga Mountain or Sol Studios.
Natural beauty surrounds Fairfax, and there are easy and more challenging hiking trails through the rolling hills, where you can enjoy relative seclusion in a magical forest setting, traversing creeks and grasslands. Start at Deer Park or Cascade Drive. Fairfax is home to the Mountain Bike museum, and you’ll find mountain bikers of all ages, enjoying bike clubs and social rides, especially on weekends, where bikes tend to outnumber cars in this sleepy town.
Hungry? Fairfax is home to the first ever whole food store/ organic grocery store and restaurant combined. Inspired by the founder of the health food movement in California, back in 1969, Good Earth is still a thriving hub of the Fairfax Community, and you know the freshly prepared delicious salad and hot food bar is going to be all organic, sustainable, tastily prepared and suitable for any taste. Or if you prefer burgers, Thai, Mexican or Acai, just keep going up Broadway and you’ll find whatever you crave in one of the many locally owned and run restaurants. Cup of tea? Wu Wei Tea Temple serves up multiple blends of healing and delicious teas, thick hot chocolate and Golden Milk, all served in the atmosphere of a Turkish salon. And the Coffee Roastery roasts, grinds and serves its own unique coffee blends, right on the corner of the main street. Great people watching, and something for everyone in this little known gem of a town!
But if you’ve ever wanted to experience that, you can!
There are a number of homes that have been previously owned by famous actors and other show biz people, and spots where many celebs have taken their own vacays, that are actually available for anyone to rent.
Here are a few places where you, too, can live like a rock star – at least for a few days!
Once owned by the legendary Elizabeth Taylor, this Palm Springs home is a sanctuary for object d’art, photography, oil paintings and is complete with priceless possessions and objects d’art which belonged to the iconic actress. It's the only home ever owned by Elizabeth Taylor in Palm Springs. Renovated and furnished by Kathy Ireland, this estate is frequently called, ‘The Jewel of the Desert’.
Monroe/JFK Mountainside Estate
Did you ever think that you could stay in the home where JFK and Marilyn Monroe used to tryst — for only $120 a night? This storied 4-bedroom home was designed by a student of Frank Loyd Wright and very recently was exquisitely remodeled. This modern masterpiece is located in the best area of metropolitan 'Phoenix'. Just minutes from the Biltmore and Scottsdale shopping areas, it is a great place to travel from. The Frank Lloyd Wright design, completed by one of his students, is timeless. Large glass windows and door allow the visitor to feel as if they are living out-of-doors. A 1000 sq. ft. view deck give the visitor a breath taking 240 degree view of the city lights of Paradise Valley, Mummy Mountain, Camelback Mountain and the Paradise Valley Country Club Golf course.
Elvis Presley’s Former Beverly Hills Home
The King’s former Beverly Hills estate boasts 3-bedrooms, 4-baths, and spans 5,367 square feet, with floor-to-ceiling windows and walls of glass in every room. 4th Bedroom and 5th bath are located in the guest house. This Trousdale property, perched on a small cliff, was one he shared with wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie in the late 1960's. The backyard features expansive lounging and entertaining space, including a large pool and spa. This magnificent property still has the original gates that Elvis used to come and talk to fans through.
Set far back behind gates and mature trees, a long driveway and four-car motor court lead to the newly renovated 5,400-square-foot mid-century residence and attached guesthouse. Spacious interiors are magnified by high ceilings, warm hardwood floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in abundant natural light. Features an incredibly luxurious master suite, skylights, fireplaces and coffered ceilings are complemented by contemporary updates.
Ample outdoor lounging and entertaining space is offered throughout a large patio featuring a fireplace, custom pool and spa, as well as lush lawns, set against breathtaking panoramic vistas. Only minutes from the best shopping, dining, and entertainment of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. Trousdale is a celebrity enclave within Beverly Hills and is currently the most desirable neighborhood in the City of Beverly Hills. Most homes are designed by some of the most notable names in architecture. Some of the other notable personalities have lived in this neighborhood include Richard Nixon, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Jennifer Anniston.
17-Acre Celebrity Hilltop Estate in Jamaica
This property has seen a host of celebrity guests, including Meryl Streep and Tracy Ullman. In fact, Oscar Hammerstein wrote 'The Sound of Music' from the terrace, overlooking the beautiful hillside!
This villa is filled with history and is very private; located about 5 minutes from the beach and 20 minutes from the airport. The home is fully staffed with a chef, butler, housekeeper, gardener and laundress. A van and driver can be arranged for any size group. Private spa treatments are available on site. The home also has a tranquil pavilion ideal for yoga retreats and the like.
Luxury Estate Flamingo on the Mexican Riviera
If you REALLY want to splurge (to the tune of $18,000 per night!) – you can stay at the same over-the-top home where the Kardashians have stayed. With 12 bedrooms and 14+ bathrooms, this magnificent beachfront retreat is nestled amid acres of lush tropical gardens in Punta Mita, Mexico. Located just below the Tropic of Cancer on the Pacific Mexican Riviera, it combines natural beauty, warm tropical weather, priceless seclusion, warm ocean water, a five-star chef, world-class service, and unparalleled luxury accommodations into a getaway destination unlike any other place on earth.
This house provides a carefree environment for relaxation and recreation that is the very definition of paradise. A discrete, but attentive staff is available around the clock to accommodate any request with an array of amenities to satisfy the most discriminating wish list.
Additional home vacation rental tips:
Location: Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina Instagram: @homehotelba Fame: Home hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina was visited by the Rolling Stones. Home hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is located in downtown Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires, amidst hip and boutique style shops, lively restaurants and elegant hotels.
A chic and boutique hotel itself, with an air of Los Angeles comfort, Home hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is styled with effervescence and colour. With a spaciously retro feel the decor shows off a an arty décor. The hotel features funky floral hand-painted wallpaper, polished cement flooring, colour blocking, and shiny retro furniture. Rooms: Home hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, rooms are all different sizes and décor, including unique loft rooms. A spa tub feature’s as the room’s centrepiece.
There are plenty of books to read, an IPod docking station with surround sound, flat screen TV, mini bar, luxury bedding, numerous drawers for storage, security safe, Home self branded cosmetics in large bathroom with his n hers toilets, balcony to sit and watch the sun set through an urban skyline.
Cuisine: Weekend brunching, & evening cocktails Home hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina dining by poolside is al fresco for weekend brunch is popular. Or cocktails in the evening at the trendy bar is on trend. Breakfast included in a hotel stay is outstanding, with a set menu including juice shots, lightly whipped yoghurt, fruit salad, scrambled eggs, and warm bread basket with caramel butter or orange salt butter, sour cream & bacon bits spread, pear marmalade, and fine chocolate spread. The dish to try at Home hotel is Huevos Rancheros. This is a delicious Mexican tortilla covered in layers of sour cream, guacamole, and the perfect amount of coriander, a surprising fried egg and the most amazing spicy tomato sauce. Hand sliced potato pieces and a side of refried beans complete the plate. The cocktail to tantalise the taste buds is definitely the Caipichofa, or Quinto, expertly made by friendly bar staff, in front of a wallpaper of liqueurs. Bloody Mary is a healthy choice, and light snack not to miss is the quality corn chips with guacamole and a moreish lemon hummus.
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