My Point of Heu
Traditional Hawaiian healing methods and rare tropical ingredients are paired with luxurious views of Hawaii's world-famous Waikiki, at the brand-new Ritz Carlton Waikiki Spa. Boasting panoramic views, a tranquil oasis and a location just on the outskirts of Kalaukaua and Kuhio Avenues west-end, the new luxury destination has officially opened its doors and also offers a tantalizing kama'aina discount.
From facials, to foot & leg masks along with body massages and sea salt scrubs, the spa aims to please any guest with its alluring natural treatments and enhancements. Some of the ingredients include 'olena, awa, rose quartz, ki plant, diamonds and gold. A highlight for some might include the 24 karat gold and diamond treatment by Knesko collagen facial masks. They also feature ESPA and other Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals signature treatments and products.
The spa itself if very spacious, showcases a modern design and minimalist interior. The associates and staff are all very polite and highly accommodating. They also feature Hawaii's first VitaJuwel Water Bar which aims to change the structure of water's healing properties by immersing specially gems into filtered drinking water, thereby regenerating the natural elements within the water.
Most treatments are 50 minutes or 80 minutes, specials also include multiple treatments and longer treatment times. Cost before any discounts range from $155- $265. I didn't technically receive any treatments, just a tour of the property but it is stunning and I enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and delightful engagements with staff.
For more information visit: www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/hawaii/waikiki/spa
My favorite items from the hosted lunch included the: Zing Zing Shrimp $14 a nice crunch to the Chinese-style fried shrimps served with a chili aioli. Great texture and nice creaminess from the sauce then a little kick of spice on the end.
Chicken & Waffles $18 served with white Wisconsin Cheddar and agave syrup. The waffle was savory and very hearty. The chicken was fried perfectly and oh so tender and juicy.
The signature dessert is a cross between a waffle and a donut - therefore it is called Wonuts - dipped in chocolate and topped with powdered sugar. The dessert has the texture of a crisp waffle, deep fried like a donut. It also reminded me of andagi for some reason. A full order will cost $10 and includes five wonuts.
TR Fire Grill in Waikiki is located at 2330 Kuhio Avenue 808-921-2330
Open: 6am-10pm - parking at the hotel is $6 valet.
It's so cheap. That's what I have heard over the past few months when people try KatsuMidori Sushi Tokyo. With menu items starting at $1.00 and up, you would think this place must be horrible. But I was pleasantly surprised to find this brand new authentic sushi spot boats some serious fresh sushi delights. I am by no means a sushi connoisseur, I may think myself a poke connoisseur but not necessarily sushi. I am also the worst when it comes to ordering because I will be happy with cali roll and spicy tuna nigiri all night long.
Cue, this new spot hidden in the Hawaii Prince Hotel and you'll be in sushi heaven no matter your level of expertise. From ala carte, to set menu to rolls and more, this place is similar to a Genki Sushi in that you order from a tablet on the table and ala carte plates are fairly small. However the lunch sets are all $18.50 and include about 5 dishes for you to taste. You can also order the sushi assortments which range from $6 to $35 and are extremely generous in portion and quality. At the end of the day this is a great value for the price, but if you do go overboard and order a lot of things it can get a little pricey. If you just order one set or one cheap assortment the QUALITY and the service are really what puts this over the top.
Directions, enter the Hawaii Prince Hotel lobby facing mauka = turn right and walk past the escalators on the ground level. Head diamond head and eventually you will see the restaurant down the corridor and on your right hand side. The sushi chefs and staff are all very polite and from Japan. You will feel like you are literally in a hole in the wall sushi restaurant in Tokyo.
In April of 2014 I started this blog. As a working journalist it was an opportunity to share experiences, tastes and emotions that I couldn't voice while on the job, or didn't have adequate space on social media. It became an outlet for me to express myself. But my writing didn't begin there. In elementary school I started writing and even won a state award for my literary work. After high school I wrote for a local lifestyle and nightlife publication called HYPE Magazine and during Grad School I wrote a 156 page thesis.
As you can see writing came naturally and the more I write the easier it gets. Now as a freelance writer People pay me to type out word and content for a variety of publications.. My experience as a freelance writer includes news articles, magazine features, editorials, advertorials, food critiques, media kits, press releases, and even ghost writing for other blogs.
One thing that I remain focused on is integrity. I feel that my morals and ethics embedded in me from working in mainstream media taught me to always be accurate, honest and fair. Even though some news media may not remain that way (in my humble opinion and that's a whole other blog) I still maintain these values.
Would you rather hear from a writer who coats everything with sugar and says how great everything was? Or would you prefer a writer who is honest, offers constructive criticism when its warranted and isn't afraid to share a real opinion?
Lets be honest
As a journalist, I believe it is important to be honest. I frown upon those constant write-ups that convey how EVERYTHING is so good. Granted there are some experiences where everything is top notch and you did savor every bite (they are honestly few and far between). But if there was something that was too salty, didn't have enough seasoning or wasn't composed well I am going to be honest and say it. I don't mean to be disrespectful to the chefs, owners or management, but it is simply my experience and my opinion. I worked in the food service industry from when it required a worker's permit, then I worked my way through the front of the house from casual dining to fine dining. I started as a hostess and eventually became a wait captain at the number one restaurant in Hawaii. I am a stickler for service and delicious food. I've eaten at hole-in-the-wall eateries from Thailand to Japan, dined at 1-3 Michelin-star rated restaurants around the globe, tried all sorts of prix fixe, fast food, street food and admit that I am a fairly less than competent cook. But I am confident in my palate and knowledge of food & beverage... So much so that I will admit that I am a true, fair and honest food writer who loves to eat. When I started to write food reviews with an open mind and true honesty I received emails, phone calls and text messages from people saying "you caused quite the stir," "you said all the things we wanted to say," "your article was so true." Don't agree? That's fine at least I can rest assured knowing that I was my honest self and perhaps they will do a better job next time.