All photography by @studioist.
So in case you missed it—though I’m not sure how you could have as we have been singing from the rooftops since August 3—LeBraun + I got MAUI’D!
After the wedding we broke away from the group and heading to Oahu for what we dubbed “Our Hawaiian Mini-Moon!” It was our chance to actually relax on the vacation.
Don’t get me wrong, a destination wedding can be very relaxing and our’s was, but there is still coordinating people and activities, entertaining guests, and prepping involved. We did our best to plan ahead so we didn’t have a ton to do when we got to Maui, but there is always inevitably more to do.
We love everyone that flew across the country to celebrate with us, and no one was a needy guest (you know exactly the type of people I am talking about), but when we arrived on Oahu we realized we really needed some normal “us” time.
Our first evening we walked along the beach, had a fantastic dinner, took long showers, put on our robes, and watched a couple episodes of the new season of Orange is the New Black. And there was no better place to do nothing and really enjoy Waikiki than the Laylow Hotel.
LeBraun and I were luckily enough to spend seven blissful, relaxing nights at the Laylow Hotel in Waikiki. This trendy, boutique hotel is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
Every corner of this midcentury modern space is an Instagrammer’s dream!
The colorful, patterned walls, hanging egg chairs, sandy-bottom fire pit corners on the lanai, and shelves of Hawaiian tchotchkes add to the charm.
The hotel is tucked away just above Kūhiō Avenue and the hustle of Waikiki, yet the ambiance transports and makes you feel like you’ve found a hidden oasis in the heart of it all.
Ideal for city dwellers like us who want to enjoy everything Waikiki has the offer yet feel like you can escape it all whenever you like.
It’s right next door to the restaurants and shopping at International Marketplace, across the street from Marukame Udon (go there!!), a couple blocks from the beach, and within walking distance of countless eateries, stores, activities, and more.
Just as the name suggests it was the perfect place for us to hideout and lay low at the center of this thriving metropolis.
The rooms are streamlined and minimalistic yet still have amenities (like a mini fridge).
The shelves have a variety of books for pursuing, like a book on Hawaiian mythology, another filled with photos of retro surfers, and a book of letters and pictures from sailors on shore leave during the war.
The bed was comfortable, sheets were clean and crisp, and there were conventional three-prong and usb outlets built into the nightstand.
Our room had a small porch overlooking the pool area which was perfect for enjoying drinks in the evening. The curtains were great and kept the room dark enough for us to sleep in every morning. Compared to the plantation-style shutters our Maui rooms had, we were in heaven!
I was particularly obsessed with the vibrant, focal wall. Don’t be surprised if a morning photoshoot breaks out in your room!
We didn’t spend any time in the pool during our stay because access to the beach was only a couple blocks away, but we did spend part of every evening on the pool deck.
The relaxed, lounge chairs were “our place” in the evenings. When the sun disappeared and the weather was still pleasantly warm, we would bring down our computers and get a little work done, play a game, or have a private “outdoor screening” of a movie.
THE FOOD & DRINK
Hideout, the hotel’s sole restaurant, is a stylish, open-air lanai with fresh, Pacific fusion dishes.
With a variety of seating options from traditional tables, lounging clusters, and cushioned corners, Hideout is flexible. Just like some outfits the venue can go from day to night. Meet with colleagues at lunch, friends for happy hour (or pua hana), and besties for late night drinks.
The space hosts live musicians nightly and DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. Despite being only a few floors up, we couldn’t hear the music downstairs when we turned in early.
Plus the sun falls behind the neighboring building in the afternoon so the patio is pleasantly cooler, especially after being in the sun most of the day.
Their funky, retro coffee shop serves up all your morning favorites including Stumptown Coffee, pastries (LeBraun couldn’t function without his morning Cruffin) and acai bowls with granola, bananas, honey, and more.
The lunch and dinner menu are largely the same, though there are a few larger additions available on the later menu. Some may think that eating at your hotel is lazy, but having a bomb-a** restaurant a few steps from your room is just another benefit of staying at the Laylow.
We ordered a variety of dishes from the menu, for different meals and the dishes were always brought out quickly, consistently delicious, and served by a friendly staff member.
For breakfast, I didn’t vary much from my norm—acai bowl + LeBraun, even though, he’s not much of a breakfast person, enjoyed the Breakfast Fried Rice Skillet and a Cruffin. Also usually accompanied by an iced mocha.
For lunch or afternoon apps, the edamame in Korean chili and sweet soy is finger-lickin’ good, and chicken satay is savory and satisfying, and margherita flat bread…well it’s pizza and pizza is delicious!
For dinner, we enjoyed the local veggie rice bowls, Hawaiian BBQ chicken tacos, island greens salad, and catch of the day were all great, but the Huli Huli Chicken (Kiawe smoked, coconut rice, Chinese long bean, sweet soy) is the dish I would order over and over again! I’m going to have to try and recreate this recipe. If anyone has one, PLEASE send it to me!
Drink-wise: The signature cocktails were unique blends of traditional meet Hawaiian. My favorite was the Fancyman (Four Roses Whiskey, Lillet, Yellow Chartreuse, Rose Syrup, Orange Bitters) while LeBraun was partial to the “Purr”fect Timing (Basil-Infused Vodka, Yuzuri, Lilikoi, Lemon Juice).
Besides the standard amenities like towels for the pool or beach, there is daily complimentary shave ice, drink samples, weekly ukulele lessons, and a welcome basket with locally made goodies like taro chips and shortbread cookies, a rubber ducky, and flip flops with the hotel’s tropical wallpaper pattern.