Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cocktails Hawaiian Style, at House Without a Key

Hawaii has been the topic of conversation around the house lately, from the little C&Gs, and I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it's because of the cooler weather, or maybe they overheard the C&G Grandparents talking about future travel plans when they were visiting this past weekend.

We can't be the only ones dreaming of Hawaiian sunshine and tropical cocktails as we turn on the heat and unpack all our winter sweaters. But being East Coasters with a drained travel budget, Hawaii is not happening anytime soon. If you're lucky to have the island of Oahu on your upcoming holiday travel agenda, I've got a great family friendly place for cocktails, dinner, and a little hula dancing right in downtown Honolulu on Waikiki Beach.

Three generations of C&G cocktailers
There is no shortage of fabulous hotels overlooking the legendary beaches of Waikiki, but the luxurious House Without A Key at the Halekulani Hotel is the place to relax with a cocktail under the palm trees. The outdoor patio juts right into the ocean with no sand between you, your cocktail, and the lapping waves. Surfers ride the crests off in the distance and Diamond Head volcano glitters under the setting sun. Nightly Hawaiian music starts at 5:30, which is perfect timing for cocktails and an early family dinner (early is key with the six hour time difference).

House Without A Key was made famous in the 1925 Charlie Chan novel, but your kiddos will remember it as a place with plenty of room to roam, entertaining Hawaiian music, and a long list of fun, frosty beverages. I love a good cocktail list that offers just as many choices for your underage drinkers as for your overage drinkers. Big C&G loved the exotic smoothie choices like guava and passion fruit, while Little C&G ordered a few different lemonades before running off to watch the surfers riding the waves.

There are some super fancy dining and bar options at the Halekulani, but stick with House Without A Key when your crew gets hungry for dinner. The patio takes on a more loungy vibe as the sun goes down, and it was starting to get breezy so we headed for the tables indoors. Because it's a hotel the choices on the kids menu were pretty extensive, and it came with crayons and activities to keep the little C&Gs busy while we shared some fun appetizers.

We didn't stay at the Halekulani, our hotel was on the other side of the island, and we made the trip into downtown Honolulu just for a visit to House Without A Key. The food was as amazing as the view, and I would endure another 21 hour flight just for a slice of their signature coconut cake.

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