Beedoo has posted her very comprehensive review of our condo already – Our Holiday Condo – Ilikai 1925, but I did want to take some time to provide some notes on my experience that I had in the condo, since I had the pleasure of being in the other bedroom, and using the other bathroom (the “main” one – not the ensuite).
First off, would I stay at this condo again?
Absolutely! It was a great place to stay, with a good view, well appointed (with proper furniture – not just cane furniture), and since it was a condo, you didn’t feel like you were in a hotel. It was a home away from home that was actually a home…not just a room with a couple of beds and a bathroom, or two if you’re lucky.
What I didn’t like –
The bathroom. More than anything, there were two minor nitpicky things that I wasn’t a fan of. Everything worked fantastically well as one would expect, with these exceptions
- Hot water in the shower. Yes, the water pressure was awesome for being on the 19th floor of a hotel/condo complex with well north of 1,000 units. The shower head itself was also fantastic. What was not so awesome was that the water took a good 3-5 minutes to warm up from freezing cold. I do not like cold showers, so I had to choose to do one of two things – either run the shower for a few minutes to let the water warm up, or get in and freeze my nips off waiting for the water to get to temperature..
- The Pocket Door. I understand that it’s a space saving measure, but please, for all that is good in this world, come up with a better latching system. I don’t know how many times I had turned the little dial (which is difficult to move since it’s so small) thinking that the door was locked, to move the door and find that it was not locked.
The other nitpicky thing that I think can be improved is providing wayfinding signs in the lobby at the Ilikai, so that when you’re in your swimsuit going to the pool for the first time, you have a clue where you’re going.
Though with as awesome as the pool is, maybe it’s a good thing that it’s not as well signed, otherwise there would be queues of people going to it, knowing as warm as it is! If only the pools on the mainland were that warm even in the middle of summer! The other thing that I loved about the pool is that in addition to the temperature (which, as noted, was just PERFECT), the water was not overly chlorinated, so you didn’t come out smelling like chlorine after your swim.
Anyway, back to the room itself. The air conditioning? It’s a requirement. I do not know how anyone can live indoors in Hawaii without it, and yes, it was mentioned that *ahem* someone would be randomly turning on aircon units…that was me 😉
I come from a place that varies in temperature, on average, from the coldest low at around -12C to the warmest high at approximately 27C. Now of course, there are days that are above or below those normals, but that is what the weather is like on average. Being placed into 27C on a daily basis, with high humidity is a recipe for being uncomfortable, and aircon is a way to combat that 😉
That doesn’t mean that I actually did have the aircon on all of the time, as there were times when I would turn it off because I actually got too cold, mostly when I was sleeping and would wake up just freezing.
One other thing I will like to note is that the kitchen bench did make a great alternative workspace, as I used that for my computer desk since I was arriving after Beedoo and her other half, the computer desk was already spoken for, and I have to say that I did like the convenience of being able to stand or sit to use my computer, though again it was not something that I did that often, seeing that I was in Hawaii and had better things to do than sit on my computer 😉
Being on the “city” side of the building did mean that you were exposed to the street noise from below. As was mentioned, it was not that big of a deal for either her or her other half. Since I was in the other bedroom, I actually was on the other side of the lanai which looks out over Ala Moana Blvd, 19 storeys down, and the street noise was very tolerable for me, especially considering that I am not usually exposed to that much street noise.
Now train noise is a different thing, as I do have a train track about 20-30m from where I am sitting right now, and they can be *very* noisy, so some busses almost twice the distance away and below is not much of a bother. I’d find it hard to think that some busses passing and stopping (and lowering themselves for accessibility purposes with the necessary safety beeps) would be much of a consideration for me either 😉
The view from the lanai on the city end was just stunning for me. I love looking out over a city to view the goings on, and to watch people from a high vantage point, so this was very fun to do. Not only that, I was able to get some great shots of the city waking up on a Saturday morning.
From the other lanai, there was a view towards the ocean and a great view down Ala Moana (to the right in the photo above); somehow we never managed to get any pictures off of that lanai during the daytime – mostly because we were always out of the condo doing stuff…I mean, why would you want to vacation in Hawaii just to stay in your condo or hotel room all of the time??? 🙂
The only reason I got the shots off of my lanai was because I got up so early on the first morning, thanks to my body clock still being 5 hours ahead and thinking that it was almost 10:30 AM, despite the clocks all saying 5:30! 😉
Below are a couple more shots that I took off of the lanais – the first is from the east/south facing lanai (Makai – ocean facing), and the other is from the north facing lanai (Mauka – inland)