City Guides

by Katherine Sergi

October 08, 2019

Scenic and relaxing, Hawaii has it all; incredible beaches, delicious dining spots and luxury shopping. Hot off a recent vacation to the idyllic beachside destination Waikiki, Sydney style maker and mother of two Katherine Sergi shares her must-sees with X-Files, for a rejuvenated and exciting stay.

What is your top hotel stays in Waikiki and why?

The Royal Hawaiian – upon arrival, you walk through the lush grounds and you instantly step back in time to 1930s Spain. The pink palace has so much history and character and it is located right on the beach. It’s a must stay!

Halekulani – this hotel is your number one destination for a modern, fresh and luxury visit.

Moana Surfrider – this hotel features historic charm with a New Orleans vibe front porch lined with rocking chairs to people-watch the Hawaiian night-life, the gorgeous pool area overlooks the beach and is a great spot to spend your days in Waikiki.

How would you describe the beach experience or what are your favourite beaches?

Waikiki was the beach where we visited the most. We spent days in and out of the aqua blue water at low tide. We rented the pink umbrellas from the hotel which gives you service from the Mai Tai Bar – Mai Tais and lobster rolls were on repeat! All the beaches along the North Shore should not be missed.

Courtesy of Katherine Sergi – Loewe Basket Bag from Parlour X

The top eats in Waikiki beach and must-try dishes?

Hys Steak House – definitely our #1 place, it’s a hidden gem, so unless you know, only insider know about it. I was recommended to go the Night Audy Sang and wow what an experience! The vibe, the food, the service was next level amazing!

Bills – if you’re looking for somewhere that feels like home, my daily smashed avo fix at Bills was a staple.

Nobu – need I say more?

Pig & the Lady – we were guided by numerous locals that this was the place to eat. It’s a modern Vietnamese eatery located in downtown Honolulu. We ordered the iconic Pho French Dip Banh Mi…. and wow that was good. Its laid-back casual atmosphere makes it a great spot for lunch after a day at the beach.

Dior Café – best almond latte!

Surf Lanai at the Royal Hawaiian – the pink pancakes were renowned at the Pink Palace and they didn’t disappoint – they were so good I bought the mix to take home.

Courtesy of Katherine Sergi – Loewe Basket Bag from Parlour X

The best locations for cocktails?

The Mai Tai Bar overlooking the beach at the Royal Hawaiian easily became an essential pre-dinner spot for a mai tai fix.

House Without a Key at the Halekulani had a great vibe, the Aperol Spritz was on point.

Dukes is a popular tourist spot; it was bustling every night and had a great atmosphere.

What must we definitely not miss when visiting Waikiki?

Well, the shopping is pretty epic. You definitely don’t want to miss the Ala Moana Shopping Mall and Luxury Row. Taking a car down to the North Shore, stopping for a pineapple or shaved ice is definitely a local Hawaiian treat. You can’t visit Hawaii without watching a local traditional Luau!

Courtesy of Katherine Sergi

For adventure seekers, what do you recommend?

Well, I’m not much of an adventure seeker…. but we hiked Diamond Head, the views were incredible from the top.

Are there any neighbouring locations or must-see spots you can suggest?

Highly recommend hiring a driver to drive you around the island, check out Banzai Pipeline where the pro surfing is held. Turtle Beach is also a must-see, it was so cool to see the giant turtles sitting on the shore. We also went to Waimea Bay, what an amazing beach, there’s a small cliff to jump into crystal clear turquoise water and it’s a great beach to spend the day.

Along the road, the views of the lush green mountains are so breath-taking and there are so many little stops along the way to sample some local goodies and lunch.

Hanauma Bay was a hike to arrive to but if you love nature preserves of beautiful bright fish and coral and enjoy snorkelling it’s undeniably a neighbouring location you wouldn’t want to skip.

Courtesy of Katherine Sergi

What is the dress code in Hawaii?

Day-time wear had to be beach-to-bar essential. I always wore swimwear and covered it up with a shirt and maxi skirt – très chic! Also loved a good pin-stripe shirtdress with slides, cool old Céline shades and always my Loewe basket bag packed with my essentials.

Night-time I always opted for a cute colourful dress, floral or a bold colour… love wearing brights and florals on a tropical vacay.

Best time of year to travel to Hawaii?

We went end of July to celebrate my 30th birthday, the weather was perfect. I’d suggest during their summer months – June, July, August.

Courtesy of Katherine Sergi – Loewe Basket Bag from Parlour X

What to pack for a Hawaiian vacation?

Definitely the Loewe basket bag, it’s practical yet cool and fits everything! Any beach outfit is incomplete without a good pair of shades, a hat or visor and your favourite jewellery pieces. I accessorised with my old Céline eye wear – an accessory and a beach essential! These were all on high rotation to turn any ordinary beach outfit into a chic cocktail-ready get up.

A good tan slide that goes with everything!

Ultra-Violette Supreme Screen SPF, Chanel hand cream and glossier lip balm were my go-to

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