I am going to break the mould here as we’re just too excited to wait until we have finished telling you about the rest of our Hawaii trip to tell you about our amazing stay and even more amazing wedding at The Hilton Waikoloa!
How this all came about is a story in itself so that is where I will start…I promise to fill in the gaps asap!
Whilst on the Big Island we spent some time contacting people with regards to arranging our Hawaiian wedding, we had a couple of things lined up but all on different Islands. We desperately wanted a wedding on Big Island as we had spent over 2 weeks there and had LOVED it…but alas, it fell through at the last minute! Sad but not yet defeated we jumped on a flight to Maui to meet with somebody there to discuss our plans…it just really wasn’t meant to be! That didn’t happen either! We had sketchily arranged to meet someone for a preliminary chat back on Oah’u in Honolulu when we arrived there in a few days but we had pretty much kissed goodbye to our dreams of a Hawaiian wedding! We sulked in our bout of bad luck and started to look forward to getting back to Peggy and getting back on the road, things seemed easier then! (I know, hard to believe!)
We sat one night and had several drinks to drown our sorrows and I desperately (and a little drunkedly) sent out what I am not ashamed to call a pleading tweet!
Our following on twitter is growing slowly but my faith was low and I wasn’t expecting much more than a few sad faces but…the tweet was retweeted several times and picked up by several Hawaiian companies, blogs and individuals…including Damon Tucker.
Damon reports the real Big Island local news on his blog and really has his finger on the pulse with all things Hawaii and luckily he is also a close friend of the Hilton Waikoloa and Jaques who promptly sent us an email!
So imagine the scene, we have consumed alot of vodka and we receive an email from the Hilton asking us if we would like to have a wedding there!
We did a little dance and got all excited and then realised that Hilton Waikoloa is back on the Big Island where we had just come from! We were in Maui and due to fly to Oah’u (the opposite direction) the next day! We stopped dancing and after a few emails back and forth it was clear that Jaques really wanted to help us realise our Hawaiian wedding dreams and that we were really going to get on! He just loved our story, wanted to be a part of it and also to teach us about the true Hawaiian wedding celebrations! We hesitantly emailed Jaques to explain our budget situation and that the flights back to the island would pretty much ruin us for the week before we even slept anywhere and Jaques said don’t worry about a thing, just get yourselves here, we will pick you up at the airport!
We resumed dancing and drinking and got super excited! We were going to have a wedding on the beautiful Big Island after all!
We packed up and set off for our Big Island Hilton adventure the very next morning…last minute as usual!
Now, I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed this about the way these weddings are falling but we always seem to be running for a flight either to or from the location. This one is no exception, but in every other respect it is exceptional!
We left our room in Maui in what we felt was plenty of time to get our flight back to the Big Island, hit traffic, needed fuel and missed the shuttle bus from the car rental place to the airport and had to wait another 15 minutes for the next one. We queued for 20 minutes to check our bags and then another 15 minutes to get scanned into departures. We got on the plane as they were shutting the door! My idea of an actual real life nightmare…I HATE to be late. Alex turned to me ( a quaking, sweaty mess) and grinned ear to ear and said “Whats all the fuss about, This is the best way to fly, no waiting about…and we weren’t even late! Sigh!
Anyway we landed 30 minutes later and stood at the carousel waiting for our bags…mine arrives…we waited, and waited and waited..no sign of Alex’s bag! We go to the desk and the lady looks at our ticket and says “oh, you were a late check in, that means you only get a 50/50 chance of your bag arriving”! Well, her odds were spot on at least! She explained that we would have to wait for the next flight to come in with our fingers crossed that Alex’s bag was on it! The next flight was 3 hours away so we jumped in our personal shuttle provided by Hilton Waikoloa and said we would hire a car and drive back for the bag later.
When we arrived at the Hilton Jaques and Jeanette were waiting for us at the entrance and as we shook hands, hugged and surprise surprise I almost cried, we were draped with beautiful fresh flower Lei’s.
We were all gabbling, so excited to meet each other it was funny! Jaques ran off to grab a bite of lunch and arranged to meet us back in the lobby once we had been shown to our room by Jeanette! I felt like royalty and we weren’t even in the door yet!
The lobby is amazing. There are parrots everywhere waiting to have their pictures taken, chattering away and swinging on their perches, there is art work everywhere, lounge chairs and tables and even a train that runs the full (3 mile) length of the hotel passed through as we walked with our mouths gaping in complete awe!
Jeanette walked us through the halls which are all open air and run alongside a lake filled with tropical fish of all sizes and are decorated with millions of pounds worth of original art from all over the World.
When we opened the door to our room I just couldn’t believe the view! Our room overlooked the lagoon which is the hotels private piece of the Ocean with a gorgeous white sand beach and every item of water equipment you can think of just waiting for you! The lagoon is perfect for snorkelling as it is the Ocean with turtles and tropical fish just without the danger of beasties and just when I thought the view couldn’t get better I looked to my left and saw the dolphins! Yes! I said dolphins! They were playing with their trainers at Dolphin Quest and everyone was lined up along the beach to see them.
I was probably nervously chattering and giggling Jeanettes ear off! I have found that my mouth goes into overdrive when I panic…and she left us to our inane chatter after showing us a map and telling us to make ourselves at home!
After Alex and I had done our little celebratory dance around the room we looked around. The bed had a love heart of fresh orchids and towels in the shape of swans and dolphins on the pillows and there was a huge fresh fruit plate and even flowers on the toilet!!! We just couldn’t believe we were there! That this was all for us and it was all because Damon had seen our plea and passed it onto Jaques and Jaques had loved it!
We know we are already the luckiest people ever because we have found each other, we are on this trip and we have already met some amazing people, but really we can not believe how spoilt we have been by the Hilton Waikoloa!
Once we had finished jumping around and eaten some fruit (thats all we needed…more sugar) we went to meet Jaques. We have said it a few times already but we instantly loved Jaques and his energy! He was so excited to get to his office so we could plan the wedding and the next few days of our stay! He had everything planned for us and in the 30 minutes we talked of our plans I think all three of us shed a tear! Me at the invite to the Luau on top of all the generosity, Jaques to the legend of Naupaka and Alex just looked glassy eyed the whole time!
The first thing on our list of the amazing things Jaques had arranged for was a VIP table at the luau.
Jaenette had arranged for Alex’s bag to be collected and delivered to our room so with that all done all we had to do was get ready to go out! We really were being spoilt rotten!
We walked through the beautiful hotel grounds, past Dolphin Quest, past the pink flamingo’s sunbathing, past the waterfalls and into Kamehameha Court and were shown to our seats which were smack bang in the middle of the front table. We had the best seats in the house and within seconds we had a Mai Tai each, several new friends and a very exciting night ahead of us!
Here’s what happened next on our wedding travel adventure!