Heaven Can Wait
After a recent Okinawan vacation, one Member describes how a new oceanside resort already has her thinking about her next trip back to the island paradise.
White sand beaches. Crystal-clear tides. Burnished sunsets over an endless horizon.
Just when it seems as if nothing could be done to make an Okinawan getaway any more special, a Hawaiian-inspired resort comes along with guest villas close enough to the shore for the sound of breakers to lull guests to sleep.
“You leave Tokyo and you get down to that part of the island where it’s just the beach surrounding you,” says Heidi Regent. “If you’re going to get away, that’s the way to do it.”
Over the Father’s Day weekend, the Member traveled with her husband and daughter to the tropical prefecture for a stay at the Halekulani Okinawa resort, named after a Hawaiian phrase meaning “house befitting heaven.”
Located an hour’s drive north of the island’s airport and relatively urban southern district, Halekulani’s suites and villas, each equipped with private balconies, stretch across the eastern shoreline for views unmatched this side of the paradise it’s named after.
During their six-day stay, the Regents luxuriated in the resort's endless amenities. They walked along the hotel beach. They relaxed in Halekulani’s indoor and four outdoor pools, including an infinity pool with ocean views and an adults-only quiet pool, complete with a swim-up bar.
“We also went paddleboarding where there’s quite a bit of coral reef right off the resort,” Regent explains. “But they also offer snorkeling and plenty of other watersports.”
At sunset, the Regents dined on sumptuous meals of “pure perfection” at their pick of four on-site restaurants. On the veranda, backlit by Okinawa’s famous sunsets, local entertainers set the perfect mood with traditional Okinawan music.
Even when Regent and her husband poked their heads into the resort’s oceanfront bar one evening, Halekulani staff went above and beyond to deliver the couple a much-needed nightcap.
“The bartenders said, ‘Well, we have a serving cart,’” Regent recalls. “They came up to our room in their beautiful outfits and made my husband and myself martinis right there. They left no stone unturned.”
Regent is no Okinawa novice. In the past, she’s visited the Ritz Carlton and the Busena Terrace. In the future, she says, she’ll only stay at Halekulani.
“There’s no other resort in Okinawa that would meet the expectations of what Halekulani has done.”