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Sheraton Waikiki Welcome Gift Bag

July 28, 2014

After 4 amazing nights at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa in Keauhou Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii, it was time to leave and finish off our fantastic Hawaiian getaway vacation in Oahu.  More specifically, Waikiki Beach on Oahu’s south shore.  Known the world over for its beautiful long stretch of white sand beach, Waikiki and it’s famous Waikiki Beach is a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, the capital of the State of Hawaii.  Millions of visitors each year flock to Hawaii, and it seems all those millions come through Waikiki at one point or another.  With crowded streets and throngs of tourists who walk in and out of high-end boutique stores and name brand designer fashion retailers, Waikiki Beach is also flanked by mammoth skyscraper hotels all clamoring for their share of beach front property to rent out to tourists from around the world who want to wake up each morning to their Hawaiian dream of seeing the gorgeous, brilliant blue Pacific Ocean and dreamy, snow-white sand beach.  For our 3 night stay in Waikiki, my husband booked us into the famous Sheraton Waikiki.  The Sheraton Waikiki sits along prime and prized oceanfront real estate with its famous infinity edge pool that seemingly falls right off into the Pacific Ocean.  Though it’s large, and I mean large, our nice, partial-oceanview room was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki Beach.  A nice way to spend the last few days of our vacation.

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When we arrived at our hotel, we were able to check in right away.  Being gold members of the hotel’s loyalty program, there was a separate check in area, which was great as that meant we could bypass the line.  There were dedicated hotel personnel that are stationed to assist the hotel’s gold and platinum guests, which is incredibly helpful, especially when the hotel is crowded and busy, as it often is.  During our check-in, we were recognized by the hotel for our loyalty in staying with this specific hotel chain when we travel and were given a thank you gift as a token of the hotel’s appreciation.  Actually, it wasn’t a gift so much as a card.  We were told to take this card to a specific gift shop located just off the lobby where we could redeem it for a welcome gift of our own design.

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In part, the card inside reads, “We are committed to making your stay as enjoyable and personalized as we can, starting with your arrival amenity!  In Hawaiian the word ‘makana’ is used to describe a unique GIFT chosen to honor someone.  Choosing your own ‘makana’ allows you to customize your Hawaiian experience.  Please join us at our amenity store – GIFT … Come choose from a wide selection of unique island keepsakes, snacks, gourmet flavored popcorn, local microbrews, wines and assorted beverages.  Please bring this card with you and redeem it for your GIFT bag.  The choice is yours … Whatever fits in this GIFT bag is yours to keep!”  As the card says, our gift was to receive a small paper bag, probably the size of a lunch bag, and we could fill it with whatever fits comfortably inside the bag.  Whatever fits in the bag belongs to us, so we essentially are custom making our own welcome gift.  I thought the idea was so clever.  Everyone walks away happy with their gift, because after all, you created it, how could you not be happy with it.

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So, what are the kinds of items you can fill your gift bag with?  The range of goodies blew me away.  The fact that they freely let you put into the gift bag whatever you could fit and it belonged to you was quite simply amazing.  There was a variety of bottles of wine.  Red wine?  White wine?  Whatever your pleasure.  You want a bottle of wine to enjoy, put it in your bag.  Ok, so the catch is, of course, that the bag is the size of a brown paper lunch bag, so we quickly realized that a drink or a bottle of some sort of beverage pretty much takes up half the bag, leaving little room for any of the other goodies.

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But, maybe you really want a bottle of wine.  Or what about an ice-cold beer?  You can get that too.  Bottles of Asahi, Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Lager, Coors Light and Budweiser.  Or what about a can of Heineken.  They even had bottles of the hotel’s own brand of champagne.

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Alcohol not to your taste?  You can also get ice-cold cans of soda and bottled water.  Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite.  Yeah, they’ve got that.  They’ve also got Hawaiian Sun’s guava and passion orange flavors.  Oh yeah, that looks good.  But what we couldn’t resist were the bottles of Waialua flavored drinks.  There was pineapple, lilikoi, and mango.  My husband wanted to try the lilikoi flavor, so that’s the one beverage we agreed to put into the bag.  This way we’d have room in the bag for more goodies.

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Let’s move on from the drinks to the goodies.  And the goodies weren’t just food items, we also had a few actual souvenir goodies as well.  For souvenirs there were various mugs depicting various popular Hawaiian landmarks, such as Pearl Harbor.  They also had a few music CD’s featuring a collection of Hawaiian music as well.  And as far as food goodies, you can see here boxes of chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies and packages of twizzlers.

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Were you looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with some candy?  There was plenty of candy to go around with Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Roll pops.  There was also peach rings, pineapple rings and Sour Patch Kids as well.  Do you want chocolate instead of candy?  There were full size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and various kinds of M&M’s too.  Want chewing gum as well?  Yeah, they had packages of those as well.

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Looking for some souvenirs for the kids?  There was a selection of children’s books and puzzles too.  For munchies, do you enjoy popcorn more?  There was a display of various types of gourmet popcorn as well.

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What about something a little more salty.  Perhaps some potato chips?  Those were here as well.  Along with goldfish, peanuts, pretzels, trail mix, and even cup-o-noodles!  They pretty much had everything.  And since you could mix-and-match, you’ll always end up with exactly what you want.

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We tried to shove in as much as we could into our little paper bag.  Quite surprisingly, as we folded packages and stuffed things in, we found we could fit just a few more pieces, so we tried to find items that were small to fill our bag.  I was actually shocked at just how much we ended up with in the end.

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When we took our bag back to our hotel room and spread out our goodies, here’s what we ended up with.  We walked away with one bottle of lilikoi soda, 2 packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, 2 bags of goldfish, 1 package of Twizzlers, 2 bags of Sour Patch Kids, 2 bags of M&M’s, 2 Blow Pops, 1 package of Butterfinger, and some small little gummy candies.  These snacks were terrific because now we didn’t need snacks for our road trip around the island to come in a few days, we were all set with all the snacks we would need right here!

Thanks Sheraton Waikiki for giving us a terrific Welcome Gift Bag, one that we could customize and make our own so we knew we’d be happy with what we’d made.  Yummy goodies and snacks to enjoy and remember our experience at the hotel.  What more could we ask for?  Aloha!

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