Monday, December 28, 2020

Hotel Quarantine

**To ensure everyone’s health and safety, the entire 22 person science party and 14 relief crew members spent 14 days in the Laylow Hotel in Waikiki in preparation for this research cruise. We then moved aboard R/V Roger Revelle and are headed south to deploy floats, collect and analyze seawater, and many other science initiatives too!


My Review of the Laylow Hotel after spending 2 weeks in room 905:

If you must spend 14 days in a hotel room by yourself, there are certainly worse options than the Laylow Hotel in Waikiki. The suites are room numbers 1,4,5,14 &15 on every floor and each has a slightly different layout and even furniture and artwork. One wall is covered in what can only be described as Wes Anderson Hawaiian chic wallpaper. It makes a perfect Zoom background. Interestingly, roughly 1 in 4 rooms has the same pattern with the opposite color scheme. 


My Scripps teammates.

Unless one only wants a parking garage view, ask for a room on the 7th floor or above. Make no mistake, every room comes with a view of a parking garage, this is just if you want anything additional to look at.  More specifically, suites 1,14,15 have partial ocean views. If you are about to spend 2 months with only the ocean for scenery, suites 4-5 view the mountains instead. All get rainbows, but only rooms 1,4,15 see to the southwest in case of remarkable once every 800 year views of conjunctions of planets. Rooms 5,14 overlook the Laylow’s pool for those who enjoy watching other people relax on daybeds and pool loungers.

Thankfully, the walls of the hotel are sound proof. Despite every room coming with its own ukulele, there is no assault from the noise of dozens of people learning to play said instrument. The Hideout restaurant is visible from rooms 4-5 and comes with nightly live music from 6-9pm and caterwauling drunk people from 9:01-10pm. The balcony doors are thick and block most of the sound. If one enjoys 1-2 guitar toting young people playing covers of ‘90s R&B plus Beyonce, it is actually a lovely addition to warm tropical evenings. Currently there is a one week rotation of talent, all good but Tuesday night is the standout. 

Daily rainbows are a lovely feature.


The WiFi is adequate, except on days when 36 people are trying to download everything they can think of in preparation for 2 months without any internet. If you bring a Chromecast, be prepared to have to resync it at least once a day for no apparent reason. And if you bring a Nintendo Switch to play MarioKart with your new friends, only one of you can be on the hotel WiFi, again for no apparent reason. The rest must use their phones as a hotspot. The "Smart" TVs do have Netflix, if you can remember your brother's password.


The toiletries smell pleasant, not too floral and not too musky. The robes are soft and big enough for a plus sized person. There are no microwaves or even coffee machines. BYO bottle opener and corkscrew as well, the hotel only has a few loaners. Once the knick knacks (is it art or is it a cup?) are moved, there is ample shelf space for snacks and any holiday decorations you may have brought. Lighting is also a bit lacking, the front desk will deliver an extra lamp if requested (or if yours smokes when you turn it on). The lamp hanging over the table is inexplicably low and covered in spines. Moving the table and looping the lamp’s cable can help, but if one has a hard had that is the only way to ensure injury-free use of the table. 

An early tally, me versus the urchin lamp


The hotel staff are superstars, willing to shuttle presents, booze, and snacks from one room to another for those who cannot so much as step out of their room. They also accommodate delivery services with ease. Every food imaginable is available, including Hawaiian favorites such as malasadas, poke, plate lunches, and pineapple in every conceivable form. The hotel meal plan is apparently lacking in variety, vegetables, and heat, so stick with Doordash and other delivery services. Foodland delivers alcohol.

After two weeks and four negative COVID tests, you'll be ready to set sail!


Enjoy your stay at The Laylow!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you in advance for your blog Melissa! Bon voyage, Happy New Year, and best wishes to Barney and the whole science party, and to the Adopter schools for the 13 SOCCOM floats. Thanks to everyone in the UNOLS/SIO ships/Revelle system that made it possible for this cruise to go forward!

    From the whole SOCCOM team