Honolulu Hawaii Hotels, Waikiki and Oahu Resorts
Oahu’s Grand Beachside Hotels
From high-end luxury to family-friendly getaways, Oahu’s hotels offer something for everyone.
Research Oahu hotels and resorts, and you’ll discover two things—there are a gazillion options, and the majority of them are concentrated around Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. From historical landmarks and relaxing getaways to the best family-friendly luxury resorts, no matter what type of lodging you want for your Hawaiian vacation, Honolulu and Oahu have it. (Read our Oahu Rentals article if looking for information on the popular apartment/home rental market.)
The Grand Dames
The most famous Honolulu hotels on the Waikiki strip are the Moana Surfrider and the Royal Hawaiian. Both were recently renovated and offer an appealing mix of history, luxury, celebrities and aloha spirit that continue to make them popular with guests.
The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
You can’t miss seeing the Royal Hawaiian from the beach—it’s pink, posh and one of the iconic sites of Waikiki. Built in 1927, the “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” as it’s nicknamed, officially reopened Jan. 20, 2009, after extensive renovations. Despite its ostentatious exterior, luxury and mysterious romantic charm are what come to mind as you enter the hotel. Rooms are adorned in a “Hawaiian royal chic” décor. For added personal luxury, the hotel rents private beach cabanas (day use), which include personal butler, concierge and dining services.
Rooms start at $370 per night. 2259 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu. Tel. 866-716-8110. www.royal-hawaiian.com
Note: In honor of the renovation, the Royal Hawaiian is offering a “1927 Package,” with room rates of $19.27 (plus taxes) for one night when you book a minimum four-night stay. Good through June 30, 2009; when booking, ask for rate code 1927pkg.
Moana Surfrider: “The First Lady of Waikiki”
Opened in 1901, the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, is the oldest hotel on Waikiki Beach. The hotel completed renovations in early 2008, and added a new beachfront spa as well. Through the years, the main building has maintained its original grand Victorian charm, complete with a front porch and rocking chairs, plus a large open courtyard in the back shaded by a giant banyan tree, which is a nice place to grab a drink. Note: If heading to the hotel’s restaurant, they won’t let you dine in swimwear, so bring a cover-up.
Decorated with hardwood antique furnishings, rooms in the Banyan wing (the original building) were most recently renovated. The Banyan rooms are small, but more charming than rooms in the other buildings. If you prefer more space, the Tower wing offers larger rooms with simpler decor.
Rates start at $220 per night. 2365 Kalakaua Ave. Tel. 808-922-3111. moana-surfrider.com
Walk through the Halekulani’s open-air walkways, plus its courtyard of flower beds and palm trees, and you are immediately transported from the craziness of Waikiki. The understated, elegant décor imparts a feeling of peaceful relaxation, which runs throughout the hotel. The Orchid Pool, named for the beautiful orchid mosaic at the bottom, overlooks Waikiki Beach and is lined by palms and lounge chairs. At night, the Lewers Lounge features nightly performances by well-known local jazz artists.
Rates start at $420 per night. 2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu. Tel. 800-367-2343. www.halekulani.com
Turtle Bay Resort
The scenery surrounding the Turtle Bay Resort is stunning—on one side, surfers brave the North Shore waves, and on the other, calm waters bordered by white sands provide a perfect environment for snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing.
There’s plenty to do—golf, horseback riding, spa treatments, swimming at the pool (which features a water slide), hiking, and checking out area restaurants and bars. But it’s the solitude and sense of space that sets this place apart. You can easily walk down the shoreline near the hotel and be alone on the beach with only an occasional seal or turtle as your companion. Next to the resort is a family-friendly beach.
Rates start at $237 per night. 57-091 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku. Tel. 808-293-6000. www.turtlebayresort.com