The Kahala Hotel & Resort. Hidden away in the upscale residential neighborhood of Kahala (on the other side of Diamond Head from Waikiki), this elegant oceanfront hotel has played host to celebrities, princesses, the Dalai Lama, and nearly every president since Lyndon Johnson as one of Hawaii's very first luxury resorts. The Kahala is flanked by the exclusive Waialae Golf Links and the Pacific Ocean, surrounding it in a natural tranquillity. Pathways meander out along a walkway with benches tucked into oceanfront nooks for lazy viewing—only a 10-minute ride from Waikiki by free shuttle. The expansive oceanfront CHI Health Energy Fitness Center offers outdoor yoga and Pilates. Fine dining is available at Hoku's; the poolside bar and grill will serve you at your lounge chair on the beach. The reef just offshore makes the waters here calm enough for young kids. You can also sign up for dolphin interactions in the 26,000-square-foot lagoon. The 550-square-foot guest rooms, decorated
in an understated Island style with mahogany furniture, are spacious: bathrooms have two vanities, and the lanai is big enough for a lounge chair. If you're a golf fan visiting the second week of January, ask for a room overlooking the course for a bird's-eye view of the PGA Sony Open from your lanai.
Mar 2, 2009
Just returned from a wonderful 5 days at the redecorated Kahala and had a terrific time. We had a lanai room in the Koko Head wing overlooking the pool and the dolphin lagoon and the ocean which was spectacular. Our flight arrived very late and when we got to the hotel we had been pre-checked in so we were addressed by name, given our key and went to our room which had a good bottle of champagne and chocolate strawberries awaiting us. Having stayed
at this wonderful property regulary over the years since it was the Kahala Hilton and watching it decline and come back up, I can happily say that this is the best place in Oahu. We did go to Waikiki and spent some time at the Halekulani which is nice, but it is always a pleasure to get away from the maddening crowd (although the downturn in economy has certainly hit Honolulu as it has hit elsewhere and it certainly wasn't as crowded as in the past), and we look forward to our return to the Kahala again soon
Feb 9, 2007
Not much has changed since Mandarin Oriental stopped managing the Kahala. Service is certainly better now and the staff seem genuinely happier than before. The place is in a bit of a time-warp but we like that aspect and the food has improved too. Rooms are getting a little shabby but are still quite comfy. We stayed a few days at the Hilton for convenience due to some commitments downtown but it was nice to get back here after that experience.