The Halekulani or Otani Kaimana?

Nov 19th, 2003, 11:57 AM
  #1  
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The Halekulani or Otani Kaimana?

We are stay in Oahu for the first two nights of our wedding/honeymoon trip on our way to Kauai. I have done tons of research here and on web and have narrowed my picks to the above 2 hotels.

In order for you to give me an opinion that will balance with my activities during our time there - let me tell you what I'm looking for or thinking about.

We will arrive in Oahu on a Wed. around 12:30 pm. We would prefer to take a taxi to our hotel rather than rent a car because our stay is so short and pick-up and return is time wasted - but can if I hear from you all that I should.

Arrive at our hotel around 1:30 (after claiming luggage etc). If we can't check in early, than have a drink and relax, maybe have our hotel hold our bags and take a walk on the beach etc.

We will be coming from Florida so I'm sure we will be tired early. The next day I would like to get up and go to breakfast somewhere relaxing and head to Pearl Harbor (by taxi - if possible - is this too expensive or not wise?).

Then spend the rest of the day hanging around. - If we rent a car can we drive AROUND Oahu in a day? Would that be a good use of our time - after we visit Pearl Harbor?

We won't do any water activities on Oahu as we will be doing many water things on our trips to the other islands. And a pool isn't important either. We will also not shop at this point in our trip. We will be back to Oahu for one night and the entire next day our last day of our vacation (our plane leaves at 10:15 pm) and we plan to shop then so we don't have to carry goods from island to island.

Luxury rooms with great views, not too big of a hotel, upscale service, relaxing feel.

We will leave for Kauai on Friday so I can get to the Princeville hotel to get my hair and makeup done for our private little wedding of just the 2 of us at 5pm.

So what I have is 1/2 day Wed., All day Thursday (knowing we will be early risers that morning) and the morning of Friday.

Both of these hotels seem to have the relaxing feel and I think the type of beachside nice bar/restuarants that we like.

Then we'll be back 20 days later for one last night and day - but could stay in the other hotel if it works out.

I'm leaning towards Halekulani for the beginning of our trip to do Pearl Harbor and then the last day of our vacation stay at the Otani and walk Diamond Head that last day before leaving to come home to Florida.

I appreciate any ideas you will have on how to arrange and spend our time on Oahu without water activities, museums, shopping malls etc. More interested in scenic stuff and nice, romantic upscale bars and restuarants.

Thanks a BUNCH.
Nancy03 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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The Halekulani is the more upscale, luxurious of the two if that's what you're looking for. There isn't much of a beach directly in front of the Halekulani but it sounds like you're not planning any beach time anyway. It's also in a very busy section of Waikiki, the area around the New Otani is much quieter. Both have nice beachfront restaurants.

You can take a cab or shuttle to Pearl Harbor, I don't think the cost is prohibitive. Renting a car for a day is also a good idea and it's definitely possible to drive around the island in a day.

As far as what you're interested in doing, I don't think it matters much which location you choose. Waikiki is fairly compact so you're not talking about a big difference.
Patty is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 02:43 PM
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We stayed at the New Otani about five years ago. The rooms are not large, but otherwise it is much better suited for R and R. While it is a bit further from Pearl Harbor, it actually has easier access to the highway, so the drive is about the same, timewise. Maybe do the Halekulani for your last two days? While I have only eaten, not stayed there, it is a definite step up in class and would make a nice finish to your trip. It's also closer to the main shopping areas. If you are undecided about renting a car vs. a taxi, look into the hotel parking fees. The New Otani used to be free, but now ...?
patg is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 07:26 AM
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With your sentence:
Luxury rooms with great views, not too big of a hotel, upscale service, relaxing feel.

...I'd recommend the Halekulani. New Otani is at the far, far end of Waikiki. Quiet, but small and definitely not "upscale". And your viewplain could be nice, or could be blah.

Halekulani is the ultimate Waikiki experience, especially at sundown by the pool -- dreamy Hawaiian music and hula, with Diamond Head as the backdrop, and the sound of waves lapping on the beach as palm trees sway in the breeze. And the service is to _die_ for. The staff makes everyone feel like visiting royalty!

Staying at the New Otani (or Kahala Mandarin) on your return to O`ahu, would give you the best of both.

-- auntie maria
auntiemaria is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Hi Nancy,

Congratulations on your upcoming special event. My husband and I just returned from an anniversary trip to Oahu, Maui and Kauai and had about the same schedule on Oahu. I would highly recommend the Halekulani. It is all about service and is a very romantic spot. (We saw about 5-6 weddings each day we were there.)The hotel has lots of indoor/outdoor spaces that are beautiful, romantic and relaxing. If you do stay there, try Orchids for dinner and stop by House Without a Key for a cocktail first.

We initially did not rent a car and took a taxi to the hotel, but after calculating the taxi fees to and from the hotel, airport, restaurants and Pearl Harbor, we rented a convertible at the hotel the second day and saved quite a bit of money. We were also able to drive completely around the East side and the North shore of the island, which is by far the most scenic area.
We took this drive, stopping along the way, between about 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

Hope this helps. Have a wonderful time and enjoy Kauai - it's the best!
magicone is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 12:07 PM
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I stayed at the Otani about 3 years ago. What I liked about it was the semi-private beach right out in front. It is a quiet place and the staff is wonderful, but I wouldn't really consider it romantic. Princeville will be quiet and romantic. I say stay at the Halekulani. It's active, being in the center of Waikiki beach, yet very romantic.

Spend your short time hanging around Waikiki. Take a taxi from the airport.

Then I suggest getting to the airport early on the final day of your trip, check your luggage and then head off by taxi or bus to Pearl Harbor.
madwen is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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I would look into renting a car- the expense of taxis to and from the airport and Pearl Harbor add up quickly. Plus, if you don't go to the North shore and the east side of Oahu you are missing the best parts of the island! While Pearl Harbor was very moving- if I only had one day on Oahu I would spend it seeing the rest of the island. The scenery is amazing and there are so many cool spots to check out.

You will be tired though and an entire day of driving may not be too appealing so I would recommend getting up early and seeing Pearl Harbor, then driving up the middle of the island and at least checking out Haleiwa- the surf town on the North Shore. It is really something else and was one of the favorite places of my honeymoon on Oahu and Maui.

We did not see the Otani but had drinks one night at Halekulani and loved the atmosphere. It was so amazing and relaxing.
dreamathers is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 02:54 PM
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Halekulani and New Otani are not in the same category so it is hard to compare them. Halekulani is much more suitable for a special occasion like a honeymoon, in my opinion. My favorite spot in Waikiki is the House Without a Key atthe Halekulani. OK, maybe my favorite spot is tied with the Banyan Veranda at the Moana--check them both out.

It is improbable that the Halekulani won't let you right into your room at 1:30PM.

Yes, you should rent a car! I don't think it's time consuming for pick up and drop off. I always rent from Budget (am a frequent renter) and I have never waited in line with "fast break." A cab to and from the airport and then to and from Pearl Harbor is going to cost money than a rental car.
Halekulani has impeccable valet service so you won't have parking hassles.

If I were making this schedule, I would come back to the Halekulani after Pearl Harbor and enjoy this luxury hotel and Wailiki rather that driving all around Oahu. There will be plenty of time to drive around Kauai, which is more scenic in my opinion.
vivi is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 07:13 PM
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