Many travelers and residents would love to own a home like this art-filled B&B at the base of Waikiki's famous Diamond Head crater, one of the city's most exclusive neighborhoods; however, there are only two rooms available, so you may have to work a bit to stay here. All guest rooms feature koa-wood furnishings, a private bath, and a lanai that continues onto a big backyard filled with the sounds of birds, rustling trees, and the fragrance of mock orange, Tahitian gardenia, and puakenikeni (a Hawaiian flower sometimes used in lei). This two-story residence, located at the end of a private road, was once home to a family of seven and is one of the few true B&Bs on Oahu. The more private ground-floor suite has a separate living room and a bedroom with a queen bed. To experience a bit of Hawaiian history, request the room that includes the extra-large, hand-carved koa bed that once belonged to a Hawaiian princess. The closest beach is the intimate Kaimana Beach near the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial—a beach frequented by locals more than by tourists. While the place is showing its age, the location, the local charm, and the quiet refuge so close to Waikiki's hustle and bustle make it worth a try. Reserve three to four months in advance.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The proprietors do not take credit cards as payment – only cash, check, and traveler’s checks. That wouldn’t be so bad, but a one night deposit is required to hold the room, so you may have to drop something in snail mail.
Two second-level suites and an attached apartment make up the lodging options at this B&B. All options offer plenty of room, lanais, refrigerators, and lots of charm in the décor. Of note are the koa wood beds in the suites, one of which belonged to Princess Ruth, as well as the mix of Hawaiian and American antiques.
Because it’s a very small operation, this B&B books up fairly quickly and is rarely able to accommodate last minute requests. If you’re considering staying here, be sure to book as far in advance as possible.
Each suite has a private, spacious bathroom with unique, beautiful décor.
There is no traditional lobby.
Full breakfast is served family-style every day between 7:30 and 9 am.
Though the edge of Waikiki is close, even walkable, you’ll likely want to rent a car to gain easier access to the beach and other attractions.
Without exaggeration, you will likely have the best omelet of your life at The Original Pancake House (15-min drive). Fluffy, huge, and stuffed with some unique items, they’re nothing if not memorable – and so is the décor. This strip mall offering sees Europe meet the Pacific at this German-styled restaurant with Portland roots and Hawaiian favorites like Spam and eggs and macadamia nut pancakes on the menu. They also brew up a damn fine cup of coffee.
Located inside the sprawling Waikiki Marriott complex, Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar (9-min walk) has a wide-ranging menu that features seafood in a variety of ways. Of course there’s a beautiful sushi menu, but there are also lots of other options like tempuras, poke, and a variety of rotating seafood specials. They also have a surprising array of vegetable sides that can appeal to any vegetarians in your group.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of Irish aloha, Irish Rose Saloon (10-min) has nightly live music and that great pub feel that you’re looking for. It’s a true favorite among locals and visitors.
Enjoy live jazz music with your cocktails at Lewers Lounge (13-min) inside Halekulani Hotel. Music happens every night of the week from 8:30 p.m. to midnight (and until 12:30 on weekends). It’s a great option for dessert and a nightcap. Be sure to try the “Lost Passion,” a tequila/passionfruit/champagne concoction that will get you in the island spirit.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This inviting B&B brings back the feel of old Hawaii through its décor, furnishings, and a variety of antiques, all for a very reasonable price. Throw in the savings of having a full breakfast provided every morning, plus the priceless moments of zen you’ll have in the garden, and this B&B is worth every penny.