Fodor's Expert Review The Kahala Hotel & Resort

5000 Kahala Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816, USA Fodor's Choice

Hidden away in the upscale residential neighborhood of Kahala (on the other side of Diamond Head from Waikiki), this elegant oceanfront hotel with top-notch service, one of Hawaii's very first luxury resorts, has hosted celebrities, princesses, the Dalai Lama, and nearly every president since Lyndon Johnson. It's flanked by the Waialae Country Club's golf course and the ocean, surrounding it in natural tranquillity—all just a 10-minute ride from Waikiki by free shuttle. A walkway has benches tucked into seaside nooks for lazy viewing, and the oceanfront fitness center offers outdoor yoga and Pilates. The poolside bar and grill will serve you at your lounge chair on the beach or by the pool, you can enjoy a casual meal at the Plumeria Beach House, elegant afternoon tea is offered on The Veranda, and fine dining is available at Hoku's or Arancino.

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 or simply sit and watch the dolphins play throughout the day. The 550-square-foot guest rooms, decorated in an understated Islands style with mahogany furniture, are spacious though a tad worn; bathrooms have two vanities, and the lanais are big enough for lounge chairs. 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. If dolphins are your thing, request a room overlooking the lagoon.


  • away from hectic Waikiki
  • top-notch Hoku's restaurant
  • heavenly spa


  • far from Waikiki
  • in a residential neighborhood, so not much to do within walking distance of hotel
  • small pool




Phones: 808-739–8888 | 800-367–2525-toll-free


338 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals