Fodor's Expert Review Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

2552 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, USA See on Map

On the eastern edge of Waikiki, this flagship Marriott sits on about 5 acres across from Kuhio Beach and close to Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Zoo, and the Waikiki Aquarium. Deep Hawaiian woods and bold tropical colors fill the hotel's two towers, which have ample courtyards and public areas open to ocean breezes and sunlight. Rooms in the Kealohilani Tower are some of the largest in Waikiki, and the Paoakalani Tower's Diamond Head–side rooms offer breathtaking views of the crater and Kapiolani Park. All rooms have private lanai. Opened in 2014, the hotel's Royal Kaila Spa is an Aveda concept spa, offering the full gamut of services. The 3,000-square-foot, 24-hour fitness center has floor-to-ceiling windows and state-of-the-art equipment and machines. Daily activities are offered for children and adults alike.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel will be under renovation starting March 2019. To avoid construction areas and possibly find rooms that have recently been renovated it may be beneficial to give the hotel a call directly for booking.


There are eight room types for guests to choose from, differing based on bed configurations and views (city, ocean, or Diamond Head ocean view). Each room features air conditioning, lanai, mini fridge, and coffee pot. Decor is simple, but the light, earthy colors keep the rooms looking clean, but the rooms are starting to feel a bit dated.


Bathrooms are spacious, with large vanities and mirrors, as well as tub/shower combos.


The Nanea Lobby has been renovated in recent years, creating a beautiful welcome for guests with wide open spaces, modern seating, and cool, earthy accents with beautiful Polynesian decor.

Park across the street at Waikiki Banyan for a much cheaper daily rate of $30 per day (versus $45 at Marriott) and $110 for the week.


There are two pools at this hotel, the Kealohilani Pool and the Paoakalani Pool, both of which are heated outdoor saltwater pools, as well as one hot tub nearby.


The resort’s Royal Kaila day spa features Aveda products and provides the standard array of services including massage, facials, and waxing, as well as ayurvedic treatments.


The fitness center is very spacious and features a wide variety of cardio and weight machines. It also includes a stretching area with fitness balls and yoga mats.


There is a variety of food offerings in the Marriott complex, including Kuhio Beach Grill that offers breakfast buffet in the morning and prime rib buffet in the evenings. Moana Terrace is a casual, fun place to grab a bite for lunch or dinner next to the pool, with live music in the evenings. Dinner choices a little more on the formal end include D.K. Steakhouse, Sansei Restaurant & Sushi Bar, and Arancino di Mare (also open for breakfast and lunch). In-room dining is also available.


Moana Terrace is a great place to grab a drink--it offers up poolside cocktails and music for a fun evening, and Kuhio Beach Grill is the only whiskey and bourbon lounge in Waikiki.


Getting Around

Waikiki and surrounding areas are easily reachable from the airport by cab or rideshare. There is plenty to do in these areas without ever leaving (walking, biking, taking the bus, or hailing a car), so a rental car is only necessary if you want to explore other parts of the island. On-site parking costs $45 daily and $50 for valet.


You may find the staple Hawaiian food poi cooked many different ways during your travels, but you’ll rarely find it in as intriguing and utterly satisfying a form as in the donuts at Liliha Bakery ( 16-min drive). Sadly, once you try them, you’ll regret every morning that you don’t wake up to these chewy, sweet purple treats. If you’re in the mood for something besides donuts for some reason, find some incredible offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their coffee shops. Pro tip: Grab a dozen poi donuts to take home – one of the locations is between Waikiki and the airport.

Venture outside of your ramen comfort zone at Agu Ramen (8-min drive) by adding their signature “hot mess” (a heavy dose of parmesan) to your bowl. No really, it works! Their offerings include classic ramen bowls, options for vegans and vegetarians, and a ridiculously unctuous curry that will have you thinking about it for days. They also have a great happy hour at their multiple locations that include 50% off appetizers and draft beers.


If you’re in the mood for a bit of Irish aloha, Irish Rose Saloon (7-min drive) has nightly live music and that great pub feel that you’re looking for. It’s a true favorite among locals and visitors.

Though MAC 24/7 (2-min walk) is definitely a great place to grab a meal, especially breakfast, it’s their cocktails that we really love. Last call is at 3:30 a.m., so you can enjoy a nightcap with your late-night pancakes before heading back to your hotel. Fruity cocktails like the Frozen Mo’o and Lava Lava Rocks fill that island cocktails craving. They also have a great reverse happy hour from midnight to 3 a.m. (except Friday and Saturday), as well as a regular daily happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m.


The sprawling Marriott complex happens to be in an ideal location in Waikiki, next to plenty of restaurants, shops, right across from the beach. The rooms are large, staff is pleasant, and there are plenty of amenities to keep travelers happy, without ever having to leave the area.


Near the beach
Local Flavor


Phones: 808-922–6611;800-367–5370

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