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“Exceptional choice” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Kahala Hotel & Resort

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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816   |  
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15% off room rate
Ranked #3 of 82 Hotels in Honolulu
Orlando, Florida
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Exceptional choice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

We only had one night at the Kahala during a recent cruise holiday, but wished we could have spent several days there. Beautiful property, enormous rooms (and quiet!), and a totally relaxed atmosphere. Would highly recommend!

Room Tip: We prefered the 2-story building over the high-rise. Very quiet.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, December 17, 2012
I was delighted to read your positive comments and see that you had a good time during your brief stay at our resort. It will be our pleasure to welcome you back on another occasion when you can plan a longer stay and enjoy all of our services and facilities plus see more of our beautiful island. Thank you for sending your feedback. Aloha and best regards.
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1,633 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (303)
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Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

Great staff, great location, mildly over-priced.

You can get more bang-for-your-buck on Oahu in Waikiki or Ko'Olina... but Kahala is away from the hustle-and-bustle of Waikiki, but close enough to the action for a short taxi ride away if that is your thing.

Dolphin show is great for the kids, beach is nice, protected unless there is a big south swell. Average grounds- it's Hawaii, but I've seen better landscaping at similar class resorts.

Did I say a great staff?

The server at the lobby bar/lounge area open in the evening I found to be a little on the salty side, but by and large everyone else at this resort was great.

As a local I've stayed at resorts on Maui, Big Island, Kauai and Oahu, and do so fairly regularly for work so I feel like I've got a good grasp of the market and what is available here.

Stayed one night for a sunrise wedding on 12/12/12, and I don't think you could ask for a better staff to plan your wedding- Amy, the wedding planner, is VERY good, and for someone coming from the mainland, she will make your special day a true delight. Highly recommend her.

Otherwise, it's all about the name at the Kahala- it's pretty much the top name resort you can stay at on Oahu, but that's more because of the location and heritage. (Kahala neighborhood is one of Hawaii's wealthiest)

As other local reviewers have noted here, it's really not that special... there are better beaches, better sunsets, and better locations, but the Kahala has a special feel to it and has played host to a number of celebrities over the years, probably more because of it's seclusion yet proximity to town. (Check out the wall of celebrities- it seems like every A-list actor from Hollywood present or past has stayed here)

Looking for 'The' name-brand high-end resort on Oahu? This is it. Looking for the best in value amenities, sunsets and beaches? There are better, newer resorts... but this one will certainly do... just be prepared to pay a premium for the name.

Room Tip: Tower rooms are large, spacious, but not all have balconies so you may want to request that if you g...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, December 18, 2012
Thank you for staying at our resort recently and for sharing that experience. Our secluded location is very popular with guests as are the resident dolphins in our lagoon. We also find that visitors enjoy the other guest facilities and activities throughout the property. I was pleased to read your positive comments about the wedding you attended here then spent the night with us. I shared your feedback with our Catering & Conference Services staff, and they were happy to be of service. We have been fortunate over the years to welcome many Heads of State and other celebrities to our resort, and many of them are captured in photos on our Wall of Fame, which is a must see when staying with us. Our ocean front rooms with balconies are a very popular category, and I am pleased that you had that experience, also. My staff and I look forward to being of service to you again, hopefully, sometime soon. I wish you and your family the best in the New Year and beyond. Please consider our resort for any special occasion. Aloha and best regards.
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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

It has been a few years since we've traveled to Honolulu, but have always stayed at the Kahala (since I was a child and it was the Kahala Hilton) and have seen it undergo many changes. However, during this most recent stay we were not disappointed - it is still my favorite place to stay when visiting Oahu. The location is perfect - away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki yet a short, convenient drive to the action there. The dolphin lagoon is always a pleasure to observe and the pool area and beach are perfect for relaxing. Dined at Hoku's, which is a true culinary experience and I do not plan on waiting so long in the future to return to the Kahala. A perfect few day get away from the pace of everyday life.

Room Tip: The best rooms are in the Koko head tower facing the ocean and the ones with a lanai are perfect, al...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, December 17, 2012
Thank you for selecting our resort for your most recent trip to Honolulu. My staff and I were so pleased to have you with us again. I was delighted to read your comments and see how much you enjoyed our secluded location and your ocean front room with lanai. Of course, it is such a pleasure to watch our resident dolphins and relax at poolside or on our lovely beach. We are looking forward to being of service to you again the next time you visit this beautiful island. Aloha and best regards.
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Corona, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

This hotel is beautiful and the people here are so friendly and helpful... A place you must stay at!!!

The breakfast was to die for, it had everything you can image. The lobby was decorated with Christmas trees and it looked great. The rooms are big and very clean.

Room Tip: Golf course side is the best
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, December 12, 2012
I was delighted to read your great comments about your recent stay with us. You reconfirmed to me that our services and facilities continue to meet our guests' expectations. Also, I am pleased that you were here during the holidays and enjoyed our numerous, colorful decorations throughout the resort. We look forward to being of service to you again the next time you visit our beautiful island. Aloha and best regards.
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Beautiful spot, so booked and identified it as my wife's birthday. Advertised as a seafood buffet with lobster and crab work station. In fact the work station was seafood pasta. No lobster, no crab. Lots of mussels. Cost of $55 each is expensive for a pasta dinner. Buffet items overall flavours quite similar, lots of cream sauces. the starch was fried rice! Nothing done about the birthday event. Finally, we were sitted near the bar and smokers light up just outside a nearby open door, which filled our area with smoke. Hawaii is like France in that non-smoking is a very poorly understood principle. Never going back. Much, much better seafood buffet is on weekends at the Prince Waikiki. On a birthday they will give you a small cake with a candle.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Aloha and thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to the Plumeria Beach House's Bounty of the Seven Seas buffet. We appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to share your observations. We would like to offer our most sincere apologies for not providing an experience on par with your expectations, and for neglecting to recognize your birthday celebration. We work at continually improving our events, and your comments will assist us greatly in shaping this event moving forward. Our seafood offerings vary weekly, as we work to provide the highest quality product available. We occasionally must make substitutions but will do so with a similar item whenever possible. We changed the buffet menu that evening to celebrate the Honolulu Marathon. Although we were unable to provide crab and lobster on the evening you visited us, we were able to substitute with locally-farmed shrimp, fresh clams, mussels, and scallops. We hope that you will choose to visit us again sometime soon. Aloha and best regards.
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concord, ca
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We have been coming to the Kahala for several years and love the location and staff. This trip we found some changes. They appeared to be cost saving measures, although the room prices are not reflective of the changes. You no longer get fresh leis but plastic type ones. For a luxury hotel, it seemed a bit on the cheap side. In the room, the toiletries were no longer the French ones that they used for years but Tommy Bahama. They were okay. My biggest complaint was there were no coffee cups in the rooms only paper ones. Really? An expensive, luxury hotel with only paper cups in the rooms for coffee. The breakfast buffet no longer allows you to get your own juice, you must ask for it. In addition, the selection of pastries and other items has been scaled back.
We love the location and the spaciousness of the rooms. However, our bathroom tile was chipped and marred, again not indicative of a luxury hotel. We do love the beach here and the rooms but would hope they would do a bit more maintenance to be at the level of a luxury, pricey hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Thank you for staying with us again during your recent trip to Honolulu. It was a pleasure having you with us. Our welcome leis for gentlemen are made of black tiger kukui nuts, and female guests receive white shell leis. We find that guests like to take them home as a memento of their stay. Also, we are pleased that our new Tommy Bahama line of amenities has been well received by our guests. Regarding coffee cups in the rooms, we have just received the new ceramic cups for the new Starbucks coffee makers which only hold a certain size. We are currently placing the new cups in all guest rooms. We decided to offer juice service tableside during breakfast at the request of our guests. It does personalize the experience and is consistent with our mission to provide world-class service and exceptional dining. Our line of breakfast items has been expanded over the past year and now includes a bruschetta bar, an arrange of meats and cheeses, a daily frittata, and a savory breakfast entree that changes daily. We greatly appreciate your feedback which helps us to focus on specific issues that we must address. We do repair bathroom floors when chipped tile or other issue is reported. If you would be kind enough to contact me directly at 808 739-8823 and share more details of your stay along with your room number, I would be more than happy to learn more details from you. I sincerely appreciate receiving your candid comments and look forward to welcoming you back on another occasion. Aloha and best regards.
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Morgan Hill, California
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

This is our sixth stay at The Kahala. Prior to coming to The Kahala, we usually stayed at the hotels in Wakiki. Wakiki simply became too crowed and the beach is jammed packed; no longer a pleasure to spend a week, a day maybe. (take the Kahala shuttle to Wakiki Beach)
Kahala is about 15 minutes east of Wakiki. Located at the end of Kahala Avenue (the most coveted address in Honolulu, I think), it is secluded with lovely surroundings. Without big waves and a gentle slope, swimming in the ocean is a pleasure. (only beach that I can swim without getting knocked about by waves) Best of all, i've never seen more than 10 swimmers at one time.
Delicious buffet breakfast is pricey but if your vacation package includes, it is a fabulous treat especially if you go at 6:15 AM and watch the sunrise as you enjoy the freshly cooked omelette, incredible pastries and of course,fresh fruits.
Downsides: the pool is dated, small, and less than five feet deep. This resort is not design for children, except very young ones. With the exception of dolphins, it is not a children friendly resort. It is designed for weddings, multiple weddings in one day. Parking is expensive and no street parking available.

Room Tip: rooms with a lanai is wonderful.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, December 6, 2012
Thank you for staying with us again and for taking the time to send your comments. I was delighted to see how much you enjoy our secluded location and the great conditions for swimming or relaxing on the beach. However, I was sorry to see that you do not believe our resort is designed for families. We have many activities to entertain kids, and our Keiki Club offers full-day or half-day programs that include scoop net fishing, bamboo pole fishing, lei making, and hula, among others. We also provide children's menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and, as you stated, our resident dolphins are popular for all age groups. Families are always welcome at our resort. Hawaii is a favorite place for weddings, and a beachside location seems to be the most desirable. We are fortunate that so many couples select our resort for that very special occasion. We always try to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience for our guests, and I do appreciate receiving all of your feedback. My staff and I look forward to being of service to you again the next time you visit our beautiful island. Aloha and best regards.
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Additional Information about The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Address: 5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#6 Family Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Kahala Hotel & Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 338
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kahala Hotel & Resort is Hawaii's reigning luxury resort, set on a secluded beach just ten minutes from the world class shopping and entertainment of Waikiki. This legendary hideaway resort in Honolulu's plush Kahala district is a favorite with presidents, international royalty and celebrities. From the moment you arrive, you will know that you are truly somewhere special. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Kahala Hotel And Resort
The Kahala Hotel Honolulu
Kahala Resort Honolulu
Kahala Hotel Honolulu
Mandarin Oriental Oahu
Kahala Hotel & Resort
Kahala Mandarin Oriental
The Kahala Hotel & Resort Hawaii/Honolulu

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