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“I love The Kahala” 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
West Hollywood, California, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“I love The Kahala”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

I just got back from staying at The Kahala Hotel for five nights. The experience from this trip is incredible! They are extremely nice there. Everything I wanted was easy to get. The beach was right outside my sliding glass door of my room. Every night there was something going on. One night, I watched a fireworks show that was on the beach in front of my room. I loved it! The Kahala Hotel is one of my favorite hotels in the world. I'll go back. I love this hotel!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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1,634 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (304)
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Kahala for a week in late February (my husband, young son, and myself), and truly appreciated the commitment to excellent customer service while there. The outstanding focus on service is evident from the moment you arrive at Kahala with with valet parking staff. This group of individuals perfectly balanced friendly service, professionalism and enthusiasm. They were always willing to provide directions, give recommendations and typically would address us by name.

Upon checking in, we were pleased to learn that we had been upgraded to a partial ocean view room. While it overlooked the front entrance of the hotel, it was a nice treat to see the ocean from our room. We sacrificed having two beds (our son slept on the small sofa at the foot of the bed) to have breakfast included with our room rate. This was a well made decision. Breakfast at the Plumeria Beach House is excellent with a wide range of choices, more than enough to suit every palate. That said, if it hadn't been included with our stay, I doubt we would have eaten there as our daily bill for breakfast was over $80 and that seems exceptionally steep (considering how much we actually eat). If you do plan on eating there, I strongly recommend arriving close to opening at 0630hrs as it gets very crowded and busy as the morning progresses. We went around 0800hrs on our last day and it was too busy to enjoy.

The location of Kahala is excellent for those looking to be away from the business of Waikiki. It is an easy drive into town and is close to both Hanoma Bay and Koko Head Crater. I agree with other reviewers that the pool is small for the size of the resort. It was very windy during our stay so we did not spend much time on the beach. The pool was full of families playing (worked well for us having a child but I can see how adults looking to relax might find it a bit annoying). Those we spoke to who did the dolphin experience said the enjoyed it greatly but it seemed a bit cost-prohibitive for a short period of time with the dolphins.

As other reviewers have mentioned, Kahala seems to cater to the wedding (on the beach) crowd. During our stay, there was at least one wedding daily, sometimes two. It is a beautiful location although it felt a bit strange to be returning to our room following a dip in the pool or ocean as a bridal party was preparing in the lounge near the elevators.

I believe having a rental car is a must when staying here though as the shuttle service fills up quickly and you must book your return time in advance (we tried to change our return without success so found ourselves killing an extra couple of hours Waikiki while waiting to return to the resort).

Overall, our experience at Kahala was positive and I would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a relaxing holiday away from Waikiki but who was keen to leave the resort for meals and activities.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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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, April 4, 2013
I was delighted to read your wonderful comments following your stay at our resort. It is always so reassuring to see that our services and guest facilities met or exceeded guests' expectations. I agree that you made a good decision to include daily buffet breakfast for two with your room rate as it is a great value. We always try to provide a comfortable and memorable resort experience for our guests, and thank you for taking the time to send your positive feedback. It will be a pleasure to be of service to you and your family again the next time you visit our beautiful island. Aloha and best wishes.
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Denver, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Exceeded our expectations, I actually didn't want to write this review to keep Kahala a secret and keep it from being booked out. :) The reality is, it was a perfect vacation for myself, my husband & two kids (6 & 10). The entire staff from the valet, bell, front desk, concierge, restaurant & pool were all accommodating in every way. I wouldn't say the pool area is too small as others have posted, but it was just the right size to have an eye on the kids in any direction and feel safe with them having some independence. The pool service, bar & food were all excellent. I loved the ability to have a private cabana, chairs or a lounge on the beach and have beach service!
My husband & I had the best time relaxing on the beach while the kids played in the sand, then ordered lunch with some delicious cocktails. All with the raise of the flag they provide for you to use when you needed service on the beach. That is a vacation at its best!
The dolphin lagoon was a big hit, we could view them anytime of the day, including the turtles & stingray. Very educational in a fun environment...yes to swim with the dolphins was at a high price, but this is Hawaii & a resort, so everything will be at a cost.
The Plumeria restaurant was excellent, breakfast, lunch & dinner. All of it is worth the price since the food was consistently good. They also have Hoku (fine dining) and the Veranda, which is in the main area and on the balcony overlooking the pool & beach. They offered the kids menu in all locations, so my husband & I could eat a nice meal knowing the kids had an option. We really enjoyed the wine menu and all of the specialty drinks were great, if you are into enjoying a few libations on your trip.
Our room was in the main tower 9th floor with a beach view, we also had the valet driveway underneath, but it was never loud, one thing I worried about for a good nights sleep. We had a nice sized room with 2 beds, the bathroom had a great tub, shower, 2 vanities & 2 closets. A great perk!
It was busy at times with 1-2 weddings a day, but they usually were not there long, only to do the ceremony & take photos. I never saw an actually wedding party or dinner that was larger than 20 people and most of them were not guests so they didn't bother us. It was nice to see the beautiful brides and flowers. Our last night there was a huge company party, but we were able to enjoy their private fireworks display off the beach... it was like our own special farewell to an unforgettable family vacation.
I hope that I am not leaving out any other details about this perfect paradise.
The best part for us was being away from Waikiki, Kahala resort is its own secluded oasis. We did take the free shuttle into Waikiki a few times to do some shopping, some people watching and grab a burger at a local place. Overall, I think you really need to be aware that Kahala is off the beaten path, so if you have teenagers or are looking for a fun night life, then you should stay in Waikiki. We loved the simplicity of the private beach at Kahala, then having the ability to go into the main strip was an easy balance. The resort can be busy at times and maybe a bit hard on the wallet, but if you want the best vacation ever you need to realize there is a price.
I can't say enough about how this place made our trip drama free! We were all happy everyday... it helps when you don't have crazy expectations and can just relax & enjoy the ocean.
The website offers some great packages & deals, so many of the complaints/reviews can be remedied if you plan ahead. We did have the free breakfast for 2 adults, so instead of $100 every morning, it was only $30 for the 2 kids buffet.
Also, the work out facility was nice, it is located on the main floor and overlooks the water. We also had alot of fun with the private paddleboard & surf lessons from Peter. He is the best!
The concierge can set up many of the island tourist attractions like Pearl Harbor, snorkeling or whale watching. Hint: book your these activities before your trip or as soon as you get there since it fills up quickly. We were lucky to get tickets to Pearl Harbor after there was a no show.
Overall, I can see our family staying here again & again until the kids grow alittle older and needs change.

Room Tip: All floors in the tower are good, the non ocean view is a view of the golf coarse. The dolphin lagoo...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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, April 4, 2013
It was a pleasure having you and your family with us during your recent trip to Honolulu, and it was thoughtful of you to take the time to send such positive feedback. I was delighted to see how much you enjoyed our facilities and services, including your warm welcome on arrival, the careful attention by our pool and beach staff, as well as the food in our restaurants which offered special menus for children. I was pleased that you enjoyed our secluded location, which is popular with our guests and ensures a peaceful setting. The concierge was happy to assist you with reservations at some popular tourist activities, and there will be much more to see the next time you are with us.
It will be a pleasure to welcome you and your family back again and again. Aloha and best regards.
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Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stayed here as part of a business trip and it was wonderful! Our room overlooked the dolphin lagoon and it was so much fun to watch the dolphins interacting with the guests and the trainers. Everyone we encountered who worked at the Kahala was so friendly and I cannot say enough good things about this resort. We stayed here for 5 nights and every night was so peaceful - no loud noises from other guests to keep you awake, excellent turn-down service, and a very comfortable bed. The in-room CD player playing a CD of Hawaiian music was a nice touch! The beach and towel service was great and the restaurants were excellent!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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, April 4, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to send your comments following your recent stay with us. I was pleased to see that you had a good time and particularly enjoyed your room location overlooking the dolphin lagoon. The Dolphin Quest interaction programs are very popular along with a variety of beach activities such as surf lessons, yoga classes, and others. Perhaps you will be able to enjoy a leisurely stay with no business responsibilities the next time you plan a trip to Honolulu. Thank you again for sharing your memorable experience with us. Aloha and best wishes.
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Surrey, Bc
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

I liked the idea of being apart from the madness of Waikiki Beach, but found it too isolated to accommodate the closure of one of their main restaurants. During the Valentine week period we had to scramble for reservations and drive to dinner every day as we didn't want to eat yet another meal (in addition to breakfast) at the overcrowded Plumeria Restaurant in-house. Their modest sushi restaurant was always fully booked. It is a beautiful property with calm surf, nice beach, very comfortable rooms. But the pool is smallish and mostly for families at play--not always a bad thing--but for relaxing adults, not so much. I believe the hotel management has a strong focus on drawing the wedding-on-the-beach crowd...the parade of photo-op brides and limos was a bit off-putting. Over-all it seemed a bit hectic, but I also believe management is trying very hard to remedy some of these problems as they were quite attentive to our observations when we contacted them.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the lagoon are charming. Partial ocean view is almost oceanfront scenery.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Santa Monica, California
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

Last minute trip to Kahala - booked the night before our trip. Great reservation agent. We heard about Kahala from friends who love the place, but were a little suspect as we usually travel to the FS Maui and FS Hualalai and really didn't know what the hotels on Oahu were going to be like.

Food at the Plumeria for breakfast exceeded expectations. Amazing buffet breakfast. Beach was awesome, swimmable, beautiful. Pool was nice and warm. Staff was great and super nice. Room had really pretty view, nicely appointed, two big closets and two separate sinks which my wife and I loved. Shops were great.

Food at the high end restaurant exceeded expectations - we expected over hyped food and were ready for disappointment. We followed waiter on recommendations and they were spot on. He guided us not to order too much as it would be plenty of food.

Fun dolphins which our 4 year old loved to watch, great fish to watch feed, amazing sea turtles which brought lots of enjoyment.

If I am trying to come up with any downside to the hotel.... the only thing on my wish list would be a bigger pool. At the same time, our 4 year old loved it and we loved the fact it was a super warm pool and not chilly.

Waikiki is a short 15 minute cab ride. Babysitters on call were awesome.

Truly, we were braced for something to go wrong given the last minute nature of the booking and being suspicious of Oahu versus the other islands. We were dead wrong. This place is great. Oh yes - we were there over Spring break and it was packed - they handled the crowds with ease.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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, April 2, 2013
It was wonderful to read your glowing comments about our resort, and thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I was delighted to see that our guest serivces, our warm swimming pool for your child, your guest room, our food, and our resident dolphins all exceeded your expectations. My staff and I look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit beautiful Oahu. Aloha and best wishes.
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Sacramento, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

If you want quiet beachfront resort living, this is the place to be. This hotel has everything: dolphins, sea turtles, fish, impeccable service, atmosphere, cleanliness, beauty. Ask the concierge desk. They even have beach service at off site beaches if you need chairs and umbrellas. I cannot find a negative thing to say about this Resort. Only 10 minutes from the rush of Waikiki.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, April 1, 2013
I was delighted to read your wonderful comments, and thank you for staying at our resort during your recent trip to Honolulu. Nothing makes us happier than to learn that our quiet location and guest services and facilities have exceeded a guest's expectations. My staff and I are looking forward to being of service to you again the next time you visit our beautiful island. Aloha and best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Spa 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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