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“Great views....but little value.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel

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The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2863 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815 (Diamond Head - Kapahulu - St. Louis)   |  
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Ranked #30 of 82 Hotels in Honolulu
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great views....but little value.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012 via mobile

My wife and i stayed on at the otani for the first leg of hour honeymoon. 4 nights. This is considered a boutique hotel.
Ocean view rooms have great views of waikiki and the water. Really one of a kind for the price. $224/ night. Overnight valet was $23. Valet drivers were quick and attentive and very nice to talk to. Hotel is right on the beach. Sana souci beach is a small private area great for swimming and snorkel and launching kayaks. The waves do not get rough here. No board sports here though. You have to make a short walk down the beach walk to find much surfing and body boarding. There is a well stocked convience store on the property as well as other shops. We bought cereal and pop tarts here for breakfast most days. Beach towels are free to check out. Staff was friendly throughout the hotel. Rooms very clean with great air conditioning. Room had a nice sized safe that will fit a laptop and various valuables.

Room was pretty small. We found our selves very crowded with all our luggage out. They have a dresser and closet space to hang clothes. But only staying four days, we did not utilize much of it. They have an activities desk where you can book tours and rent beach equipment and lessons. However the attendent was never around when we wanted to find info. Not sure if she is directly related to the hotel or not. It is about a 10-15min walk to waikiki, 2 paths street or a nice beach walk. At night this walk can be bit daunting do to the homeless folks who set up camp in the park or live out of their cars along the street. We did not have any problems but you were definetly on alert.

This is a very japanese hotel. Reflective of room size and various policies and of course clientel. Great hotel for middle age and older couples. Away from the hustle of waikik but with in walking distance to all the action. Overall we enjoyed our stay, as we are in our thirties and like to be active but have a nice retreat at the end of the day.

A note about oahu. Most activities close around 5pm. If you are a late riser. You wont get half the stuff on you list done.

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597 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (158)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

After staying at the Royal Hawaiian and a fantastic place in Maui, New Otani kind of felt like the holiday inn of hotel. I probably shouldn't compare, it served its purpose, clean, affordable and quiet. It is quite small, and I'm a small person. no problem for business travellers or people who don't plan to spend any time in the room. The restaurant at the hotel wasn't that great but the service was polite, they even held our luggage for a few days while we went to Maui (you have to pay for carry-on on that flight). It was about a 15 minute walk to the 'core' of waikiki'. My advice: avoid Waikiki altogether - hawaii has way more to offer outside it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Ipswich, Australia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

We stayed at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel for 2 nights recently and we had a great time from the moment we walked in the doors. We received an upgrade to a full ocean view room on the corner and my goodness what a cracker of a view we got. It was everything we could have hoped for. It is an older Hotel but I would regard it as boutique. I will be staying there every time I go back to Honolulu. We spent a night at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and it wasn't scratch on the New Otani. It is a walk but only a short one from the main part of Waikiki but believe me this is one of the jewels of this Hotel. Only $5.00 in a cab or take the Bus. The beach at the New Otani is the best beach in Waikiki. Give it go I will be surprised if it disappoints.

Room Tip: Ask for a full ocean view corner room - you will not be disappointed
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Seattle, WA
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I am giving this hotel a "poor" rating because of what you get for the price. Generally, in the universe of hotels, the New Otani is probably "average" or just below average. But when the price hovers around $400 per night (then add valet parking, the "resort fee" for which you get the use of beach towels and spotty internet and not much else that I could see, and the cost of having to eat out for most meals for the term of the stay to that per-night cost), the experience should be, at the very least, very good. This was not. We've stayed at the Grand Hyatt and at Kuhio Shores condos on Kauai, the Ritz on Maui, and Horizon House on the Big Island, and by comparison the New Otani has the terrible honor of having been the most expensive and the worst - by far - of the bunch.

The view from the Queen suite was a show-stopper, that's true. But after staying there 9 (yes, that's nine) days, my perspective is that we were pretty much paying only for that view.

The staff was - with a couple of exceptions - not very friendly, or very helpful. There was one valet (mentioned in other reviews on Yelp, I noticed today) who was very nice, helpful by offering tips for snorkel sites and directions, and who was also very interesting and talked with us about the hotel's (in my opinion short-sighted and antiquated) policy of not permitting staff to have tattoos showing even when the tattoos are expressions of native culture being worn by Hawaiian people. He was kind and welcoming to us, and actually remembered that we were guests there when we saw him day after day, unlike his co-workers.

The other valets seemed annoyed by us. At other hotels we've stayed at, valets would help (or at least offer to help) with our snorkeling equipment and bags from our day trips; here, they uniformly did not ask whether we needed help, and would stand there as we struggled to get everything out of the car quickly so as not to hold up the valet line. A couple of the valets either couldn't remember or pretended that they didn't remember that we were actually guests (asking us if we were checking in when we'd been staying there almost a week and had encountered this particular person multiple times), and that we were together (asking my partner for her valet ticket number, and then asking me for mine, even though we were standing inches apart, had come down the stairs together, were engaged in conversation with each other, and were pretty obviously "together" - traveling together at least, even if these individuals didn't recognize us as a couple).

Other staff members questioned my request for four beach towels for two of us ("Four of you in your room?!" "Um, no, but as you can see I'm a larger person, so it's helpful for me to have two towels..." and do I really need to explain this to you when I'm standing right in front of you, there is a closet full of towels right there next to us, and I've only asked for 4 of them for 2 people for a day of swimming, which doesn't seem excessive?). Another gave us partial and incorrect information about the hotel restaurants. The beachfront restaurant, while always crowded for dinner, had limited hours and likewise limited and also somewhat strange food options (very little for the vegetarian; didn't even have any bread that they could serve with her paltry iceberg salad). The hotel has a very limited room service menu and room service hours. The hotel tower is also motel-like in that the doors to each room exited to the outside, and the hallways ringed an interior courtyard-type area. The venting from the hotel restaurants apparently goes up that interior courtyard, so each day when we left the room we were greeted with different but equally overpowering smells - morning fried bacon, afternoon tempura, evening steak smells. This wasn't a little waft. This was full-on, standing outside a restaurant kitchen vent stink, which was at times a bit nauseating.

This next point I make carefully. We are from Seattle, we have traveled and are used to interacting with friends, clients, and other people in the world for whom English is not a first language, and we made the reservation perfectly aware that we were going to a Japanese-owned hotel. We expected many of the staff might speak English as a second (or third, fourth, so on) language, and that in this context we would be the ones with the accents. It was, however, surprisingly and exceedingly difficult to obtain information from some staff members including the gentleman who checked us out, because of a language barrier. He literally could not communicate with us about our questions about the bill, and there was no one else there with whom we could speak at the time. Given the bill we were being asked to sign was in the mid-four figures, and that the hotel is not advertised as being exclusively Japanese, we were surprised that there was not an English-speaking front desk person available when some number of the people checking in or out would, presumably, not be able to speak Japanese.

Another front desk staff member was, frankly, rude and not helpful when we (gasp!) wanted information about the 3:30 AM fire alarms that went off one night (Hi, front desk? The fire alarm just went off, and we started to leave but noticed no one else left their rooms. Is there a fire somewhere? Fire alarm - is there a fire? Fire? No fire? If you're sure it wasn't a fire, do you know why the alarm went off? Was the alarm just in our room? Oh, you were testing them? In the middle of the night? Oh, not testing, but resetting them? What does that mean - are the alarms broken? Wait - I hear it on the other side of the hotel now - are you sure there's no fire? Ok, then, can you tell me when the weird residual static noise emanating from the alarm speaker in the ceiling of our room will stop, so we can get some sleep? No? Can you do anything to stop it? No? Ok, thanks, bye).

The housekeeping staff did a good job, and the day we checked out we left a tip for them, accordingly.

As other reviewers have noted about their rooms, our room (a suite in the "new, renovated" area) smelled strongly of mildew. Given housekeeping seemed to do a good cleaning each day, we could not determine the source of the smell. In the end we opined it was the a/c system, but who knows.

The beach in back of the hotel was lovely. We watched the sunset there almost every evening, and the crowd gathered there was a nice mix of locals, others who live on the island, and tourists. I recommend reef shoes if you enter the beach in the middle to the left. The right is more sandy. We swam a bit there, but we snorkeled elsewhere.

As others also state, the hotel is on the quiet end of Waikiki. Again, the view from our room was stunning, of the ocean and downtown. However - and this is of course no reflection on the hotel - the jellyfish were visiting our first few days, and because I was anxious to get in the water we actually went and double-stayed one night at the Hilton Hawaiian Village so we could have use of their saltwater lagoon and other pools. At the Hilton we stayed in a tower with its own pool, not far from the lagoons, and paid over $100 less than we did for the New Otani room. For those who haven't visited Waikiki before - the walking distance between the New Otani and the hotels at the top of the strip (Hilton Village, Royal Hawaiian) is around a mile, but in the heat and the humidity and depending on what you are carrying and your level of activity, the walk may or may not be something you are up for multiple times per day. We ended up driving back and forth to visit restaurants, etc. Information about buses and taxis were not readily available at the New Otani. The "travel desk" was most often empty.

We tried to borrow or rent one of the paddle boards stored on the side of the hotel. The front desk person couldn't help us, and referred us to the "travel desk," gesturing to the empty table across the lobby. We never ended up in the lobby when the mysterious travel desk person was there, so no paddle board for us. (At least not there; we rented one at the Hilton, $30 for an hour, but it was fun and worth it).

The convenience store onsite was a sad, sad step-down from the 39 ABC Stores in Waikiki. We wistfully wished for an ABC Store onsite.

(There is no swimming pool - the very good is for the beach onsite).

In the end, the view was breathtaking, but the absence of helpful service and enjoyable food options on-site rendered this place an overpriced mistake. If you stay and, as some on Yelp have, can get some super deal where you are paying $150 or less per night, then you might be getting what you pay for. But the postcard view wasn't worth the $400+ per night; this hotel just doesn't offer what you expect when you are paying that much. We will choose more wisely next time, and we won't stay at the New Otani again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

My experience here was outstanding. The hotel is located directly on the beach, opposite Kapiolani Park, and about a 10 minute walk to the end of the busy Waikiki 'strip'. It's a great choice to avoid the congestion of central Waikiki. There's a wide, uncrowded beach right out of the door. Had a room with dramatic views of the beach and Waikiki. The ground floor restaurant is directly on the beach. Had good food and service. It seems to be quite busy for breakfast, so reservations are a good idea. They offer complimentary beach mats and towels. I'm looking forard to another visit here.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Choosing a hotel to stay at in Honolulu can be an exhausting and frustrating experience. We must have changed our minds every other day. Finally, we agreed to look for a hotel away from the hustle and noise of downtown and stay closer to Diamond Head. After debating over a few locations we chose the New Otani and we could not have been happier that we did.

Other than a rather surely man at the front desk who "greeted" our late night arrival, the hotel was everything we could have hoped for. The refurbished rooms with a view of Diamond Head and the Beach were elegantly designed and radiated serenity. The room had a wrap around lanai that was perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine and watching either the ocean or Diamond Head (which loomed over us).. Service was impeccable and the staff were very friendly (except for the night person). Breakfast in the beachfront dining room was a delight. Dinner there was a bit pricey but worth every penny. We also had a very relaxing and delicious dinner at the Japanese restaurant on the second floor.

The park across the street is a wonderful place to rest and enjoy watching local activities. Under the shadow of Diamond Head, I sat and watched, among other things, people in yoga classes, high-school students in soccer practice, Frisbee tossing and a volleyball game. t was also nice to sit just outside the hotel and watch the residents go by wheeling their children or, more frequently, doing their daily run.

For us, the location was perfect. It was very hot when we were in Honolulu and it is about a 20 minute walk to downtown. We did the walk once and decided we would rather stay around the hotel. I had a bit of a chuckle regarding a remark in a review that one has to walk a bit to find a cup of coffee. We just used the coffee maker and coffee provided in the room.

The general area is quiet and we never had any trouble getting a good night's sleep.

There is a very well stocked convenience store at the hotel which carried everything from goggles to beer and wine

In sum, this is the hotel I would stay at in Honolulu and would unreservedly recommend to others. .

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

As a former resident of Honolulu I always return to the Kaimana. It is located at the foot of Diamond Head across from Kapiolani Park not in the midst of overbuilt & noisy Waikiki. Yes, they do charge a parking fee because the excellent attendants must constantly rearrange parking due to limited space. This was always done with speed and a smile. My room faced the ocean and insured I could simply listen to the sound of the waves from my lanai not gridlock traffic.

Room Tip: I chose one of the newly renovated rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 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.
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Additional Information about The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel

Address: 2863 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Diamond Head - Kapahulu - St. Louis
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#19 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#28 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#32 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 124
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Take advantage of its paradisiacal setting, The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel is a refreshing escape from the crowds of Waikiki. This boutique hotel sits right on one of Honolulu’s best white-sand beach, cradled next to the slopes of Diamond Head Crater, and located directly across from the 108 acre Kapiolani Park, perfect for those seeking a recreational or romantic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
New Otani Kaimana Beach Honolulu
Kaimana Beach Hotel
New Otani Hawaii
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu

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