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“House Befitting Honeymoon” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Halekulani Hotel

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Halekulani Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815 (Waikiki)   |  
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Ranked #2 of 83 hotels in Honolulu
Fleet, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“House Befitting Honeymoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

This was our third hotel on our Honeymoon and did not disappoint. The views from the ocean view room were magnificent. The hotel room was luxurious and very modern. Water and ice were provided and the small fridge could be used for storing your own items. Room service was amazing, they would come and set up a beautiful table on the balcony, one morning they even brought a toaster so we could make our own fresh toast!

We had the romance remembered dining experience one evening and would highly recommend it, really good four course meal.

Location was perfect, the smarter side of town ( although the whole of the area was great the other end had more 'beachy hotels and cheaper options) it is right opposite Nobu, which was a great experience.

The Outrigger hotel next door was also very good, their Shorebird restaurant is right on the beach, we ate breakfast there and a few dinners, if you feel like a change. (we stayed there the week before moving to Halekulani)

Beach and pool were great, small beach was perfect for the guests to use, there were showers right next to the Halekulani gate, the pool attendants were really helpful and provide plenty of clean towels for the beach or pool. I read somewhere that the Outrigger end of the beach was stony. I found a few large grains of sands but no stones at all!!!!

The new year fireworks were spectacular and they happened right outside the Halekulani!

Can't wait to come back.

Room Tip: Ocean front was worth the upgrade, you could see the ocean from the bed and shower!
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 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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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 (193)
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Sydney
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Whilst the hotel may well be described as the best in Honolulu by some, one's expectation of a five star hotel includes both excellent accommodations and excellent service. Our ocean front room was indeed very nice and the room amenities were up to expectation but service was a different matter. Every morning you could not simply walk into the poolside restaurant where a buffet breakfast was served. You had to wait to be seated and the staff were not particularly quick in preparing empty tables for the next lot of guests. Inevitably, lines of waiting guests were building up and often it was necessary to wait at least 20 minutes to be seated. The buffet was not particularly good with slow replenishment and lacking many breakfast items found in other hotels. The selection of breads was particularly poor. On New Years Day an overflow room was opened up for breakfast above the usual restaurant, to cater for the larger crowds. This should have been done throughout the busy holiday period. Other instances of service lapses can be illustrated by the experience of friends with whom we traveled. One morning there was a knock on their door at 6.30am by the porter wishing to take down their luggage. They were not leaving that day.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the ocean and pool are best although there is no real privacy because of the layout of...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Great location, well appointed rooms with large bathrooms. The pool area is nice and getting a sun bed is not a problem at any time. I have two complaints. The wifi did not work for 2 of the 3 days we spent there. It was very annoying. The other problem was that we had to wait for 30 minutes to get a table at breakfast which we found completely unacceptable.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

For several years, I have dutifully read numerous reviews of hotels on Tripadvisor before making my own hotel bookings, but have never reciprocated the kindness of other reviewers by writing my own review. This is my first review. I felt compelled to write a review of Halekukani because its current ranking of 3 on Tripadvisor might lead the community of readers to believe that Halekulani actually should rank as lowly as 3rd amongst the hotels of Honolulu. Dear readers, do not think that for a second, as Halekulani is The Finest Hotel in Honolulu and one of the finest hotels in the world.

I have stayed at Halekulani twice and will never stay anywhere else in Honolulu. What marks Halekulani as distinct from so many other hotels is EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE. Halekulani makes you feel like you have been invited into someone's home (and a very beautifully decorated and equipped home at that), which is a difficult thing for a hotel to achieve. From staff all across the board - Duty manager, restaurant staff, reception, porters, concierges, car valets - all staff I have encountered in my two stays could not help me enough during my stay. Example, when I checked in this time, I had a 2 single beds rather than a King size bed. On mentioning this to the staff member who escorted me to my room on arrival, the duty manager (Moses) came and visited me in the room and quickly arranged for the beds to be removed and a proper king size mattress to be moved into the room. No fuss, no problem. That evening, a box of chocolates and a personal apology note from Moses arrived at my room as a result of this "discomfort" on checking in. Nice touch. How many hotels have done that for you? I wanted the formal English-style afternoon tea that same day, but the designated afternoon tea room was full. So, the manager of that service made up a special table in Orchids restaurant overlooking the ocean and served a specialised personal afternoon tea service there. Again, no fuss, no problem. Just solving problems to ensure that guests have an exceptional hotel experience.

In my opinion, Halekulani sits on the best position on Waikiki Beach. For those who have not been to Honolulu before, the beach is curved and Halekulani sits at the "top" of the curve, so you can get brilliant side-on views of Diamond Head from Halekulani, which cannot be said of many hotels in Honolulu, although others on Waikiki Beach do have similar (not as good) views of Diamond Head. If that's not important to you, then don't worry about it. But, it's important to me. I won't go to Honolulu that many times in my life, but when I do, I want to see the amazing natural beauty that is Diamond Head, when I wake up, when I watch TV in the living room, when I sit on my balcony, you get the idea?

That takes me onto the next point and a word of advice - Halekulani has a square-W shaped building structure. Othre reviews have mentioned nice beach view rooms and garden view rooms and I'm sure they are nice. But (and apologies if this sounds a bit snobbish), Halekulani's position on Waikiki Beach is so good (see above), that if you can afford it, you should always chose a Diamond Head Room or a Diamond Head Suite. You will have the most awesome side-on views of Diamond Head from these rooms, but it makes for a beautiful hotel stay when you see that amazing view all the time from your room. Other rooms at Halekulani don't have that side-on Diamond Head view due to the shape of the hotel, so chose your room and your budget carefully.

The pool - this is important for many people, especially those with kids. So take note. Halekulani is not like the Westin Maui or Grand Wailea (both in Maui), which both have awesome water slide / pool complexes that kids absolutely adore. Halekulani has only one largish oval shaped pool (maybe 30 metres x 15 metres) and no water slides. If large water slides / pool complexes are important to you (or your kids), go to another hotel, as the Halekulani does not deliver on that front. As some other reviewers have noted, there are always enough pool chairs at the pool and the pool attendants are great.

The beach - you might be confused by some of the other reviews, so let me make this clear. Halekulani sits right on Waikiki Beach. However, in front of (most of) Halekulani, there is a beach wall (ie no sandy beach). But at the right hand side and left hand side of that beach wall (which is also at the left and right hand in front of Halekulani), there are two small beaches. These are actually really nice small beaches which people use to sun bath and swim in the Waikiki beach ocean, so don't be confused about this issue. You can get access to those two small beaches straight in front of Halekulani. If you want to join the masses on the thick, wide part of Waikiki Beach, you only need to walk 2 minutes along the beach and you're there. So, at Halekulani, you have great beach Waikiki Beach options.

Food - Halekulani has a range of food options, from casual pool dining, a la carte at Orchids, afternoon tea (see above) and a high class restaurant, so there is something for everyone. Note that Halekulani uses very high quality ingredients, so you can have good, tasty and nutrious food using the best quality ingredients at Halekulani, a combaination which can be harder to find elswhere than you might have thought.

Concierges - Halekulani is a 5-star hotel and the concierges are first rate. Nothing was too difficult to organise and they had a mountain of good advice and called me back when I asked them to do so.

Halekulani is a little more expensive than other hotels, so if you are budget conscious, best to look elsewhere. But, the guest experience at Halekulani is so superb, that I have not regretted for a second the money that I have spent there. That extra money has bought me some of the very best hotelling experiences I have had anywhere and I have travelled widely and stayed at many fine hotels.

Bear this in mind - Hawaii is a great place for visit for a holiday. Honolulu / Oahu has so much going for it and many sites and experiences that will draw me back there in the future. But one of the main features that will make me look forward to visiting Honolulu again is the prospect of staying at Halekulani one more time. Dear readers, how many hotels do you say that about?

Room Tip: For great views of Diamond Head, chose a Diamond Head Room or Diamond Head Suite.
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  • Stayed January 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

This lovely hotel is the place to stay if you come to Oahu. It is in a great part of town with easy access to restaraunts and shops. The hotel is beautifully finished with very comfortable beds and a wonderful shower. The staff are very attentive and friendly. The hotel is not huge which is nice, with a medium sized pool and has its own tiny private beach. The food at the hotel is good although a little expensive. Will be returning here!

Room Tip: An ocean view room is lovely although more expensive of course
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  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We absolutely loved the Halekulani, our room was beautiful, the service was great and the hotel grounds were really stunning. For a bit of luxury this is definitely the place to stay in Waikiki. Just off the main strip this hotel is a well located gem.
The food is expensive but delicious and if you don't want to spend $70 on breakfast for 2 you can always go to Giovanni Pastrami's which is down the road and yummy.
If you stay at Halekulani I know I will be jealous..

  • Stayed December 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
    • 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.
Dallas, TX
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed here at the end of our trip from the US to Japan, as a stop-over before heading back to the mainland US. The staff here is very friendly, we had no problems at all even though we arrived earlier than expected. They still allowed us to go up to our room and crash after the long flight.

The beach is small like other travelers have noted, but the location is still by far one of the most beautiful hotels I have stayed at. The pool is huge and gorgeous, and the rooms are spacious and clean. All rooms come standard with a jacuzzi tub, which we definitely took advantage of when we weren't by the pool. There's plenty of shopping and eating within just a few minute's walk, or drive if you're renting a car.

  • Stayed July 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
    • 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.

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Additional Information about Halekulani Hotel

Also Known As:
Halekulani Hotel Honolulu
Halekulani
Halekulani Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu
Address: 2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#6 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#8 Business Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Halekulani Hotel 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Halekulani has been hosting visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years. Today its reputation for gracious hospitality, impeccable service and magnificent cuisine is unequaled on Oahu and renowned, throughout the world. ... more   less 
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