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“Nice hotel but sagging on the inside” 3 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 #4 of 82 Hotels in Honolulu
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
215 helpful votes 215 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but sagging on the inside”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

We have been to Halekulani several times and have always enjoyed it. We had a suite overlooking Diamondhead and the ocean. The view was spectacular! The common grounds were well maintained and as pretty as we remembered. The food was good and the service, attentive. What bothered us was that for the money, we thought that the inside of the hotel should have been maintained better. The plumbing was shotty. We got bursts of hot and cold water all the time while showering and though they tried to fix it, the problem persisted. The "engineer" admitted that it was the plumbing. My guess is that they already knew that but the staff can only apologize and offer "treats" to compensate. Only the owners can fix the plumbing. Also, in the bathroom, the glass shelves that once held amenities, now wobble precariously, spilling anything on top of them, unless one is very careful. Staples stuck out of the carpet where rooms met. We could hear all kinds of noises from other rooms and outside, from the events going on below, (until about midnight). This is supposed to be the quiet hotel in Waikiki. The balcony was not a place to sit out on the terrace and eat because the protected birds would drop their excrements on you and your food constantly. However, the rooms are nicely appointed. -Small showers and doorways but lovely neutral decor. One elevator was broken during our stay, so there were long lines to go up and down. Still, management attempts to stay on top of the hotel's problems. I think they just need some help from the owners.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
  • 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 (244)
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1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely excellent. Traveled June 22-29, 2013.

DECOR
Understand end elegance allowing the ocean and palms to be showcased.

CLEANLINESS
The hotel is extremely clean.

CHECK IN
We were escorted to our room by the front desk staff, who explained the resort grounds, restaurants meals times, and all the amenities in the room.

SECURITY
Since the hotel is on the beach, security is necessary to keep out non-Halekulani patrons. The bathrooms next to the beach can only be opened with a room. The hotel elevators (when going up) can only be activated with the room key (but when coming down from your room you don't need the key to activate the elevator). We loved this level of security. You are paying a lot of money to stay at this hotel and don't want anyone to be able to run a muck in it.

ROOMS
Although we booked a garden view too to save money, we stayed on the 7th floor and from the left of our balcony we are ocean front. So, Halekulani classifies rooms that don't directly face the ocean as non-ocean front even though I drank morning coffee looking at the water (I just turned the lounger on the balcony a little and the entire view is ocean).
The rooms are equipped with high tech features. Night stands have power strips to plug in electronic devices. One side of the bed has a standing remote that shuts off every light in the room from bed! The private and maid service is a light you turn on inside the room and glows outside. No pesky "do not disturb" signs to hang. The bed is comfortable (we had a king) and there is a sofa, coffee table, swiveling flat panel sony TV, and end of bed bench in the room.
The bathroom has the closet, a plunge tub, a glass shower, separate toilet room and a chair at the vanity to sit while primping. There are daily robes and slippers in the room.
Maid service comes twice a day to make up the room and again at night for turndown service. Each morning before maid service a daily newspaper is hanging on your door. Nightly maid service leaves you a small gift each evening with beautiful cards.

ROOM SERVICE DINING
Absolutely spectacular. I've traveled the world and this is the best I've seen. Always brought to you on a wheeled-in table, the waiter sets the table for you. Food is kept in a hot box underneath the table and taken out hot when the table is being set. We got breakfast one morning and the waiters set up a toaster so the bread could be freshly toasted. Tax and gratuity are included in room dining and the waiter always lets you know that. We ate dinner in bed one night and the waiter extends the table to come to the bed and another time we had breakfast on the sofa and the waiter rearranged the room for it. Room service can also be set onto balcony by the waiter. Wonderful!!

FOOD/DRINK
Dining is expensive here but absolutely worth it! The Sunday brunch buffet at Orchids (resort attire, collared shirts for men) is exceptional (approx $60pp) and features both standard American breakfast as well as Japanese (sushi rolls,etc). House Without a Key (resort casual attire, bathing suits and cover ups are just fine) has nightly live Hawaiian music and another menu of excellent food. Le Mer (resort dressy,collared shirts, tie/jacket optional) is exquisite. The service at all dining establishments is premiere. The drinks match the food and service.

LOCATION
Perfection! The quite of the Ocean mixed with the upscale shopping outside of the hotel make for both a relaxing and entertaining experience. You can nearly walk to everything!

POOL
The pool may look small but it is not. There are very few families with children here. I think it is just to expensive for a family. The pool is always calm and roomy. The poolside service is great. Drinks keep coming and poolside food is nearly the same menu as the lunch menu for House without a Key. One negative: will have to get to the pool early so secure loungers with umbrellas. Pool opens at 7:00am daily and you really need to be there at 7 to get an umbrella. The staff will tell you that they cannot hold you loungers while you leave for breakfast so if your plan is to secure loungers and take off, you are taking a chance (but I never saw anyone have a problem!) drink service starts at approx 10:30am and concludes around 5pm. Pool closes at 7pm daily.

OCEAN
The beach is very small but still beautiful. There are no loungers on the sand. Access to the beach is right next to the pool and there is walkway to walk along the beach without being in the water. Later in the day, at high tide, the waves will crash against the barrier wall of the pool patio. The sound is beautiful.

***Everything can be charged to your room and you can seeing a running tally on your room TV. No need to carry money around.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

We are currently staying at the Halekulani and must say that we can't understand why this place has a great reputation for service. For us, the service has been average at best and certainly well below what we've experienced at similar class properties around Hawaii and the world (e.g., Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Banyan Tree, Palace Hotel Tokyo). We've visited Hawaii often (this being at least our 7th time) and understand service can sometimes be laid-back, but we wouldn't expect that at the Halekulani based on the reviews we've read on TA and our experience at other fine Hawaiian hotels.

The Good - (1) the spa is top class with excellent technicians. Fantastic massages and facials.
(2) Comfortable bed
(3) Joy's Special sandwich - crabmeat, bacon & avocado on whole wheat bread...need I say more?
(4) Tasty Mai Tais

The Bad - except for one waiter at the outside bar, service was slow or almost non-existent. During our day at the pool, we lounged for an hour (11-12 noon) without ever seeing a server so we decided to eat at the pool-side restaurant. After a slow ("leisurely" if I'm kind) lunch, we finally saw a server at the pool and were able to order drinks. However, after 1 follow up visit, our server never came back until I signaled her for our check about 90 minutes later (full disclosure: she had a 30 min lunch break during the start of this time, but none of her colleagues covered her area and she never stopped by after her break). It was clear that they were under-staffed at the pool area.

The Ugly - (1) the Halekulani has dress codes throughout much of the property, which is fine, but seems a bit over the top given the hotel's location. One evening after dinner, we asked the concierge where we could get a nightcap drink. She directed us to the jazz bar even though she could plainly see that I was wearing dress shorts, collared shirt and sandals while the club requires long pants and close-toed shoes (in Hawaii!). It would have been better for her to be upfront with us about the dress code and direct us to another bar in the area.

(2) You need to carry your room key in order to use the restroom at the pool. There was an attendant who let my wife and me into the restrooms, but she scolded my wife for being wet and "drippy" going into the restroom (AT THE POOL!) and me for not having my room key even though I did have it, but I just thought the room was occupied. Having never before experienced a secured pool restroom, I didn't know I needed a higher security clearance than Edward Snowden to use the toilet. Consider me educated now.

Other:
For some reason, when you turn the TV on, the volume is set very high. Strange.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester N.S.W.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

We stayed here for 10 nights in April. We received a free upgrade to an ocean view room on arrival. We had a room overlooking the pool and it was lovely. Sitting on the balcony enjoying the view and the music that is on each night near the pool. A great central location, walk to shopping, restaurants etc. Nothing was a problem to staff and all staff were friendly. It was a special birthday for me and our children arranged for a cake to be delivered and the motel also supplied a bottle of champers. As I said nothing was a problem for the staff to organise. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Halekulani.

Room Tip: A room overlooking the pool, has a view to the water
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

From the moment we arrived until we left, every second was perfect. The room was beautiful, the service impeccable. Easily the best hotel experience we have ever enjoyed. Love Hawaii, and will now always choose the Halekulani. Mahalo :)

  • Stayed June 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

This hotel is lovely, and staying here does make you feel a bit like a celebrity it's location is great, right on the beach and near to all Wakiki has to offer.

The arrival at the hotel was a little disappointing for me. Considering what we paid I was expecting a bit more of a welcome than what we got. Also our room wasn't ready so we had a little while to wait which was frustrating as we had just travelled all the way from Australia and we hadn't slept!

Loved the breakfast everyday in such a gorgeous setting.

Room was great, really spacious and clean.

Make sure you book a table at Nobu across the street - absolutely divine Asian fusion restaurant. I wouldn't bother with roys it was greasy and nlot to our taste although it was recommended to us.

Afternoon tea is a must at orchids.

Room Tip: You get what you pay for at this hotel!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Sydney
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

My husband and I try to visit Waikiki each year and have, over the years, stayed at several of the beachfront hotels there. By far and away, the best hotel in Waikiki is the Halekulani. We have visited it on several occasions. Our latest trip this month was as delightful as ever. I planned a surprise visit by my daughter and her partner from New York. A second room was booked in my name, and it was vital that my husband wasn't alerted to its existence. Although I had emailed the hotel to ask them not to disclose the surprise, I was naturally concerned that it would be spoilt. Not so, as the staff were primed by notes on their computer at check-in. This example is indicative of the Halekulani style - if you request something, they have the willingness and procedures in place to follow through. In addition, we were welcomed back to the Halekulani no less than three times before we were escorted to our room. Small, personal touches such as these not only make you feel extremely welcome, but build loyalty. During this visit, we had adjoining Diamond Head rooms on the tenth floor. They were perfect - well equipped, beautifully decorated, and with magnificent views! If at all possible, the hotel has improved since our last visit. Each staff member greets you when they see you around the hotel, the facilities are top-notch and the service at all restaurants and shops is exceptional. Food and drinks are also of a high quality. The pool staff are friendly and helpful and the pool area and grounds are exceptional. In short, this hotel is divine! My daughter and I treated ourselves to two spa treatments. The spa is delightful and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Although expensive by many standards, for a holiday treat, the spa treatments are worth every cent. All in all, I cannot fault the Halekulani, and greatly look forward to visiting again!

Room Tip: Diamond Head rooms are exceptional, but we have also stayed in rooms overlooking the pool, looking o...
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  • Stayed June 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Halekulani Hotel

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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#5 Business Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Halekulani Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 453
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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Also Known As:
Halekulani Hotel Honolulu
Halekulani Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu

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