The Kahala is beautiful and mellow. It is quiet and serene. There is a golf course across the street and then it is residential. The beach area is gentle and quiet.
The Sheraton Waikiki is right in the middle of the action. Tons of restaurants, free hula shows, shops and activities. The beach is busy during the day and quiet at night.
If you get tired of big meals there is a Subway sandwhich on the beach next to Fort DeRussey that was good.
The Sheraton also has a big pool complex, while the Kahala has dolphins. Personally, I think it comes down to whether you want to be in the touristy mecca that is Waikiki or want to be away from it all.
<<I think it comes down to whether you want to be in the touristy mecca that is Waikiki or want to be away from it all.>>
I'd be interested to know how you arrived at these choices. Having Sheraton as your only in-Waikiki option strikes me as odd. (Personally, I'd greatly prefer Moana Surfrider, Royal Hawaiian, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hyatt Regency, Halekulani, Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, or even Waikiki Parc.) Sheraton Waikiki doesn't feel very Hawaiian to me -- more Vegas-y. As for Kahala, I'm not comfortable with supporting them because of their dolphin program.
The places in parentheses above all appeal to me more. But, to answer your question as worded: Between Sheraton Waikiki and Kahala, I'd prefer Kahala.
If you want to spend ALOT of time on Waikiki, then stay at the Sheraton. If you want to relax in a more spacious environment with good access to Waikiki - then stay at The Kahala.
If you plan to take the bus alot and stay in Honolulu for most of the trip - stay at the Sheraton. If you want to get out and about the Island with little time concertrated on Waikiki ... and you have a car - stay at The Kahala.
The Kahala is nicer. Quieter beach ... much more spacious. The Sheraton is OK with a location that is great for Waikiki.
The Kahala shuttle will drop up you at a central location on Waikiki when you want to go there. It is advisable, as parking on Waikiki is ... the pits.
Thankyou, al for your thoughts, duely noted and were similar to mine. We are staying at the Outrigger Reef for part of the trip. For the rest of the trip we have changed our minds several times. In response to the question about choice, we just wanted a bit of a more interesting pool area really, to add variety for our daughter too..We wanted a play area which is apparently shared with the Royal Hawaiian, We nearly chose the Hilton Hawiian village but the sheer size put us off and the reviews, too big, a little further out, even though the pools looked the best..
When I booked an airfare, Turtle Beach would have suited all of us, for surf, beach, quietness etc,but as its being renovated, we may come back later on. Then we would of have half the time in Waikiki.
Arriving at these choices was not easy. I also didn't expect the 4 - 5 star properties to be so expensive in Hawaii. The Kahala looked interesting as you aren't paying for a lounge chair on the beach, the size of the hotel is alot smaller, they have a kids club included, the location is quieter, the price included breakfast, the rooms larger, your not looking at any other buildings etc However, it is expensive. .Also we tend to like a slightly different holiday then a mass tourist and we will certainly be getting out and about around the island.
Oh and the dolphins at the Kahala , not the draw card for me, I too have mixed thoughts about them. I don't know their history etc and love to see dolphins in the wild. In one respect its a good to encourage people to preserve their habitat, but I don't know what they tell the guests. I don't think I am prepared for how busy Waikiki can be.
Ah, now I understand better what you're looking for. Yes, Turtle Bay would have been perfect. Too bad about the timing.
Kahala would be nice if you want to splurge, but if you're focused on the pool experience for a 7-year-old, then Sheraton is a solid choice.
Another alternative: Book the whole trip at Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach. It's very similar to Outrigger Reef just its pool overlooks the ocean, making it feel like a bigger, more diverse playground.
No one likes the idea of busy Waikiki. Yet so many people (me included) fall in love with the place.. It has its own magic/energy, kind of like New York City or Miami Beach but totally unique, and believe it or not that energy really grows on a lot of people. I was horrified at the idea of busy Waikiki the first time I went. But now it's probably my favorite place in the world.
Waikiki isn't for everyone, but I'd say there's about an 80% chance you're going to be very pleasantly surprised!
The Sheraton is way too big. It doesn't have as many rooms as the Hilton Hawaiian Village, but at least the HHV has some grounds remaining. The Sheraton is "bigger" in the sense that it is just a massive hunk of concrete. It is taller and more crowded than the HHV, the HHV is spread over 7 towers, not one ginormous Vegas sized building.
Your 7 year old will not care one way or the other about the pools, that won't be what they remember about Hawaii.
And while it is not popular to talk about here because people have different takes on it, the Kahala Resort has a dolphin lagoon that I still think is pretty cool. Most kids will think the dolphins are pretty cool, whether or not you swim with them (which is a whole different topic).
Take the Kahala.
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