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“sad decline”

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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Ranked #5 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
sydney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“sad decline”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2008

We recently returned to The Kahala and were disappointed to see further decline in this once great resort. We have been visiting the hotel at least annualy ( sometimes more often) over the last ten years and, with a family of young children, we have many happy memories of great service and friendly staff and delightful,if somewhat aging facilities. Unfortunately, we have noticed that since changing ownership and management there has been a steady decline in facilities,service and atmosphere. From the menus, to the rooms and even the fish/turtle pool the difference has been marked in the last two years.Rumours abound about the management stripping and flipping the hotel and this anxiety seems to have filtered down to the service and prices as everyone is squeezed. That countrywide loan the owners took out must be really hurting! The aging surroundings and rooms could be forgiven under the previous superb management but even Adam Sandler will tire of this rip off, so call for the bulldozer or sell it someone who will restore it to the great resort it once was . The AAA finally lost patience and downgraded the Kahala from its five star rating recently- the only resort in Hawaii to have this rerating.I used to recommend this hotel to friends but sadly, I now think there are better options. .

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — showing its age
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank lucas21
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 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2008

Total heaven. we stayed for 3night...we could have stayed forever. cant reccommend the hotel highly enough....food, service, everything was 110% wonderful.

  • Liked — service, location
  • Disliked — nothing negative to say
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Sursf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2008

I cannot say enough great things about the Kahala Mandarin. My husband and I had an amazing time. We stayed in a newly renovated room and when we first entered I was open mouthed. The light colors keep the tropical feel without making you feel like you're in Florida. I love the warm greeting (chocolate and Fiji water, thank you!) and the staff went above and beyond at every turn. I can't possibly imagine why someone would be disappointed here. The bathrooms where gigantic, the LCD TVs a great addition and the beach is stunning. They also have a free shuttle to Waikiki so if you don't have a rental car but want to go into the city for shopping and dinner they make getting around really easy. The food at the hotel is incredibly expensive, although not a complaint it's a little on the exotic side it would be great if there were a few additions for those with a simpler palate but other than that I wish I could move in could my wallet afford it. The dolphin pool was a great bonus too. I highly, highly recommend the Kahala Mandarin!

  • Liked — the dolphin pool, the beach, the main lounge and the guest rooms
  • Disliked — the food
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank travelinbug08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manalapan, New Jersey
Level Contributor
91 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2007

We just got back from a fabulous 5 day stay at the Kahala. We absolutely loved it and would go back any time.

Check in was a breeze and we were greated by friendly workers and a lai (yes, I know it is Hawaii but have been to many fine resorts where that was not done).

We had an ocean view room and loved it. From our Lanai, we had a great view of the pool area, the dolphins ( I loved watching them swim at all hours), the beach and Diamond Head. I undrstand that some ocean view rooms face the ocean via the car park, so make sure you do not get it.

The room itself was perfect. A large, comforable bed, enough lights and chairs, very nice size and a large flat screen tv (probably 42 inches) that rotated to face the bed.

Bathroom was spectacular. There was both a shower stall and a tub and the toilet was in a little room (slightly clostrophobic). It had 2 speare vanity/sink areas, so no fighting with the wife for space.

The staff was what you would expect. Many of the people remembered our names after the first day. There was an issue over breakfast. Our package said it was included but the htoel had no record of it. Even though it was not included in what the hotel sold our travel broker, it was included anyway (they also honored the incorrect activity fee amount included with our voucher). The pool staft was very helpful in setting upi the chairs and would change the towels after the rain showers.

The pool area was okay, but I think the dolphins had a nicer area. I do not normally like to stay on the beach, but I did here and loved it. There were chairs and they were not packed too close together. Also, there is bar and food service on the beach, but you had to go to the end of the beach to pick up your drink (Honolulu law does not allow service of alcoholic beverages on the beach). There were free ices in the afternoon.

The buffer breakfast was ok. It could ahve used some more choices and more variety each day. I would not have paid for it had it not been included.

As to the location, this was our first time staying outside Waikiki. It was not to far for restaurants and taxis were not that expensive.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sm122097
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2007

We were seduced by the photos and descriptions on Kahala website and chose to stay at a dolphin lagoon room.

We were disappointed. The room was of 3-star standard at best and although spacious, does not deserve the rate of about $600 (including taxes) per night. The most annoying aspect is the noise from the upper floor room (and may be the neighboring rooms). It was not just foot steps but the roar of flashing of toilet (the noise is similar to the sucking sound of flashing toilet on air planes) and sound of water hitting the floor in the showers early morning and late at night.

When I gave my feedback at check-out, I was told the management knew some of the rooms had noise problem. When I said that they should have informed potential guests, I was told that there was nothing they could do and I chose to stay in a ground floor room. Meaning, it was my choice and hence I should bear with the noise from other rooms.

If you plan to stay at a dolphin lagoon room, be warned of the noise, ask for a room roughly mid way from the lobby on the Upper Floor but away from the tower block (under renovation), some of these rooms have ocean views too. But note that Upper Floor rooms are 'smoking rooms'.

Overall service was polite and food quality was fair, not outstanding. The positive aspects were the Spa treatment and Dolphin Quests. My kids had a great half an hour learning and interacting with the dolphins as a Christmas treat.

We will not consider the Kahala again. It was supposed to the highlight of our vocation before we 'down grade' to Hilton. How wrong we were. We left feeling 'ripped off' and stressed.

  • Liked — Spa
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SydneyHello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2007

The Kahala Resort is beautiful and romantic.....would go back in a heartbeat.

The only negative thing I have to say is that I was there for work ~ so I was not be able to enjoy it like I would have wanted to!!

Looking forward to returning for vacation and it would make a GREAT place to spend a honeymoon.

For more details and pictures visit my blog!

http://www.specktravel.blogspot.com

And feel free to contact me with any questions!

Mahalo

  • Liked — The service and the landscaping
  • Disliked — nothing...except I was there for work!
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank DreamCrazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2007

I spent a full week at this outstanding resort with my family - including 2 kids under the age of 5. I had last stayed here 8 years ago - when it still flew the Mandarin Oriental flag - and was curious as to how the renovation had changed the hotel. We had 2 rooms – one renovated and one not.

First off, I’d like to compliment the service, which was simply outstanding. All requests – whether they were for extra towels in the bedroom to something off the menu in the restaurants – were accommodated without question or delay. The staff was friendly and used our names whenever possible. I’m big on service and this resort has obviously made it a point to be outstanding in that area.

As for the renovations, they continue apace. As of the first week in December, they were working primarily on the guest rooms in the tower on floors 6-8, with most rooms below completed and all above (on floors 9 and 10) still to be started. Also, the lagoon rooms have not yet been started. They expect to have everything done by the end of March.

In the meantime, noise during the day is an issue. Naps are a challenge, though we did get our 2 year-old down without too much fuss. If you are a light sleeper and like your afternoon doze during your holiday, beware of this if you will be visiting in the next several months.

Having addressed that, the work that they did on the rooms is beautiful. Even though the resort opened in the mid-60s, its rooms (at 550 square feet) are among the largest on the island. With the renovation, they’ve mounted 40-inch LCD TVs to the wall, which has allowed them to remove the armoires and make the room even more spacious. The theme has moved from the Asian-influenced mahogany to a more tropical feel. More space is devoted to the bathrooms than in other resorts, and the result are separate his and hers areas (independent sinks and closets) with *plenty* of storage room.

Of course, given the recent nature of the renovations, everything feels new and is in excellent working order.

Tip: If you have an oceanview room in the tower, ask for the Koko Head wing, which is a bit closer to the water and doesn’t look over the (sometimes busy) porte cochere, which is the case with the Diamond Head wing. If you have a mountainview room, ask for an upper floor (once renovations have been completed, of course).

I feel this resort rivals the Halekulani and the JW Marriott Ihilani as the best on Oahu. As such, it can be pricey – but the quality of the resort, its service and restaurants plus its location provide value nonetheless.

  • Stayed November 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank OCTravelAgent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Property: The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Address: 5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816-5411
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:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#4 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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