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“A week in Paradise.”

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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Ranked #5 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“A week in Paradise.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

We travel a lot with our kids and my wife and I both agreed that this was probably the best hotel overall we have stayed at. Before I give my review of the hotel I just wanted to tell people who look at these reviews to take them all with a grain of salt. The week before we came we saw a few concerning reviews. I called the hotel before we arrived and mentioned these to them. Flora the manager who was maybe the nicest and most professional hotel manager I have ever spoke to allayed our fears and did all she could to make our stay perfect.
I always read these reviews to see if it would be a good hotel for my family. I was just rereading a few of the negative reviews. One person's negative review was because they pronounced his name wrong, something that he said happens all the time anyway.

When you are staying at a resort like this, you expect things to be expensive, so why complain about it. If your grey goose costs 11 dollars and that is a deal breaker for you, don't stay at a 5 star resort. Complaining that you don't have a balcony, when the room you booked is a non lanai room doesn't help anyone.

Sorry for the editorial onto my review.
This resort is the best of both worlds. You are 15 minutes from the shopping and dining of Waikiki but you feel Worlds away when you are at Kahala. The pool is really nice and they just put beautiful new lounge chairs at pool and beach. There is a ton of staff at pool to help you set up chairs at the beach or pool. No request seems like a big deal. You also don't feel like the staff all has their hands out for a tip. They genuinely seem to want to help you.
Our room was an Ocean View Lanai. It was huge, with 2 separate sink areas. The Lanai was very large and the beds were remarkably comfortable.
The decor is very Hawaiian and there are flowers all over. The dolphin lagoon is a great thing to have and the beach is great for kids, and there are really no large waves. Our kids took paddle surfing lessons and the staff was more than helpful.

I honestly felt like a valued guest at all times. They have a way of making you feel pampered without it feeling overdone or too formal as I have felt at Ritz-Calton's occasionally.

People complain about little costs. I loved the fact that they had free coffee and tea every morning for you. They had stuffed Dolphins in the room for my girls when we checked in, and beaded Lei's as opposed to the flower ones which die right away. I can't recommend this hotel highly enough and we are already planning our next trip.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank arosen15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Resort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, March 1, 2012
Thank you for staying with us during your recent trip to Honolulu and for taking the time to send your thoughtful, candid comments. It was a pleasure to be of service to you, and I was delighted that you and your family had an enjoyable stay. My staff and I look forward to welcoming you back to our resort the next time you visit our beautiful island. Aloha and best regards.
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2,659 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (531)
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los angeles, ca
Level Contributor
63 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2012

3.5 tops. Let me start with the room. I booked a partial ocean view, so imagine my surprise that our room directly overlooked the hotel driveway and valet station. A full view of the driveway. That should not even be a guest room, let alone categorized as a partial ocean view room at a 5 star resort. We seriously could not even keep the sliding door open because it was that loud. We were in the process of finding another hotel when Rick at the front desk found a room on a higher floor that was actually a nice quiet ocean view room. That was much better, and thank you Rick.

The room itself was a little small. As others mentioned, the furnishings are a bit worn. Also, if you have a "balcony" rather than a "lanai", you will have a ledge with railing, and that's it. This goes back to the whole room description/categorization issue. At this price point, don't pretend that a view of the driveway is a partial ocean view, or that a ledge is a balcony. The room had a wall of drapery, which seemed sort of dusty. Housekeeping was OK, but one day we had only 1 wash cloth. The next day we had only 1 bath towel. Wifi was $15 per day, and it was slow. Do not try to download a movie for your flight home the next day. These are not major issues, but at this price point I do expect to receive a full set of towels every day. And I will say it, if the Holiday Inn Express can provide free Wifi, why can't the Kahala? On that note, the business center will charge you $1 per page to use the printer (though no charge for boarding passes). And be sure to get there between 9 to 5 or you will be out of luck. I mention this because it is Hawaii, and most people will be outside from 9 to 5 enjoying themselves. Other hotels of this caliber have guest key entry to their business centers which allow access when it is convenient to their guests.

One thing that seemed a little off was that a seized jewelry auction was being held in one of the ballrooms on Sunday. I peeked in. It was run professionally, but seemed out of place and a little low-rent for this hotel.

The private peach is nice. The pool area was pretty nice. The pool service and food were good. All of the common areas were well maintained. Of course the dolphins and turtles are winners.

The restaurant Tokyo Tokyo is no longer at the Kahala, so there are only Plumeria and Hoku's. Hoku's is really good, we had dinner there twice. We thought Plumeria could only pull off breakfast. Happy hour was OK, but lunch was just bad. The problem is that you are kind of a captive audience out there, so they should step it up a notch or two. Keep in mind that if you take a taxi to Waikiki for dinner, it is about $50 roundtrip.

Also, please do not lie to my travel agent. My travel agent called twice and spoke with the operations manager and was assured that the construction work was finished as of Valentine's Day. We were there over President's Day weekend. As others have mentioned, there is ongoing construction work at the hotel. Yes, you can hear it at the pool. It was not the jack hammering that others have complained about, but there was the sound of power tools and pounding. At least be honest that there is ongoing construction work. While we were there the construction work was right off of the lobby and Verandah area. If you pulled back the curtain, you could see the power tools. That would otherwise be a nice view.

All in all, we have mixed feelings about the Kahala. It is beautiful, quiet, and peaceful. Hoku's was great. But, we have had far better all around service and accommodations in Waikiki.

Room Tip: Don't reserve a partial ocean view, and be sure to get a lanai if you want to sit outside.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank julias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Resort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, March 2, 2012
Aloha Julias,

Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed review of your most recent stay. Your feedback is invaluable to us, and we will take your comments to heart to further our service standards. Kindly allow us to address each of your concerns:

Regarding your stay, our guest rooms are among the largest in the island at 550 square feet, and we are glad that Rick was able to find a room that better suited your needs upon your arrival. Although some of our rooms are furnished with French balconies, kindly note that these are never considered lanai rooms (the Hawaiian word for balcony). We apologize for the inconvenience you experienced in regards to Housekeeping. We are always happy to provide our guests with as many towels as they require, and our standard is to provide a full set of towels for each guest registered in the room.

We are currently looking into a providing a better solution for our Internet access, however, our mid-century building must be retrofitted for hi-speed Wifi and the infrastructure does not allow us to provide free access at this time. Our business center is available daily from 9 to 5, and guests are welcome to access the center after hours by contacting any of our front office staff.

With regard to our dining options, The Kahala will be opening a new Mediterranean dining concept from July 2012. In the meanwhile, the hotel’s four other dining outlets and 24-hour room service are available.

Finally, we would like to be clear that our integrity is very important to us. It would never be a staff member’s intention to lie to a guest or a travel agent, and we pride ourselves in having the utmost integrity in that regard. That said, we will be the first to admit there were several hurdles with the floor renovation of The Veranda lounge and Lobby lanai, and we are deeply sorry for the unexpected inconvenience to our guests.

We truly appreciate your feedback as our valued patrons’ comments can only help to better serve our guests. We hope to have the chance to be of service again and make you a true believer of The Kahala Magic.

With best regards,
Roseann Grippo
General Manager
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Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
151 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

You get what you pay for, as the saying goes. Our room was spacious, had a marvelous ocian view and the bed was first rate. A minor annoyance was the air purifier that greeted us in the room on arrival. Our non-smoking room turned out to have been a smoking room and the hallways also reeked of cigarette smoke. Fortunately we spent all our time with the windows open so we didin't notice the smell in the room.

We have stayed at the large hotels downtown and did not miss being there. Instead of the maddening crowds, the hotel is in its own private area adjacent to a lovely residential (high end) neighborhood. That means that the beach and grounds are not overrun by tourists from other hotels. The pool is a bit small, but there were more than enough lounging chairs along the beach that we were never without two together. The dolphin pool is a pleasant attraction.

Overall, as reflected in the other comments here, the key is the wonderfully helpful and warm staff throughout the hotel. From the restaurants to the front desk and cleaning staff everyone was welcoming.One evening they could not find our car and we nearly missed our reservations at a downtown restaurant. They called ahead for us (found the car in time) and then left us a bottle of wine and a tray of chocolates with a nice note apologizing for the inconvenience.

If you want to be within walking distance of downtown, this is not the place. But if you want luxury and peace, a 10 minute drive from town, this is the place to relax and enjoy.

Room Tip: Make sure the room is truly non-smoking if that is what you want. Otherwise you may get a "deod...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank lbearpal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Resort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2012
It was a pleasure having you with us during your recent trip to Honolulul, and thank you for taking the time to send your comments. I was delighted to see that you enjoyed our secluded, quiet location and the guest services provided by our employees. My staff and I look forward to welcoming you back when you can plan another stay just to relax and enjoy. Aloha and best regards.
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Sydney
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2012

Through recommendation by a friend, we stayed at the Kahala Hotel & Resort, and we could not have been happier. Although quite a pricey hotel, its worth the experience. The location of the hotel is away from the centre of Honolulu where all the crowds are, but only a short distance away by car (or free hotel shuttle service every hour). You have your own private beach which is a luxury.

There are several places within the hotel to eat, so you have the choice of either "fancy" or "pleasantly ordinary" for dinner, and the same applies for lunch, with the extra option of a simple BBQ by the poolside/beach. Our favourite was breakfast in the morning which had an open terrace looking out onto the beach and sea - soooo pleasant and relaxing. However you need to get there early as there is a wait for a table (unless you're happy to wait). Breakfast tends to be expensive, so try to get it as part of your package.

The rooms are very large and comfortable and you don't feel like you are in a hotel room.

The hotel has its own dolphin pool with about 5 or 6 dolphins which is a delight and very entertaining to watch. You are able to swim with them (for some ridiculous fee) but I guess when you're on holiday one tends to over spend anyway.

The staff were all very very friendly and made you feel welcome everywhere within the hotel. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to feel pampered. You won't want to leave!

Room Tip: Have a room with a balcony, but if possible (and if budget permits) try to face the ocean side as we...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MoniqueSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Resort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, February 27, 2012
Thank you for staying with us on your recent trip to Honolulu and for sending your feedback regarding services. I was delighted to see that you had a good time and enjoyed our secluded location and guest facilities along with our resident dolphins in the lagoon. It will be a pleasure to be of service to you again the next time you visit our beautiful island. Aloha and best regards.
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Hahn, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2012

Great resort for a quiet stay. Just a little pricey

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sherman B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2012

Two things -

First, every single person has butchered my last name - it is only 6 letters, and I don't expect a lot, as no teacher got it right in 16 years of school. At the same time, they weren't supposed to be world-class at what they do. After pronouncing it for the 3rd or 4th person, it gets tiresome.

Second, the delivery of ice and a diet coke should not take an hour (plus...I'm still waiting) from room service. There is simply no excuse at all. If the guys doing the deliveries are slammed, fine, but call me and tell me. Tell Bad News Fast should be a mantra for any organization that aspires to be world class.

This is a beautiful hotel on an awesome stretch of beach. Unfortunately, the service so far does not match the location.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SeattleRoyHobbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Resort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, February 23, 2012
Aloha SeattleRoyHobbs,

Mahalo for choosing The Kahala Hotel & Resort and for reviewing your recent stay with us. While I am happy our front office manager was able to get in touch regarding your delay of room service, I want to personally apologize for the missed opportunities to serve you with a flawless stay, including the mispronunciation of your name by our staff. The Kahala continually strives for excellence in service, which includes recognizing all of our valued guests by name. We have briefed our staff and sincerely look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to the resort again soon.

Best regards,
Roseann Grippo
General Manager
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2012

Me and my wife stayed here for the first part of our honeymoon from Jan 30th-Feb 10th 2012. Where do I start from the first brillant greeting you get everything was very very very good. Our scenic was very big and comfy. The staff were all lovely bar one lady at reception one day. We ate by the pool and at Plumeria house as well room service and they were all lovely from the snacks to the main meals. The pool was never too busy and just a few seconds from the beach the lay out is very well done. My wife and I did the private dolphin quest session it was very expensive but very good a lot better than discovery cove Orlando. The private beach is the biggerst plus only ever a handful of people it was so relaxing and beautiful. The only thing I would say if you are paying all this money I thought you would of got free wi-fi. Ok this hotel is very expensive would I say its worth I would say yes after visiting Waikiki beach I was very dissapointed with it too busy, dirty and a lot of homeless and very dodgy looking guys about I didnt feel safe there. So this is hotel is definately 5 stars from me.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rikkiandleah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Resort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, February 21, 2012
Thank you for sending your comments following your recent stay with us. I was delighted to see that you enjoyed our secluded beach location along with our facilities and guest services. I was also pleased to see that you experienced our popular Dolphin Quest program. We look forward to welcoming you back on your next trip to Honolulu. Aloha and best regards.
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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 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Luxury 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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