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“Luxurious hotel on the beach”

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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Ranked #4 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
San Ramon, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Luxurious hotel on the beach”
Reviewed August 17, 2012

Aloha! We just returned from a fabulous stay at the Kahala. The property is beautiful and the location is perfect. If you want luxury, beauty, a great beach, and a true Hawaiian experience I would recommend staying at this hotel as it is the best on Oahu.

The staff is very friendly and efficient. Food is good, albeit very expensive, and food service is a bit spotty (seemed isolated to cases of new employees).

The rooms are well done and they have put thought into ensuring any and all amenities you may need are stocked in your room. We opted for the Oceanfront lanai and it was well worth the price for the view of the dolphin lagoon, the lush grounds, and the water.

The hotel attracts tourists from all over the world so you have to go in with an open mind and understanding of different cultures.

No place is with without flaws or issues, but the sign of a truly great hotel is how well they are handled. We had a couple of very minor issues and the hotel handled swiftly and professionally. You can take comfort in knowing that the hotel will strive to ensure your happiness during your stay.

Here are a couple of words of advice for when you book your stay at the Kahala…

1. If you are an American Express Platinum customer, book your stay through Amex. The discounts that you will receive are substantial (discounted room rates, complimentary breakfast, spa discounts, dining credits, and more).

2. If you are planning on eating at the hotel make your breakfast and dinner reservations in advance. The wait will be long otherwise.

3. Book a cabana!

4. If you happen to have a room facing the ocean, look to the far right of the beach sometime around 3 or 4 pm. You might see paparazzi. We saw them twice. Then you and your travel companion(s) can play the guess-which-celebrity-is-staying-at-the-hotel game.

I hope you enjoy your stay at the Kahala as much as we did!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Deanna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Hotel, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your stay at the Kahala and thank you for sharing your experience with us. We greatly appreciate all your kind compliments and your wonderful recommendations to the Kahala. Nothing makes us happier than to know that we have met our guest’s expectations and left them wanting to return. Thank you for your loyalty to our resort and for taking the time to write such wonderful words about your stays with us. We can't wait to welcome you back again! With many thanks and aloha from all of us at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (547)
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English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2012

We returned to the Kahala Hotel in late May of this year after an almost ten year hiatus. Despite the ownership changes over that time (formerly the Kahala Mandarin Hotel) the Kahala has maintained its grace and beauty and personifies the spirit of Aloha. We were greeted warmly by the fawning staff on arrival and provided leis and flowers. We traveled with our three boys which made an adjoining room necessary and the Hotel did not disappoint. Our rooms were as attractive and sumptuous as we had remembered, accented by bright linens and dark rattan. While not inexpensive, the dining at Plumeria and Room Service was exquisite and bursting with the tastes of Hawaii, Kona coffee in particular was excellent. That said we were somewhat taken back by miscellaneous charges which cropped up such as wifi internet access (tip is free for 30 mins in Business Center), parking, and cabanas. Still all in all this must be one of the finest hotels in the world and surely the best in Oahu, hope we all can return in less than a decade next time.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kphannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Hotel, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
Aloha, we are very happy that you had such a great vacation with us at The Kahala and are very grateful that you would share your experience with us and the rest of the online community. Nothing makes us happier than to hear that we were able to exceed your expectations and were able to deliver that special magical brand of Aloha. Moreoever, we are happy to hear you enjoyed the breakfast buffet at our Plumeria each House and agree that the Kona coffee does burst with flavor. However, it is concerning that you were taken aback by miscellaneous charges, our management teams are working on new policies and offerings to make the facilities and dining prices as affordable as possible for our guests. Again, thank you very much for the review and recommendation of the property. Please do come visit us again soon, but until then we wish you a fond aloha a hui ho!
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Fullerton, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2012

My wife and I were married here in 1981 next to the waterfall. I also grew up in the area so I know this area well. Looks a little worn at the registration desk especially the floor. Our room was 1226 on the second floor with a partial ocean view.

There were two sinks in the bathroom. I had the water running, brushing my teeth and I felt water on my legs. I thought WHAT? I looked under the sink and the drain pipe was totally disconnected so the water was running directly on the floor. Unbelievable.

Ate at the seafood buffet for $55 each. I wish I could get my money back. The edges of the sashimi were turning green (old). The poke was overseasoned and there was gristle running through the pieces (lower grade). The sushi rice was too big and not seasoned well if at all.

OK, the bad stuff done. The good stuff is that the beach is great. Kahala beach is usually a little windy in the afternoon but the days we were there was just right. The staff was great! Worked very hard and very eager to please. Kathy the bartender, was terrific. Housekeeping staff was very very good. You can tell they took pride in their work.

The piano guy at night was soothing, really enjoyed sitting and listening.

Overall, maybe a little over priced, but it is the hotel where Presidents stay and it is away from the craziness of Waikiki. Yes, I will go back. It is the Kahala!

Room Tip: Any room is fine
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Karl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Hotel, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Aloha and congratulations to you and your wife on such a prosperous marriage, it is such an honor to be part of such an important time of your lives. We are so sorry for any inconveniences you experienced on your recent stay and so are so thankful that you brought them to our attention so that we may address this with management and ensure such atypical issues do not occur again in the future. . The Kahala has a reputation for a caring staff and genuine service and we are glad that you did receive that from our wonderful team.
Mahalo again for your kind response and until next time, aloha and thank you from all of us at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

This Hotel is very unconventional and quite hard to get to grips with.

On the one hand it is certainly a smart, 5 star resort with very attentive staff, fine dining and all the trappings expected.

It is immediately obvious that the guests dress far more smartly and are far more formal here than in a typical Hawaii Hotel of similar standard.

On the other hand they have this superb Dolphin experience right within the pool area, literally 6 Dolphins, all clearly very well looked after, live in a huge pool area adjacent to the swimming pool, this is superb but seems out of character, though I certainly am not complaining as it is wonderful.

The actual swimming pool is not particularly special or large, it's merely adequate. That's fine for a smart Adult's hotel, but doesn't seem very child friendly.

In brief, it's the sort of lovely quiet place to go as a couple or perhaps to take the children, if you don't really want a family friendly Hotel and all of the noise that entails.

Dining can be hugely expensive, although we bought a breakfast package deal which was a reasonable $16 per head, if you don't buy the package expect to pay at least $40 for breakfast...plus extra cost for grapefruit juice or a latte!

We didn't have Dinner at the Hotel for the same reason.

In conclusion, this is a comfortable, smart hotel for the well healed only. You won't find any Stag Parties staying here! '

Room Tip: Rooms high up have superb views on either side of the Hotel
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Hotel, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We are proud of our quiet and beautiful secluded property and I was pleased to hear you enjoyed it as well. Caring for our dolphins are among our highest priorities and it was a delight to hear that you enjoyed them and thought they were well looked after. Thank you once again for sharing your experiences and we look forward to welcoming you again during your next visit to the island. Aloha
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Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2012

After having a great dinner at Hoku's (Chris Pliska and Robert,waiters) where those two employees were so engaging,we went to the Veranda for after dinner drinks.....well the service here was almost non-existent. 2 managers standing around not even helping the 3 people working in there. This kind of place charging these kinds of prices!! Shame on the owners for letting this happen. I have lived in Hawaii for 38 years and the Kahala has always been known for service. They need to fix whatever it is that is wrong.....The waiter tells me ''our bartender is in the weeds''. This was 9:45 pm and it was not even full, but what really hurts is watching those two managers just standing around..........HELP!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Kahala_Hotel, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, August 16, 2012
Thank you for your recent visit at Hoku’s and the Veranda, and more importantly for taking the time to comment your experience on Trip Advisor. We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your dinner at Hoku’s and that your servers left you wanting to continue your evening out. However, we are very sorry to hear that your visit to the Veranda was a disappointment. We strive to provide our guests with the best service and product, and when you feel that we had failed to meet your expectations, it is extremely important for us to know. We apologize for the delay in service and the lack of attention from our managers; we can imagine how frustrated you must have been. This is certainly not our Kahala standard and will discuss these comments with our restaurant managers and staff. Thank you and we sincerely hope that you will consider our establishment again. Mahalo Niu Loa. The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
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Stacy, Minnesota
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2012

We spent 5 days at the Four Seasons Maui, 6 days at Grand Hyatt Kauai and we ended our 2 week trip with 3 days at the Kahala. I have to be honest, we were all dreading leaving the "real Hawaii" for the big city Hawaii. However, I wanted my family of four to experience Oahu. WOW!!!! What a way to end our trip!! We were all blown away by the Kahala! We were greeted with smiles, leis and fragrant towels. We were also told that they sold out of our dolphin room, so we were upgraded to a dolphin deluxe at no charge with 2 roll away beds for our twin 12 year olds. We walked into the dolphin deluxe suite and couldn't believe our eyes. The room was absolutely beautiful! We had 4 giant cookies with "Aloha" written in chocolate and a bottle of champagne waiting for us. WOW! The room opened up to a patio with dolphins wrestling right outside our door!! My kids were so excited and so were we!

The rooms, grounds, ocean, people etc... are all magical! My son sat for hours watching the sea turtles and the fish, while my daughter met all the trainers at the dolphin lagoon along with the owner of Dolphin Quest. The trainers answered any questions, brought the dolphins over by the different viewing areas and told us to get ready at different times for picture taking opportunities.

We missed the 6 o'clock shuttle to Waikiki, so we decided to eat at the hotel on Saturday night. We went to the seafood buffet at the hotel. It was like no other seafood buffet we have ever been to. The food, presentation, and sheer assortment of shrimp, sushi, salmon, salads, desserts, etc... were beautiful and best we have ever had a buffet. Even the tea is better at the Kahala!

We loved walking the beach and looking at all the million dollar houses. We wanted to rent bikes but ran out of time. The guys at the valet were extremely helpful. They packed us with towels, waters and free boogie boards when they heard we were going up the coast to some other beautiful beaches. Everyone, from the servers to the front desk and valet were shard the aloha spirit.

My whole family wished we had more time to spend at this magical place! It was perfect for us. We drove to Diamond Head within 7 minutes and hiked to the top. Then went on to Waikiki to take surf lessons and shop. Going back to the Kahala after a long day was like coming home. We loved the turn down service every night and Tommy Bahama bath amenities.

We did not think anything was better than the Four Seasons on Maui, or the Grand Hyatt on Kauai, well the Kahala rivals them both!! We will be back again to discover more of the beautiful island of Oahu! Thank you and Aloha!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank KellyandKeith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, August 14, 2012
Thank you for the great description of your stay and the wonderful time your family had at our resort. I was pleased to read all of your positive comments regarding your guest room and the services provided by our employees. Also, Dolphin Quest is one of our most popular guest activities, and I was glad to see that you were right next to our dolphin lagoon and could watch them frolick each day. It was a pleasure having you with us, and my staff and I look forward to welcoming you back. We hope you can enjoy a longer stay on your next visit. Aloha and best regards.
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London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2012

We stayed for 10 days in August, really lovely resort far nough away from the bustle of Wikiki but easy to reach great resturants, sights ect. We hired a car for 4 days which was just enough, the hotel shuttle will take you to the local shopping centres, you can walk to the Kahala Mall in about 10 mins and it is a nice walk. Fantastic resort did not want to come home.

Room Tip: We had a beach facing room with lanai
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Twicks1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, August 14, 2012
Aloha and thank you for sending your positive feedback following your recent stay at our resort. I was delighted to see that you had a good time and our services and facilities were beyond your expectations. It will be a pleasure to welcome you back sometime soon. Best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#3 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Business 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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