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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Ranked #5 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 16, 2014 via mobile

I have seen a few bad reviews on this resort but I didn't see any of the problems listed.Place was one of the cleanest hotels I have stayed at.The staff were always helpful,courteous,and friendly.I would recommend this resort to anyone wanting to get away from downtown Honolulu.Dolphins are an extra bonus.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Danny P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,327 - 1,333 of 2,956 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2014

Our family comes from Asia to spend Chinese New Year here several years in a row. Great hotel for children (ours our 6 and 1) and does not feel too crowded even when full.

Positives
- The beach - Cannot say enough good things about it. Beach is mostly self-contained, such that my older child could wander up and down it without us worrying about him straying too far off. Water is extremely calm and clear. There is very good snorkeling on the reef about 50 feet out. My 1 year old could walk in 20-30 feet on the gradual slope down. Plenty of water sports rentals available (though no sailing), but the staff who run the outsourced rental program were awesome - very attentive, patient and supportive, especially with the children
- Breakfast buffet - Plenty of options and we never got bored
- Location - if you want something a bit more secluded, this is it. No other hotels within 10-15 minutes of here, but that means it is about 10-15 minutes to get to Waikiki and the various hotels and shopping, if you want that. We spend most of the time on the beach and loved that it was not overrun.

Negatives
- Wifi is terrible. Signal strength is weak and it kept cutting out. Not a major issue given that we are on vacation and trying to get away from the constant electronic interruptions
- The restaurant service is the only thing that really drags down the rating, if at all. Most of the restaurants appear to be slightly understaffed or staffed by people that move a bit slow at times. Ordering food at the beachside cafe can take a long time. Strangely, room service and ordering directly from your beach chair seem to be much quicker or predictable (or perhaps you do not notice the wait as you are engaged in other activities instead of waiting at a table)
- Some water sport rentals are a bit pricey. After paddle boarding for several days, I think it would have been cheaper to buy our own equipment and just leave it there. But the quality of the surf instructors more than made up for it

Would we go back?
- Yes, we have been going for several years and likely will go back again next year. The hotel staff treat our children great and the location is perfect for a beach holiday

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms are great, but after spending 8 or 9 hours on the beach all day, there is not much...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank DODHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

Went with our two daughters, 4 and 7. Spent the entire time at the pool and beach. Very relaxing. The dolphins were an amazing way to start your day. Restaurants were great. The water by their beach is very calm and shallow so great for little kids.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Nina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

We spent six nights at this resort, having stayed here years ago when it was a Mandarin Oriental and even earlier when it was a Hilton. The best thing about it, in our opinion, is the location: close to the center but free of the hubbub of Waikiki.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable, although the hotel exaggerates a bit in describing those with "partial ocean" views. Considering the property was opened 50 years ago, it remains in good shape and has been renovated well. The bathroom, often a problem in older hotels, was particularly well done.

The staff were friendly, although this is pretty standard in the Islands, and helpful when asked. I was a bit surprised that there was no reaction when I informed the concierge in advance of our stay that we were celebrating an important birthday. Normally one expects some sort of recognition in a hotel of this price range and quality.

The beach, swimming pools and dolphin pool are all very nice, as is the well equipped gym. If you stay more than a couple of days, however, you should get out to eat. The hotel restaurants are just ok and the breakfast buffet, in particular, can grow monotonous pretty quickly.

All in all, a lovely location and a very good hotel ... also fully priced.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Laopei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

This is a lovely hotel...nicely decorated, roomy rooms in a beautiful setting. Their beach is secluded and protected, making it a nice area to swim and paddle board. I had heard such amazing things about the hotel's service, so it was interesting that the valets were far more informative than the concierge. At the time we visited, the resort was not hosting the usual cultural/resort programs that we had come to expect, so that was disappointing. But, the restaurant service and food was great and, as stated above, the setting was great. Wonderful location...especially if you want privacy, but easy access to Honolulu.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank ACEP925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

I'm in a good position to comment because I have been staying here since it was a Hilton when I was a kid.

Let me start. The rooms have not been renovated in 20 years since the time when Mandarin Oriental took over the hotel, they are dated, tired and shabby.

Staff are universally grumpy and verging on rude, especially at the breakfast buffet and at the activities hut by the pool. The food at the breakfast buffet never changes and there is a lack of quality healthy produce, it is all rather supermarket in style.

Lunch options are poor, and the Seaside Grill closes randomly for corporate functions leaving guests with nowhere to eat lunch in the entire hotel other than room service.

We stayed in a $1000 a night room and were presented with a cheap and nasty bottle of $10 sparkling wine as a welcome gift. You have to be kidding me! No flowers, no fruit, nothing. Stingy mean, cheap and tacky.

There is little to no personalised service or interest shown by the staff, no special touches at all.

Of course the location is still excellent. It's a formerly great property going to waste. And at the price, they have to be joking.

I think it should be re-named the Kahala Motel.

I had several other concerns and wrote a letter to the manager after leaving but recieved no reply. Nice.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Bob L
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 reviewResponded February 10, 2014

Aloha Bob L. Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your stay from June 2013. We apologize for your experience. We are saddened to see your comments that your stay was less than excellent, which most of our guests experience from the beauty of the Resort and the people. I am sure you are aware of our high service standards and the warm aloha spirit of our staff after 20 years of returning to the Resort. We hope that you will allow us another opportunity to impress you, and welcome you back to the Resort in the future. Mahalo.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014 via mobile

Beautiful beach...brought in their own white sand. No other hotels nearby, so it's not crowded on the beach or at the pool, but the resort is big enough that neither seem empty. We were standup paddle boarding throughout the beachside lagoon and reef the first day. Very sheltered and calm.

Hotel and staff are excellent. All the more so after we went into Waikiki and I learned in what a cluster I could have stayed. Still, if you must have Waikiki it's a short drive or shuttle away.

The room was clearly designed for a different layout but they did an excellent job with the renovation and it works as a modern space.

Oh. And there are dolphins in the lagoon, and that doesn't suck. Also small pools with sea turtles and rays.

Stayed: February 2014
2  Thank Paul P
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

Address: 5000 Kahala Ave., 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 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#6 Family Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range: $392 - $704 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Honolulu
The Kahala Hotel And Resort
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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