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“The best hotel outside of Honolulu”

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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Ranked #5 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I really loved this hotel! From the moment you get out of your car it's all about you, you and what they the staff can do to make you happy. I will start with the hotel it's self. It is stunning. The dolphin pools the water falls the beach the restaurants, all were just mind blowing. The room overlooking the dolphin pool was so great. Every morning walking out onto our lanai and watching them play was so much fun. The room was five star all the way,just beautiful. The staff at the beach were on top of there game. You can rent whatever you need to play in the water. Just rent a cabana and soak in the sun. We stayed four days and ate breakfast at the plumeria room everyday, and it was really special everyday. I almost forgot, they have a shuttle that will take you to Waikiki and a few other places. The shuttle comes and goes all day until about ten at night. I would recommend this wonderful getaway to anyone who love luxury.

Room Tip: If you like dolphins get a room near the dolphin pools.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,291 - 1,297 of 2,931 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2014

Our Family stayed at the Kahala Hotel and Resort the weekend of Valentine's Day. I am a very picky person and there is not one negative I can come up with about the Kahala. Every element of our stay was perfect. We had a dolphin lagoon lanai room, and we loved it. We could see the dolphins swimming and playing from our room. Upon arrival and entering our room the kids had little dolphin stuffed animals waiting for them on their beds that said Kahala on them. It made them feel so special and welcomed. The turn down service was great. The whole family enjoyed our Dolphin Quest experience while staying at the resort. We dined at Hoku's on Valentine's Day and the service and food were outstanding. My husband and I ordered a 5 course meal with wine pairing. Our waiter brought a special little something for our children with every course. It was so thoughtful. The great thing about this resort is it is top notch without being stuffy. It is a relaxed, beautiful, and friendly environment. The beach was beautiful, clean, and the water was nice and calm. All of the restaurants were great. We rented a car from Hertz, which has a office located in the resort. It was easy and convenient. I recommend the Kahala to anyone who is looking for a relaxed, luxurious resort. They made us feel welcomed, pampered, and appreciated. It was heaven!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
3  Thank Katie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

Our visit to the Kahala this past week over our kids' mid-winter break was our fourth visit over the span of about 8 years. It is one of our favorite places for a relaxing vacation, and it is nice enough that we have never wanted or needed to try another hotel on Oahu. The ocean view rooms are the nicest, and you should know that the partial ocean view rooms don't really have much of an ocean view but they are otherwise just as nice.

The service is top notch. Many of the staff have worked at the hotel for a long time, and there are faces we recognize from prior trips. All of the staff are gracious, helpful, and patient. We have occasionally seen demanding guests, but never a grumpy staff member.

When many people think of Oahu they think of Waikiki, but that is not what draws us to the island. We are there for a quiet break away from the crowds so we like the location in the Kahala neighborhood near Diamond Head. The Kahala Hotel is right on the beach and their pool is very kid friendly. You can buy or rent just about any pool toy your kid will need or want (the snorkel set was a hit this time). The same goes for the equipment at the beach (both kids tried the stand-up paddle board in the calm waters off the beach). You can have lunch either in your cabana on the beach (there is a rental fee for the cabana) or at a table near the pool. The food comes quickly and the menu is just right for the casual setting. Some people may not like the fact that it is not an all-inclusive resort and that you pay extra for things like the cabana, the pool toys, the paddleboards, and boats. But they are clear about what costs extra, and I am happy to pay for what I use.

For the days we spent away from the hotel, we rented a car at the Hertz counter at the hotel for a day at a time. They have a limited number of cars, so we have learned to book ahead, but it is one of the few places where you can get a single day car rental without having to leave the property to fetch the car. This time we ventured out to see the Bishop Museum and did some kayaking in Kailua Bay. In the past, we have gone to the Polynesian Cultural Center, but skipped it this time since we can recite most of their jokes by memory now.

The food at the hotel is great. The breakfast buffet has something for everyone. It includes the American breakfast basics (eggs, potatoes, sausage, pastries), healthier options (yogurt, salmon, fruit, oatmeal, tropical juices), and even some Asian breakfast items. Dinners at the Veranda, Hoku's (seafood theme), and Plumeria were all fine - well prepared and nicely presented. The fish dishes were especially good at all of the restaurants and at poolside. We did not try the new Italian restaurant; we get enough Italian food at home.

The Kahala is a popular location for weddings, and while we were there this time there was also a corporate event going on. We have never found these other activities to affect our enjoyment. The hotel is big enough that it would be a destination for group events like these, but there are many far larger hotels in Hawaii where I would imagine that such activities would be even more prevalent.

Overall, I would say that the service, the setting, and the convenience are what bring us back to the Kahala again and again. It is a family favorite.

Room Tip: If you want an ocean view, get a room with a full ocean view (not a partial ocean view)
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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5  Thank rcseattle2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

We thought the rooms were fine and the staff was very friendly and professional. I don't want my criticism to take anything away from the these very important assets of the Kahala. But honestly, we were disappointed. The hotel is 50 years old and it shows. The common areas/lobby are in need of a major overhaul, as is the pool. The pool is really pathetic for a resort. 4 1/2 feet deep? The stores in the hotel were lackluster, and that's being charitable. To call the little corner of one store the convenience store was joke. It's unbelievable that a resort that is really not within easy walking distance to a convenience store would not have better selection than that. Every other hotel in Hawaii that we've stayed at was FAR better in that regard. We were also treated as second-class citizens to the Auto-Owners, as they were given priority over us "paying" guests. Overall, my wife summed it up best for me. It wasn't really a resort we were staying at. Just a hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
4  Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

We stayed 4 nights in a Scenic Lanai room. The room was big and having the lanai is worth the extra cost. The bathroom is very large. They have a nice turn down service and my wife and kids loved the salted chocolates the staff brought them. Breakfast was included with the room and had a large variety of tasty food. The hotel was full but we never had any trouble getting seated. Before we came, I was a bit worried the pool would be small and overcrowded but it wasn't. There were always open recliners adjacent to the pool and the pool was active but not crowded. The pool was heated. The beach was very nice and they groomed it each morning. It was easy to get a nice spot on the beach and there were many staff to help with whatever you needed there. The snorkeling was there was okay but there are better spots to go. Our kids went to the Dolphin Adventure and loved it. Overall, the hotel was excellent and I would recommend it.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2014

this was our 6th visit to The Kahala. The Kahala is getting better with each trip, especially the SPA. The staff at the SPA were the same people we have worked with before, and they remembered what our preferences are. We are already planning our next trip!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Kenneth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2014

My husband and I stayed for 5 nights at the Kahala Hotel and Resort and enjoyed every moment of our stay. The hotel location is private and great for a relaxing trip. Beautiful atmosphere and friendly staff!

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Krislin M
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 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#6 Family Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range: $400 - $763 (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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