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Luxury Hotel Review: Halekulani at Waikiki, Hawaii

By: Guest Writer, Brooke Stoddart
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Where Is It: On Waikiki Beach, Honolulu.


Why Go: It’s one of Oahu’s most iconic and awarded hotels.


Best For: Couples, families who love modern fused with tradition.


Three Things We Loved: The location, the accommodation, the views.


The Ultimate Factor: The sublime pool.




While only metres from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, stepping into the foyer of the Halekulani Hotel is like being enveloped by an oasis of calm. The opulent and expansive grounds of arguably Oahu’s finest hotel, the Halekulani, have played host to visitors for over a century and it's become a romantic getaway in one of the world's most iconic holiday destinations. Situated at the western end of Waikiki Beach, this gorgeous luxury boutique hotel is ideally located for guests to stroll to the upmarket shops and restaurants in the area.

The Accommodation:


From its guest rooms to its opulent suites, the Halekulani’s understated elegance permeates in every room. One of the hotel’s most memorable touches is the inclusion each night of a special gift which represents aspects of the Halekulani and Hawaii. One night may feature a shell, gift-wrapped in a box with an inscribed card which reads: “In ancient times in Hawaii, shells were used as instruments to call people together. We hope this Hawaiian shell to call you back to the Halekulani.” Another night may feature hand-carved wooden magnets, or a silver bookmark with the Halekulani’s signature orchid design. At the lower end of the scale, Guest Rooms are spacious, bright and comfortable as well as equipped with everything you need for a beach holiday. But the hotel also has a number of suites, ranging from Junior Ocean and Pool View, through to Luxury and Diamond Head suites. The most palatial of them all is the Orchid Suite, a huge retreat is enveloped by panoramic views of Diamond Head and the lulling shoreline of Waikiki Beach. 


Where We Stayed:


Guest Rooms are categorised by view, ours being a spacious Diamond Head Ocean Front offering unobstructed views of the iconic landmark. The room was bright, airy and around 42 square metres in size, with features including a king sized bed, a sitting area and lanai, a large flat screen LCD TV, and an in-room safe. Perks included complimentary Wi-Fi, lovely cotton robes, and a welcome fruit bowl on arrival featuring speciality cookies. The bathroom was also big by hotel standards, with a separate shower and a bathtub, with marble vanities and an impressive range of personalised amenities. The decor overall was a mix of warm blonde wood, cream walls and a bed throw, a rich buttery carpet, louvered doors on the doors and windows instead of drapes, and splashes of colour including blue cushions and an ottoman at the foot of the bed. It was all very, appropriately beachy. 


What Else Is There:


The Halekulani has several restaurants, which are all excellent. House Without a key is a casual, outdoor restaurant which offers reasonably priced food of excellent quality, and features barbecue nights where guests can sample Hawaiian-style meals fresh from the grill. The restaurant also features the hula talents of former Miss Hawaii winners who are accompanied by a wonderful Hawaiian band each evening from 5pm. There is also Orchids, which enjoys a more formal setting, offering local seafood delicacies (and does an amazing King Crab Eggs Benedict), and, La Mer, a fine dining French establishment which is regarded as one of the premier restaurants in Hawaii.
It’s hard to write about the Halekulani without placing attention on its iconic pool, which overlooks Waikiki Beach and features a mosaic orchid comprising of 1.2 million pieces of glass tiles in varying hues of blue and turquoise. The pool has a team of attendants who are on hand to set up your lounge with special chair covers. Along with a fitness room and business area, the hotel has a wonderful spa on the grounds, Spahalekulani, which offers an array of hair and beauty treatments. 

The Verdict:


While there are undoubtedly newer and more modern-styled hotels in Oahu these days, the simple, understated elegance of the Halekulani, coupled with its impeccable service and attention to detail is legendary. Being a guest at this luxury boutique hotel is like being a member of an exclusive club, and one that you can’t wait to return to.




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The Halekulani is located at 2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, www.halekulani.com.




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