A rich history sets the tone at this casual but glamorous resort.
This 338-room hotel stands apart from the pack of finer hotels on Oahu for a number of reasons, beginning with its location. Set on a secluded stretch of beach in Kahala, the property keeps its distance from area high-rises, but it’s still close enough to Waikiki for easy access to shopping and nightlife. The ten-story structure, adjacent to the exclusive Waialae Country Club, is an impressive example of mid-1960s modernist architecture. It's all straight lines and naked structuralism. When it was the Kahala Hilton, the hotel built a reputation for excellence that attracted kings and queens, presidents, Hollywood royalty and authors. A thorough renovation (under the Mandarin Oriental group) in the mid-90s threw out everything that no longer worked (dated room décor and dining experiences) and installed everything that does. This includes light and airy guest room style, the fabulous Kahala Spa, the state-of-the-art CHI Health & Energy Fitness Center and the stellar restaurant Hoku's, offering contemporary fusion regional cuisine served beachside, under the direction of Hawaii-born executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi. Additional dining includes the Seaside Grill and Plumeria Beach House. The hotel, which has changed hands once again, still has its private lagoon with a small collection of dolphins.