Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

 

 

 

The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Honolulu - Hotel Review

An Oasis in Oahu

The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a beachfront property in Honolulu on the island of Oahu
The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii

Amid the hustle and bustle of Waikiki — which, of course, is fun at least for a while — it is difficult to think of Oahu in terms of a quiet tropical haven. The busy luxury shops, the modernism of the high rises, the animation of the boulevards and the frenzy of tourists certainly make for an entertaining spectacle. But if after a while you are a bit dizzied by the throngs, there is an escape. Only ten minutes from the heart of Honolulu there is a place where you can actually get back to nature. You'll be awed by what a difference just a few miles can make when you reach the grounds of the The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Waialae-Kahala.

It's almost possible to believe you have reached another island, remote and mercifully overlooked by modern tourism. Conrad Hilton obviously had a fantastic intuition about location when he decided in the 1960s to erect a getaway for the beautiful people along this isolated stretch of beach.

Six Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, and tropical fish inhabit the 26,000 square-foot lagoon at The Kahala Hotel & Resort
An Ocean Front room at The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii
A dolphin swimming in the lagoon
Oceanfront room

The first reaction to Hilton's venture was: It's too far from Waikiki. But that sentiment didn't last. For Hollywood stars in quest of tranquility, from John Wayne and Frank Sinatra to Julie Andrews and Jack Lemmon, Waikiki was already far enough — the resort's secluded location was a bonus. The Kahala soon became home to Hollywood glitterati, royalty and heads of state.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Emperor Hirohito, Juan Carlos and the Queen of Spain slept there. Prince Charles and Diana booked 100 rooms for a party they threw at the Kahala. Every U.S. President since Richard Nixon has visited The Kahala. And even today, one is still likely to bump into a big name celebrity.

The Kahala boasts 306 rooms and 32 suites views looking onto the famous Diamond Head, Koko Head, the Ko'olau Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The naturally-lit, oversized accommodations epitomize the resort's signature "Kahala Chic" design — a contemporary look with an open and airy tropical feel reflecting the elegant island lifestyle enjoyed in residential Kahala.

The Koko Head Gazebo at The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii
An infinity edge bath in The Kahala Spa at The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii
The Koko Head Gazebo
Infinity edge bath in The Kahala Spa

Among the hotel's newer draws are the residential-style The Kahala Spa (550 square feet each) set in tropical gardens. Another great place to relax is The Veranda, where you can sip a cup of one of the many teas available or while watching the dolphins playing in the lagoon. (This same beautiful view is also available from many guest room balconies.) You can also swim with the dolphins in the company of an instructor. The beach is pristine and secluded, right at your feet — unless you prefer to relax around the pool. As for dinner, you need not drive too far. Just walk across the Veranda to Hoku's, one of the best restaurants on the entire island.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
808-739-8888
800-367-2525 | Reserve with KIWI Collection for the best rate!
www.kahalaresort.com



Going to Hawaii? Check out our guide
More Hawaii Hotel Features
Hawaii Hotel Search
The Best Spas in Hawaii


(Updated: 08/01/11 CT)


Pairing high-class casino action with premium amenities, these luxurious resorts are a sure bet for a fun-filled vacation.
Gather up your courage and prepare for a supernatural holiday with GAYOT's Top 10 Haunted Hotels in the World, they'll surely haunt you long after you've returned home.