The most enviable address in Waikiki, the beachfront Halekulani, a member of the AFAR Collection, is all about restrained elegance and pitch-perfect service. It feels more like a Japanese luxury hotel than a Hawaiian resort, which is exactly the point. The design for the latest iteration (the hotel dates back a century, though it was entirely rebuilt in the 1980s) was inspired by the Yamato Hotel, a glamour spot in 1940s Manchuria. That explains the room decor—fifty shades of white and plantation shutters framing the turquoise sea. The beach itself is small and usually mobbed, but the pool is a dream—a giant oval big enough for laps, and quiet enough (few kids here) for a long doze under your chaise’s umbrella. The grassy courtyards and seaside restaurants are just as improbably serene; some might say stuffy, but for others, the reliably hushed atmosphere is a welcome tonic to the hubbub of Waikiki, just outside the Halekulani’s marbled entrance.
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On the western end of Waikiki Beach, the Halekulani is surrounded by a host of shops, from the typical tourist schlock to bustling outposts of Chanel, Gucci, and the like. The throng of restaurants run the gamut too, though they’re mostly chains; the best of the bunch being the buzzy Nobu just down the street from the Halekulani.
Need to Know
Rooms: 412 rooms, 41 suites. From $520. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: You’ll find three exceptional restaurants, plus Lewer’s Lounge, a locally loved jazz bar, and a très romantique cocktail bar, L’Aperitif, modeled after a classic Parisian boite, only this one comes with stellar ocean views. Spa and gym details: At the small but excellent spa, every treatment starts with a footbath and ends with mochi ice cream. For a total splurge, try the 90-minute Euphoria facial, which includes no fewer than 20 potions. Overlooking the pool and the beach, the gym has the latest Technogym equipment, where you can read your emails or watch Netflix while you huff and puff.
Who's it for: Urbanites looking for a little R&R, romantics with a taste for minimalism, high-rolling business travelers, and picky eaters (the food is divine). Our favorite rooms: Diamond Head oceanfront rooms have killer views of the iconic crater and the sea; the Junior Ocean Suites have the same great vistas, as well as two balconies and a bay window; the $7,000-a-night Halekulani suite, decorated by Vera Wang, is the be-all and end-all. Exclusive access: Ask the concierge about the “For You, Everything” program. Depending on the season and availability, guests can get free tickets to the Honolulu Museum of Art, Iolani Palace, Doris Duke’s Shangri La estate, or even the Hawaii Symphony.
In Room Amenities
Complimentary daily morning newspaper Complimentary in-room safe Twice daily maid service with complimentary memento of the guests' stay
42-inch flat screen television with cable networks Sony radio alarm clock/iPhone or iPod docking station Blu-ray disc player InnCom unit to control room temperature and lighting, and select chambermaid and porterage services plus in-room dining Complimentary high-speed wireless and ethernet internet connection Complimentary telephone service for Oahu and toll-free calls
Bars and Lounges
Three cocktail lounges
Pool and Spa
46-by-82 foot heated pool overlooking Waikiki Beach 5,500 square-foot spa with seven treatment rooms, featuring services exploring the healing traditions of the Pacific
Fitness room with TechnoGym and other state-of-the-art equipment
Three restaurants, including the AAA five-diamond La Mer, serving French cuisine, and House Without a Key, with Hawaiian music and hula under the stars every evening
Guest rooms at Halekulani range from 500 to 720 square feet and are beautifully appointed with either a king-sized or two twin-sized beds and a spacious bath and closet. In addition, a sitting area and a full lanai offer separate areas to relax during the day.
Junior Ocean Suite
The spirit and serenity of one of the most cherished of all beachfront hotels in Waikiki awaits on these suites' two full-sized lanais, providing the perfect location to absorb the unending ocean views. This suite offers a separate bedroom and sitting area, a wet bar and an entertainment center.
Pool View Suite
These spacious one-bedroom suites are located closest to the ocean, providing you with an inviting, unobstructed view of the Pacific, and a sense that Waikiki is on your doorstep. Each of these one-bedroom suites offers 1,050 square feet of living space across a living room, dining area, wet bar, 1.5 bathrooms and entertainment center. The full-size lanais have a view of both the beach and the hotel's stunning pool.
With more than 1,600 square feet of space, these corner suites bathed in the Hawaiian sun offer room for entertaining and relaxing. These large suites include separate areas for socializing, dining and sleeping, and offer captivating views of our pool and Waikiki.
Diamond Head Suite
Our Diamond Head Suites are designed and situated to offer views of the icon from every window. With more than 1,000 square feet of space, these one-bedroom suites have a separate living and dining area, and full-size lanais that invite guests to spend time absorbing the view at one of Hawaii’s best hotels. A connecting second bedroom is available with some suites.
Executive Luxury Suite
Adjacent to the Halekulani Suite, the Executive Luxury Suite offers almost 1,300 square feet of space, two private patios and unobstructed views of Diamond Head. The suite begins at a private entrance foyer, then extends across a master bedroom, living room, work area, spacious walk-in closet and full bath. Guests enjoy a collection of premier amenities designed for relaxation in a residential-like oasis. These offerings include airport limousine transfer, private butler service, complimentary champagne, fine in-room dining selections, SpaHalekulani in-suite treatments, time of day amenities, daily breakfast in-suite, custom bar and VIP concierge services, among an array of indulgences. Unlimited services are available by special arrangement.
For elevated privacy, Halekulani's spacious premier suites (Halekulani, Orchid, and Royal) include a dedicated, personal butler, in-room guest check-in and complimentary airport limousine service.