The Kahala Hotel and Resort

An oasis outside of Waikiki

Tucked away in an affluent residential neighborhood at the base of Diamond Head, The Kahala Hotel and Resort is a secluded alternative to the hotels in bustling Waikiki, just five miles away.

The world-class, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended resort sprawls along 800 feet of pristine coastline on Oahu’s southern shore, with 306 guest rooms and 32 suites, including a luxurious 2,200-square-foot Presidential Suite that has hosted Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Monaco’s Prince Rainier and Queen Grace and the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort delivers privacy — there are no other hotels nearby — while being minutes from malls, restaurants, beaches and hiking trails.

One notable addition to the Oahu hotel after its 2017 renovation is a new art piece in the lobby. Called Harmony of Paradise, this 13-foot-tall carved piece of wood from Thailand depicts tropical palms, pineapples and birds living together in harmony.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • To take home a taste of Hawaii, head to The Signature Kahala, the resort’s onsite boutique selling sundries as well as delicious treats lilikoi-guava jam and coconut shortbread cookies made in-house. The most popular item is the chocolate-covered macadamia nut clusters, draped in caramel, dark, milk or white chocolate.
  • Indulge in an island-inspired treatment at The Kahala Spa. All signature massages begin with the ritual of hoʻomaka (“to begin”), a relaxing footbath and rub that sets the pampering tone.
  • Unique to the resort is its 26,000-square-foot Dolphin Lagoon, home to several Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Dolphin Quest, an organization devoted to public education and marine wildlife conservation, operates interactive, educational programs here, ranging from touching and feeding the porpoises to trying your hand at dolphin training for the day.
  • The luxury hotel offers an exclusive sailing experience aboard a traditional Hawaiian canoe manned by one of the crewmembers of the famed Hōkūleʻa, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging vessel that recently finished an unprecedented worldwide tour. Enjoy a jaunt around Maunalua Bay aboard the Holokino Hawai‘i sailing canoe, where you’ll be regaled with the stories of the ahupua‘a(“land divisions”) along the island’s southern shore.
  • There are really no bad views from the hotel. Basic accommodations overlook the Ko‘olau Mountains and the par-70 championship golf course at the Wai‘alae Country Club next door.

Things to Know

  • The Oahu hotel doesn’t charge a resort fee to use any of its complimentary amenities, including Internet access; the 24-hour fitness center, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna; shuttle to nearby malls and Waikiki; bicycle rentals; and an introductory surfing lesson and stand-up paddleboard clinic.
  • The Kahala Hotel & Resort has long been a celebrity favorite. In addition to hosting famous guests like Elizabeth Taylor, Amy Schumer, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart, every U.S. president since Lyndon B. Johnson has stayed at or visited the hotel during his presidency.
  • The Kahala Hotel & Resort has hosted the launch summer event for the annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, a multiday epicurean event that brings together some of the world’s top chefs and winemakers. The fall festival is a must for foodies, but be sure to book your room well in advance.
  • The hotel is in a quiet residential neighborhood, so the nightlife is limited to The Veranda, where you can enjoy a glass of wine while listening to live jazz music. Its remote location means you’ll have to drive or catch a cab to find other nighttime activities.

The Rooms

  • Amenities include Bulgari and the hotel’s own brand of toiletries, an in-room safe, coffee and tea makers, laundry services, 24-hour room service and a nightly turndown service.
  • For a memorable experience at this Waikiki hotel, opt for a stay in the Dolphin Lagoon Wing, where each of the 550-square-foot guest rooms overlooks the lagoon where the resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins frolic.
  • The hotel’s 32 suites offer some kind of ocean view with either one or two bedrooms sprawling over at least 1,100 square feet. The signature suites in the Kahala Tower are arguably the most luxurious, with a four-poster bed in the master bedroom, a separate living room and a furnished lanaiwith panoramic Pacific views .
  • A stay in a signature suite affords you some extra perks, including a daily breakfast buffet at the Plumeria Beach House, round-trip airport transfer, daily use of an oceanfront cabana, cocktail service in your room and a 60-minute lomi lomi massage for two.

The Restaurants

  • Indulge in award-winning Kahala cuisine at Hoku’s. The fine-dining restaurant features global Hawaiian dishes, ocean views and grand-tasting menus from executive chef Jonathan Mizukami.

  • On the edge of the white sands of Kahala sits Plumeria Beach House, the property’s open-air, all-day dining establishment. Reminiscent of an island home, Plumeria Beach House is an ideal choice for casual meals, quiet meetings and sunset cocktails on the terrace.

  • Right off the hotel lobby is The Veranda, an open-air dining area serving cocktails, pūpū (appetizers) in the evening and afternoon tea on Fridays and Saturdays. Popular menu items include fried ahi poke musubi, venison burgers and black truffle fries.

  • Arancino at The Kahala is an Italian restaurant known for its innovative dishes. Indulge in a housemade pappardelle alla Bolognese with wagyu beef and a bagna cauda (vegetable crudité) served in a flowerpot with a warm anchovy-garlic dip.

Getting There
5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
HNL (22 min)  
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