There are a myriad of stunning hotels in Honolulu on Oahu in Hawaii if you’re planning an island adventure. For those who want to venture into Waikiki and explore the sand and sea, experience some urban activities like shopping and dining, or explore the rich culture of this island that’s affectionately referred to as Hawaii’s “gathering place,” here are nine Honolulu hotels that go above and beyond in offering visitors a truly welcoming feeling of Hawaiian hospitality.
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This well-known property is located in western Waikiki, with fabulous views of Ala Wai Harbor and easy access to boating on the water. Spend time dining at one of the multiple on-site restaurants, lounging at the two pools (one of which is a gorgeous infinity pool), or take one of the free hotel shuttles to the local beaches. Immediately upon walking into the bright, airy lobby which is decorated with local art and features and light wooden tones and hues of sea blue, you’ll feel like you’re being whisked away on a traditional Hawaiian vacation. The guest rooms feel fresh and modern — and although there aren’t any rooms with balconies, the floor-to-ceiling windows offer impessive harbor views.
When you walk into the lobby of Halepuna, it feels like stepping into a tropical dream with serene tones of white marble, light wooden furnishings, and pops of pink accenting the dreamy design. The guest rooms are bright, clean, and upscale, and the views of the ocean across the street are awe-inspiring. This peaceful property is as close to the beach as you can get without actually being beachfront, and it’s in a central location just a short walk away from many of the major shops. There’s an infinity pool on-site with ocean views and poolside service, and a spacious fitness center with modern workout equipment. This property is a perfect place to stay if you’re in search of a luxurious, low-key getaway.
Perched on Waikiki’s main drag, Kalakaua Avenue, this oceanfront property offers breathtaking sights of Diamond Head and Waikiki with one of the best locations in the city for setting as a home base to explore. The property actually has an interesting history, having been the original setting for the Outrigger Canoe Club — an iconic surfers club that has since moved down the beach — but left behind its feeling of historic significance while staying paying tribute through the presence of a handsomely restored koa wood outrigger canoe as the lobby’s center display. On-site, you can enjoy spending time at the oceanfront pool and hot tub, take the property’s free shuttle service to nearby attractions, pamper yourself at the on-site spa, get a quick workout in at the fitness center (witih ocean views) or sign up for one of the many on-site cultural activities the hotel hosts for guests like lei making and ukulele lessons. The clean and comfortable guest rooms are decorated with simplistic furniture and plenty of natural light. There are multiple restaurants on-site, but the most famous is no doubt Duke’s Waikiki which serves fresh American fare in the spirit of legendary native Hawaiian and “father to modern day surfing,” Duke Kahanamoku.
This 22-acre property is the largest such resort in Hawaii, boasting upwards of 3,000 rooms, nearly two dozen on-site restaurants, a spa, five swimming pools, multiple shopping outposts, direct beach access, a lagoon and its own on-site (extremely popular)wedding chapel. It’s almost as if this hotel is its own self-contained city — but for those who want to explore beyond its walls and walkways, it’s just a 15-minute walk from central Waikiki. Rooms are spread out over five different towers, which vary in their level of luxury and their decor based on the price point you’re seeking. Don’t miss the dozens of activities offered on-site each day ranging from hula dancing to lei-making and traditional cultural performances.
This property sits directly adjacent to the beach with walkable access to some of Waikiki’s best attractions, while also being tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main street. Halekulani is Hawaiian for “house benefiting heaven” — a fitting name, as stepping into this place feels like taking a breath of fresh air complemented by a hint of hibiscus. The design features a signature “seven shades of white” aesthetic meaning that tones of ivory, eggshell, and cream add to the sense of approachable, airy sophistican felt immediately as you walk in the doors. Outside, the large pool offers views of the sea and boasts an attentive food and beverage service. You’d never know it, but this property is actually more than 100 years old dating back to 1907, only growing bigger and more opulent since then. The dining options on-site are breezy but upscale, and the atmosphere is fitting to match.
Flaunting its storied, signature pink exterior (it’s nicknamed the “Pink Palace”) paired with its romantic Spanish-Moorish architecture — this hotel has been an icon on the island for nearly a century, and known for its luxurious hospitality offerings and classic style. It’s affectionately referred to as Waikiki’s original “Grand Dame,” with a history dating back to the late 1920s. Since then, the Royal Hawaiian has stood the test of time as an upscale destination made for those seeking an elegant retreat. You’ll immediately admire the glittering chandeliers, quirky original design elements like authentic mail chutes, and classic black-and-white tiled patio space that feel like taking a trip back in time to a golden era of more simplistic form of relaxation. Its oceanfront, city center location makes it feel the best of both worlds for those who want to mix urban escapades with lazy beachside days. You can indulge in a treatment at the on-site spa, grab a drink at the beach bar, the poolside bar (or both), or dine at one of the multiple restaurants serving a range of Hawaiian cuisine and offer ocean views and feel like a true royalty.
This chic property is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki’s main strip, located away from the beaches close to the high-end shopping district, Luxury Row. But don’t fret – you’ll still be just a five-minute walk from the ocean. Upon walking into the lobby which is perched on the eighth floor, you’ll be met with ocean views and attentive service. Guest accommodations seem more like full-sized, fully furnished featuring white tones and light accents, and offering separate living room areas, balconies, fully equipped kitchens and even washing machines. It feels like a “home” (but with large and luxurious marble-clad bathrooms, and exceptionally better hospitality offerings). There are two infinity pools with fantastic city views, as well as a fully equipped spa and fitness center. There are multiple restaurants on-site — but you should definitely book a seat ahead of time for one of the 10 spots at Sushi Sho, which takes reservations over the phone.
The Moana Surfrider sits just off Kalakaua Avenue, and is the oldest resort in Hawaii, having first introduced the outside world to the inner generosity of Hawaiian hospitality in 1901. In homage to its history, it’s often referred to as the “First Lady of Waikiki,” today hosting its guests with contemporary amenities mixed with a traditional sense of timeless charm. Immediately upon stepping into the lobby of this impressive building from the stately porch, you’ll admire the original elements of classic architecture. The high ceilings and study columns tower up to high ceilings, paired with a humble sense of grandeur. The property is centered around a massive 75-foot tall Banyan tree, which stood at just 7 feet tall at the time of its planting in 1907 — and today offers those who sit in the property’s courtyard an abundance of shade. It feels like there’s always something happening on-site, as it’s perfectly placed between Waikiki’s main street and the beach, putting it in an ideal location for many types of travelers. Spend time at the beach bar, dining at one of the multiple on-site restaurants, relaxing at the spa, or browsing the on-site art gallery. It’s a timeless and unpretentious spot to spend a night in the middle of it all.
This colorful, contemporary, design-focused property is set in a central location of the city just two blocks from the beach, one block from Kalakaua, and adjacent to the International Marketplace. There’s an abundance of dining and drinking opportunities within walking distance of the property, but you might not want to leave the hotel due to the fun you’ll find lounging at the chic pool or relaxing next to one of its cozy fire pits in the lush garden lanai. The hotel feels like a young, hip, fresh spot to hang out, boasting unique amenities such as complimentary daily ukulele lessons, and multiple spots to eat and drink including the brews at HIDEOUT Coffee bar, or at TEX808 BBQ + Brews. The bright and airy guest rooms make you feel like you’ve woken up inside of a breezy island vacation movie, and the hospitality is warm and welcoming, but approachably casual.
There’s no dedicated airport hotel but the Airport Honolulu Hotel is located just a few minutes away from the airport and offers guests comfortable amenities including an outdoor pool, a fitness center, clean rooms, and a convenient airport shuttle.
How far is Honolulu airport from the city?
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is about 10 minutes from Downtown Honolulu, 20 minutes from downtown Waikiki, and 25 minutes from Waikiki Beach. Ground transportation is readily available from the airport, including hotel shuttles to many of the resorts in Waikiki.