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best hotels in honolulu
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The 9 Best Hotels in Honolulu

Honolulu welcomes more than five million visitors a year, and the hotel industry on the island has grown to meet every imaginable interest. From beachside boutiques to all-inclusive resorts and everything in between, there’s a perfect hotel waiting for you in Honolulu.

The Best Hotels in Honolulu

Iconic landmarks. Luxe oceanfront properties. Sleepy getaways. If you can dream it, you can find it among the best hotels in Honolulu.

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Halekulani, which means “house befitting heaven,” is a standard bearer when it comes to Honolulu luxury hotels. One of the most coveted addresses on the island, this five-star property occupies five acres smack dab in the middle of Honolulu’s famed Waikiki Beach, which makes for primo views from each and every one of its 453 rooms and suites.

A Leading Hotel of the World, everything at Halekulani is first class, from its AAA five diamond rating and five-star French restaurant Le Mer to its award-winning SpaKulani and nightly entertainment on the patio just in front of its gorgeous pool.

Amenities: Marble bathrooms, Kohler soaking tub, premium toiletries, plush bathrobe and slippers, balcony, free Wi-Fi, on-site laundry facility, complimentary fitness center with free fitness classes, and complimentary passes to local museums.

Book it: Get prices for The Halekulani and other Honolulu Hotels

The Kahala Hotel & Resort

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A destination for celebrities, royalty, and past presidents, this iconic luxury resort in Honolulu’s exclusive Kahala community is fronted by a secluded private stretch of beach along with a lagoon where you can swim with the dolphins.

Located just a 10-minute drive from Waikiki Beach, rooms and suites are well-appointed with hand-woven Tibetan carpets and teak wood furnishings, and offer unsurpassed views of the ocean and Diamond Head. Other highlights include the award-winning Kahala Spa, Chi fitness center, and five on-site restaurants helmed by executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi.

Amenities: TOTO washlets in all rooms and suites, luxury toiletries, free Wi-Fi, 42-inch flat-screen TV, iHome clock radios, refrigerated minibar, fitness center, steam room, sauna, free local area shuttle, in-room tea and coffee services, and 24-hour business center.

Book it: Get prices for The Kahala Hotel & Resort and other Honolulu hotels

The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort

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No luxury property in Honolulu is as recognizable or as Instagrammed as the iconic “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” The Royal Hawaiian. Originally built in 1927 with a distinctive Spanish-Moorish design, the property’s 528 rooms and suites have been completely renovated. Rooms in the historical wing maintain a colonial-era feel, while tower rooms are much more contemporary.

For everything that’s pretty in pink (including the must-not-miss pink snowball from the onsite bakery), beachfront access and prime location in the heart of Waikiki, there’s no better luxury hotel on Honolulu than The Royal Hawaiian.

Amenities: Fresh flower lei on arrival, Frette sheets and towels, free Wi-Fi, robe, slippers, tuMalie organic toiletries, mini refrigerator, in-room tea and Kona coffee, flat-screen TV, a spa, two restaurants, a bar, and a bakery.

Book it: Get prices for The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort and other Honolulu Hotels

The Modern Honolulu

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Channeling a surfer-meets-Aloha chic vibe, this hip, 353-room boutique hotel located off the main Waikiki strip is a magnet for Victoria’s Secret models and A-listers. Close enough to Waikiki without being right in the middle of it, this luxury property is famous, ironically enough, not for its beach but for its pool. Want to work on your tan or float on a blow-up flamingo? Do it at the Modern, then bliss out at Lather Spa, grab a drink at The Study, and get ready for a night of clubbing at Waikiki’s best club, Addiction.

Amenities: Private balcony, 46-inch flat-screen TV, DVD library upon request, free Wi-Fi, mini refrigerator, Keurig coffeemaker, robe and slippers, fitness center, and complimentary beach or poolside yoga.

Book it: Get prices for The Modern Honolulu and other Honolulu hotels

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach

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More like an apartment on New York’s Upper East Side than a hotel, this five-star luxury resort features ocean-view rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, a balcony, and spacious accommodations. Foodies will love this hotel as it is home to one of the hottest dining experiences on the island: a seat at the master sushi chef Keiji Nakazawa’s 10-seat Sushi Sho. The property also boasts a full-service gym, spa, and casual dining at BLT Market or Dean and Deluca.

Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, coffee/tea in-room, smart TVs with cable channels, a soaking tub, robe and slippers, evening turn-down service, grocery shopping service, foreign currency exchange, shoe shine services, laundry facilities, a house car, babysitting, gym, safety deposit boxes, and local restaurant delivery.

Book it: Get prices for The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach and other Honolulu hotels

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort and Spa

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Lovingly dubbed “The First Lady of Waikiki,” Moana Surfrider, built in 1901, is Waikiki’s oldest resort. Due to its beachfront location in the heart of Waikiki, however, this beautifully maintained, 791-room luxury resort is always buzzing with activity. While you might have to wake up early to snag a lounge chair on the beach, breakfast at Veranda in the shade of the 100-plus-year-old banyan tree is unforgettable.

Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, a 32-inch LCD flat-screen TV, complimentary Royal Kona coffee, select Tazo teas, a refrigerator, Westin White Tea Heavenly Bath Amenities, a Heavenly bed, robe and slippers, mini refrigerator, 24-hour laundry service, WestinWorkout Fitness Studio, and Moana Lani Spa.

Book it: Get prices for Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort and Spa and other Honolulu hotels

Prince Waikiki

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If you’re looking for fabulous ocean views, it’s just a matter of looking out the window at the Prince Waikiki. Fresh from a $55 million renovation in late 2017, each of this luxury property’s 563 rooms and suites features floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking panoramas of the ocean, sunset, and Ala Wai Harbor. Golf enthusiasts will love the hotel’s Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course nearby, while sushi lovers can pop on down in the lobby for a taste of Toyko-based Katsumidori Sushi. A complimentary shuttle makes getting around Waikiki a snap.

Amenities: Oshibori towel upon arrival, complimentary shuttle service, Maile Organic toiletries, LCD smart TV, sheer and blackout remote control blinds, complimentary Wi-Fi, robe and slippers, mini refrigerator, hot tea kettle, coffee maker, club floors and lounge, fitness center, and access to the Hawaii Prince Golf Club.

Book it: Get prices for the Prince Waikiki and other Honolulu hotels

Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

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Debuting in December 2017 after a $115 million redevelopment, the Alohilani is Waikiki’s newest luxury hotel. Located steps from Waikiki beach, the property (formerly the Pacific Beach Hotel) boasts a massive, 280,000-gallon Oceanarium, along with 839 guest rooms and suites exuding a breezy, spa-like Aloha chic. The perfect destination for families and couples, the beautiful new resort also features a saltwater infinity pool, a full-service spa with gym and tennis courts, and five signature restaurants, two of which are helmed by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Amenities: Two welcome drinks on arrival, a private lanai, Malie Organics bath amenities, complimentary Wi-Fi, refrigerators, 50- or 55-inch HD flat-screen TVs, in-room safe, unlimited local calling and 60 minutes complimentary international calling, Keurig Brewers with complimentary coffee and tea K-pods, and a Kid’s Club. 

Book it: Get prices for Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach and other Honolulu hotels

The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

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Channeling a 1960s-era surfer beach club vibe, the adorably retro-chic Surfjack features 112 bungalows and suites decorated in what the hotel describes as a “laid back modern Aloha” style. Between lounging by the pool, people watching during happy hour, or grabbing a morning cup of joe at Olive and Oliver boutique, it’s all too easy to go on an Instagram-snapping spree here. But then again, that’s what makes it so great.

Amenities: Local snack welcome gift, complimentary Wi-Fi, private terrace, 40- to 50-inch flat-screen TV, SOUNDFREAQ Wireless Speaker & Alarm, mini refrigerator, LaBottega Devine toiletries, The Indigenous Soap Company Hand Soap, in-room safe, daily local newspaper, Morning Surfjack blend coffee at Mahina & Sun’s, use of bicycles, Swim Club Tote, and towels and beach chairs to use during stay.

Book it: Get prices for The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club and other Honolulu hotels

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– Original reporting by Mai Pham

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