Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
It may not be the most luxurious or the most intimate, but the New Otani Kaimana has a slower, more relaxed pace than most Waikiki hotels -- think beachhouse meets quirky 125-room boutique. Chirping birds are audible from the room, joggers can go for a run right outside the door, and swimmers enjoy direct access to Sans Souci Beach, significantly less crowded than other sections of .
The mellow vibe tends to attract a mid-40s-and-up crowd, while the proximity to the University of Hawaii brings in visiting faculty and staff. Though it's run by a Japanese company, just a small portion of guests hail from Japan.
One of its standout features is the Hau Tree Lanai a cozy, beachfront restaurant set around a beautiful hau tree, with pink tablecloths and a that's a vestige of the original Victorian-style residence of the McInernies, a once prominent Honolulu family.
Short of tucking away to Oahu's JW Marriott Ihilani in Kapolei, the New Otani Kaimana -- and its neighbor, the Lotus at Diamond Head (which boasts nicer rooms but fewer amenities) -- is about as close to quiet as it gets on Oahu. Plus, it's still within walking distance of all the action.or over to the
Limited, with a laid-back, friendly staff
Although the staff is warm, prompt, and knowledgeable -- helping patrons with luggage as soon as they arrive at the porte cochere and facilitating rapid check-ins -- it's more laid-back than at hotels in Waikiki's center.
A 15- to 20-minute walk from the center of Waikiki
The New Otani Kaimana's location, about a 15- to 20-minute walk from the center of Waikiki along, is for those who value quiet over noise and crowds. The restaurants, shopping, and more congested beaches of the central part of town are pretty far away in Waikiki terms, but not unmanageable if you have a car.
Direct access to less-crowded Sans Souci Beach
The hotel is located directly on Sans Souci Beach, a relatively clean, calm section on the far eastern end of Waikiki that attracts more locals than tourists because it's off the crazed and well-paved . It's on the small side, and not the most picturesque -- it's bookended on one side by the rather unsightly natatorium, an abandoned WWI memorial -- but it's significantly less crowded than most of Waikiki's beaches.
Cramped standards with poor viewsand
Upgrades are worth it at the New Otani Kaimana, where standard rooms are cramped and decor is middling, at least compared to its competition next door at the Lotus at Diamond Head, which has larger, more elegant rooms, but fewer amenities and no direct beachfront access. The hotel's 125 rooms are spread between two buildings; most are in the main nine-story building, and the remaining are located in the three-story . The latter doesn't have an elevator, but offers more spacious (though outdated) rooms better-suited to families. Rooms in 17 different categories range between 202 square feet and 434 square feet, but most are around 300 and come with a balcony, and a king, queen, or two twin beds. About one-third of the hotel's rooms are the 202-square-foot "moderate" rooms, aka standards, and are located in the main building -- none have views, but all come with those dorm-size fridges you see in most Waikiki hotels and a safe big enough for a laptop.
All oceanfront rooms were renovated in 2012, and now feature more modern decor (in darker shared of blue and brown) and more stylish furnishings.
Not many other than restaurants
With the exception of Sans Souci Beach and Kapiolani Park at its doorstep, plus two standout restaurants, the hotel is pretty barebones features-wise -- no pool, no Jacuzzi, and no gym. Guests can purchase a pass for the fitness center at located on the ground floor of the and get treatments at Juju'be, another spa located on the second floor of the hotel's main building -- but it's $15 a pop and by appointment only. The good news is that there's ample opportunity to exercise outside the hotel: a bike path, a jogging trail around the park, and a hiking trail up nearby Diamond Head.
Other than location, not particularly kid-friendly
The New Otani is located in a kidtastic part of town across from Kapiolani Park, next to the Waikiki Aquarium and just a few minutes' walk from the Honolulu Zoo, but the hotel itself doesn't have a particularly family-friendly vibe given the crowd of mostly older couples and the lack of some amenities. The comparably priced Marriott Waikiki Beach or the Aston Waikiki Beach, both with bigger rooms and pools (the Aston even includes a free breakfast), are better options for families. They might also consider the newly renovated Sheraton Waikiki, which is in the heart of Queen's Beach, and has an impressive kids program.
Clean public areas, slightly dingy standard rooms
The public areas are clean and well maintained, but rooms are less so. Higher category rooms seem to be better maintained.
There are two restaurants on the New Otani's property, Hau Tree Lanai, which serves fantastic chops and seafood, and , a traditional Japanese restaurant with tatami mats available.
Hau Tree Lanai
An upgrade from the cramped standard rooms is worth it at this 125-room beachfront hotel in a mellow area a half-mile outside of Waikiki. Amenities are limited -- no gym or pool -- but its Hau Tree Lanai restaurant is impressive, as is its quiet location on a calm, clear beach.