Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Romantic Hau Tree terrace, Japanese dining, and beach beach beach
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel was built 50 years ago, and underwent renovations in 2014. Some areas still look dated, and the hotel renovated select guest rooms over the summer of 2014. Overall, the hotel is airy and pretty, especially the Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant, which sits directly on Sans Souci Beach.
Before the hotel was built, a Victorian home sat on the premises and was visited by Robert Louis Stevenson, who sat in the shade of the same hau tree that is the centerpiece of the restaurant. The restaurant captures the same long ago feeling with its simple pink tablecloths and white iron chairs, orchids, ocean view, and of course, the shade of the ancient tree. The Japanese restaurant Miyako also offers stunning views to be enjoyed in a traditional(ish) Japanese atmosphere with shoji screens, private cabanas and tatami rooms, beautifully presented dishes, and kimono-clad waitresses. Fruity tropical drinks and pupu are served in the Sunset Lanai Lounge, with live music several nights a week. The lobby is less atmospheric, but the backdrop of the beach makes this a very beautiful, civilized place for a Hawaiian vacation.
On Sans Souci Beach, away from the hustle of Waikiki
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel is right on the popular, white-sand Kaimana Beach (also known as Sans Souci Beach), which is full of life on weekends. Idyllic swimming, excellent snorkeling, and great surfing -- there is a well-known surfing school conveniently located in the lobby of the hotel -- can be had steps from the hotel lobby. The Honolulu Zoo, aquarium, and Kapiolani Park are basically next door, and it's five minutes by car to the Diamond Head trail head. Central Waikiki is a 15-minute walk.
Peaceful, clean rooms with balconies and views
The rooms at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel are contemporary, clean, and pleasant, with decor in beachy browns, blues, and yellows. The big windows and balconies have views of either the ocean or Diamond Head -- some also include outlooks over the park and distant Waikiki. As of summer of 2014, renovations to the Diamond Head View Rooms were underway, while rooms with ocean views had already been upgraded. Amenities include flat-screen TVs with high-definition cable channels, mini-fridges, and, in some cases, microwaves. Cribs are offered at no charge, though they can't be accommodated in certain room types.
Beach and water sports, fine dining, and a surf school
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel makes free beach towels and mats available to guests who want to spend the day on one of the island's best swimming beaches. The romantic beachfront Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant serves Pacific Rim cuisine. Miyaki, the hotel's Zen-flavored Japanese restaurant, offers both prix fixe and a la carte options. There is a sake sampler, and private cabana or tatami room seating is available. There is a popular surfing school located in the lobby for guests who want to learn to ride the famous Hawaiian waves.
The 125-room, mid-range New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel is family oriented, and located right on Kaimana Beach, one of the island's best swimming beaches. It's outside the main bustle of Waikiki (a plus for many), and Kapiolani Park and the Honolulu Zoo and Aquarium are practically next door. Parts of the hotel look dated, but rooms are generally bright and contemporary, and the restaurants here are a highlight -- just note that there is no pool.