Hawaii is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. And when folks finally take that dream trip, they often make Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, their first stop. While the Hawaiian capital has plenty to offer visitors -- the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Hanauma Bay, and Diamond Head, to name a few -- it’s also crowded and touristy, especially during peak season and along Waikiki Beach. With that in mind, tucking into a quiet, luxury hotel in Honolulu might be the perfect way to cap off the day. While all of the following properties offer the posh perks you’d expect from a high-end hotel, they all bring a bit of extra value as well. Here is our list of the best bang-for-your-buck luxury hotels in Honolulu.
It’s all about the view at the plush Prince Waikiki. Every single room has bay windows that look out onto beautiful Ala Wai Harbor, dotted with yachts. Those windows actually open, too, so guests can bask in the Pacific trade winds. Rooms have free Wi-Fi, and many suites come with balconies and kitchens. Meanwhile, club-level rooms have access to a swanky lounge where afternoon snacks are served. The property is also situated alongside Ala Moana Beach Park, and close to the Hawaii Convention Center. This makes it an excellent choice for business travelers. Golf enthusiasts will also want to think about dropping their bags here, as the property boasts a scenic, 27-hole golf course (lessons are offered as well). Breakfast is included, as is parking and a local shuttle. A tennis club and an indoor (as well as an outdoor) pool round out the enticing perks.
A favorite among dignitaries, celebrities, and other rich-and-famous types, The Kahala Hotel & Resort is tucked away in the posh Kahala neighborhood of Honolulu. The free high-speed internet is reliable, and the shuttle service is free, making it easy to get out and about at night. The fitness center is top-notch, offering a sauna and organized classes in addition to equipment. A kids’ club and babysitting services are also available, enabling adults to indulge in a massage at the spa or a private sunset dining experience. For those who are traveling with kids, family rooms can be booked. There’s an on-site dolphin experience, and a pond with resident green sea turtles, both of which will excite little ones. For couples looking to tie the knot, this property has a full-on wedding planning service, too.
Moana Surfrider is a historic, plantation-style property right on Waikiki Beach. Its central location is perfect for those who want to soak up every bit of action on the liveliest stretch in Honolulu, but still have a serene retreat waiting for them each evening. Extras include a palatial spa, a 24/7 fitness center, and live nightly music. The property is also a short walk from the popular Honolulu Zoo, and it offers direct beach access. Wi-Fi is free, plus there’s a convenient airport shuttle. To top it off, the upscale Beachhouse restaurant showcases lovely views in a Victorian-style environment.
As one of the more family-friendly luxury options in Honolulu, the expansive Royal Hawaiian is a solid pick for those traveling with kids. As guests arrive, they are offered a full tour of the polished property — a nice touch, as there’s plenty of history behind it. Another welcome extra: The outdoor pools are heated. Cabanas are available, and guests enjoy private beach access, along with a saltwater plunge pool. Laundry service, a business center, a heavenly spa, turn-down treats, and hula lessons are also provided.
A popular choice for families wanting luxury and convenience, this iconic, 22-acre resort takes the word ‘village’ in its name literally. It houses five guest towers, 20 places to eat and drink, and its own lagoon, along with a post office, urgent care center, and wedding chapel. Snorkeling and hula lessons offer fun for the whole family. Meanwhile, adult guests can enjoy the full-service salon and spa as well. Laundry service is available — a definite benefit with kids in tow — and a convenient airport shuttle makes getting the family to and from the airport stress-free.
The Modern Honolulu is a 350-room luxury property with a trendy vibe that attracts a young crowd. All rooms have a panoramic view of the cityscape, harbor, pool, or ocean, and most have balconies. Wi-Fi is free, and iPads pre-programmed with Hawaiian music and themed apps are available, too. Guests can expect on-site bars, lounges, and stunning outdoor pools as well. The Ala Moana Mall, with its trendy shops, is a quick walk away. Other draws of this sleek hotel include an exclusive nightclub and celebrity-chef-helmed sushi eatery.
Travelers who like an understated, soothing vibe in their luxury hotels would do well to check out the Halekulani. The original structure was built back in 1883, and hosted plenty of famous guests in the golden age of Hollywood, including Clark Gable. Having grown in size and grandeur over the years, it’s a particularly great spot for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Perks include free Wi-Fi, a hot tub, free weekly wine receptions, a heated outdoor pool, and a palatial spa with a variety of Polynesian-inspired treatments.
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