Best Beach Hotels in Waikiki

View all Waikiki Hotels

Waikiki is an obvious choice for those who want a Hawaiian vacation -- sun, sandluaussurfinghulamai tais -- without sacrificing the creature comforts of home. And since it's only 10 minutes from the Honolulu Airport, you can be off the plane and enjoying those sandy beaches in no time. Take a look at our expert picks for the best beach hotels in Waikiki, Oahu and start planning your sunny getaway!

  1. A celebrity retreat since 1964, the newly renovated Kahala is quite possibly the best hotel in Oahu. Yet its vibe is more "family fun" than "pretentious glitz" -- think swimming with dolphins, not posing in lounges. Sure, it's your only luxury option in a quiet setting without leaving Oahu -- but it's also a great one.

  2. As Waikiki's first hotel, the 1901 plantation-style oceanfront Moana Surfrider offers a dose of historic charm on one of the nicest -- albeit most congested -- stretches of Waikiki Beach. Small rooms are offset by impressive public spaces, including an outdoor courtyard with live nightly music beneath a sweeping banyan tree, and an enormous spa and fitness center.

  3. Of the three luxury hotels in Waikiki -- the Moana Surfrider and the Halekulani are the others -- the 528-room Royal Hawaiian provides the most stunning design, the warmest service, and a solid collection of free little extras, turndown treats, andwelcome leis.

  4. 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.

  5. The largest resort in Hawaii is a veritable four-pearl village with five room towers, 20 bars and restaurants, 90 shops, five swimming pools, direct beach access, and a separate lagoon. Everything from surf lessons to a regular luau to a kids' club are on offer here, and the garden grounds include exotic animals. Contemporary rooms can feature gorgeous vistas of the ocean and beach, or the back of neighboring buildings. Renovations in 2013 made the luxurious Ali`i Tower even more exclusive with it's own "hotel within a hotel" facilities like a private pool and concierge. Everyone else will have to wait in long lines and suffer timeshare sales pitches, plus pay a daily resort fee. 

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