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All reviews the dolphin lagoon plumeria beach house seaside grill private beach arancino pacific dream photography dolphin experience plumeria restaurant lanai room koko head breakfast buffet four seasons our honeymoon turn down service free shuttle shuttle service busy waikiki
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Reviewed May 22, 2016

We stayed at the Resort about five years ago in a "Scenic View" room, the lowest price category. The room was large and the view was pleasant, overlooking the golf course looking toward the mountains.

This time, traveling with our college student daughter and my mother, we booked a Scenic View room AND a dolphin lagoon room. My mother and daughter gor a room on the second floor of the dolphin lagoon wing with killer views of both the dolphin habitat AND the ocean beyond. The Resort kindly gave us a room only a few doors down the hall; it was apparently still in the Scenic View category but we had a beautiful golf course view and, stepping out onto our micro-balcony (not really a lanai but just big enough to stand outside), you could make out an ocean view in the distance. See the photos below to get a sense of the views we had in each room.

Both rooms were quite large and very comfortable, with extra chairs, a desk, separate tub and shower, dual sinks, dual closets, fridge and coffee maker.

The dolphin lagoon room proved to be a huge hit with both my daughter and mother. They spent hours sitting on the large lanai and watching the dolphins. They could see the dolphins, trainers and guests sometimes participating in one of the "dolphin encounters." But they also just watched the dolphins swim lazily around, be fed and groomed, etc. Literally, hours of amusement.

The staff was amazing as always. Every one of them had a cheerful and helpful attitude. We pre-purchased full breakfasts at Plumeria every morning, as this was a highlight of our last stay at the Resort. I consider the breakfast buffet there to be one of the best such buffets I've ever eaten at, with full American-style and Japanese-style offerings, including omelette station, wonderful tropical fruit selections, island specialties such as macadamia nut pancakes, Okinawan taro/tapioca soup, etc. And virtually every table has the most beautiful and relaxing ocean view.

The Kahala is definitely pricey but get on their email list for the regular specials they offer. If you are able to plan ahead, they offer packages with percentage-off discounts and breakfast included. We also took advantage of the senior discount since my mother was one of the guests this time.

Final bonus tip: when we checked in, we were handed a card that mentioned a professional photography company called Pacific Dream was offering a beach portrait session with no sitting fee. Even though we were not prepared for formal portraits (our outfits did not match color-wise), we went ahead and scheduled an appointment for the next day at sunset. Our photographer Julia was such a delight to work with, really putting all of us at ease. She took us to a few different spots within an easy walk from the main building and patiently shot a couple hundred images in every combination of the four of us. She even snuck in some videos and candid shots without our awareness. The next morning, we had our viewing appointment. No hard sell at all, but after seeing the absolutely gorgeous images she captured of us, we ended up buying a package. We will treasure these photos as a wonderful keepsake of our Hawaiian vacation. We can't say enough good things about Pacific Dream and Julia. You should really take advantage of the free session offered and consider packing some color-coordinated outfits. But even if you were not expecting to sit for formal portraits, the stunning ocean and tropical backdrops, together with professional photography, can make anyone look good.

Room Tip: Dolphin lagoon 2nd floor rooms offer better views of the dolphins (from above). Some of the rooms have both dolphins AND ocean view
  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank traveldan21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KahalaHotelResort, Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2016

Mahalo for choosing The Kahala Hotel & Resort for your recent visit to Oahu. We are so delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay. Our resort is known for the impeccable service that we provide and we are so pleased to hear that our staff delivered that to you. The location is unique and the only resort on Oahu with resident dolphins. We are delighted you were able to enjoy all the resort has to offer.

Mahalo again and we look forward to your next visit!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 18, 2016

Luxurious opulence, private stunning beach, unparalleled customer service, exemplary food. The rooms are spacious and we loved saying hello to the Dolphins every morning. Nothing is too much trouble for any of the staff. This is our third visit to this hotel and we will be back again next year.

Room Tip: Higher rooms have better views, but all rooms are lovely - ocean facing/lagoon/mountain & golf course.
  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Sukie48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KahalaHotelResort, Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2016

Mahalo for choosing The Kahala Hotel & Resort for your recent visit to Oahu. We are so delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay. Our resort is known for the impeccable service that we provide and we are so pleased to hear that our staff delivered that to you. The location is unique and the only resort on Oahu with resident dolphins. We are delighted you were able to enjoy all the resort has to offer.

Mahalo again and we look forward to your next visit!

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Reviewed May 18, 2016

Returning after 2 years one thing that hasn't change is the exceptional service and greeting at check in.

You really are made to feel welcome including the children.

The resort is very expensive especially for the suites, however the quality is exceptional.

There are many many positives about The Kahala including the location as you feel you could be anywhere with the convenience of being only 15 mins out of Waikiki.

Two years ago what we found disappointing was the buffet breakfast ie the lack of options and variety, and two years on it's just as disappointing but we were smart enough this time to not bother adding it.

Having been lucky enough to have warm beautiful weather for our 5 days it was odd to find the pool is heated and pumping hot water in al day, so it is like getting in a warm bath and far from refreshing.

The service through out the resort is exceptional other than the pool area. We would be asked if we wanted a menu to order food or drinks, then most times no one would come back and after 30 mins we'd simply go to the pool bar and place our order, which was a little disappointing.

It's also a shame 5 star resorts still allow people to come to the pool at 8am, place towels on half the chairs and then turn back up around 11am.

The rooms and immaculate and the cleaning team are wonderful.

The views from the ocean view suite are amazing as you would expect however we were towards the end of the building above the entrance to the hotel so constantly and into the evening you hear the loud beeping of the shuttle/bus reversing into it's parking spot which was annoying.

The Plumeria restaurant does a "wonder of the 7 seas" buffet on Friday and Saturday nights, as advertised in their lifts and online it's called the "the best of Kahala buffet. I was somewhat disappointing and certainly not worth the money.

As I said there are many positives and it's a great places for families, however it's a shame The Kahala isn't as good as the price tag demands it to be.

I think in 2017 we'll go elsewhere.

Room Tip: Request to be away from carpark/driveway
  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Scott M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KahalaHotelResort, Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2016

Mahalo for choosing The Kahala Hotel & Resort on your recent visit. We are so delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay. Our resort is known for the impeccable service that we provide and we are so pleased to hear that our staff delivered that to you. We really appreciate the areas for improvement that you listed. We have shared your comments with our management team and appreciate your feedback.

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Reviewed May 17, 2016 via mobile

Wonderful staff that was cheerful and well-trained. The Italian restaurant Arancino is amazing--unique and creative approach from drinks through appetizers, entrees, and desserts. One of the best hotel restaurants we have ever enjoyed. Breakfast buffet made everyone in the family happy. Luxurious rooms. Short drive to Waikiki.

Stayed: March 2016, travelled with family
Thank KayAloha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KahalaHotelResort, Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2016

Mahalo for choosing The Kahala Hotel & Resort for your recent visit to Oahu. We are so delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay. Our resort is known for the impeccable service that we provide and we are so pleased to hear that our staff delivered that to you. We are delighted you were able to enjoy our fine dining during your stay.

Mahalo again and we look forward to your next visit!

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Reviewed May 17, 2016 via mobile

If you are looking for a quiet oasis far from the crowds of Waikiki, this top flight hotel is for you! From the lei greeting to the chocolates and turn down service, the staff say this world renowned hotel know how to make you feel extra special. Worth every penny!

Stayed: April 2016, travelled on business
Thank LassenLassie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KahalaHotelResort, Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2016

Mahalo for choosing The Kahala Hotel & Resort for your recent visit to Oahu. We are so delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay. Our resort is known for the impeccable service that we provide and we are so pleased to hear that our staff delivered that to you. The location is unique and the only resort on Oahu with resident dolphins. We are delighted you were able to enjoy all the resort has to offer.

Mahalo again and we look forward to your next visit!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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