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“Heaven in Paradise.”
Review of Halekulani Hotel

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Halekulani Hotel
Ranked #9 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Heaven in Paradise.”
Reviewed 23 April 2012

You can't beat the attentive yet inscrutable service of this famed resort on Waikiki.
From checking in with the flower- leid desk staff, to your in-room welcome you are in for a treat.
The staff know your name and use it with an authenticity not found in most hotels. Whether you are a first time visitor or returning to Hawaii for your 100th visit expect a warm and caring experience.
The location is a wall oasis in the center of commercial Waikiki, once you return across the threshold and welcomed with fresh, cold pineapple juice expect wonderful views of Waikiki beach, a choice of restaurants with excellently prepared cusines, trade winds and the sounds of Hawaiian music on warm, tropical breezes. Welcome to Heaven.

Room Tip: South facing rooms have best views of Diamond Head. Pool is large with close access to beach if you...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Peripatetic64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Hartford, CT
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This hotel makes the big city feel of Honolulu go away. Wanted the best on this trip and this was it.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank pebblebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Honolulu, Hi
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Absolutely nothing bad to say. If you've got the dough, stay here. If you dont, find a way to get the dough so you can stay here. Worth every penny.

We had our wedding here, and we were very surprised that it wasnt overpriced because the hotel itself is very expensive. Wedding packages were so affordable compared to other not-as-special hotels in the area. We had a relatively small party, less than 80 people, and we were so extremely pleased with the staff during the planning and especially on the day of. Extremely organized and smiles all day long. The amazing food is still being raved about by guests even two months after the wedding. Beautiful and calm setting in the middle of the very busy Waikiki.

You will not regret staying here or having your event here. I promise!!!

Room Tip: All rooms are amazing, just stay here!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank KittyKat7676
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Leandro,California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 April 2012

what an introduction to hawaii!! the fabulous lunch under the Banyan tree on Wakiki after coming directly from the airport!. My familiy & I stayed in the cottage v O Mainland Overlooking the spot wwhere the music And songs were being broadcast on the " hawaii Calls" prgram to the Mainland right next to "the House with out a key. I would go downstairs and go inthe ocean on the beach as soon as I woke up the next morning. It was a fairy tale place which we wll never experience again because the old hotel & grounds don't exist as they were any more and we can't AFFORD IT NOW. truly one of mygreat life experiences and one of the best things I have done for my wife daughter!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
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1 Thank Charles G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beverly Hills, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2012

My husband and I love spending time on Oahu and in Waikiki. There is something special about staying at the Halekulani. The rooms are fantastic and service always lives up to our expectations.
I enjoy the rooms overlooking the ocean. We have stayed at the Haelkulani hotel many times over the years and we are always a happy guest.
This year we spent time on Oahu and on the Big Island at the Four Seasons and at Volcano Village Lodge.
What we like most about the Halekulani is service, location and comfort in the middle of everything.
Thank you Halekulani for another fantastic stay!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MSAdmiralDavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012

We choose Halekulani since my wife stayed there 10 years ago and mentioned it was the best hotel at that time and was bit concerned whether they will have same standards now, whether it will be too old of a property. But I have to say after staying at Halekulani for 5 nights and looking at the other hotels nearby, this is still the best hotel in Waikiki, hands down.

We have stayed in some nice hotels around the world and Halekulani service was second to none. Knowing how big the hotel is and how many rooms they have, I could not comprehend how they can maintain such a high level of service for all guests. I was genuinely impressed by the service staff and the overall service at the hotel.

Reception/Check-in staff was courteous, attentive and warm. Service staff at the hotel entrance was equally courteous and always looking to help. Staff at the restaurants/pool area/ souvenir shop/security staff all were impressive and always with a smile. I went for a run one morning and got back and the security staff came over and asked how was the run and chatted for 5 mins giving me recommendation on running paths for the next day. Now thats attention to detail. We spent 4 nights first and left for Maui and returned back to Halekulani after 5 days and all the staff remembered us and welcomed us back to the hotel. Very impressive service standards.

We stayed in two different categories of room in our stay, once in the Oceanfront room and the second time in the Diamond head view room. Both were nice with some great views of the beach and very elegantly done. I think elegant touch is the touch they are going for and they have got it right. The rooms were comfortable, decent sized for a resort hotel with nice amenities. The evening turn down service present was a nice touch.

Location of the hotel is prime, beautiful ocean view all around with nice gardens surrounding the hotel. It's close proximity to shopping areas, ABC store, starbucks all makes up for convenient location. Beach in front of the hotel is not big, but the pool area is lovely and makes it up for it.

We had dinner twice at Orchids and all the dishes we tried were very nice and they seem to use local produce to a large extent and that is reflected in the fresh taste. Service again at the restaurant was top notch. We tried the famous Halekulani Sunday brunch and that was a real gastronomic treat.

Overall this is a great hotel and we would not look elsewhere for our next trip.

Room Tip: Book via Amex FHR, comes with great benefits.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank global_traveller112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amarillo, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012

It's been almost a year since we stayed here, and I contemplated the decision to write a review, but I decided it might help somebody out there make en educated decision about where to stay in Waikiki.

My fiance and I stayed at the Halekulani for four nights/five days in June 2011. It was our five year anniversary and we decided to take a short getaway to Hawaii to celebrate. My fiance chose the Halekulani hotel for us and, after looking at the beautiful pictures and reading spectacular reviews, I decided it was an amazing choice.

We chose an ocean view room to stay in (it's Hawaii...who wants the garden view?) and were super excited to say the very least. We paid around $600 a night, but after looking at pictures and reading the reviews, we decided it was well worth it (this is a great deal of money to us, lol, considering we mostly stay at La Quinta and Holiday Inn types). We also had saved up about a thousand bucks for spending cash..

We arrived in Hawaii after an exhausting eight hour flight. We rode the shuttle bus to the hotel and on our way there we saw our first Hawaii rainbow! Silly, I know, but I loved it. There was a "tour guide" of sorts on the shuttle who pointed out a few things on the way. We finally arrived at the hotel about 25-30 minutes later (if you can afford it, I would arrange for private transportation to the hotel so you don't have to stop at EVERY hotel on the way to drop people off - it gets annoying after the second hotel). When we pulled up, I noticed how relaxed and open everything was - it was nice.

Now, this is where things started to go downhill, and really set the tone for the rest of our vacation. Remember, we had never stayed in anything remotely as "luxurious" or "grand" as this hotel. At the front desk, they asked for a credit card. I didn't know what they needed it for so I asked if it needed to be the same one we booked the hotel with and they said no. We didn't bring any credit cards with us so as to keep us from overspending - which is easy to do on vacation. I gave them my debit card from our Hawaii spending account which had $1000 on it - it's all we had brought (our bad!). They swipe it - I'm assuming it must be needed for damages to the room or security or whatever. We get up to the room, they do the final check-in, and then they leave. My fiance decided to check our account - not sure why - but as soon as he did, he asked me, "What's this $600 charge from the Halekulani?" I had no idea, but sure enough there was a pending charge from the Halekulani for $600. I called the front desk to ask what it was and they said it was a security deposit and when we checked out of the hotel the charge would drop off. Well that would be fantastic if we had used an actual credit card instead of our debit card. There was a hold placed on 600 bucks of our spending money. So bottom line, we only had $400 left. DO NOT USE A DEBIT CARD FOR THE SECURITY DEPOSIT IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON USING THAT MONEY WHILE YOU ARE STAYING AT THE HOTEL. This was definitely our fault, but we still had no idea they charged that kind of deposit and were caught off guard. Fancy hotel lesson learned the hard way..ugh. Over half of our money was gone, so to speak, and we hadn't even been there 2 hours!

There was fresh fruit waiting on us which my fiance at ALL of while I was in the shower (I still can't believe he did that). There has been a lot of humbug about the rooms on this site and well, it's all true. The rooms do look very outdated. For how much they charge you per night, you expect something special about the rooms, but it's about the size of your average hotel room, and the amenities are very UNDER-average for the price. There is absolutely nothing special about the room or the bathroom. I give the rooms a 4/10. Our room was clean though and didn't have a musty odor like some other reviewers. The bed was clean and comfortable also and we had a fantastic view of the hotel pool and the ocean.

The first morning we went to the hotel beach. Incredibly disappointing. It was TINY, I'm serious, TINY. Very few loungers (like 8) and just the tiniest spot of beach I'd ever seen. I give the beach a 2/10. I had a nice time watching my fiance though because he'd never been in the ocean before and was having a great time.

Over the course of the next few days, our experience with this hotel was "just okay." I didn't find anything special about it. Everything was over-priced (a bagel with cream cheese for seven bucks?! And a pitcher of ice tea for $23?! Are they being serious right now?). We had room service quite a bit because we could use that $600 that they had a hold on. We had the Traditional Japanese breakfast the first morning. It was fresh fish with rice and miso soup and some other odds and ends. It was pretty good, and the presentation was excellent. Room service was very expensive though (see bagel and ice tea above). We ate breakfast at House Without a Key one day and it was 30 bucks per person..for breakfast..60 bucks for breakfast..ridiculous and average. We had reservations at Orchids the last night of our vacation and we got the fish for two plate. It was expensive and average. We didn't dine at La Mer - their premiere restaurant - but I felt like it was going to be average as well.

HOWEVER, The Lewer's Lounge was one of our favorite parts of our vacation. It had such a great atmosphere and wonderful drinks and service. We went there twice and loved it both times. The waiters and waitresses were very attentive when they needed to be and no one bothered you. They had comfortable couches to sit on and we just chatted and drank - it was perfect.

We didn't do very much while we were there because we didn't have access to our money, but we had prepaid for a few things. We did the Star of Honolulu dinner cruise. There was a steak and lobster dinner and it was a WHOLE lobster with EYES! Yikes! I let my fiance eat both of our lobsters haha. It was kinda cheesy and there were some stupid drunk people on the boat but we got some great pictures. We also did The Royal Hawaiian Luau. If I could have a redo, I would have chosen a different luau. It was kinda boring and the food was so-so. Plus it was at the Royal Hawaiian hotel in their "backyard" which bordered the beach area so everyone on the beach stayed and watched the entire show for FREE and we paid $150 per person for it. Granted they didn't get any food or drinks from the open bar but it was still irritating. They should block off that section of the beach or figure out something to prevent people from doing that. We got a few good pictures there.

So all in all - it was an average and sometimes disappointing vacation. Our view was a little skewered from the beginning, but I think even if we had all the money in the world, this hotel STILL wouldn't have been up to par for me considering we paid over two grand for just the hotel. Average rooms, overly expensive restaurants and room service for somewhat average food and drink (with the exception of The Lewer's Lounge), tiny beach..eh. So like the title of my review..this hotel is okay. Not great, not terrible, but just okay - average.

I would love to go back and get a do-over. I would not stay in Waikiki and would definitely not stay at the Halekulani. I would probably stay at Turtle Bay if I had to stay on Oahu, but when we go back, we have already decided we are staying at the Four Seasons on Maui. Can't wait!! Sorry the review is so long - if you stayed and endured with me through the whole thing thank you! :)

Room Tip: Definitely get an ocean view room - it's nice waking up to the sounds of the ocean! And don'...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank AmAnDaToNy12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Halekulani Hotel

Property: Halekulani Hotel
Address: 2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1988
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#5 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#6 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Halekulani Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 453
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Halekulani has been hosting visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years. Today its reputation for gracious hospitality, impeccable service and magnificent cuisine is unequaled on Oahu and renowned, throughout the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Halekulani Hotel Honolulu, Hawaii

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