The Kahala Hotel & Resort
- What's Included
We are a family of five, with a 17, 13 and 10 year old. We were at the Kahala for three nights over Christmas, after spending a week on the Big Island at the Mauna Kea. In this review, I will provide some thoughts not only about the Kahala, but also that contrast the Kahala with the Mauna Kea to provide some comparison between two of Hawaii’s classic resorts. The Kahala, as most know, is well situated in an upscale residential neighborhood about a 10-15 minute drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown Honolulu. The hotel is tall and built in 1960s style. Clearly the Kahala is very popular with Japanese travelers, as compared with the Mauna Kea which has a guest base that appears more drawn from the US mainland. The lobby area is really beautiful, and the hotel has some nice upscale shops on the main floor. The rooms are very spacious and are gorgeous. We had two rooms – the kids’ room faced the mountains. Ours had a spectacular full-on ocean view with a lanai. Both rooms were very large, with a sitting area and flat screen TVs. The bathrooms are huge, with two separate vanities, an enclosed toilet (heated seat) area, and a separate bath and shower area. The ceilings are high. The rooms are generally really beautiful and updated. In short, the physical space – both the main floor and rooms – was terrific. The physical space of the hotel structure is more upscale than the Mauna Kea, although less spread out. The beach is located within a cove and has no waves due to a coral reef that shelters the beach area. This makes for good swimming and paddle boarding, but no ability to boogey board or body surf. The beach itself is fairly long, although not very deep. The sand was fairly compacted (as compared with the Mauna Kea beach), and almost gives the appearance of a man-made beach. All in all, the beach area was fine, although as noted we were spoiled from having spent 5 nights at the Mauna Kea, where the beach is about as good as it gets. Perhaps the beach scene did not seem as active as one would imagine due to the weather. On the days we were there, the wind was strong in the afternoons, and at times brought moisture (drizzle) from the mountain behind the resort. In general, the weather in late December was much spottier at the Kahala than it was at the Mauna Kea, and the beach/pool area is not nearly as sheltered from the wind as we would have liked. The pool area felt pretty cramped. There is one kidney/oval pool and a Jacuzzi. As with the Mauna Kea, the pool and Jacuzzi are 1960s in design, certainly not the monster pools that newer resorts are building. At the Mauna Kea, it seemed to work better because the pool area was removed from the beach, and there was more physical space available so it felt less cramped. At the Kahala, the pool/beach area was pretty hectic (it was the high season). Much less tranquil than the Mauna Kea, which somehow manages to get through the high season without the resort feeling too full. There is a dolphin lagoon winding through the pool area. It was nice to see the dolphins, although we were of mixed feelings about the whole captive dolphin idea.We ate at the nice restaurant (Arancino), which was very good, and expensive. We also ate at the Plumeria Beach House, on the beach level, which was fine (other than a ridiculously overpriced buffet on Christmas eve, which might have been okay except for the loud children and babies that were packed into the restaurant.) The breakfast scene at Plumeria was largely hectic – one generally had to wait (although not too long) for a table, and the atmosphere was pretty loud. By contrast, the breakfast experience at the Mauna Kea (Manta restaurant), was more laid back. The staff were all lovely – we enjoyed all our interactions. My only gripe was that the concierge was not terribly helpful in helping us plan out our Pearl Harbor visit – did not seem to have a grasp on when we should leave, given our reservation time, how long the various attractions would take, and how to piece together the various aspects of Pearl Harbor (the Arizona memorial, the Missouri, the Bowfin, etc). I felt they should have the Pearl Harbor thing down, since many guests (like us) are there largely to visit Pearl Harbor. We did take a great trip to the north shore where we watched the surfers at the banzai pipeline (spectacular!) and stopped by one of the killer garlic shrimp stands, which we enjoyed more than the $85/person Christmas eve buffet! In closing, don’t get me wrong – we enjoyed our visit to the Kahala. It is a lovely hotel, and we would come again if visiting Oahu. It’s just that the Mauna Kea was a really difficult act to follow. While the Kahala is a very good hotel, it cannot compete, in my view, with some of the more tranquil, spread out resorts elsewhere on the various islands, but maybe it is unfair comparing a Honolulu resort to a resort on a different island. Certainly the Kahala compares well to other Honolulu resorts, most of which are on Waikiki and are probably even more hectic in feel.
This was our first visit to The Kahala, the last time we visited we stayed at the Halekalani however this time we wanted to be away from Waikiki Beach. We booked dolphin rooms - a two storey wing of the hotel. We loved our rooms. With large balconies each morning and evening we would watch the dolphins being fed and exercised and the beach was just 2 minutes from our rooms. There is a nice pool with a jacuzzi - good and hot but to be fair we spent most of the time on the beach going for walks and swimming in the sea. There is a breakwater so the waves aren't massive and fine for swimming. We didn't eat breakfast at the hotel as being over Christmas they were charging $50 per person + + and with 4 of us it would have been very expensive especially because of the terrible rate us Brits are now getting. However, there was a Wholefoods and Longs in the nearby Mall (approx 10 mins walk) and we were able to buy cereals, milk, yogurts and pastries which we put in the fridge provided. We will definitely return to the hotel one day.
This was our third stay at the Kahala and it never disappoints. We got married there four years ago and were amazed by the staff work ethic and how they made our day so memorable. They have maintained this level of service throughout our stays and it is always lovely to catch up with Grace who did and amazing job with our wedding. Also appreciate Carlos's help on the front desk during two of our three stays. We were heading out very early the day we left and he was able to organise us room service for breakfast as the buffet would not have been open in time.The buffet breakfast and dinners were always amazing with a large variety of options that covered whatever you may have felt like. Also find their free shuttle service very helpful as you are about 20 minutes away from Waikiki. They make regular drop offs and pick ups at Waikiki, Ala Moana and the Kahala mall which has a really good Whole Foods.Cleaning was impeccable and there was a morning service as well as an evening turn down service. The rooms themselves were a good size to fit two big open cases and still move around with ease. The beds are one of the comfiest we've slept in and the the room in general is beautifully decorated. Bathrooms are very nice with the addition of the heated bidet seat. Did notice that there might need to be a little bit of work done to the paint work in there as it was not up to the Kahala's usual standards. We stayed in a dolphin lanai room for the first time this stay and absolutely loved it. Can quite easily waste a day watching the dolphins pop out of the water to say hi to you or watch the trainers do their work with them.Loved relaxing in the grand lobby and if you are ever going to the Kahala around Christmas time you are in for a treat - their Christmas tree is amazing! Am wondering if Evan who did the floral arrangements for our wedding dressed the tree. Where they find a real tree that perfect and beautiful I've got no idea!Had a nice massage at the Kahala Spa however do feel the pricing is too expensive for what they are offering. Used the fitness centre most mornings which is well set up but could do with much better yoga mats.The beach is beautiful at the Kahala, great for swimming and cooling off but not sure why there weren't umbrellas available for the loungers as we didn't want to get a cabana or covered seat which was offered instead.
Recently had a 2 day stay at the Kahala as a treat to myself for my 60th and I really loved it. The foyer area was grand and open with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree standing tall and proud in the lobby as you entered. Also other beautiful Christmas decorations adorned the hotel as well with more Christmas decorations and trees downstairs. Our room was huge and overlooked the golf course. The bathroom was also big with 2 basins which worked well - 1 for each of us. Our room was spotless and well appointed. Had breakfast each morning down in the Plumeria Beach House restaurant and it was a lovely spot, with sea views and a very good selection of foods for a buffet breakfast. The staff were very efficient and pleasant and you could not fault the service. If it wasn't so pricey I would stay there again. So I'm really glad I ticked it off the bucket list and to top it off we arrived in a stretch limo (just happened to be in the taxi rank when we arrived at airport). I couldn't fault it. Unfortunately the weather for those 2 days wasn't beach weather, however, we managed to fill in our time with a pedicure at the spa and some shopping over at the Kahala Mall. It was also really nice to get some peace and quiet before heading down to Waikiki for some action and serious shopping. Thank you again for a most memorable stay.
Traveling from Australia to New Orleans for the holidays with a almost 2 year old toddler is no easy task, but we always look forward to our Kahala break on the way back home. From housekeeping staff who seem to always know when exactly to clean our room (the early turn downs are much apreciated) to exceptional Bell and Valet staff (our car was always out front before we could walk up - we never had to wait) - the Kahala makes the stay experience so easy. I also wanted to give a special thank you to James at the front desk. Our little guy loved him from the moment he handed over the stuffed dolphin. Every time we would pass the front desk he would be looking for James and run up and give him a high five. I traveled to the Kahala back when it was a Mandarin Oriental, and remember the turn down housekeeper bringing my little brother golden books to read for bedtime. It is is no nice to see that this same level of service continues years later. Kudos to the entire team for an exceptional stay with service that is orchestrated to perfection. We look forward to staying again when next we transit to and from the US!
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- 5 a la carte restaurants ( Grill, Japanese )
- 1 pool
- Four private pool cabanas available by reservation
- Fitness Centre
- Gift shop
- Meeting facilities
- Business centre
- Internet access
- Introductory Surfing lessons
- Keiki ClubHawaiian culture classes
- Designer shopping arcade
- 2 double beds or 1 king-size bed
- 1 full bathroom
- Air conditioning
- LCD Flat Screen Television
- Coffee maker
- Desk and chair
- Maximum occupancy of 4
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.
Resort Location Map
The Kahala Hotel & ResortHonolulu,United States
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816-5411
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
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