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“Truly a gem”

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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Ranked #5 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Macungie, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Truly a gem”
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Our family of 4 (children 12 and 9) stayed at The Kahala Hotel and Resort during Thanksgiving week for 7 nights and had a wonderful time. Just about everything exceeded our expectations. Our room was a spacious mountain-view room, with tub, shower, and “his and hers” sinks and closets…and immaculate! Some of the niceties on our arrival included cookies with ‘Aloha’ written on the top one, a stuffed dolphin on the bed for my daughter, and a cd of Hawaiian music playing as we walked in to our room.
What really made this hotel exceptional, though, was the staff. Everyone we encountered was friendly, knowledgeable and polite. The concierges, maids, and all of the staff made us feel welcome and made our stay as enjoyable as possible. Our maid and some of the restaurant staff called us by name. When one of the waitresses heard that we were disappointed that there was no more acai sorbet at the breakfast buffet, she brought us 4 fresh ones just a few minutes later. The concierge was so nice to take many pictures of our family in front of their beautiful Christmas decorations. The pool service catered to our special request of a real coconut with straw and spoons. I could go on.
The pool was great for both children. My daughter, who is 4 feet tall and gets cold easily, loved that she could stand in parts of it and it was heated. The dolphins, turtle and sting rays were all fun to watch in between swims. While the pool is a little small, we were always able to get two lounge chairs together.
The Plumeria breakfast buffet was exceptional, with the usual buffet breakfast choices as well as Japanese fare, cold coconut tapioca soup, acai sorbet, made to order omelets, fresh papaya, coconut syrup for waffles, among others. There is inside and outside seating, and the sunrises there are just beautiful.
Although the hotel is in a secluded area where one needs a car or taxi, it was not too far from shopping or some Oahu attractions. In addition to it being close to Waikiki, The Kahala Mall is approximately 2 miles away. It has a Whole Foods grocery store and a pharmacy, so we could easily buy some snacks and drinks to fill our non-stocked refrigerator. We also found some less expensive restaurants there. Diamond Head is just a couple of miles down Kahala Avenue, and Hanauma Bay is about 15 minutes away. We rented snorkeling equipment from the hotel to use at Hanauma Bay, and it was good quality.
I took a sunset paddleboard yoga class through their fitness center that was just amazing. It was just me and the instructor, Daniel. Having never been on a paddleboard, I was a little nervous about falling off, but never did. The yoga instruction was perfect for an evening workout, and the sunset was beautiful.
We enjoyed the beach, too. We rented a paddleboard a couple of times; no lesson was necessary. We enjoyed the calmness of the bay and swimming out to their anchored dock.
Our family would definitely recommend this hotel to others, and we hope to come back one day. It is truly a gem.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CarolynC869
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Kahala_Hotel, Public Relations Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 4 December 2013
Aloha CarolynC869~• Thank you ever so much for your very kind words about our resort. We are so pleased that you found The Kahala Hotel & Resort to be the perfect place to vacation, in an excellent location and that can't think of a single complaint. We appreciate you taking the time to share such lovely feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
With warmest aloha, The Kahala Hotel & Resort Team
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2,653 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

I've stayed at the Kahala twice previously and in the interest of full disclosure I'm going to be staying there again this year. Very candidly, just being honest here, I’ve never written a hotel review before and I’m doing so now in the hope the management reads this review and takes the necessary steps to make sure my family has an enjoyable stay - they can feel free to reach out to me directly ahead of time if they like. You see, this place frustrates me to no end because it has such amazing potential…and it just doesn’t quite meet it. Look, I totally get the laid back, tropical life style/attitude but there is a lot of mismanagement and laziness…

PROS:
Pretty kid friendly
Nice staff (generally speaking)
Some great good on-site restaurants
Safe and secure location
Wonderful breakfast buffet
Pretty good fitness center
Decorated beautifully
Some rooms have amazing views
Friendly/fast valets

CONS:
Poor quality food choices/options when ordering at the beach or pool
For these prices and 5 star rating you would expect better care when booking cabanas/beach chairs
Our hotel rooms were located all over the hotel and not close together
Some rooms have a view of the parking lot
The pool area is bananas – there are kids screaming everywhere and it is surely exceeding the limits
The front desk staff always seems half asleep and/or confused
The first room they gave us had a metal ladder and tools haphazardly throw around in it as they were in the process of repairing something.
Another guest already occupied the second room they gave us - we scared the hell out of that guy.
The staff didn’t seem shocked that they gave us rooms with tools and guests in it already.
No hotel supervised transportation to/from the airport.

NEITHER PRO NOR CON:
The staff calls you by name. This is cool but not necessary – I wish they put this much effort into making the experience better.
There is a dolphin lagoon – Cool for the kids but seems rather cruel in many ways.

CONCLUSION:
I really like the Kahala. I really do. But I don't love it. I could if they would take the simple yet necessary steps to ensure thet the price paid commensurates with the experience. Stay tuned for a follow up because I'll let you know how my upcoming trip works out.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank WILLIAM K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Kahala_Hotel, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Aloha William K.~

I want to thank you for your feedback from your 2012 Holiday stay with us that you posted on Dec 2nd, 2013. We are a family friendly resort, and we welcome the many families that keep returning to enjoy the beauty of the Kahala over the Holidays. We are proud of our legacy as an elegant and luxurious Resort providing exceptional service to all our guests. I welcome you to contact me to discuss the other issues you describe from 11 months ago, so we are able to exceed your expectations for your upcoming family Holiday vacation with us again.

Mahalo. Carmine Iommazzo. Phone 808-739-8888.
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San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

Great location to be with teens. Wonderful and spacious beach, nice neighborhood away from the bustle of Waikiki. Easy 15 minute drive into Waikiki for great dining and shopping. Also 15 minutes away from fun outdoor activities, snorkeling, hiking, parasailing, etc. Breakfast buffet every morning is a great way to start the day, so much food options we skipped lunch. Everyone at hotel very friendly and service oriented. It was a very relaxing week. Only drawback is hotel is a bit tired and expensive but if you can ignore these flaws you will not regret staying there. (Expensive in that it is priced as a Four Seasons but not in same condition, for example our lanai chairs did not match, bathroom was tired, etc.)

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FastenYourSeatbelts2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Kahala_Hotel, Public Relations Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Aloha FastenYourSeatbelt~Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us. It is so good to hear that over all you enjoyed your stay. However we are very sorry to hear that you felt our resort is tired. To hear that your lanai chairs did not match is not our usual luxury standard. We sincerely apologize for the incident and have informed our teams, so that this will not occur in the future. Again we thank you for your valuable input and we look forward to welcoming you back again! Mahalo from all of us at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
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Seattle, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 December 2013

This was our 4th visit in the last 5 years (during Thanksgiving), 2nd time in a suite, and I believe the service has improved, esp around the pool and beach area. The staff have clearly made an effort to remember your names and preferences for cabana locations on the beach and at poolside. While some of the lunch food choices have disappeared some new ones are remarkable including the grilled fish sandwich and Hawaiian drinks at the seaside grill and Plumeria bar. Plumeria House also served us a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner buffet and has some additional dinner offerings and a curry lunch on Wed. While on vacation having access to good quality food and beverage onsite is clearly a draw for us and many of the other repeat guests. I only wish the Japanese restaurant did not leave. It has been replaced by an Italian restaurant which we did not try on this visit. My visits to the spa were exceptional esp the 1 hr deep tissue and the 30 min lomi lomi foot massage.
They have a shuttle which we utilized several times to visit Waikiki for some offsite dinners and shopping. This is a very good resort for families with young children who love to see the dolphins, turtles and stingrays next to the pool and want a calm beach that is on the same level as the pool and seaside grill.

Room Tip: The suite amenity program is a great value.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pamela K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Kahala_Hotel, Public Relations Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Aloha Pamela K~ We greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us and for choosing to stay with us over the years. It is our goal to deliver the best service to our guests and to hear that our guests are noticing the improvements we have been making is so rewarding. I will definitely share all your wonderful comments with our teams as there is no better motivator than a job well done. Mahalo and we look forward to welcoming you back again! Warmest Aloha from all of us at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We went to this hotel for our 25 wedding anniversary and we were not disappointed. On our arrival we were treated to a bottle of champagne-a lovely touch.
All the staff try to get to know you by name which is a nice touch.
The rooms are large, comfortable and the views are wonderful. we had a partial sea view room which was just great.
The resort is nice and quiet and relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of waikiki-you can even walk to the Kahala shopping mall down the road if you dont feel like going into Waikiki.
The dolphin experience was my personal highlight-the team there were excellent and the dolphin experience although expensive is well worth it.
What makes this resort so special is how staff and other customers treat you-with respect and thoughtfullness-when we were there an A list movie star was staying there, no one bothered him for autographs or photos and this says alot about the resort.
I cannot wait to return one day.

Room Tip: if you want a sea view then you will get better value for money choosing a partial sea view room wit...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Darren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Kahala_Hotel, Public Relations Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 2 December 2013
Aloha Darren S~ Congratulations on celebrating 25 wonderful years of marriage! We are thrilled to hear that your stay was exceptional and that you enjoyed your dolphin encounter. Thank you for your loyalty to our resort and for taking the time to write such wonderful words about your stay with us. We can't wait to welcome you back again! With many thanks and aloha from all of us at the Kahala Hotel & Resort.
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We spent one night at Kahala before departing for home after five days on the Big Island. It was a really indulgent treat to stay here. Our room, 1209, was in the dolphin wing overlooking the dolphin's pool. We spent so much time on our balcony watching them swim around and play, we didn't want to leave our room. We did make it to the beach and enjoyed a late lunch and cocktail on the chaise lounges. Really a heavenly, carefree experience as the beachfront and pool areas are gorgeous without the maddening crowds experienced elsewhere. Breakfast the next morning at Plumeria is delightful, right on the beachfront. At the Kahala, quality of service and accommodations are exceptional compared to everything else on Oahu. We cannot wait to return next Thanksgiving!

Room Tip: Rooms in the Dolphin Wing are worth the price. Amazingly close proximity to these beautiful creature...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ImLivingMyDream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Kahala_Hotel, Public Relations Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 2 December 2013
Aloha ImLivingMyDream~We are so happy to hear your stay in Hawaii was perfect. And thank you for taking the time to sharing your experience with us. It is always nice to hear you enjoyed watching the dolphins and that your accommodations were simply exceptional. We look forward to welcoming you back for your next stay! Warmest Aloha from all of us at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
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Chapel Hill, NC
Level Contributor
50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

The Kahala Hotel and Resort is great for families and romantic getaways, and is a good hotel for business travelers too.

There are several onsite restaurants, although only a couple of them serve diners in "casual" wear. This hotel has a very formal feel to it. That being said, the beachfront Plumeria restaurant onsite is a great place to enjoy a sunrise breakfast or a sunset dinner. The setting, just yards from the beach and with a view of Koko Crater, couldn't be more beautiful.

The hotel is in a upscale neighborhood, walking distance to Kahala Mall. It is advisable to have a car when staying here or plan to hire a taxi or car service because this hotel is slightly off the beaten path, though only a few miles from Waikiki. The hotel has an in-house taxi drivers as well (I really enjoyed riding around Oahu with Doug, a driver who is also a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack and who seems to love to share his knowledge about Hawaii with guests).

The rooms were nicely decorated, however the were minus some of the niceties that might be found at other resort hotels (i.e. no TV embedded in the bathroom mirror or other such things here).

The facilities of the hotel were wonderful although, again, the swimming pool wasn't nearly as fancy as some of the "free form" pools available at other resorts. However, the no frills pool is right next to the on-site dolphin and sea turtle ponds where, for a fee, you can swim with dolphins. Hard to beat.

And the beach, though small and with a very close in reef, is a good place to go for a convenient dip in the ocean or to learn how to snorkel or paddle board. Rental equipment is available right on the beach.

Overall, I don't see how you could go wrong by staying at the Kahala Hotel, as long as you can stand looking at your credit card bill afterwards.

Room Tip: Lanai rooms with golf course view also have a beautiful view of Honolulu and the mountains, and some...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank teefisch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Kahala_Hotel, Public Relations Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 29 November 2013
Aloha teefisch~Thank you for your very kind compliments. It is so good to hear that you enjoyed your stay and found everything from dining to dolphins to our rooms to be wonderful. Until your next visit, we can't wait to welcome you back again! With many thanks and aloha from all of us at the Kahala Hotel & Resort.
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Additional Information about The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Property: The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Address: 5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816-5411
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#6 Family Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Kahala Hotel & Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 338
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kahala Hotel & Resort is Hawaii's reigning luxury resort, set on a secluded beach just ten minutes from the world class shopping and entertainment of Waikiki. This legendary hideaway resort in Honolulu's plush Kahala district is a favorite with presidents, international royalty and celebrities. From the moment you arrive, you will know that you are truly somewhere special. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Kahala Hotel And Resort
The Kahala Hotel Honolulu
Kahala Resort Honolulu
Kahala Hotel Honolulu
Mandarin Oriental Oahu
Kahala Hotel & Resort
Kahala Mandarin Oriental
The Kahala Hotel & Resort Hawaii/Honolulu

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