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“Peaceful and quiet with awesome views” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel

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The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
Ranked #29 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Christchurch, NZ
Level Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Peaceful and quiet with awesome views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2008

We were looking forward to some peace and quiet after spending 5 hectic nights with a group of over 100 people. At check in I asked for an upgrade from our Ocean View room (hoping for a Deluxe Ocean View) and we were given a Junior Suite (Room 318) without any hassle at all. Our room was on the same level as an open air garden in the centre of the hotel. A real unexpected surprise when we came out of the lift.

During check in we were invited to the Manager's cocktail happy hour for Mai Tais and Pupus. The manager Jean-Pierre (JP) made us feel very welcome and the Mai Tais went down rather well. We unpacked and went straight out for dinner. On our return we noticed just how loud the A/C was and there was no way either one of us could sleep with that racket. Also quite a bit of loud talking and laughter was coming from the floor below. I thought it was from the bar but Reception said the bar was empty at that time.

We were offered another room on the 8th floor (Room 810) which was much quieter and had a wrap around balcony with views back to Waikiki and over to Diamond Head. We were both quite grumpy and tired after having to pack up and move but we had our best night's sleep in 5 days. There was a small entrance way with a luggage closet containing the room safe. The bathroom was a little odd. One room contained the toilet and a shower over a bath and the hand basin was outside the bathroom next to the wardrobe. There was a Queen size bed in one room separated by sliding doors from the lounge area with a desk, couch and TV cabinet with mini fridge underneath. The view from the wrap around balcony was absolutely awesome. We slept with the drapes pulled back so we could look down toward the lights of Waikiki.

The beach out front of the hotel is fantastic and was never crowded. It was quite shaded first thing in the morning but it didn't take long for the sun to come over the buildings. There are towels and sand mats available at the Bell desk. The entrance to the beach is just to the right before the bar and there is a tap at the top of the ramp to wash off the sand before going back into the hotel. You can not get back in the door at the top of the ramp and have to walk down the side a bit.

Breakfast was awesome under the Hau Tree. So relaxing that we could have stayed there all day. Not much else in the way of dining options. The dinner menu had quite an Asian influence and there was also a Japanese restaurant on the 2nd floor. There is a small convenience store attached to the hotel but we just wandered back into Waikiki for dinner.

I was a little nervous during our walk back from town as there are a lot of homeless and 'strange' people in the park. There would be no way I would walk there alone at night. My husband had to look twice when he saw his first gay couple kissing but he got used to it very quickly so it wasn't an issue. I had forgotten to tell him it had the reputation as the gay end of Waikiki. No big deal.

Overall our stay at the New Otani was everything I expected it to be in terms of peace and quiet (eventually). I would definitely go back tomorrow given the chance.

  • Liked — Peaceful location and quiet beach
  • Disliked — Homeless people and crazies in next door park
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Fluffy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (244)
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English first
Buffalo, NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2008

Being our first time in Honolulu we were weary to try and find a place on our own. Our travel agent helped us with this one. We stayed five nights. The first room we were given was a shoe box. My agent said it was small but we never thought it would be as small as it was. It was an ocean front with a balcony and a king size bed but you literally had to inch around the bed because there was no room for anything else. Even the closet was small. There was no way that we could have even fit half our luggage in it. So we upgraded. The unfortunate part about that is that the only room available to us was an additional 120 a night. Ouch! We took it thinking something else would come available in the mean time. I believe that room was on the corner. It was definitely worth the extra money. It was beautiful. If you can afford it I would suggest staying in that room. By this time we had gotten our agent on the phone, thank goodness. They got us in a room about double the size of the first one for only 40 more a night. We loved it. The view was perfect and the size of the room was as well. If only we would have went with that one to begin with we would have been way better off and way less stressed. The service at this hotel was very good. They will do anything to try and get what you need. The restaurant down stairs was superb. The waiter was really nice and gave us a good tip on where to hike. He even got us a brochure for it. It was nice being away from all the hustle and bustle. But not too far. Every night we would walk through the park and down the strip and back. Or we would just walk along the ocean by Waikiki beach. And during the day all you had to do was walk out the door to get to the ocean. It was neat to see all of the early birds down by the shore doing their morning exercises. Over all I would recommend this place to anyone who asked. Staff was great and once we got into the right one the room was great too. Just make sure you check the size before booking to prevent a little stress.

  • Liked — Ocean front
  • Disliked — Rooms can be small
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nicki793
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
On the road
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2008

The Kaimana Beach Hotel is situated in the shadow of Diamond Head on Sans Souci Beach, and across from Kapi'olani Park. Incidentally, Kaimana is Hawaiian for diamond, and this hotel is definitely a gem. Built in the late-1940's on the site of the former McInerny Cottage, which was a tasteful Victorian design with an ocean lanai and wood railing under a distinctive hau tree whose shade was enjoyed by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The distinguished tree and wood railing have been integrated into today's Kaimana's dining treasure "The Hau Tree Lanai," an ideal venue for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's the most relaxing oceanfront restaurant in Honolulu. Renovated in the mid-60's, when the nine story tower was added, it has a retro look on the exterior, but an open, breezy lobby which imparts a tropical feel. No pool, but Sans Souci is a great beach, replete with local eye candy.

The Kaimana was acquired by the vaunted New Otani chain of Japan, which has thus far wisely kept the Hawaiian ambiance that insures it remains a standard amongst locals, both the native-born and kama'aina, for dining and receptions. For instance when returning from a morning jog around Kapi'olani Park under the port a chere I bumped into a law school schoolmate who was then serving as Lieutenant Governor.

Close to the Honolulu Zoo, away from the hustle and bustle of mainstream tourist strip, and located past the Aquarium and the World War I Memorial Natatorium, the Kaimana brackets the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. It's a short, but picturesque drive from the shops, cinemas, and restaurants of Kahala Mall.

Location is probably why the property imparts a club-like, but casual, air of exclusivity. New Otani has avoided the mistake of overdeveloping their site. While hardly bargain priced, its prices provide better value than Honolulu's two grande dames further up Kalakaua Avenue.

As a result there exists is a wide diversity of accommodations in the Kaimana's inventory. The corner suites are to die for, most of the junior suites are enviable, but they also have some rooms which afford hardly enough room in which to open one's suitcase.

The GM, Jean-Pierre Cercillieux, has a colorful leadership reputation that no doubt inspires his staff. On our recent stay we encountered a reservation glitch, and an Internet disconnect. In each case the staff quickly and cheerfully addressed each problem. However, we're still waiting to confirm if we received our WorldPerks bonus points.

Overall the location, view, beach, service, and food combine to make this gem at the foot of Diamond Head a "home away from home" to which the members our family enjoy returning.

  • Liked — The ambiance
  • Disliked — That's a real stretch, but no Jacuzzi.
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank GeorgeFarris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2008

This hotel was exactly what I wanted. It's at the far end of Waikiki with a marvelous swimming beach (Sans Souci) right out the door. Quiet, out of the busy part of Waikiki, but a 15-20 minute walk away if you're missing the action. I booked a Deluxe Ocean View room on Travelocity for $183 plus $43 taxes and fees. Before I checked in I made myself look very presentable, (business casual) and fresh (after a long 5 hour full plane flight crammed into a tiny coach seat) and had my cool new Tumi suit case and was given an upgrade to a junior suite. It was a great room with a small living room that had a sofa, desk and flat screen TV. There were sliding doors that separated the bedroom. Best of all there was a wrap-around balcony with views of Waikiki beach AND Diamond Head. There is a smaller building that is also part of the hotel and although some of the rooms ini this small back building have beach views, some look out onto the parking lot. I would really spend the extra money and get an ocean view in the main building. For the price of a dinner I had chosen to upgrade to a deluxe ocean front, and by luck was upgraded. The way the main building of the hotel is oriented it looks like most rooms have a view of either Diamond Head, the beach, or out to the ocean. The hotel has many Japanese guests and there are nice Japanese touches in the rooms, like kimonos and a tea service, including a small tea pot with matching cups.
I had breakfast at the hotel's outdoor Hale Tree restaurant but was not too impressed. Too much waiting, coffee not very good, kind of expensive but then again, I was right on the beach. I preferred the little shaved ice place downstairs where I got a great cup of coffee and a muffin for $4. We had dinner in the Miyako, the Japanese restaurant on the second floor. VERY Japanese and not for everyone. The sushi was very good, super fresh fish, delicious tempura. We were the only English-speaking Americans in the restaurant. It was $85 for 2.
Back to the hotel room, it was very clean, the bathroom was a bit dated (some fraying of the wallpaper in the bathroom, some unattractive grout in the bathroom, thin louvred bathroom door which could be a little awkward but then I'm kind of scrambling to say anything negative) The amenities were by the French company Occitane , very nice! I would have liked a nice reading light, but the lighting looked attractive. Housekeeping was very prompt and thorough. The front desk staff is somewhat reserved in their demeanor. I think some people can take this as surly but I did not find it that way. They do not have forced smiles on their faces and they are very quick and efficient. This may be their style, there are a lot of Japanese guests, maybe that's the way they do things. It didn't bother me. For example, at the service desk they lend you straw mats, beach chairs and towels. We kept on getting mix ups because I would return the towels when no one was there, so it looked like I had 10 towels out when I had none. But it all worked out. A few last things: there is no pool (who needs one? the ocean is like a gigantic pool and it's right outside the door), the super cool W hotel is right next door which would be fun for a drink, parking is plentiful across the street, 25 cents an hour with a maximum of 4 hours, free from 6 pm to 10 am, or you could valet. Will definitely return to this hidden gem.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
4 Thank kmostrach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2008

I got a great deal, but it wasn't my money. I traveled for business and stayed two days at this hotel. There are many positives. Yes it is quiet but close to the action, a boutique hotel, staff was great w/ bartender Gerry a legend with repeat patrons over many many years, many other things close by, and very pretty views.
I can't imagine ever staying here with the wife and kid in such a small room. The AC, although very good was right next to my bed. It blew down on me the first night until I was freezing. I managed to adjust the motorized air vent control, but I didn't totally get it figured out. The bathroom I thought was a bit dated and water didn't run down the bathtub/shower drain the best. The beach is small here.
I hope the info helps, I people watched a lot of happy tourists and locals in Honolulu, that helped make this business trip a bit easier.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank SoCalGringo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2008

This was my third visit to the New Otani. The hotel is really amazing that it can be so close to the Waikiki scene (a 20 - 25 minute walk) and so absolutely removed from it. It sits on its own beach next to the Kapiolani Park. So, the impression of one's surroundings is just ocean and trees. No street noise, no crowds of people.

Although the rooms are small, they are comfortable and clean. Parking is very tight, but they always have found a space for our car. And you don't really have to have a car since The Bus stops just a bit away from the hotel. Since we are return visitors, the hotel has consistently offered us special little favors. So, even if the location didn't bring us back, the staff's service would. It's a great property!

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — parking situation
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank rohini41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2008

I booked this hotel and had concerns after reading all of the other reviews stating that the rooms were antiquated and customer service was horrible. All of that was put to rest when I got there. I booked the cheapest room (I value my money), and when I checked in, simply asked for an ocean view at the same price and they were happy to oblige. The hotel lobby is beautiful, with an open bay straight to the water. The room was small, but it was just my wife and I and we were not there for the hotel room. I wanted to get out, so it didn't bother me at all. As far as being antiquated, I couldn't tell. I could have marked it down for the a/c, but I didn't complain about it to maintenance since I could just leave the patio door open and get all of the ocean breeze I could stand. Beautiful view from the balcony also. I spent alot of time there. Parking is easily circumvented. $18 for valet or simply park right in the street for free. Across the street is free from 6pm-10am at Diamond Head park, and then you have to feed a meter. I don't recommend getting a rental car anyways. You're not going to see Hawaii in a rental car. You really need to get off of Oahu to do that. If you do get a car, only get it when you need it because Waikiki is within walking distance to get everything you need. To sum it up, I would definitely, and probably will, stay again. The scenery and comfort cannot be beat compared to the hotels I saw in Waikiki. Excellent place for young couples who want peace and quiet to relax between activities with a beautiful beach and view.

  • Liked — Location, Location, Location
  • Disliked — $11.50 for internet access for 24hrs. No fitness facility for free.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank tfrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel

Property: The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
Address: 2863 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-4016
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Diamond Head - Kapahulu - St. Louis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#19 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#30 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#34 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 118
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Take advantage of its paradisiacal setting, The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel is a refreshing escape from the crowds of Waikiki. This boutique hotel sits right on one of Honolulu’s best white-sand beach, cradled next to the slopes of Diamond Head Crater, and located directly across from the 108 acre Kapiolani Park, perfect for those seeking a recreational or romantic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
New Otani Kaimana Beach Honolulu
Kaimana Beach Hotel
New Otani Hawaii
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu

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