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The Halekulani Hotel is the epitome of luxury in Waikiki and has been since 1917 with over 450 luxury rooms. I recently visited on a beautiful end-of-summer day and enjoyed the recently renovated rooms.
Halekulani means “House Befitting Heaven” and from the moment you check in you can see it is aptly named. One of the top luxury hotels on Oahu and recognized internationally for excellence.
Looking for more to do while visiting Oahu? Read my list of the best things to do on Oahu.
Booking and Check-In
The Halekulani Hotel is a part of Leading Hotels of the World and I recommend booking this hotel with a Virtuoso travel agency for additional VIP perks and benefits. I use Classic Travel which allows me to book online or by phone and get additional benefits. If you are not getting free breakfast and hotel credits when booking luxury hotels, you are doing it wrong.
Self-parking and valet are both $40 per day and although it feels like you are in a secluded oasis while at the hotel you are actually in very close proximity to the Sheraton Waikiki and other large hotels, choose the valet and make the experience complete.
The room was a masterclass in subtle luxury, from the sandy cream carpet to the light settings for sunset, world-class. The oceanfront room gave me incredible views during the day and the live music in the evening slowly drifted up to my ears. Heaven.
The “mini-bar” was set up for water, ice, coffee, and tea in a well-designed cabinet piece. The slim design and quality construction made me think about getting one for my bedroom at home.
The sheets of the bed had a printed top sheet with the Halekulani Hotel logo on it, a wonderful touch similar to the Kahala Hotel and Resort pillows.
The bed itself was quite large, definitely a king but it was the largest king-sized bed I have ever seen, roomy for days.
Next to the bed was a tablet on a charger that allowed for various communication with hotel staff and other helpful tasks, handy and mobile.
A simple chair with a work table and a chair with an ottoman were also in the room, this is the one I sat in while writing this article.
The detailed elements of tile in the bathtub and subtle lighting in the right spots made this bathroom elegant and functional. A deep soaking tub centered the room along with the separate glass-enclosed shower.
The Toto toilet was in a small side room and included a phone for that important phone call.
While only a single vanity it was large with beautiful lighting and accessories. The closet from the room also opened from the bathroom side giving you access to a hair dryer and hangers.
I headed down to the pool around 11 am on a Saturday, too late you say? The pool attendant took me directly to 2 recently vacated chairs and covered them with a snug cotton-terry cloth cover. Sitting on a soft clean cloth instead of hot plastic or scratchy waterproof material was a nice touch.
I ordered a sandwich and shrimp cocktail which arrived promptly. Drink service was disappointingly slow but our server Alfredo was hustling hard and made up for it with a cheerful smile. Good service saves the day once again.
I also had a few cocktails, a lilikoi margarita (terrible), Kalia road (so-so), and a Hale Passion which was recommended by Alfredo (delicious!)
What you may not know about the pool at Halekulani Hotel is that they regularly come around with fresh snacks. It seems to be on the hour starting at 12 noon with fresh cookies, then cold delicious pineapple about an hour later. Right before I left for the day frozen creamy pops were delivered, pineapple-coconut is my guess.
All of the restaurants below have specific dress code requirements so be sure to check the website for the specifics, even for Sunday brunch.
Orchids Sunday Brunch at Halekulani Hotel
When I booked this one of the requirements was that I was able to get a reservation for Sunday brunch, at the time Opentable showed it booked out for the next 3 months. I was booking about 45 days out and the hotel staff were able to confirm my reservation.
This is it, the pinnacle of Sunday brunch on Oahu, there is no better. The Sunday brunch at Orchids is legendary, award-winning, and something to experience. The picture above shows the carving station or should I say carving stations which included a full ham, prime rib, suckling pig, and a whole turkey.
I got a nice surprise when I selected the pig, they pulled out a separate tray and snipped of some crispy skin, decadent!
La Mer at Halekulani Hotel
This is Hawaii’s only Forbes 5 Star and AAA Five Diamond French restaurant and comes with a strict, for Hawaii, dress code. Jacket, collared shirt (no golf shirts) and closed-toe shoes for gentlemen. If you have children under 8 you need to find a sitter or other options as they are not allowed.
I didn’t have a chance to dine here this go-round although I really wanted to compare it with Hoku’s at The Kahala Hotel & Resort for fine dining and La Vie at The Ritz-Carlton Waikiki for French food.
A Parisian-styled cocktail lounge reminiscent of the 19th century is located within La Mer. Identical dress code and age restrictions but a wonderful option if you are looking for the best in Hawaii and just not that hungry. The picture above is from the outside seating area looking out towards Lē’ahi.
House Without A Key at Halekulani Hotel
If you imagine sipping a cocktail, listening to live Hawaiian music, and gazing out over the Pacific on your next vacation then House Without A Key is your spot. Book this for the evening entertainment no matter where you are staying in Waikiki. The crooners start at 5:30pm and the hula dancer comes out at 6 pm.
Lewers Lounge at Halekulani Hotel
Live jazz with rare whiskeys and an extensive wine list run Tuesday through Saturday starting at 8 pm and running till midnight. The dress code is strictly enforced so be prepared.
Halekulani Hotel has an extensive pedigree known the world over for all the right reasons. I would go back in a heartbeat and probably lounge by the pool the entire time. Have you stayed here? Share your tips and experiences in the comments so other travelers can enjoy them.
Are there any exclusive services or amenities for guests staying in suites at Halekulani?
Guests in suites often enjoy additional amenities like personalized concierge service, complimentary breakfast, and access to exclusive lounge areas, depending on the suite category. For luxury properties like the Halekulani, I always recommend using a luxury travel agent so you don’t miss out on these types of amenities.
Does Halekulani Hotel host any special events or activities for guests?
The hotel frequently hosts events such as live music performances, cultural demonstrations, and special dining experiences. Guests are encouraged to inquire about the schedule upon arrival.
How close is Halekulani Hotel to popular attractions in Waikiki?
The hotel is ideally situated within walking distance to many of Waikiki’s popular attractions, including shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It also offers easy access to the beach.
Are there any wellness or fitness facilities available at the hotel?
Yes, Halekulani offers a state-of-the-art fitness center and a spa that provides a range of treatments. Yoga and other wellness activities are also available for guests.
Can guests expect ocean views from their rooms at Halekulani?
Many of the rooms and suites at Halekulani offer stunning ocean views. However, it’s important to specify your preference when booking, as some rooms offer different views like gardens or cityscapes.
Is the Halekulani Hotel suitable for families with children?
While Halekulani caters primarily to couples and business travelers, families with children are welcome. The hotel provides amenities such as child-friendly dining options and is close to family-oriented attractions in Waikiki.
What makes Halekulani Hotel stand out among luxury hotels in Hawaii?
Halekulani Hotel is renowned for its exceptional service, elegant accommodations, and prime location on Waikiki Beach. It boasts a prestigious reputation for fine dining, a world-class spa, and an iconic oceanfront pool with a unique orchid design.