Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

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Main sign of the Halekulani Hotel

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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 internationally recognized for excellence.

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

Booking and Check-In

Lobby and check in area of the Halekulani Hotel

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 the following benefits –

• Upgrade at the time of booking, subject to availability and are valid in select categories only (Partial Ocean View upgrade to Ocean View or Ocean View upgrade to Ocean Front)


• Daily breakfast for up to two in-room guests per bedroom. Full Buffet at House Without A Key (Daily) or Choice of any Complete Breakfast Selection at Orchids (Mon-Sat)


• $100 Hotel Credit for bookings confirmed in Garden Courtyard View, Poolside Room, Partial Ocean View, Ocean View, Ocean Front, Diamond Head Ocean Front, Garden Junior Suite, Ocean View Junior Suite and Diamond Head Ocean Junior Suite.


• $200.00 Hotel Credit for bookings confirmed in Pool View Suite, Poolside Suite, Sunset Suite, Ocean Suite, Ocean Terrace Suite, Diamond Head Suite, Diamond Head Prime Suite, Executive Luxury Suite, Orchid Suite, Halekulani Suite and Royal Suite.

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• Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability


• Complimentary Wi-Fi

You can see the latest reviews of the Halekulani Hotel on TripAdvisor for further information.

Parking

Self parking and valet are both $40 per day and although it feels 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.

Room

Ocean front room at the Halekulani Hotel

The room was a masterclass in subtle luxury, from the sandy cream carpet to the light settings for sunset, world class. The ocean front room gave me incredible views during the day and the live music in the evening slowly drifted up to my ears. Heaven.

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

The “mini-bar” was setup 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 work table and chair with ottoman were also in the room, this is the one I sat in while writing this article.

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

Bathroom

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

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.

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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.

Pool

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

I headed down to the pool around 11am 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.

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

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 12noon 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.

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

Dining

All of the restaurants below have specific dress codes requirements so be sure to check the website for the specifics, even for Sunday brunch.

Orchids Sunday Brunch at Halekulani Hotel

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

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.

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

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.

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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

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

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.

L’Aperitif

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

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

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

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 6pm.

Review & Video: Halekulani Hotel, Luxury In Waikiki

Lewers Lounge at Halekulani Hotel

Live jazz with rare whiskeys and an extensive wine list run Tuesday through Saturday starting at 8pm and running till midnight. Dress code strictly enforced so be prepared.

Final Thoughts

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 experience in the comments so other travelers can enjoy.

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