The Kahala Hotel & Resort Reviews – The Kahala Hotel is one of the best 5 star hotels in Honolulu Hawaii on the beach. Here’s everything you need to know about Kahala Resort from restaurants to Kahala Beach.
Hawaii is one of my favorite places to travel. I love Kauai and Maui, but on a recent mother-daughter trip, we chose Oahu. Come join us at Kahala Hotel & Resort.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort Reviews
The Kahala Hotel is a popular resort outside of Honolulu. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and set on a beautiful private lake – Kahala Beach.
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Here’s our overview of Kahal Hotel’s restaurants, beach, dolphin lagoon and more. If you’re looking for a 5-star Oahu resort, you can’t miss this unbiased review of Kahala Hotel & Resort.
The Kahala Hotel is located across from Diamond Head from Waikiki. This is the perfect place if you prefer a quieter, more relaxing vacation. In Kahala, you can avoid the crowds but have easy access to Waikiki for shopping, dining and city life.
The resort is about 20 minutes from the Honolulu airport and a 10-15 minute drive from Waikiki, making it one of the most convenient resorts in Hawaii that I have stayed at.
Known then as the Kahala Hilton, this resort opened its doors in 1965. It quickly became known as a Hollywood hideaway, due to its private location. The resort is famous for hosting many famous guests and every US president from Lyndon Johnson to Obama.
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We booked an Ocean View room which was about 550 square meters. We had a beautiful view of the sea and the resort. The room was clean and comfortable and the bathroom spacious.
If you like Italian food, you will love Arancino. We ordered pizzas and a lovely salad to go and took our dinner to the beach. Everything was fresh and delicious. I would recommend Arancino even if you don’t stay in Kahala.
While staying at the Kahala hotel, you will most likely have breakfast at the Plumeria Beach House. You can book on Opentable, but we both had no problem checking in.
There is usually an amazing breakfast buffet, although it was closed due to COVID regulations. Make this papaya boat at home – it’s delicious.
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Enjoy a cocktail and live music on the Veranda at sunset. The menu is small and consists mainly of appetizers, but we enjoyed the delicious sushi rolls here.
Kahala’s most sophisticated restaurant, Hoku offers 4- and 8-course tasting menus with ocean views. We haven’t visited this restaurant yet, but I like that they offer a vegetarian tasting menu.
The Seaside Grill is a beachside pool/restaurant. It’s a casual and great option if you’d like to take a salad, taco, or mai tai to the beach. The food was nothing special, so I recommend bringing something to the beach at Whole Foods.
Kahala Beach is a dream. This secret beach has pure white sand, and shallow, warm, clear water. It has two man-made islands/islands to protect the sea. This beach is ideal for swimming and is suitable for children. We had no problem finding seats, and unlike Waikiki, there were no crowds.
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The Kahala Hotel offers paddle boards and kayaks for rent, but it was too windy when we were there to enjoy them.
Many families book this hotel and the Dolphin Quest experience exclusively in the dolphin pool. Although the Atlantic dolphin family is beautiful, it is sad to see them confined in a small man-made pool, and used for photos.
Most, if not all, animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the U.S., PETA, and the Dolphin Project agree that you should never swim with dolphins on vacation.
A very magical experience can be had watching fish, dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. Try snorkeling or whale watching.
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Compared to other 5-star Hawaiian resorts, the pool at Kalaha was a little rough. There is one small oval-shaped primary lake in the area. The pool receives purchases and fills with children in the afternoon. If you’re looking for a lounge chair, be sure to reserve it early in the morning.
Kahala Beach is so beautiful that the lack of a great pool didn’t bother me, but if I had young kids looking for a pool, I would have been disappointed. If you prefer a resort with water and a lazy river, check out the Grand Hyatt Kauai or Kea Lani Maui.
The Kalaha Hotel and Resort has everything you really need, but you might want to go a little extra.
We didn’t see many fish right off Kahala Beach, but there is great snorkeling nearby. Next time we will book at Hanauma Bay, which is now a protected marine conservation area.
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Hiking Diamond Head Crater is a popular activity in Honolulu. There are also other hiking trails. I like the AllTrails app to plan my hiking trips.
We didn’t see any surfers right at Kahala beach during our stay, but there are surf spots nearby. There are several beginner surf schools right on Waikiki Beach.
There are several golf clubs and country clubs nearby that you will have access to as a guest of the Kahala Hotel.
Although you don’t really need to leave the farm, I recommend going out and trying some of the local restaurants. It will save you money and provide you with local change and authentic local knowledge.
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Our first stop was Kahala Whole Foods to pick up local fruit, snacks and drinks to put in our in-room refrigerator.
I recommend enjoying the energy of Waikiki one night and the obscure locale on another. We loved Hawaiian Sushi which was about a 10 minute Uber ride away.
Kahala Mall is 20 minutes from the hotel and has many stores and a great Whole Foods. For more fun, head to Waikiki.
We flew from SBA to LAX to HNL on United. From the airport, we took an Uber to the resort, which was a 20 minute ride.
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I’m glad I skipped the hassle of renting a car for this trip and we didn’t need it at all. Walking or Uber was easy a few times when we left the resort.
I booked our hotel and flight package with American Express Platinum. This was quick and easy and allowed me to use points to pay for most of the trip.
The only disappointment was that when booking, this hotel was included in the Fine Hotels & Resorts list which includes daily breakfast and room upgrades, among other benefits. However, we later found out that this was not the case when we booked a package with airfare.
Some resorts offer day passes so you can enjoy the resort without staying at a hotel. You can reserve a day pass or cabin at Kahala with a Resort Pass. This is a great option if you live in a rental property and want to enjoy the lake and beach in Kahala.
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We loved our time at Kahala Hotel & Resort. The pristine white sand beach, warm blue water and quiet environment can’t be beat. The resort itself is beautiful with several good restaurants and friendly staff. When our children were young, I would have liked a resort with more pools. The price was lower than other 5 star hotels in Hawaii. If you are looking for a relaxing Honolulu luxury hotel on the beach, I would recommend the Kahala.
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