It’s been about a year since I had been to the Kahala Hotel and Resort and many years since I’ve stayed here. A couple of weeks ago my wife and I checked in for a site inspection and to experience it firsthand. We enjoyed our stay and we especially appreciated how the hotel has maintained its focus on the little things that make a big difference.
The Kahala Hotel and resort has a rich history in Hawaii as one of the premier luxury hotels in the islands. The hotel maintained the prestigious AAA five diamond award year after year which only a few properties in Hawaii claim. However, over the years time took its toll. In 2007 Trinity investments came in and began a three-year renovation project costing over $50 million. The company replaced or refurbished almost every inch of the property bringing it back to its original style and grace. Recently preferred hotels and resorts which specializes in upscale properties took over the hotel.
When arriving at the Kahala things look very much the same as they always have. The lobby has been restored to its original beauty with beautiful chandeliers, open air view of the dolphin lagoon and the veranda which is a perfect place to relax. We noticed right away that the Kahala who was paying attention to the little details. For example, the Kukui lei I received was unique, much different than a typical Kukui lei. We were treated to refreshing towels and lemon infused water upon arrival. And imagine this, we got actual keys to our room. I know this sounds like a minor thing but when was the last time you got an actual key to a hotel room? A nice touch. Everything about the property exudes vintage Hawaii, including the rare nodder dolls found in the elevators.
All of the 338 guestrooms and suites are decorated with an air of understated elegance and furnished in a style known as “Kahala Chic.” Creamy neutral tones, rich wood furnishings, and crisp luxurious linens make each room a blissful sanctuary. 40-inch flat screen TVs, daily turn-down service, and dressing robes and slippers make it tough to leave the comfort of these stylish accommodations. We loved the bathroom, very spacious with a wonderful soak in tub and separate shower.
The Kahala Hotel and Resort is all about creating special memories for its guests. The staff will do just about anything possible to accommodate visitors. When children check into the hotel they’ll find specially made cookies from the in-house bakery with their names on them. If they are needs for extra bedding, or child protection in the room the hotel will accommodate special requests. Guests seeking adventurous outdoor activities can join in on snorkeling and canoeing tours or socialize with several friendly dolphins at Dolphin Quest. Free hula dancing, lei making, and ukulele classes are offered in the hotel lobby, and an on-site day camp for children allows parents to relax and enjoy the magic of the Hawaiian Islands on their own schedule. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of delicious cuisine at five on-site restaurants and bars, and room service is available 24 hours per day. Guests looking to do some shopping can visit the on-site shopping gallery or take advantage of the complimentary shuttle to and from Kahala Mall, Ala Moana Shopping Center, and Waikiki.
What I love most about the property is how remote it feels although you’re very close to Waikiki and Honolulu. The beach and pool area are spectacular and perfect for families with small children. It’s one of the very few resorts you can actually sit on the beach and sip Mai Tais. We made an entire day of hanging out on the beach at the Kahala. It started with their signature buffet breakfast at the Seaside Grill followed by lunch in our little cabana from the Seaside Grill (cabana’s are 35.00 dollars a day) followed by dinner at the award-winning Hoku’s restaurant.
I’m happy to once again recommend this property to folks who really want a unique Hawaiian experience. Obviously this property is pricey however, if this is your vacation of a lifetime, I can’t think of a better place to splurge and just go for it then the Kahala Hotel and Resort. The little things mean an awful lot.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher