Glittering Waikiki (the name means "spouting water" in Hawaiian) is a sophisticated city by the sea that fronts an island paradise. With abundant shops, restaurants and water recreation, the Waikiki Beach area offers the traveler tropical beauty, nightlife, Pacific Rim cuisine and clear air, scented by jasmine, plumeria, pikake and gardenia.
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
Considered the first grand lady of historic Waikiki hotels, the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa first opened its doors in 1901. Oceanfront and replete with opulent charm, this hotel combines a vintage Hawaiian heritage with contemporary comforts. Completely refurbished in 2007, the Moana Surfrider features hardwood floors and new furnishings, linens and lighting as well as flat screen TVs. Pillowtop mattresses, three-sheeted beds and down duvets complete the experience. For generations, visitors have stayed at the Surfrider, which has hosted presidents, celebrities and countless receptions.
Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
The Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach offers authentic Hawaiian comforts right in the heart of Waikiki's busy, upscale shopping district on Kalakaua Avenue. Designed with the spirit of contemporary and traditional Hawaiian hospitality in mind, the hotel won the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau's Kahili Award bestowed for hotels that have programs that promote Hawaii’s diverse and honored heritage. Visit the legendary Duke's at the hotel's beachfront entrance. Rooms are almost 400 square feet and offer partial or full ocean views and private lanais.
The Queen Kapiolani Hotel
This large, older hotel has been a favorite of residents and business travelers due to its prime location, easy parking and good value. The Queen Kapiolani Hotel, situated near oceanfront Kalakaua and Kapahulu Avenues, is within walking distance to the beach, diners, restaurants, shops, attractions and galleries. Although some of the amenities are on the faded side, the hotel embodies a gracious hospitality.
Maile Sky Court Waikiki
A skyscraper-style hotel on few blocks from the main drag, the Maile Sky Court Waikiki offers affordable rates for budget travelers seeking a Waikiki experience without the high price tag. Closer to the International Market Place than it is to the beach, the Sky Court is a good option for business travelers or those who don't mind walking to save a few bucks. The pleasant sun deck makes up for its distance from the beach. A good steak house (Vit's Hawaiian Steak House) in the lobby serves steak and seafood and buffet breakfast.
- Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa 2365 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815; 808-922-3111
- Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach 2335 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815 808-923-0711
- Maile Sky Court 2058 Kuhio Avenue, Waikiki Beach, HI 96815 808-947-2828
- The Queen Kapiolani Hotel, 150 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815, 800-533-6970
- sunset over waikiki beach image by NorthShoreSurfPhotos from Fotolia.com