In the shadow of Diamond Head, the tourist hub of Waikiki beckons visitors to its famed sand beaches, gentle waves and metropolitan offerings. Whether enjoying world-class shopping on Kalakaua Avenue, dining in the sand at the landmark Royal Hawaiian, or partaking in local-style cuisine such as poke and laulau, visitors to this international destination will find no shortage of things to see and do.
Queen Kapiolani Hotel
Across the street from the Honolulu Zoo, the Queen Kapiolani Hotel offers convenient accommodations within walking distance of Kapiolani Park and the Waikiki Aquarium. Showcasing commanding views of nearby Diamond Head crater, this high-rise hotel has easy in-and-out parking and a sizable underground parking structure, a premium amenity in this high-density city. For the best views of Diamond Head, request a room on the 11th floor. Although somewhat outdated, guest rooms feature basic amenities, including a mini fridge.
One of Waikiki's most prestigious hotels, the landmark Halekulani offers beachfront accommodations near the newly revitalized Lewer's Street neighborhood. Known for its oceanside swimming pool with orchid logo, this resort hotel features 453 rooms and suites highlighted by a VIP suite designed by fashion icon Vera Wang. An acclaimed spa offers a menu of therapeutic services, and La Mer restaurant boasts neoclassical French cuisine served in a romantic venue with views of the city lights.
Royal Hawaiian Hotel
One of Waikiki's most recognized landmarks, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, with its trademark pink stucco exterior, was built in 1927. This "Pink Palace of the Pacific" features opulent furnishings, antiques, fine art and an array of Moorish architectural elements, including regal columns and stone archways. The hotel has 529 rooms outfitted in dark woods and designer furnishings, along with two swimming pools highlighted by a saltwater plunge pool and a private beach area. Signature seafood takes center stage at Azure restaurant, and the beachfront Mai Tai Bar is a must-visit when in Waikiki.
Near Diamond Head in Waikiki, the Hotel Renew offers boutique accommodations with views of the Ko'olau Mountains, the city lights or Diamond Head itself. Outfitted with earthy hues and natural rock accents, guest rooms come complete with shoji screens, kimono-style bathrobes and high-count linens. The on-site Lounge Renew offers a complimentary continental breakfast and gourmet Kona coffee each morning, along with signature cocktails and other drinks in the afternoon. This pet-friendly hotel makes furry friends feel right at home with treats for animal companions upon arrival.
- waikiki beach at night image by NorthShoreSurfPhotos from Fotolia.com