The Best Hotels in Waikiki
... and Why We Love Them

The hotels in Waikiki are amongst the best in the world. The area is about 1.5 miles long and approximately half a mile wide (@ 3 streets) bordered by the Pacific ocean, Ala Wai canal and Kapiolani park/Diamond Head.

With between 100-150 hotels and condominium hotels to choose from it can be very overwhelming trying to select the right property for your stay.

hotels in waikiki

But rest easy, I'll give you the insider tips that only a local can provide to finding and booking the best hotels in Waikiki to make your stay the dream vacation you deserve.

Hotel Categories

Resorts
Family & Kid Friendly Hotels
Oceanfront
Luxury 5 star
Boutique
3-3.5 Star Hotels
Business Traveler
Pet Friendly Hotels

Resorts

The Hilton Hawaiian Village 4 stars

From $170

hilton hawaiian village oahu

Hilton Hawaiian Village

 

This 22 acre oceanfront mini self-contained "city" that is very family, couple and business traveler oriented.

With 7 towers, 5 pools, a 5 acre lagoon, 18 restaurants, a 2 story spa, kids' camp, African penguins, a luau, wedding facilities, daily activities and nightly entertainment there is nothing that the Hilton Hawaiian Village does not offer. Read the full review...

 

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Kahala Hotel and Resort 5 stars

From $425

kahala hotel and resort

The Kahala Hotel & Resort

 

Having hosted royalty, presidents and celebrities since 1967 The Kahala Hotel and Resort has consistently provided 5 star service.

Situated about a 10 minute drive east of Waikiki in the exclusive neighborhood of Kahala its oceanfront location next to the posh Waialae golf club makes it a luxury escape like no other. Read More..


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Family & Kid Friendly Hotels


View Family Hotels in Waikiki in a larger map

Lots of hotels could loosely classify themselves as family and kid friendly but to me that means someplace that is designed primarily with kids and people traveling with them in mind.

Ideally this should be a place where you really don't have to leave if you don't want to. This means restaurants (all 3 meals) on site, kids' club, kids' activities, pool(s) that are kid friendly and multiple services and ammenities including transportation to and from activities on the island.

 

 

The Hilton Hawaiian Village From $170
The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort
From $224
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
From $204
Sheraton Waikiki Honolulu
From $284
Outrigger Reef on the Beach
From $238
Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach3.5 stars 1/2
From $319
Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
From $170

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Oceanfront Hotels


View Oceanfront Hotels in Waikiki in a larger map

It can be very misleading and conflicting when trying to decide where to stay. There are terms floating around out there like oceanside, ocean view and oceanfront all with similar meanings.

These hotels sit directly oceanfront, on the sand, with no other buildings between them and the ocean. Some hotels claim to be oceanfront because no other buildings block them but they sit across the street from the ocean.

For our review purposes oceanfront means directly ON THE OCEAN.

 

Hilton Hawaiian Village From $215
Outrigger Reef on the Beach
From $238
Halekulani 5 stars
From $580
Sheraton Waikiki
From $284
The Royal Hawaiian 5 stars
From $405
Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
From $269
The Sheraton Moana Surfrider 4 stars
From $325
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel 3 stars
From $162
The Kahala Hotel and Resort5 stars
From $425

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Luxury Hotels in Waikiki

Luxury hotels in Waikiki run the gamut. You have the modern sophistication of the Trump Hotel, the understated elegance of the Halekulani and the royal, stately feel of the Royal Hawaiian and the Kahala Hotel.

Each has its own particular personality and feel and will suit visitors in a different way. Keep in mind that land space and acreage is limited in Waikiki so most are relegated to building "up" rather than out.

 

Halekulani Honolulu 5 stars

From $580

halekulani honolulu

Halekulani Hotel

 

Sitting direct oceanfront across the street from the Trump Hotel with stunning views of Diamond Head to the left and long stretches of sandy beaches in either direction.

If peace and quiet along with a great location and first class pampering are high on your list then you hotel will appeal to you.

It is a very private hotel with guest-only access plus touches such as welcome fruits and chocolates, turndown service and complimentary newspapers. Read the full review.

 

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The Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Oahu 5 stars

From $405

royal hawaiian hotel oahu

Royal Hawaiian Hotel

 

The Royal Hawaiian is known as the "pink palace" of Waikiki. Its signature Spanish architectural design is a trademark in the famous Waikiki coastline.

Its 528 rooms sit directly oceanfront on Waikiki beach and in the heart of all the action, shops and restaurants on the main Waikiki drag. This family friendly hotel boasts all of the ammenities you'd expect in 5 star accomodations while remaining both user-and beach-friendly. Read the detailed review.

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Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk 5 stars

From $334

trump international hotel waikiki

Trump International Hotel Waikiki

 

This beautiful 5 star hotel definitely lives up to the name. 463 rooms, pet-friendly, free high speed internet, business center, fitness center, room service, pool, kitchenette, restaurant and suites available.

With impeccable service and design it looks like it sprung directly off of the pages of Architectural Digest, resembling a high-rise hotel in Chicago or Manhattan.

A potential drawback is that the building doesn't sit directly on the ocean and there is another high-rise hotel between the Trump property and the ocean. HOWEVER, it is still really close to the beach, about a 5 minute walk to a nice quality sandy beach. It is also not too crowded like some other parts of Waikiki.

trump waikiki pool

The staff will pack you a beach bag with an umbrella and chair and check on you throughout the day to see if you need anything.

One large negative of this property is the ridiculously small pool. It's beautiful, cute and chic but so narrow that it's mostly appropiate for simply cooling off.

trump waikiki living roomThe hotel is also ideally located for avoiding traffic and pedestrian congestion yet you are still very close to everything and it's a good base camp location for exploring the island.

Try to book a room on a high floor overlooking the park and the ocean, otherwise your view will be blocked by hotels in front of you.

 

Still in light of these potential drawbacks, the pros of staying at this hotel FAR outweigh the cons. The minute you walk in the door it's all about you. The staff were very friendly and welcoming to me. All in all, the reason to stay here is the service and quality of the hotel materials and design.

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Boutique Hotels

The Aqua Lotus Honolulu 3 stars 1/2

From $219

aqua lotus lobby

The Aqua Lotus Honolulu

 

Formerly the W Honolulu, 51 rooms with Balinese/Asian decor offering free high-speed internet, business enter, electric in-room safes, complimentary coffee, tea and wine service in the lobby, a beach butler and platform beds in the rooms.

PET FRIENDLY. Complimentary bicycles are a BIG PLUS due to location. Bike to the edge of Waikiki in minutes.

Complimentary beach items such as a chair, umbrella and mat. Walking times to Waikiki range from 10-20 minutes.

The restaurant &bar on the property are undergoing renovation. Other perks include an Ipod docking station, mini-fridge and private lanai.

If you desire QUIET away from the hustle and bustle of the core of Waikiki then this is a good choice. Not directly oceanfront as it sits 1 building in from the ocean but the views are still nice, particularly those of the park.

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The Modern Honolulu (formerly The Waikiki Edition) 4 stars

From $325

the modern honolulu

The Modern Honolulu

 

353 Rooms, free high speed internet, fitness center, room service, bar/lounge, restaurant, pool, business center, suites, pets allowed.

The Modern Honolulu is a gorgeous boutique-type of hotel on the Ala Moana end of Waikiki within 15 minutes walking distance to the Hawaii Convention Center.

High end luxurious, chic feel ala Miami or Los Angeles. Minimalistic yet tropical in design it boasts such little touches as modern/techno/trance style music playing.

Iron Chef Matusumoto has a very good Japanese restaurant, Morimoto on site. I like going to The Modern with friends on a Friday night to watch the Hilton fireworks from the pool.

the modern honolulu room

One negative is that the rooms are on the smaller side and it can be noisy depending which way you face. This property is better suited for couples and singles.

Another minus is that the beach is about a 10 minute walk. The hotel is harborfront & you have to walk past the Ilikai hotel next door, down a ramp and past the lagoon in front of the Hilton.

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3-3.5 Star Hotels

Ideal for longer stays that have to be budgeted out, large groups and those generally looking for a balance between staying in an ideally located "hole" and the much pricier and fancier hotels & resorts. These are the most bang for the buck on a budget. Minimal in the way of bells and whistles but they have more than enough for you to be happy. Not directly on the beach in most cases but still in very close proximity.

Waikiki Marina Resort 3.5 stars 1/2

From $165

waikiki marina resort kitchen

Waikiki Marina Resort

 

Cute place to stay with a FULLY EQUIPPED KITCHEN including a FULL-SIZED REFRIGERATOR. Granite kitchen countertops, flat screen television, living room area with a couch and self-service laundry on most floors.

Best of both worlds in the sense that there are the comforts of a condo with access to the features of a hotel.

Owned by Shell Vacations but operated by the Waikiki Marina Resort this block of rooms is located inside of the Ilikai Hotel at the western end of Waikiki.

15 minutes walking distance from Ala Moana Shopping Center and less than 20 minutes walking to the Hawaii Convention Center. When timeshare owners aren't using the rooms the company rents them out at a deal. The rooms are 500sf remodeled converted studios.

TIP:

Check in is not in the lobby. That is for the Ilikai hotel.

Go to the 2nd floor to suite #212.

Above average accomodations conveniently located to the action. Ala Moana Boulevard room side rooms will be noisy. 5-10 minute walk to the beach via a ramp.

Hilton Hawaiian Village is next door with many bars, restaurants and shops to enjoy.

 

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Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel3.5 stars 1/2

From $170

aston waikiki beach hotel

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

 

644 rooms, free breakfast, room service, business center, pool, fitness center, bar/lounge and children stay free. Fantastic location across the street with unobstructed views of the beach.

Located at easternmost edge of Waikiki with easy access to all of the stores and restaurants. Excellent commuting location.

Close to Kapiolani Park where the zoo, aquarium and Diamond Head crater are located and great for joggers and walkers. Ideal for those traveling on a budget and for large groups.

Keep in mind that this is a very busy hotel and it's location in the heart of things means that it can be very noisy. To minimize this book a room on a higher floor.

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Read my page on Outrigger Hotels in Hawaii for additional affordable recommendations. I also recommend the Ala Moana Hotel for a good, decent, budget friendly hotel. Learn more about cheap hotels in Waikiki.

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Business Traveler Hotels

Hilton Waikiki Beach

From $170

hilton waikiki beach

Hilton Waikiki Beach

 

601 renovated rooms & suites, 100% smoke-free, 37 story tower with free wireless internet. High speed available for a fee. Business center, fitness center and the restaurant MAC/24 are all 24 hours.

There is a bar, pool and spa and large sundeck. Multiple conference rooms and banquet facilities. Rooms have mini-fridges, laptop safe and two 2 line phones with voicemail. Coffeemaker with complimentary Kona coffee is supplied.

Modern decor with tropical touches. Convenient location 1.5-2 very short blocks to the beach, stores and restaurants.

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Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach 3 stars

From $152

hyatt place waikiki beach deck

Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach

 

Recently renovated & 1.5 blocks to the beach and the main drag. 426 rooms, free high speed internet, pool, bar/lounge, business center, restaurant, free breakfast, mini-fridges, coffee makers and safes in rooms.

2 conference rooms, gift shop, 24 hour security, valet and self-parking. 100% smoke-free property. The views are so-so because there are other high-rise buildings blocking the ocean and park views. Good base camp location for those on the go.

Short 5 minute walk to the beach. A little quieter too. Simple, comfortable rooms.

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Pet Friendly Hotels

hotels in waikiki pets

There are over 140 hotels in Honolulu and 14 of them allow you to bring pets with you (more or less).

Most stipulate that:

  • Your pet must be under 25 lbs but most hotels in The Aqua hotel chain will allow for up to 40 pounds.
  • All require a pet cleaning deposit, usually refundable in the price range of $50-$100 if the room is returned in good condition.
  • Others require a non-refundable cleaning fee in a similar price range.
  • Most do not charge an extra daily fee but a few will such as $25.
  • Choose pet friendly locations at the ends of Waikiki near parks such as Kapiolani Park at the base of Diamond Head or Ala Moana Park across the street from Ala Moana shopping center.
  • The airport hotels are in an industrial area & not near Waikiki. They're close to Pearl Harbor.

NOTE: About bringing pets into the state of Hawaii-it is time consuming, detailed and expensive. It is easier for service and guide dogs. Learn more here.

Learn more general, big picture information & tips about traveling with a pet in this article written by the PetCo community. There's a lot to keep in mind when especially before & during the flight.


The Modern Honolulu 4 stars From $233
Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk 5 stars
From $334
Aqua Lotus Honolulu 3 stars 1/2
From $219
The Kahala Hotel & Resort5 stars
From $425
The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa
4 stars From $224


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