The Best Place to Stay on Oahu : Halekulani Hotel

Staying at the Halekulani

Sixteen years ago John read an article in Travel & Leisure about this magical place in Honolulu, right on a stretch of Waikiki Beach called the Halekulani. It was our tenth anniversary and we were heading to Hawaii to celebrate. We had spent our honeymoon in Honolulu and we were excited to return for the first time since then. This time we were going to splurge a little bit more than our honeymoon hotel that had cockroaches in the bathtub and our $700 budget for the week. 😉 It was perfect for us at the time…we loved our week in paradise as young newlyweds, but I was excited to stay at this Halekulani hotel because the pictures made it look dreamy. 

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best place to stay in oahu

Let’s just say, it spoiled us. We haven’t been able to return to Honolulu without staying there. 😉 The staff is so welcoming, the property is stunning and you definitely feel like you are living aloha while you are there. 

Here’s what it’s like to stay at The Halekulani.

best place to stay in oahu

Getting to The Halekulani

You’re definitely flying into Daniel K. Inouye International Airport I mean, it is an island after all. 😉 It’s a quick 25 minute uber or taxi ride from the airport to the Halekulani. We always take an uber. Parking a car in Waikiki can get very expensive. Many hotels charge between $50-65 a night for self parking and valet. The hotel is so centrally located that unless you are visiting The Polynesian Cultural center, Pearl Harbor or some other destination that is off the main strip, you really won’t need a car, you’ll be walking everywhere. When you do want to use a car, there are car rental places ALL over the island right in Waikiki. It’s easy to rent one for the day and then return it when you’re done to avoid the parking charges. 

the halekulani

About the Property

The Halekulani is tucked away on the main strip of Waikiki at the end of the dead end on Kālia Rd. It’s quiet and beautiful and feels like an oasis among a very busy strip of hotels, restaurants, shops and the beach. The word Halekulani in Hawaiian means “House Befitting Heaven” and well, that pretty much sums it up.

best place to stay in oahu

An open, airy lobby, gorgeous grounds, sparkling pool, multiple restaurants, and two towers fill the property that sits directly on the shore. 


There is direct beach access from the hotel property as it sits right on the water, it’s a great place to take surf lessons, or splash in the waves. There isn’t much of a beach for laying on the sand as much of the small beach disappears when the tide changes, this is pretty much the case for most hotels on the Waikiki strip, but the huge and beautiful orchid pool sits right on the ocean’s edge, so you can smell the salty sea, feel the ocean breeze, hear the waves…all while staying sand free and having pool side service bring you drinks and pupus. There is also a big beach just a few steps away that is perfect for lounging.

the halekulani hotel

The grounds are meticulous. I mean perfection. Not a thing out of place or looking the least bit worn or dilapidated, even though the ocean climate is a very harsh environment. 

the helakulani oceanfront room

The ocean views are an incredible way to start your day.

The Rooms at The Halekulani

The layout of buildings where the rooms sit at The Halekulani ensures that your ocean views are maximized. There are some garden view rooms, but the buildings are one sided, and by that I mean every single room faces out towards the property. The hallways do not have rooms on either side, just the side facing the water. They offer several categories of rooms and each room only holds a maximum of three people. While there are families that stay here on occasion, it is definitely more of an adult hotel. The most expensive room category (aside from suites) is are the Diamond Head Oceanfront Rooms, with a view looking across the ocean, facing Diamond Head. I actually prefer the regular Oceanfront rooms. These rooms look directly over the pool out to the ocean. I LOVE that view. 

the helakulani oceanfront room

Rooms were just recently renovated in a “seven shades of white” motif with calming blue accents. Guest rooms range from 419 to 485 square feet, have a private lanai with chairs, a table and a chaise lounge. The beds are super comfortable with luxury linens. The bathrooms offer deep soaking tubs with separate glass showers, Toto washlet (the fanciest toilet I’ve ever seen), Nespresso coffee maker, kettle, mini refrigerator, WiFi and SpaHalekulani amenities that smell amazing.

the helakulani oceanfront room

Oh and I can’t forget the twice daily house keeping service, and a cute little turn down gift on your pillow at night. Oh, and did I mention NO resort fees. Yes, you read that right!

Dining at The Halekulani

The Halekulani offers lots of fantastic dining options. Their team of award-winning chefs create distinctive menus for each of the restaurants, with delicious options for everything from breakfast to dessert.

orchids at halekulani

La Mer at The Halekulani – The finest in fine dining. French cuisine inspired by the flavors of Hawaii. It’s super romantic, very expensive and the only  Forbes Travel Guide 5 star restaurant in Hawaii and a AAA Diamond status restaurant for over three decades. 

orchids at halekulani

Orchids at The Halekulani- The description of this restaurant may say “dine in the casually elegant oceanfront setting” but it is definitely more on the elegant side. The Sunday brunch here is a must if you are in town over the weekend. Make reservations early because they do sell out.

orchids at halekulani

House Without A Key – casual al fresco fare with nightly musical entertainment and graceful hula performances. We LOVE the coconut cake and the nightly live music and hula. Make reservations because locals and all of the other people staying in town love this place too, so it can be hard to get in during the nightly entertainment hours if you don’t plan ahead. 

coconut cake halekulani

Earl’s Pool Bar  – Casual eats and drinks by the pool.

halekulani dining

L’Aperitif – bespoke craft cocktails and elevated wine

Halekulani Bakery (across the street at their sister property) – provides relaxed all-day dining and “grab and go” delicacies.

halekulani dining

If you can find a deal for a room that includes daily breakfast, I highly recommend it. There is a daily breakfast buffet at House Without a Key or you can choose to use your included breakfast on a set breakfast at Orchids. It is well worth the cost I think. Such a nice way to start the day.

halekulani dining

Things To Do In Honolulu

Honolulu is a great place to visit. I love that I can have a mix of both a beach vacation and a relaxed urban experience here that you can’t find on the neighboring islands. Right outside your doorstep at the Halekulani is spectacular shopping and dining. I talk in depth about where to eat and what to do on your visit to Honolulu here, but here are a few highlights. 

things to do in honolulu pearl harbor

Pearl Harbor

Diamond Head Hiking

The Polynesian Cultural Center


Snorkeling at Shark’s Cove or Hanauma Bay

the halekulani hotel oahu waikiki

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for the ultimate in luxury in Honolulu, then the Halekulani Hotel is what you want. This is my FAVORITE hotel on the island. Direct beach access, the famed orchid pool (right on the beach), House Without a Key for amazing music and coconut cake, and the MOST incredible service are just a few of the things you’ll enjoy. I am happy to recommend The Halekulani to everyone. 


Hotel: The Halekulani

Location: Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Luxury

Price Range: $$$$$


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If you stay or have stayed at the Halekulani, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Happy Travels!



Creative Director at Pink Peppermint Design
Tammy Mitchell is the founder and creative director of lifestyle blog Along with being a homeschooling mom of two kiddos, she is also an in-demand prop and event stylist, photographer, interior and graphic designer. On Pink Peppermint Design, she shares creative DIY projects, easy entertaining and gift ideas, inspiring interiors and events. She lives in Southern California, with her husband and two children.

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