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Concierge.com

Oahu Hotels

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Aqua Bamboo & Spa
2425 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 866 971 2782 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 922 7777
reservations@aquaresorts.com
www.aquaresorts.com/aqua-boutique-hotels-1-75/aqua-bamboo-spa-home.aspx

This budget boutique hotel just one block from Waikiki Beach makes up in convenience (and price) what it lacks in luxury. High-speed Internet connections in every room, Wi-Fi in the common areas, and buffet breakfasts of fruit, yogurt, and pastries are all complimentary here. The 93 rooms, decorated according to feng shui principles with vintage Polynesian rattan and bamboo furnishings, have just enough modern accents to pass for stylish—although they are starting to look a little worse for wear. Each has a balcony and a fully equipped kitchenette. The outdoor saltwater pool area—which also includes a hot tub, cabanas, a man-made waterfall, and a spa—is pretty kitschy, but it's also pretty fun. A young, trendy crowd tends to stay here (many of them Japanese tourists), which makes for a friendly, uninhibited vibe.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Best Western Coconut Waikiki
450 Lewers Street
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 866 971 2782 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 923 8828
www.coconutwaikikihotel.com

The Best Western Coconut Waikiki—an 80-room, very cheap, and extremely cheerful hotel located on the Ala Wai Canal side of Waikiki—is a great place to stay even if you can afford better. (Splurge on a suite with water views, and it will still be half the price of the smallest room at the Halekulani or Kahala Resort). The first hint that this isn't your average Best Western is the giant gorilla stuffed animal that sits in the lobby—just for fun. The bright lime, aqua, and red Art Deco interiors give the entire place the feel of Pee-wee's Playhouse, and the young, friendly staff members have the enthusiasm of camp counselors. Rooms (well designed and Wi-Fi–equipped) have mini kitchens, and the complimentary breakfast buffet in the lobby includes toast, pastries, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and cereals. Though the pool is the size of a large fountain, the beach and Waikiki strip are just three blocks away.—Cathay Che

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Halekulani
2199 Kalia Road
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 800 367 2343 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 923 2311
info@halekulanicorp.com
www.halekulani.com

Since opening in 1917 on this prime Waikiki beachfront spot, the Halekulani has grown to 454 rooms—but it still manages to feel like the most intimate, peaceful hotel on the island. There's a special Vera Wang–designed honeymoon suite and an excellent spa offering lavender-orchid body wraps and hibiscus-infused scalp massages. Even the basic amenities are pretty lavish: For instance, all Halekulani guests have VIP access to some of Honolulu's top cultural attractions, such as the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and Shangri La, the Doris Duke estate. Guests also have equal access to the small slice of beach, the superb, mosaic-tiled swimming pool, and the attentive staff. (Ask the concierge for dinner reservations at Nobu, which is located in the Halekulani's sister hotel, the Waikiki Parc). The rooms, all outfitted in soothing blue and cream tones, have large lanais, and all except the Garden Courtyard rooms have ocean views. (For the best views, book a Diamond Head room.) For a souvenir of your stay, pick up one of the wonderful Halekulani-brand body products scented with maile, a fragrant Hawaiian vine, at the on-site spa boutique.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Renew
129 Paoakalani Avenue
Waikiki Beach
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 888 485 7639 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 687 7700
info@hotelrenew.com
www.hotelrenew.com

The 72-room Hotel Renew, Waikiki's only "design hotel," is a favorite among fashion and film industry types from New York and California. Originally part of the cheap-and-cheerful Aqua chain, Renew reopened in June 2007 with a more upscale, urban design and nice extras such as valet parking, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary beach gear. Both the rates (sometimes under $200 per night) and the square footage (a standard room is about 300 square feet) are as minimalist as the design: Expect a sexy, moodily lit sanctuary with dark wood furniture and a somewhat overwhelming 80-inch projection television. The hotel has neither a pool nor a restaurant, and you probably won't want to spend too much time in the only public space—the lobby café where your complimentary continental breakfast is served—but Waikiki Beach is just a block away, and the neighborhood's plentiful restaurants and shops are within walking distance. Pooch lovers will appreciate that canine guests under 20 pounds are as welcome here as their owners.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa
92-1001 Olani Street
Kapolei , Hawaii
Hawaii
Tel: 800 626 4446 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 679 0079
info@ihilani.com
www.ihilani.com

This west-coast 16-story resort has an "open, airy lobby and plantation shutters." Azul specializes in fresh fish and aged steaks; Naupaka Terrace focuses on Pacific Rim cuisine. Along with "amazing ocean views," rooms have teak furniture, duvets with Hawaiian tapa cloth designs, and "huge walk-in closets." The Ko Olina marina is a nearby base for sailing and diving excursions. Children can learn lei making and hula dancing at the kids' club.

(387 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
96816
Tel: 800 367 2525 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 739 8888
www.kahalaresort.com

Set on a sheltered beach just a ten-minute drive from Waikiki, this 338-room resort was a Mandarin Oriental until 2006. With the new ownership came a much-needed room renovation. Now, Art Deco–style furnishings and silky gold- and cream-colored fabrics have replaced the '60s decor. You really never need to leave the property: There are five on-site restaurants (though only one, Hoku's, which serves Hawaiian-Asian-European fusion cuisine, is truly noteworthy); the Chi fitness center, with a variety of classes and a phalanx of very eager personal trainers; plenty of pampering in the ten private Spa Suites; and every kind of water sport imaginable on the 800-foot beach. Kids are catered to with special Keiki Club activities, like reef walking, hula dancing, and, unfortunately, a "Dolphin Encounter," where they can swim in a pool with the live animals. The dolphins appear to be healthy, and the program promotes environmental awareness, but it's odd to have what feels like a circus attraction in the center of an otherwise glamorous resort.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Modern Honolulu
1775 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 866-970-4161
Fax: 808-943-5820
weinfo@editionhotels.com
www.themodernhonolulu.com

Opened in October 2010, the first of Ian Schrager's Edition concept hotels (for Marriott) is predictably pretentious, but dazzles. A surfboard collage mounted behind the front desk is among the few references to Hawaii. Overall, the minimalist design wouldn't feel out of place in, say, Miami or L.A.—which locals have interpreted as a sign that Honolulu has finally arrived. Since the hotel overlooks the boat harbor, the "private beach" is a sand-covered deck with a bizarre wading pool open to adult guests only. The real beach is a two-minute walk away, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The Edition does have a modest saltwater pool: It's part of the attractive ground-floor deck, which is also open to nonguests visiting the boutique, pool bar, or Morimoto restaurant. One of the few splashes of color in the 353 guest rooms comes from the neon floral pareos for use during your stay (keep one, and you'll be charged). Otherwise, the bright white and chrome decor looks like something out of an Apple Store. On weekends, the hotel's Crazybox nightclub brings the party to you.—Cathay Che

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Royal Hawaiian Hotel
2259 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 808 923 7311
rh.concierge@luxurycollection.com
www.royal-hawaiian.com

After a multimillion-dollar renovation, completed in 2009, fans of the iconic pink palace can breathe a sigh of relief: The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is more glorious than ever before. (Purists may regret that the color scheme is a little less bubble-gum, though; the palette of pinks has expanded to include more sophisticated coral, magenta, fuchsia, and even maroon.) Playing off the historic hotel's original decor and Moorish design, all 592 refreshed guest rooms have a Moroccan flair and a nice balance of crisp white and lime linens with dark woods set against coral pink wallpaper with silver scallops. While the pink sheets and towels that reminded you of Grandma's house are gone, the pink robes remain. Modern public spaces, such as the Mai Tai Bar and Azure restaurant, which both have panoramic views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, definitely bring sexy back—and, along with the adjacent, amped-up Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, are helping Waikiki in its bid to become the new South Beach.—Cathay Che

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Trump Waikiki
223 Saratoga Road
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 877 683 7401 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 683 7777
trumpwaikiki@trumphotels.com
www.trumpwaikikihotel.com

Some people call the Trump Waikiki home, which explains why the bellmen at this condo hotel greet people by name, and why service and security are top-notch (for hotel guests, a personal attaché is at your service for your entire stay). The prime location, across the street from the beach and just off Waikiki's crowded main strip, adds to one's impression of being a wealthy local here, rather than a tourist. The masculine decor and super-size flat-screen TVs do feel a tad corporate, but on the plus side, even the smallest of the 462 units (a studio) is 600 square feet, and all have closets the size of a New York City apartment, as well as washer/dryers and full kitchens. (If you're not into cooking, room service is available from the BLT restaurant downstairs, and there are private chefs for hire.) Rooms on the upper floors of the 38-story hotel literally tower over Honolulu: The views from the floor-to-ceiling windows are incredible, and even better from your balcony. A modest infinity-edge pool on the sixth floor has ocean views, but nothing beats sunset drinks at the lobby-level Waiolu Lounge. On Friday nights, its balcony is the best spot for viewing the fireworks put on by the nearby Hilton Hawaiian Village.—Cathay Che

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Turtle Bay Resort
57-091 Kamehameha Highway
Kahuku , Hawaii
96731
Tel: 800 203 3650 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 293 6000
tbrreservations@benchmarkmanagement.com
www.turtlebayresort.com

Ideally located on a five-mile stretch of a secluded North Shore bay, this luxurious 880-acre property has a high hip factor. In addition to being the occasional location for episodes of Lost, the property was the main set of the Fox TV show North Shore in 2004 and 2005. L.A. production crews still haunt the place, trying to catch film footage of local surfers in action (there's a good break just offshore). Each of the 443 rooms and private cottages has an ocean view and minimalist decor in soothing tones of sand and pale green. On-site amenities include the restaurant, Ola, a golf course, a surf school, tennis courts, and the posh Spa Luana, where guests can indulge in pineapple pedicures and macadamia-nut body scrubs. Labor disputes that made Turtle Bay the focus of negative press were finally resolved in July 2006—although the resort is once again in the hot seat over plans for a major expansion.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Waikiki Parc
2233 Helumoa Road
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 800 422 0450 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 921 7272
info@halekulanicorp.com
www.waikikiparc.com

Halekulani's little-sister property, this 297-room tower isn't beachfront—although you can quickly reach the sand via footpath—and has no grounds to speak of. What it does have is terrific bang for your buck. The rooms, with their minimalist dark-wood-and-white-fabric decor, are comfortable; the deluxe ocean-vista rooms have balconies with stunning views over the Halekulani to the sea. There's a heated rooftop pool, a fitness center, and access to the Halekulani's spa. The Parc is also home to the much-hyped Nobu Waikiki, an extension of chef Nobu Matsuhisa's sushi empire.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.