Say aloha to The Kahala Hotel & Resort, another beautiful Preferred Hotels & Resorts property that I recently visited and fell in love with. If you’re a new reader, then let me quickly share how incredible Preferred Hotels & Resorts are; as the world’s largest independent hotel brand, you can choose from over 750 hotels across 85 countries. No two properties are alike but you can always expect luxury accommodation and five-star service. From Laguna Beach in California to Palm Beach in Florida, I’ve stayed in quite a few this past year.
The Location – Best of Both Worlds:
For those looking to escape to Hawaii and are desiring for both adventure and relaxation, then I highly recommend The Kahala Hotel & Resort located on the island of Oahu in Honolulu’s exclusive residential area. This is the only beachfront resort you’ll find in peaceful Kahala, but don’t worry, you’re also only a 10 minute drive from all the action in Waikiki. Plus, you’ll be able to overlook BOTH Diamond Head and Koko Head craters from the resort. It will be very hard to leave this place, trust me, I know!
Fabulous, Star-Studded History:
It’s hard to know where to start when expressing my love for The Kahala Hotel & Resort but it makes sense to start at the very beginning… in January of 1964. That’s right, this place is 57 years old and maintained quite beautifully which is why Preferred Hotel’s & Resorts has recently upgraded them to Preferred Legend status.
Back in the 60s, the hotel was known as the Kahala Hilton and was one of the first major resorts to have air-conditioning in all rooms. In just a few months, Hollywood descended onto Kahala and quickly made this hotel a popular celebrity hideaway. Icons like John Wayne and Frank Sinatra have lounged poolside at the Kahala Hotel & Resort, along with royalty, heads of state, sports legends, and more. Not to mention every U.S. president from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush has stayed here. President Obama stays at a private residence when he returns to Honolulu, where he grew up, and often enjoys dining at the hotel’s award-winning Hoku’s restaurant.
A Room with a View:
If you want a premium stay experience at the Kahala, I recommend booking an Ocean Front Lanai Room. Vacation doesn’t get any better than this, with views of the deep blue Pacific Ocean and the resort’s fabulous pool and dolphin lagoon (more on that down below!)
You’ll find these rooms decorated in cool island colors, with the furnishings providing a perfect blend of luxury and comfort. The bathroom size is very generous as well with an over-sized tub, separate shower, and vanity. But the best part of the room is definitely the furnished balcony where you can not only enjoy those perfect views, but also your morning coffee, The Grand Breakfast for room service, or a night cap. It was difficult to peel myself away from my room but this resort has SO much to offer, I couldn’t help but make the most of it.
Relaxation & Adventure:
In my opinion, The Kahala has everything you could possibly want from a tropical beach resort. From meeting dolphins in their private lagoon to relaxing on the white sand beach, or learning to scuba… there’s something for everyone!
A stay at The Kahala isn’t complete without visiting their natural ocean water lagoon which is home to 6 playful Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins named Hoku, Kolohe, Nai Noa, Liho, Lono, and Hua. If you book one of the many incredible experiences with them, they will easily capture your heart and leave you with so many priceless memories to take back home. The dolphin experiences include becoming a trainer for the day, feeding and playing in the shallow lagoon, and more.
If you can’t get enough of the water, then I suggest spending your afternoon lounging at the resorts stunning ocean-front pool. Their complimentary loungers are available on a first-come, first served basis but you can also rent Cabana Loungers for $75/day. When you get hungry, don’t hesitate to order from the convenient and delicious Seaside Grill. I’d personally recommend their açaí bowls, fish tacos, Wagyu beef burger, or their homemade ice-cream sandwiches!
But if you prefer an 800-foot long, pristine beach, then you can also enjoy an afternoon here with complimentary beach loungers and towels, along with kayak, snorkel gear, or boogie board rentals for those looking for more action.
Staying fit while enjoying your vacation at The Kahala is quite easy with their wide variety of fun exercise classes and even watersport and marine-based tours. Be sure to ask their helpful Concierge if you’re also interested in using one of the complimentary bicycles or additional sporting activities like golf and tennis off-site. The Kahala also offers CHI Fitness classes 6 days a week which includes yoga, Zumba, barre and more. I’d take advantage of the Kahala Jogging Map as well so you can enjoy the best routes with breathtaking scenery.
And while, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to enjoy a treatment at The Kahala’s luxurious spa, I did take a look around. With nine spacious treatment rooms and a relaxation area with a glass-enclosed shower, deep soak tub, wardrobe closet and more, this is an oasis of calm and serenity. I learned that they really embrace the Hawaiian culture here, as well as techniques from around the world. After all, Hawaii is one of the best wellness destinations and the treatments at The Kahala Spa are inspired by the beliefs of the ancient Hawaiians who understood how to rejuvenate both your inner and outer body.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort offers a feast for your taste buds thanks to Executive Chef Jonathan Mizukami’s award-winning cuisine. He embraces the diverse blend of Honolulu’s restaurant trends *and* cultural influences. He has over a decade of experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants so you’re in safe hands when eating at any of The Kahala’s fabulous dining options.
If you’re looking for a more casual lunch, I’d recommend the Plumeria Beach House. For the perfect date night, I’d start with cocktails at The Veranda and then Hoku’s for an intimate and elegant dinner. The dishes here are colorful, creative, and flavorful.
As you can probably tell by now, I truly loved my recent summer getaway at The Kahala Hotel & Resort. Besides the obvious five-star amenities, I loved that they offer a complimentary photography session! You can book a 45-minute shoot on the resort’s scenic grounds and there is NO hourly fee required or a minimum purchase. Your professionally edited images can be viewed the next day where you have the choice to purchase only the ones you love. Of course I enjoy taking my own photos while on vacation, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone else capture some family memories for you.
While The Kahala offers exclusive vacation packages year-round, I appreciated seeing a special offer that’s specifically for first responders. This includes not only police, fire, and EMT, but also doctors and nurses who’ve been working tirelessly during this pandemic.
I was sad to leave The Kahala Hotel & Resort, but I know I’ll return to Honolulu one day and I’m happy to now know the best place to stay; Preferred Hotels & Resorts never disappoints!