I took my wife to The Kahala for our brief trip to Hawaii last week. It remains my favorite hotel on the island.
No full review is necessary because the hotel has not changed much from my last review four years ago.
> Full Review: Kahala Hotel & Resort – Honolulu
If you read me regularly, you know I’m a Hyatt guy. So why The Kahala instead of one of Hyatt’s three properties in Honolulu?
While I’m on pace for renewal of my Hyatt Globalist status (55 nights), I simply did not want to stay in Waikiki for this brief trip to Hawaii. All three Hyatt properties: the Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric, and Hyatt Place are in that neighborhood.
The Kahala neighborhood of Honolulu is quiet and residential. While the beach is not totally empty, it is essentially empty compared to the crowded beaches of Waikiki (not that you’d ever find me laying on a beach). I wanted a hotel with fewer distractions in a more serene environment.
This is not a cheap hotel, but because I booked through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts we received free breakfast including gratuity ($100 value) and $150 in resort credit. We were also upgraded, but that required a concession (more on our room in a separate post).
The room was unchanged and beautiful.
We enjoyed a great ocean view:
A few minor changes.
First, the toilets now have bidets and heated seats. I was thrilled, my wife (who dislikes heated toilet seats) rolled her eyes…
Second, no more filtered Starbucks coffee in the room. Instead, there is a Keurig machine with Hawaiian Paradise Kona Blend capsules. The coffee was horrible…though I blame the machine. I have a Keurig machine in my office and also find the coffee is disappointing no matter the capsule.
The good news is the hotel still offers free tea and coffee each morning until 8:30a in the lower lobby. Unlike in the room, this is excellent coffee:
Third, the phone next to the bed now has two USB ports and built in chargers for various wireless devices. This was helpful and appreciated.
Dolphins and Champagne
At check-in the hotel asked if were celebrating anything special and I mentioned we were celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. While we were out checking the dolphins, chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling wine was delivered to the room.
Speaking of dolphins, my wife loved the grace and beauty of the dolphins the Kahala keeps on-site. Turtles and fish also co-mingle.
Dinner at Hoku’s
We used our resort credit for dinner at Hoku’s. Service at the restaurant was truly exceptional. We were always addressed as “Mr. and Mrs. Klint” and the staff could not have been more professional or kind.
Unless I read the menu wrong, I was disappointed that every single fish entree was breaded. My wife and I love fish and would have enjoyed a freshly-caught grilled or baked fish. Instead, I ordered lamb and my wife ordered chicken. The food was tremendous, though my highlight was the goat cheese salad I had as an appetizer.
Once again, the restaurant recognized our anniversary with a complimentary cake for dessert.
If you’re staying at the hotel, don’t think you are 100% captive to the resort restaurants. There’s a Whole Foods about a mile from the hotel. Heidi and I went shopping there and enjoyed one picnic meal together with groceries purchase from the store.
Breakfast at Plumeria
Breakfast at Plumeria is literally unchanged from previous report. That’s a great thing because the selection remains excellent.
I wholeheartedly recommend The Kahala. This property continues to honor its storied legacy and remain a top choice for accommodation in Honolulu.