16 Best Hotels in Honolulu

Written by Lavanya Sunkara
Jun 18, 2019

Hawaii's capital, Honolulu, is known for glowing shores and iconic resorts and hotels that hug the coast. Along the two-mile stretch of Waikiki ending at Diamond Head Crater on Oahu's south shore, you'll find most of Honolulu's best hotels, from luxury resorts to multi-bedroom condos and stylish boutique hotels. Some of the hotels are a few blocks from the beach, so make sure you check if the property is on the beach or within walking distance.

In this exciting city, you can check out the sites related to the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor, stroll through atmospheric night markets, admire street murals, dine at multicultural restaurants, swim in azure waters, or catch one of its breathtaking sunsets from the comfort of your hotel beach chair.

Whether you are looking for an all-inclusive deal or a romantic getaway, or you're wanting to splurge on a luxury suite in an oceanfront resort, or save money on a budget beach getaway, Honolulu has the right accommodations to fit your needs. Here are the best hotels in Honolulu for your next Hawaiian vacation.

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Best Luxury Hotels in Honolulu

1. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach

Photo Source: The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach

Oahu's first Ritz-Carlton property features 552 stylish studio, one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom residential-style suites in two towers facing the Pacific ocean. The suites come with a full kitchen, modern decor, and spacious bathrooms with Tibetan white-marble accents.

At the Ritz-Carlton Waikiki Beach, you'll find amenities like two infinity pools, private cabanas, on-site dining options, a fitness center designed by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, a movie theater, and yoga room. Enjoy a healing treatment at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, which uses traditional methods of the islands. Note that the property is not on the beach, but the accommodations have floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the ocean views.

Address: 383 Kalaimoku Street, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach

2. The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Photo Source: The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Located a 10-minute drive from Waikiki, the Kahala Hotel & Resort sits on a secluded beach in Honolulu's posh neighborhood of the Kahala district. Comfortable and large rooms and suites have sweeping sea views, soaking tubs, handwoven rugs, four-poster beds, and other high-end furnishings. It's no wonder that it's a favorite among dignitaries and Hollywood celebrities. Given the seclusion of the property, it's ideal for a romantic couple's getaway. Amenities at the resort include flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and iPod docking stations.

On-site, get pampered at The Kahala Spa, bring your kids to the massive lagoon with friendly marine animals, and dine at five gourmet restaurants, including the signature restaurant, Hoku's. Memorialize your vacation with a complimentary photo shoot out at Kissing Point, a palm-lined promontory with scenic views. Take advantage of the free paddleboard and surf lessons.

Address: 5000 Kahala Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: The Kahala Hotel & Resort

3. Halekulani

Photo Source: Halekulani

Situated right on Waikiki Beach, the luxurious 5-star Halekulani resort features spacious rooms and suites decked out with furnishings in shades of white and cream, giving guests a peaceful retreat. The name Halekulani translates to "house befitting heaven," and the beautiful property lives up to its name. It boasts stunning ocean vistas from giant windows and private balconies, marble-clad foyers, and serene courtyards.

Rooms come with deep soaking tubs, plush cotton robes, a welcome bowl filled with local fruit, and handcrafted Halekulani chocolates. The Premier Suites come with a dedicated butler service, complimentary limo airport transfers, and wraparound lanais.

Swim in the outdoor pool and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian or Polynesian treatment at the beachfront spa. Dine at one of the three gourmet restaurants, including La Mer serving French cuisine made with Hawaiian ingredients. Spend the evening listening to live Jazz at the Lewers Lounge.

Address: 2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Halekulani

4. The Modern Honolulu

Photo Source: The Modern Honolulu

Away from the beach and the activity surrounding Waikiki Beach, the Modern Honolulu presents a sleek, contemporary option six miles from the Honolulu airport. There are no rattan chairs in any of the 353 rooms here. Quirky art installations and hues of white and blonde give the property a fresh look. Guest rooms come in a variety of sizes, with Italian linens and marble bathrooms with designer toiletries. They also feature cable TV, Wi-Fi, and Keurig coffee makers.

There are two swimming pools (one for adults), a spa, and two gourmet restaurants. House iPads are available on loan to learn more about the area.

Address: 1775 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: The Modern Honolulu

5. The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki

Photo Source: The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki

The Royal Hawaiian has been an icon on Waikiki Beach since 1927. This "Pink Palace of the Pacific" was the second hotel to be built in Waikiki and has 528 guest rooms and suites in a flamingo-hued, Spanish-Moorish-style building and a 17-story tower built afterwards. Set in tropical style, the rooms feature pineapple-print wallpaper; wicker, bamboo, and rattan furniture; and pink-hued bathrobes.

Amenities include flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and comfortable beds. The rosy property has a private beach area, several swimming pools (including one with saltwater), two restaurants, and a spa. Some of the services include valet parking, a concierge, cultural activities, a doctor-on-call, florist, currency exchange, laundry and dry cleaning, WiFi, and a business center.

Address: 2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki

6. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Photo Source: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

The colorful facade of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, with a distinctive mosaic tile Rainbow Mural spanning the height of the structure, can be seen far and wide in Waikiki. The resort opened in 1955 and is currently one of the largest hotels in the United States outside of Las Vegas, with 3,386 rooms and suites.

This iconic resort sits on the widest stretch of the beach on 22 acres, featuring five sparkling pools, including the largest, a beachfront Super Pool, and the Paradise Pool with a waterslide, as well as the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon for kayaking and paddleboarding. Hilton Hawaiian Village has the only pier on Waikiki Beach, providing easy access to fun on the water, with catamaran rides and Atlantis submarine adventures.

Five nights a week, enjoy the Waikiki Starlight Luau, featuring lei greetings, Hula kahiko performers, and acrobatic fire dancers. The fun here is endless, with daily cultural activities, a choice of 90 shops and services, nightly entertainment, and 20 restaurants and lounges.

Address: 2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

7. 'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

Photo Source: 'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

The newly renovated 'Alohilani Resort is now the chic home of 839 rooms close to Waikiki's top attractions. The resort is named in honor of Queen Lili'uokalani, the last monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The resort's main attraction of 280,000-gallon Oceanarium in the lobby greets visitors with colorful fish and eagle rays.

There's plenty to do here, with tennis courts, batting cages, spa and a fitness center. There's also a cabana lined saltwater infinity pool overlooking the ocean, and a shallow-water pool and club for kids. The resort boasts two Iron Chef Morimoto fine dining establishments, with Morimoto Asia spotlighting dim-sum and noodle dishes.

Address: 2490 Kalakakua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: 'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

8. Sheraton Waikiki

Photo Source: Sheraton Waikiki

Overlooking Waikiki Bay, the Sheraton Waikiki has many amenities and activities, especially for families traveling with children. All rooms come with cable TV and high-speed Internet. Two children under the age of 17 stay for free per booking, making this a great budget-friendly hotel. Rooms and suites come in a variety of sizes and views; those on the club floor have balconies with full ocean views. Club level guests also have access to a lounge with continental breakfast and afternoon snacks.

On-site are multiple restaurants; Khakara Spa; two swimming pools, one with a 70-foot waterslide; and an interactive fountain area. The property boasts the largest ballroom in Waikiki. Guests can sign up for surf and outrigger canoe lessons on the beach. For kids under 12, the Poppins Keiki Kids program offers childcare services and fun activities. A third party also offers full daycare and babysitting services.

Address: 2255 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Sheraton Waikiki

9. Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach

Photo Source: Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach

Often referred to as the "First Lady of Waikiki," the first hotel of the area has been welcoming guests since 1901. Still flaunting the beautiful facade of the original building, the white columns and grand staircase of the Moana Surfrider give you a sense of stepping back in time. With the addition of two guest towers, expect to find modern amenities at this now Westin property. Guest rooms boast comfortable beds, floor-to-ceiling windows, and full ocean views (from private balconies in the upgraded rooms).

Partake in daily afternoon tea in the courtyard verandah, shaded by banyan trees; take a refreshing swim in the freshwater pool; or enjoy the beachfront spa. There are multiple restaurants, including a fine-dining option, Beachhouse at the Moana, serving fresh seafood. The resort offers special kamaaina rates to Hawaii residents.

Address: 2365 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach

10. Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

Photo Source: Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

Sitting on Waikiki Beach, the Outrigger is an upscale resort with modern rooms and suites. Rooms feature plush beds, Hawaiian-style decor, and ocean views. Expect to find the most incredible beach views from the suites, which also feature Jacuzzi tubs and sleeping sofas, which are good for families. Dine at the legendary Duke's Waikiki, spend the day at the beach with complimentary beach toys and boogie boards, and catch live Jazz at Blue Note Hawaii. The resort also features a swimming pool, spa, and 24-hour fitness center. The property is located close to the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, and Ala Moana Beach Park.

Address: 2335 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

11. The Laylow, Autograph Collection

Photo Source: The Laylow, Autograph Collection

At the low-key 251-room urban oasis that is the Laylow, located on Kuhio Avenue around the corner from the shopping on Kalakaua Avenue and Waikiki Beach, find spacious rooms for a comfortable stay. Not all rooms have a view of the ocean, only the executive level rooms offer partial ocean views. Guests can enjoy the pool-access cabana rooms or a room on the side of the hotel with a view of the pool deck. Rooms come with understated furnishings, a lanai, and a king bed (or two), Wi-Fi, TVs that connect to your phone, and integrated USB chargers.

Some of the perks include checking in on your mobile device, and being able to bring your furry friend at this pet friendly hotel. Dine at the hotel's signature restaurant, Hideout, which has a healthy menu of fresh fish and farm-to-table dishes. Relax by one of the cozy fire pits on the lush garden lanais after a day of exploring. Make sure to take advantage of the complimentary shaved ice in the afternoons and live music by local artists on weeknights.

Address: 2299 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: The Laylow, Autograph Collection

Best Boutique Hotels in Honolulu

1. The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, Waikiki

Photo Source: The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, Waikiki

Feel the energetic vibe of Waikiki at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, situated a few blocks from the main Waikiki strip. This boutique hotels is slightly removed from the ocean, which gives its a quiet tranquility. With a 60s surfer chic decor and breezy guest rooms with vintage furniture, local artwork of island life, and colorful fabric headboards, the hotel sets the stage for an authentic Hawaiian vacation from the past. Yet, there are modern amenities to indulge in; each of the 112 rooms comes with a flat-screen TV, fridge, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and a private lanai. Renovated one-bedroom bungalows to three-bedroom suites are also available.

The Surfjack is home to a stylish apparel shop, Olive & Oliver, and Mahina & Sun's restaurant run by renowned chef Ed Kenney. The outdoor Swim Club includes a pool with a tiled floor, which reads "Wish You Were Here," and an inviting sun deck. The Club is a popular place to hang out and attend cultural programs and events such as open-air movies and discussions with local artists. Guests can take up surf lessons or go catamaran cruising, or take a short drive to the cultural communities of Kaka'ako, Downtown Honolulu, and Chinatown.

Address: 412 Lewers Street, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

2. Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head

Photo Source: Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head

Located near Kaimana Beach and Diamond Head State Monument, the Lotus Honolulu's remote setting and the small number of rooms (51), make this boutique hotel a must for those looking for a peaceful retreat or a romantic getaway. This sanctuary has carved wood accents, lush tropical gardens, sunlit interiors, and views of the Pacific or Diamond crater from the guest rooms.

All rooms have high speed Wi-Fi, TV with a Blu-Ray and DVD player, Playstation 3, and an iPod dock. On-site, Wisp restaurant serves locally inspired cuisine and hosts live music. Beach cruiser bikes, an evening reception, and outdoor yoga classes are complimentary.

Address: 2885 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head

Best Family Hotels in Honolulu

1. Coconut Waikiki Hotel

Photo Source: Coconut Waikiki Hotel

The enviable location of Coconut Waikiki Hotel doesn't match its affordable price tag, and that's exactly the appeal, especially for travelers looking for a family hotel. The rooms and suites here are simple, but they are bright and airy, and come with HDTVs, Keurig coffee makers, and private lanais. Some of the rooms come with a kitchenette, so you can save money cooking your own meals.

Free Wi-Fi, beach towels, and a continental breakfast buffet are included with the room rate. On-site, there is a small, intimate pool area with a wraparound sun deck, barbecue grills, a coin-operated laundry, and fitness center.

Address: 450 Lewers Street, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Coconut Waikiki Hotel

Best Downtown All-Suite Hotel in Honolulu

1. Aston at the Executive Centre Hotel

Photo Source: Aston at the Executive Centre Hotel

Located in Honolulu's financial district, the Aston at the Executive Centre hotel is the only true all-suite hotel in downtown and is a good option for those looking for a cheap hotel. Rooms here generally cost less than $200 a night, and the location is perfect for those wanting to explore areas outside of Waikiki, especially the buzzing Chinatown.

The hotel has the Hukilau restaurant in the lobby and is close to more restaurants and bakeries within walking distance. It also offers a special rate for Biki bike rentals to explore the area on two wheels. Other amenities include daily newspaper, laundry facilities, and a swimming pool.

Address: 1088 Bishop Street, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: Aston at the Executive Centre Hotel

Best Hostel in Honolulu

1. The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel

Photo Source: The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel

Situated less than a block away from Waikiki Beach, near the Honolulu Zoo, the fully renovated Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel has a number of accommodations. Mixed dormitories and ladies-only, semi-private, and private rooms all have air-conditioning, Wi-FI, and their own bathrooms. Some perks include bike, surfboard, and snorkeling gear rentals. There are also free barbecue and pizza nights at the rooftop lounge and a complimentary continental breakfast.

Parking is available for a modest fee, and the 24-hour reception means there's no curfew.

Address: 2569 Cartwright Road, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Accommodation: The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel

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