If service, luxury and hospitality are the three words that come to mind when thinking on where to stay on your next Hawaiian getaway, then be sure to tell Platinum Concierge at American Express to book you at the Halekulani Hotel on O’ahu as soon as possible. Old world hospitality and remember-your-name service is alive and well at this classic hotel located on the sands of Waikiki Beach.
The entire lobby area and first floor have no doors as this hotel always wants to maintain an air of openness and hospitality. As large as this hotel actually is, you would never know it; the lobby area is quaint and inviting. A beautiful floral arrangement is the centerpiece of the lobby and is the first thing one sees upon walking toward check-in.
While being escorted to the room, one cannot help but be delighted by the cordial welcoming by any staff member you see along the way to your room. "Aloha" —hello in Hawaiian— is the thing to say and definitely the spirit of this hotel. The rooms, while not the biggest for a luxury hotel, are simple and elegantly furnished. Light blues and whites are used throughout to keep a very bright and tidy look. Not much is used in the room in terms of electronics or gadgetry but the WiFi is complimentary and very fast. At the end of day you are in Hawaii to relax and enjoy nature and the ocean.
As you rest on your personal lawn chair on the lana’i —or balcony in plain English—, the views of Waikiki Beach and Mamala Bay are spectacular. The cool breeze from the Hawaiian trade winds are as refreshing as they are invigorating. Enjoying a cold beverage with this view beats any time spent at any of the nearby bars or restaurants.
The sun is setting and the beaches start to clear...it must be time to get ready to explore the city. You reach into the in-room safe and pull out your Rolex GMT Master II to complete your evening look. With the ability to keep three time zones at once, this watch is a 'must-have' for watchlifestylers who constantly need to juggle time zones of loved ones as well as business matters. Choosing the stainless steel model will keep you under the radar, while the polished center links of the beautiful Oyster bracelet will give that subtle 'pop' to your wrist that the popular Rolex Submariner in stainless steel won't.
5:30 P.M. rolls around so you make your way to the elevator. Once in the lobby, you hear the sweet sounds of traditional Hawaiian music. Your ears try to guide you to the sound, and sure enough you find a trio playing music at the 'House Without A Key', a bar located to the right of the pool. Before leaving the grounds, this is the perfect place to get your first drink of the evening. With an extensive list of cocktails both traditional and tropical, one can easily find something to quench their thirst.
Being that this is Waikiki, your choices for eating and drinking are plentiful. Our suggestion, is to head down to the Trump International Hotel Waikiki, located on the corner of Saratoga Road and Kalia Road just steps from the Halekulani Hotel. At the bar located on the fifth floor called 'Wai’olu Ocean View Lounge', you can try their award winning Mai Tai —yes, it’s won Hawaii’s Best Mai Tai for many years in a row— or just a plain and simple Chopin vodka water. With views of both the ocean and the buildings in and around downtown Honolulu, it is a spectacular place to watch the sunset as well as fireworks on Friday nights.
Had your fill here? Head downstairs to BLT Steak on the first floor. You won’t find any contrived tropical nonsense here. This is where you come for steak and fine seafood while avoiding the crowds and the typical tourist meal.
Your evening winds down... luckily the haven of tranquility and relaxation that is the Halekulani Hotel is only steps away from dinner. If you need that last night cap before retiring to your chambers, I recommend 'Lewers Lounge' at the hotel. While a jacket is not required, pants and shoes are, therefore, make sure you are properly attired. Sweet jazz plays until midnight on most nights —some nights later— and their coconut cake at the Halekulani is famous to travelers and locals alike. This watchlifestyler opts for a half bottle of something French and a slice of cake...it is vacation after all.
Your night has come to a close. You enter your room to find that the sheets have been turned down. You enter a deep slumber, looking forward to a wonderful day of sunshine and drinks by the pool the following day.
For more info on the Halekulani Hotel click here.