The Best Hotels in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, for Every Traveler

The iconic Waikiki Beach in Honolulu is served by a wide range of hotels to suit every kind of vacationer
The iconic Waikiki Beach in Honolulu is served by a wide range of hotels to suit every kind of vacationer | © Al Argueta / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Elizabeth Rose
18 January 2021

Waikiki Beach, on the south shores of Honolulu, is where “Father of Surfing” Duke Kahanamoku first learned to ride the waves. And what a setting he enjoyed. Picturesque Hawaiian sands are overlooked by the rugged folds of Mount Leahi, also known as Diamond Head. Now a popular tourist haunt, the area is served by a collection of hotels suiting all-comers, from smaller boutiques to grand resorts. Here are the best.

Halekulani Hotel

Resort, Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Halekulani / Expedia
Spend a Waikiki Beach vay-cay in the luxurious Halekulani hugging the Pacific Ocean. All suites and many guest rooms come with views over the waters, a setting designed perfectly for sundowners. There are three open-air restaurants, each with ocean views, including the elegant La Mer, an award-winning fine dining eatery featuring South of France cuisine with island touches. Relax at the indoor-outdoor hotel lounge where you can savor a Mai Tai cocktail while listening to gentle Hawaiian tunes.
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Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club

Hotel, Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of the Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club / Expedia

This high-rise boutique hotel sports a surf-cool mid-century vibe, catering to those who want to embrace the chill Hawaiian vibe. It’s centrally located on Lewers Street, so you’re just a short walk or bike ride from soft sands and island shopping. There’s also a hip diner, Mahina & Sun’s, by Honolulu’s own Ed Kenney. And yes, there’s an actual swim club based at the ovoid hotel pool where you can enjoy a cocktail and even watch a “dive-in” movie.

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The Modern Honolulu

Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of the Modern Honolulu by Diamond Resorts / Expedia
The Modern brings, well, modernity to the ancient beauty of Waikiki Beach, particularly through design-forward spaces. That’s first seen in the hotel lobby, where you’ll discover an art installation created from broken surfboards signed by their riders. Rooms come in a sleek, minimalist white, some with ocean views. There are two pools (Sunrise and Sunset), al fresco dining among bougainvillea and hibiscus at THE GROVE restaurant, and a fitness center and yoga classes. It’s also close to the largest open-air shopping center in the world, the Ala Moana, where you’ll find luxury fashion houses.
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Moana Surfrider

Resort, Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort and Spa, Waikiki Beach / Expedia
Moana Surfrider – the “First Lady of Waikiki” – proffers the glamor of yesteryear without skimping on modern comfort. Established in 1901, it’s housed in a grand Victorian property fronted by an impressive columned porte cochère. In the center is a huge Banyan tree, planted in 1904, of which you can enjoy views from the Vintage 1901 veranda bar while sipping a fine wine. There’s also an ocean-view pool with palms, plus easy access to the beach.
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Kaimana Beach Hotel

Hotel, Independent Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Kaimana Beach Hotel / Expedia

Towering over Kaimana Beach, a golden sandy strip with calm waters, this boutique is built for the traveler looking to explore. Natural beauty is found at Mount Leahi and Queen Kapiʻolani Regional Park, both of which sit within a 15-minute walk. You will also find the Waikiki Aquarium, Entertainment District and the International Marketplace nearby. Back at the hotel, a small spa provides treatments such as hot stone massages, manicures and pedicures, while the relaxed Hau Tree beachfront restaurant serves local and international dishes.

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  • Park Shore Waikiki Hotel

    Hotel, Independent Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Park Shore Waikiki / Expedia

    Wedged between Waikiki Beach and Mount Leahi, the Park Shore makes a great base for your adventures. When you’re not scrambling up the peak, you can gaze up at it from the chilled pool deck. Rooms come in a calming neutral color palette, some with ocean or mountain views. Grab-and-go food is found at Tucker & Bevvy (ideal for beach picnics), while Japanese fare is served at Yoshitsune and local dishes at Lulu’s.

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    Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

    Hotel, Luxury, Spa Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort / Expedia

    An upscale resort sitting on the sands, Outrigger is the epitome of Hawaiian luxury. There’s a restaurant for every taste: head to Duke’s for fresh-caught fish and authentic Hawaiian music; Hula Grill for local island fare; and Blue Note for a world-inspired menu and top notch jazz, rock and Hawaiian entertainment. There’s also a special range of activities put on for guests, such as vow renewal ceremonies and stand-up paddleboard yoga; both of which may make your knees wobble, but for very different reasons. For relaxation, try yoga on the beach, and don’t miss the Infinity Spa, which takes up the top two floors of the resort and has a mesmerizing ocean view.

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    Hotel Renew

    Budget Hotel, Independent Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Hotel Renew / Expedia

    One minute’s walk will take you to Waikiki Beach from Hotel Renew. But before you head off, don’t forget to pick up your complimentary beach gear, which includes chairs, towels and boogie boards. Life at Renew is ever so laid-back, starting with your welcome, which comes with a cooling lemongrass-scented towel and māmaki (a Hawaiian iced tea thought to relieve stress). The mid-century modern decor of the 72-room boutique, soft color palette and views of Waikiki add to the relaxing atmosphere.

    These recommendations were updated on January 18, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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