The Best Resorts to Book in Honolulu, Hawaii

The historic Royal Hawaiian blends local traditions with five-star service
The historic Royal Hawaiian blends local traditions with five-star service | Courtesy of the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort / Booking.com
Photo of Pierre de Villiers
17 December 2021
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Whether it’s the fragrant lei greeting, a traditional luau on the beach or the rolling waves of Waikiki, Hawaii has been a dream holiday destination for decades. And no trip to the state is complete without a stopover at its main gateway, Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oahu. Everything you’ve imagined about a trip to Hawaii, you’ll find at the hotels here – from mai tai bars to gorgeous ocean vistas. Here are some of the best resorts in Honolulu, bookable with Culture Trip.

The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki, for cultural charm

An aerial view of the iconic pink Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki with Diamond Head in the distance
Courtesy of the Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki / Booking.com
Living up to its nickname – the Pink Palace of the Pacific – the striking Royal Hawaiian is a perfect blend of local traditions and modern amenities. Since its arrival in 1927, this resort in Honolulu has strived to give its guests a unique five-star experience. Eat until you burst at the award-winning Azure Restaurant, swing by the original Mai Tai Bar, follow your nose to the Royal Hawaiian Bakery or enjoy Waikiki’s only oceanfront luau.

'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, for a unique ocean visit

The sleek infinity pool with in-pool lounge chairs and ocean views at 'Alohilani Waikiki Beach
Courtesy of 'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach / Expedia
An astonishing 280,000-gallon (1m-liter) Oceanarium greets you in the open-air lobby of this popular Honolulu resort – one of many eye-popping moments during your stay. There’s also a deck with private cabanas that has a saltwater infinity pool and a pool bar that serves drinks day and night all within a short stroll from Waikiki Beach. Named in honor of Queen Lili’uokalani – the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom – it shares the same location as her beachside home.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort, for water-sports lessons

A spacious upscale king room at the Kahala Hotel and Resort with an oceanfront balcony
Courtesy of the Kahala Hotel and Resort / Booking.com
One of the many freebies at the Kahala Hotel & Resort are surf and paddleboard lessons – something you’ll need to make the most of the hotel’s location on the Ka Iwi coastline. You don’t have to go too far to see the local wildlife here – book into the chic Dolphin Lanai room and you’ll have a view of the Dolphin Lagoon, home to some playful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach, for eclectic design

The beachfront pool area at Moana Surfrider on Waikiki Beach
Courtesy of Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort and Spa, Waikiki Beach / Expedia
Moana Surfrider has earned its reputation as the First Lady of Waikiki. A Honolulu institution that first opened its doors in 1901, the resort offers a blend of Victorian style and modern comfort. In addition to the sophisticated rooms, there’s a magnificent banyan tree – planted in 1904 – an outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, six on-site bars and restaurants, plus the only beachfront spa in Waikiki.

The Modern Honolulu by Diamond Resorts, for stunning views all around

Stylish pool area surrounded by wood deck and plush lounge chairs with umbrellas at the Modern Honolulu by Diamond Resorts
Courtesy of the Modern Honolulu by Diamond Resorts / Booking.com
Choose between a city, harbor, pool or ocean view when booking a room – most of which have private balconies – at this slick Honolulu resort. Live music beside one of two pools adds to the vibrant atmosphere at the hotel most nights, while a trendy lobby bar and nightclub plus three upscale restaurants, including a gourmet Japanese option, will ensure that you have plenty to do before even stepping outside the door.

Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, for outdoor entertainment

Sleek king room with seating area and sliding door to ocean-view balcony at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa / Booking.com
Positioned in the heart of Waikiki Beach next to Diamond Head, this Honolulu resort has sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Another huge drawcard here is the Queensbreak amenity deck – the area’s largest outdoor entertainment space that has two pools and a restaurant and bar bobbing around among palm trees overlooking Queens – the famous surf break in Waikiki.

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, for ocean lovers

The wraparound view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head from a restaurant at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
Courtesy of Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort / Expedia
Sitting right on Waikiki Beach – just 1mi (1.6km) from the Aquarium and 2mi (3km) from Ala Moana Beach Park – Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is made for those who love the ocean and its critters. Perks at the hotel include beach access, an outdoor pool, a spa, a state-of-the-art fitness room, a buzzing live jazz bar, a beachfront restaurant, a coffee shop and a sandwich café.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, for a vibrant design

Corner room with ocean views from floor-to-ceiling windows and two balconies at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Courtesy of Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort / Booking.com
Chances are you’ve spotted this Honolulu resort’s colorful exterior in the background of many movies and TV shows. An iconic feature of the city skyline, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is set across five towers – with each spacious room featuring views of the resort, the Honolulu coastline or the Pacific Ocean. The hotel also boasts Waikiki’s widest white sand beach and Waikiki’s only saltwater lagoon.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, for a nod to Hawaiian culture

Pool area with backdrop of palm trees and view of ocean at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa / Booking.com
Surfers who stay at this Hyatt Regency might want to pay their respects to the man who started it all – the Honolulu resort is directly across from the statue of Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern wave riding. The hotel has some of the largest guest rooms in all of Waikiki – each with a private lanai and a layout that preserves the Hawaiian cultural context.

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