Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is situated on the “Big Island.” It is the major hub for everything from transport to culture in the Polynesian Island Chain. Here, you’ll find the famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head hiking trail, as well as top shopping, rooftop bars, and historic sites.
This dreamy island getaway is a booming city (for good reason) and has a whole lot of accommodation as a result. Much of it is within walking distance of the shoreline. To save you from sifting through the not-so-good options, here’s a list of only the very best hotels in Honolulu to choose from.
1. Polynesian Residences Waikiki Beach
Rooms at Polynesian Residences Waikiki Beach are decorated in laid back, beachy tones. They come with eye-catching headboards, small kitchen areas, and relaxing balconies. Each room also has a modern, beautifully finished bathroom.
The hotel’s pool area is suitably stylish and is surrounded by natural wood decking and cabanas. Guests have the option of taking part in a yoga or hula class daily.
Location: Just one block from Waikiki Beach, this top Honolulu hotel is just 20 minutes on foot from Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium. Fort DeRussy Park is also close by.
2. Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger
Waikiki Beachcomber is a fun, friendly hotel with rooms boasting a seaside aesthetic; these boast cream carpets, large windows with sea views, and a host of minimalist, beachy furnishings. They also come with coffee machines and well-appointed bathrooms.
Guests can enjoy a breakfast each morning at the 4-star hotel, which also serves up evening meals. There’s a cool and breezy café and an onsite bar with craft Hawaiian beers on tap.
Location: Set 200 yards from the golden sands of Waikiki Beach, Kuhio Beach is also within walking distance of this hotel. The Royal Hawaiian Center is nearby, as is the Ala Wai Golf Course.
3. The Modern Honolulu by Diamond Resorts
Boasting not one but two outdoor pools, complete with views of the ocean, this top Honolulu hotel is dotted with exotic greenery and charming space for guests to relax in. The rooms are spacious, drenched with plenty of natural light.
In terms of amenities, this hotel boasts a world-class restaurant, as well as three separate bars and the option to dance the night away at the hotel’s very own nightclub.
Location: Situated just yards from the Kahanamoku section of Waikiki Beach, this hotel is also just 500 yards from Fort DeRussy Beach Park and a mile from Ala Moana Shopping Center for all your retail needs.
4. Shoreline Hotel Waikiki
Shoreline Hotel Waikiki is a colourful place to stay. The contemporary spaces are bright, with splashes of colour, neon signage, and bold furnishings throughout. This extends to the guest rooms, which are fun, retro-modern affairs.
This upscale hotel boasts a sun terrace and rooftop pool for that all-important chill space, while the onsite restaurant provides easygoing plates and evening cocktails.
Location: Just yards from Waikiki Beach, this hotel is also close to lots of nightlife, as well as big sights like the Royal Hawaiian Center and Fort DeRussy. It’s also easy to travel around on public transport from here, with a bus stop just outside.
5. Paniolo at The Equus
Paniolo at The Equus is tasteful and traditional, feeling natural yet modern in its design. Rooms come with glimpses of the sea from their private balconies, making for a good place to relax and take in the views.
The hotel boasts its own restaurant, and there’s also an intimate bar for low-key evening drinks. Guests will find a pool here for refreshing swims.
Location: This family-run hotel is situated on Ala Moana Boulevard. It’s also very close to Kahanamoku Beach and within walking distance of Ala Moana Beach. There are shopping opportunities in the vicinity, as well as several restaurants.
6. Queen Kapiolani
Complete with panoramic views of Diamond Head from its outdoor pool and sun terrace, the Queen Kapiolani is a high-end hotel in Honolulu. Its rooms feature Hawaiian accents, with modern, well-appointed furnishings. Even the bedrooms have Diamond Head views.
The hotel offers convenient shops in its lobby and boasts a sightseeing desk, which will be very handy in exploring Hawaii further. The staff can also provide guests with towels and chairs for the beach, which is a plus.
Location: Set just one block from the Kuhio section of Waikiki Beach, from here, it’s easy to reach Honolulu Zoo. This is an excellent place to stay if you want convenient access to hike the Diamond Head Trail.
7. The Laylow, Autograph Collection
The Laylow is a huge slice of modern sophistication. It’s got eye-catching interiors, decorated with plenty of greenery, and rooms boasting polished wood furnishings, colourful feature walls, and plenty of natural light.
Guests can enjoy a swim in the pool, which has sun loungers sunken into the pool itself. Elsewhere, you can enjoy an evening of drinking and dining at the very stylish onsite eatery.
Location: This cool Honolulu hotel is a five-minute walk from Waikiki Beach. Staying here means you’ll be able to enjoy the restaurants and cafes of the local area. Other nearby sights include Ala Wai Golf Course and the impressive St Augustine by the Sea Chapel. The hikes of Diamond Head are easily reached from here, too.
8. Vive Hotel Waikiki
Vive Hotel Waikiki is a boutique hotel in Honolulu that is beautiful in its minimalism. Sleek lines and easygoing ambience all culminate in an upbeat place to stay in the city. Rooms are stylish, simple, and well-appointed, with flatscreen TVs and sea views.
The hotel boasts a convenient concierge service and has beach equipment available for guests to use. Each morning, the hotel serves a continental breakfast for guests to enjoy.
Location: Just two miles from Diamond Head, the sun and surf of Waikiki Beach is just 300 yards away. The International Marketplace is located just steps from the front door of the hotel. Ala Wai Golf Course is also nearby.
9. The Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club
The Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club is a cool place to stay in Honolulu. The bedrooms are all about handcrafted wooden furnishings and come with custom tiled bathrooms and an array of interesting artwork adorning the walls.
Simple sophistication can be found in the hotel bar, and there is an outdoor swimming pool for lazy afternoons in the sun. The hotel puts on a range of cultural activities and programmes; there’s even an onsite boutique for shopping.
Location: Just a five-minute drive from Waikiki Beach, the Royal Hawaiian Center and the International Marketplace, the delights of Chinatown are a 20-minute drive from this hotel.
10. Lotus Honolulu Hotel
If you’re looking for beautifully appointed bedrooms and spacious places that reflect the beauty of the surrounding natural scenery (including views of Diamond Head), you may want to consider staying at Lotus Honolulu Hotel.
This high-end Honolulu hotel boasts a beachfront location, which gives the onsite restaurant an even better setting. Not only can you enjoy a delicious dinner here, but there’s also a complimentary wine hour where guests can relax and mingle.
Location: This is a perfect location away from the crowds of the main strip of Waikiki Beach. It’s just steps from the Pacific Ocean, and not too far from Kaimana Beach, Waikiki Aquarium, and Kapiolani Park.
11. Prince Waikiki
Prince Waikiki is all about its nautical theme: calming neutral colours mix with blues and plush carpets, but it’s all about the huge windows, which allow for fantastic sea views.
This hotel boasts a selection of dining options – from Hawaiian traditional fare to Japanese dishes. There’s a swimming pool, fitness centre, and a library for guests to use.
Location: This hotel is minutes from Ala Moana Beach, but the hotel provides a free shuttle service to Waikiki Beach. Close by, guests will also find the Ala Moana Center, Magic Island, and Fort DeRussy Park.
12. Hotel La Croix
Hotel La Croix is a polished, minimal affair. Rooms offer a surfy vibe mixed with modern, contemporary cool. Rooms have unobstructed ocean views.
The hotel boasts a chic outdoor swimming pool with views out across the city and seafront. For guests who like to keep up with their workouts, there’s a well-equipped gym. There’s even a buffet breakfast served each morning.
Location: Situated adjacent to Fort DeRussy Park and King Kalakaua Park, this hotel is just one block from Luxury Row, and near to a host of cafes and restaurants.
13. Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani
Halepuna Waikiki is a decidedly high-end option. The guest rooms are a gorgeous oasis away from the city, with windows that open fully to reveal sea views. The bathrooms boast gleaming marble tiles, too.
The hotel features art from several local artists. There’s chic outdoor space located on the 8th floor; here you’ll find an infinity pool, a pool bar, a private garden to kick back in, and a reflexology path to treat your feet after they’ve done some hiking.
Location: Just a stone’s throw from Waikiki Beach, the hotel is nestled among the shopping and dining options of the area. The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is close by, as is the International Marketplace.
14. Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach
If you’re looking for understated luxury, look no further than the Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach. The rooms are clean and comfortable with a high-end feel.
The hotel boasts a full-service bar and restaurant for sumptuous evening meals. There’s even a cafe for daytime snacks and caffeine fixes. The outdoor pool is eye-catching, but it’s the cathedral-like two-storey lobby that really impresses.
Location: This top Honolulu hotel boasts a central location just a five-minute stroll from Waikiki Beach. It’s easy to walk to many top sights from here – the International Marketplace is right across the road, for example.
15. The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach Hotel provides a variety of different rooms for differing travel needs. Some come with their own kitchens and seating areas, but all are stylishly decked out and boast ocean views.
The resort features an infinity pool that sits high above Waikiki and offers private cabanas. There is also a choice of eateries at the hotel for guests to sample – including a delicious Japanese restaurant headed by renowned sushi chef, Keiji Nakazawa.
Location: Situated along Luxury Row, the Ritz-Carlton is perfect for those who want to shop and enjoy beachside lounging; as Waikiki Beach and Fort DeRussy are just 750 yards from the hotel.