Review: The Kahala Hotel & Resort (Oahu)

October 20, 2011

The Kahala is one of those places reserved for special moments. I was lucky enough to stay here for 2 nights during my recent trip to Hawaii. The instant you walk into the resort, you'll feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and tranquility immediately sets in. It is perfect for couples and small families.

Tip: But if you want to experience the vibrant playground of Waikiki or other parts of Honolulu, The Kahala does offer a complimentary shuttle for guests. However it is recommended to call ahead and reserve a spot in the shuttle as there are only 14 seats.

Serene and elegant are what come to mind when I think of The Kahala. And these elements are reflected throughout the hotel - from the stunning lobby with mile-high ceilings and the original custom chandeliers made with pieces of Italian glass, to the spacious rooms decorated with Hawaiian accents. The rooms were refined, yet casual so you always felt at ease. The bathrooms were also very spacious - separate tub and shower, plus two vanity sinks.

A highlight of the property for me were the dolphins. Yes, the Kahala has 5 dolphins on property! They are well trained, well fed, and a delight to all guests. Guests can pay for dolphin encounters, in which they can enter the water with the dolphins to feed and play with them. (You do not swim with the dolphins.) The cost is approximately $200 per person for 45 minutes of dolphin fun.

Tip: If you feel like being closer to the dolphins during your stay, Kahala has Dolphin View Rooms overlooking the dolphin lagoon!

The Kahala has 5 restaurants on property, but I tried only The Plumeria House, a casual restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with amazing views of the ocean. Dishes were top notch and the service impeccable, but the most memorable dish was the gigantic seafood platter. It was about 8 or 9" wide, and 8" high, piled with fresh, delicious seafood including sashimi, oysters, clams, crab claws, lobster legs, etc. And this was only the appetizer!

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