Waikiki – the number one tourist destination in the State of Hawaii – boasts more than 100 high-rise residential condos across a modest land surface of just 1.5 square miles. Add the more than 50 hotels to this and Waikiki is like a mini Manhattan, with 1 important difference: Waikiki has some of the world’s most incredible beaches.
At Hawaii Living we know the Waikiki condo market very well and felt it was about time we shared a list of our favorite condos in Waikiki. Besides the condos on this list, there are other great condos in Waikiki, but the following are the standouts, for a variety of reasons.
Here it is, our top 10 Waikiki condos, listed in reverse order – the “winner” listed at the end.
10) Lanikea at Waikiki (Built: 2005, Units: 96)
When Lanikea at Waikiki was built, it was the first condo developed in Waikiki for more than a decade and the first residential tower by locally renowned firm, Alexander & Baldwin. The units come with nice finishes throughout and effective floor plans. Lanikea at Waikiki has a very private feel, having just 4 x 2BR units per floor and a total of 96 units. The exclusive boutique like lifestyle comes at a price with rather high maintenance fees. The location is great being nearby luxury the Ritz-Carlton Waikiki condotel and just a few minutes stroll from Waikiki beach and all the shopping.
9) Allure Waikiki (Built: 2010, Units: 302)
A modern high-rise with incredible resort like amenities, including an infinity pool, jacuzzi, BBQ area and more. The units at Allure Waikiki all come with a state-of-the-art kitchen, wood flooring and overall units that are beautifully appointed throughout. Just a few select units boast stunning ocean views. Allure is located on a corner of busy Kalakaua Ave, which may cause some noise (especially for lower floor units), but in return you get a very convenient location, which is just a short stroll from the beach and all of Waikiki’s shops and restaurants.
8) Villa on Eaton Square (Built: 1973, Units: 425)
If you are looking for an outstanding rooftop deck, then Villa on Eaton Square is a must see. The rooftop boasts 360 degrees of amazing views and comes with a pool, BBQ stations, sauna and a yoga room. Villa on Eaton Square is located on a fairly quiet street in Waikiki and conveniently has a Food Pantry grocery store right in front of it. The building is well maintained and the units are all studios and 1BR floor plans, except a few PH units. The units do not have lanais, but in return have very effective and well designed rooms.
7) Waipuna (Built: 1971, Units: 408)
Waipuna condos all come with a large usable lanai, extending from the living room. All lanais face towards Hobron Lane or Ena Road (away from busy Kalakaua Ave), which makes the lanais all that more comfortable to use. On the ground level are beautiful ponds with swans and ducks swimming, creating a peaceful and tranquil feel like nowhere else in Waikiki. Waipuna has security guard(s) on duty 24 / 7 and is a very well maintained building and has very reasonable maintenance (HOA) fees. Waipuna is truly the definition of gracious Hawaii style living.
6) Ilikai Marina (Built: 1968, Units: 261)
This is one of just three condos in Waikiki with direct beach access, without having to step out on a busy main street. Ilikai Marina is a condotel, which allows owners to run a short-term vacation rental business. There are only 2 room configurations: 1BR style facing south – boasting stunning marina and ocean views – and the studio configurations facing the mountain. Ilikai Marina is all about location and for the 1BR units, unmatched views – the building itself is rather plain. The neighbor on the east side is the upscale Modern Hotel and on the west side the stunning Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki.
5) Diamond Head Vista (Built: 1975, Units: 173)
Dramastic ocean, Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head views from the large usable lanais in most of the condos at Diamond Head Vista – only lower floor units have compromised views. The building is fronting the public Jefferson Elementary School and it is therefore highly unlikely the views at Diamond Head Vista will be compromised in the future. The units are either large 1BR or decent size 2BR configurations. Diamond Head Vista is located in the most western part of Waikiki, on a fairly quiet street. Queen Kapiolani Park is nearby, which is a park very popular for joggers, runners and dog walkers. this is a very well-maintained building, which has kept its class over the years.
4) Waikiki Beach Tower (Built: 1983, Units: 144)
This is one of just two condos on Kalakaua Ave, which offers dramatic ocean views. Waikiki Beach Tower is a condotel, which allows owners to run a short-term vacation rental business. There are just 4 x 2BR units per floor, each unit boasting a large usable lanai. The “02” and “03” higher floor units are preferred, as they come with the most incredible unobstructed ocean and Diamond Head views. Lower floor units have views impacted significantly by neighboring hotels. Waikiki Beach Tower is right across the street from Kuhio Beach, which is the most crowded and popular part of Waikiki Beach.
3) Waikiki Shore (Built: 1960, Units: 168)
The only condo in Waikiki located right on the beach – yes, the only one. Waikiki Shore is a condotel, which allows owners to run a short-term vacation rental business (owners can, if they like, use while vacationing in Waikiki and otherwise rent out to other vacationers). All condos have a good sized usable lanai and most lanais face Fort Derussy Park with stunning west facing ocean views, beyond the park. A few select 2BR units literally hang on the beach – it is spectacular and something out of this world. Waikiki Shore is ideally located with 5 star Halekulani Hotel next door, Trump Tower Waikiki immediately behind it and endless shops and restaurants a stone’s throw away.
2) Ilikai Apartments (Built: 1965, Units: 1,023)
A popular condotel, which allows owners to run a short-term vacation rental business. Ilikai Apartments is located right by the Ala Wai Boat Harbor and there is direct access to both Waikiki Beach and Ala Moana Beach Park, without having to step on to busy Ala Moana Blvd – just three Waikiki condos have direct beach access without having to step on to a busy main street. Each unit is either a 500sqf 1BR style (some owners have pulled the sliding doors out to create an oversized studio, enhancing the views) or a 1,000sqf 2BR type. The condos all come with a large usable lanai and about half of the units offer dramatic ocean views. Conveniently located on the lobby floor, there is a restaurant, a convenient store, a coffee shop as well as a few more options.
1) The Watermark (Built: 2008, Units: 196)
….and the winner is…..The Watermark Waikiki! If you want to live in a condo that feels like a resort, The Watermark Waikiki may be something for you to explore. The first floor open air lobby with its beautiful grounds, gorgeous pool and friendly staff, almost feels like you have just arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel in Maui. The building has exclusively 2BR configurations – except a few larger PH units – and the vast majority of the condos offer fantastic ocean and marina views. The Watermark Waikiki is located in a quiet part of Waikiki, conveniently bridging central Waikiki with endless shopping & restaurants and Ala Moana with the world-famous shopping center and stunning beach park.
This sums up our list of top 10 condos in Waikiki. We would love to hear from you in the comments below – do you agree or disagree? Any condos that should have / should not have made the list?