Despite its modest land surface of less than 4 mi², Waikiki attracts more than 5,000,000 visitors every year and is home to more than 50 hotels, with just 9 located directly on Waikiki Beach – a precious commodity the few lucky ones get to enjoy!
This is a guide to Waikiki’s beach hotels – hotels located directly on Waikiki Beach. Before we get to the overview a few things to keep in mind:
1) Hilton Hawaiian Village has 1 timeshare tower on Waikiki Beach – the Lagoon Tower – and there is also 1 Waikiki condo on the beach – a condo hotel called Waikiki Shore. The Lagoon Tower is included in this post because it operates like a hotel and Waikiki Shore is included because it offers short-term vacation rentals – like a hotel – and also has a hotel operator in the building managing several of the units. This post is therefore a review of 11 properties: 9 hotels, 1 timeshare & 1 condo hotel.
2) The 3 Hilton Hawaiian Village towers located directly on Waikiki Beach are very different in terms of style, quality and room size and are listed as independent separate hotels in this post. There are other beachfront hotels in Waikiki with more than 1 hotel tower, but those towers feel more like an integrated part of the same hotel and are not listed separately.
3) The list does not include hotels near Waikiki beach (think The Modern Honolulu), hotels just a stone throw away from Waikiki beach (think Hyatt Regency Waikiki) or condo hotels near the beach (think Trump Tower Waikiki).
Video of Waikiki Beachfront Hotels:
Guide to Waikiki Beach Hotels
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Profile: This is the largest beachfront resort in Waikiki, taking up 22 beautiful beachfront acres, with 8 vacation buildings – a mix of hotel & timeshare towers. 3 towers are located directly on Waikiki Beach: The Lagoon Tower, Rainbow Tower & Ali’i Tower. The other 5 towers – not located directly on Waikiki Beach – are the Grand Waikikian Tower, Kalia Tower, Tapa Tower, Diamond Head Tower and Grand Islander (the ladder a timeshare tower with expected completion summer 2017).
Lagoon Tower, Hilton Hawaiian Village (~264 rooms)
Profile: This is a timeshare property. Studios have a kitchenette and the 1BR and larger units all have a full kitchen. Each floor has community laundry facilities, though not inside the units. The rooms are on the larger side and more spacious than your typical hotel room. All rooms have a balcony that sits up to 4 people.
Rainbow Tower, Hilton Hawaiian Village (~796 rooms)
Profile: Views are incredible from many rooms and the oceanfront rooms boast the best beach, Waikiki and Diamond Head views of any rooms in any tower within Hilton Hawaiian Village. All rooms have a balcony that sits up to 4 people.
Ali’i Tower, Hilton Hawaiian Village (~350 rooms)
Profile: The most exclusive of the Hilton Hilton Hawaiian Village towers with private 2nd floor pool and fitness. This tower even has its own private check-in to save visitors time. Rooms are larger than your standard hotel rooms and the vast majority of rooms have a balcony that sits up to 4 people – there are a few 2nd floor rooms without balcony.
Hale Koa Hotel (~818 rooms)
Profile: Exclusively serves members of the US Armed Forces & their families and is not open to the general public (see eligibility requirements). The hotel has 2 towers: The Ilima Tower (built 1975) and Maile Tower (built 1995). The 2 towers are fairly similar.
Waikiki Shore (~168 rooms)
Profile: This is a condo hotel where each unit is individually owned. Castle Resorts & Hotels is the only hotel operator with a front desk in the building and as of February 2017 Castle was managing 81 of the approximate 168 units. Outrigger also manages several units at Waikiki Shore (see the Outrigger Waikiki Shore website), but doesn’t have a front desk in the building (a staff from Outrigger will come to the property and hand keys to the guests upon arrival). Several units boast incredible ocean views and the location is amazing, on a beautiful part of Waikiki Beach. The building itself is rather plain and doesn’t offer a true hotel experience.
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort (~630 rooms)
Profile: Most rooms have a balcony, except some standard rooms. Less than 50 rooms face directly towards the ocean. Great location, next door to Waikiki’s most prestigious 5 star hotel, Halekulani.
Website: Official Site – Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort
Location: See on Google Maps
Reviews & Photos: See on tripadvisor
Halekulani (~453 rooms)
Profile: The only 5 star hotel in Waikiki (Trump Tower and Ritz-Carlton are 5-star properties too, but condo hotels). All rooms have a balcony that fits up to 4 people for most rooms (some balconies may fit even more people). There is a boardwalk in front of the hotel, which offers easy access to white sandy beaches on either side of the hotel. Halekulani is home to the world-renowned French restaurant, Le Mer.
Sheraton Waikiki (~1,636 rooms)
Profile: The largest hotel tower on Waikiki Beach, with more than 50% of the rooms facing the ocean. All rooms have a balcony that sits up to 4 people. Hotel has an awesome infinity pool by the ocean. There is a boardwalk in front of the hotel with a beautiful sandy beach by neighboring Royal Hawaiian Resort Waikiki.
The Royal Hawaiian Resort Waikiki (~528 rooms)
Profile: The original iconic structure (~380 rooms) was built in 1927. Later, In 1971, the Mailani Tower (~140 rooms) was built and the rooms in this tower offers balconies and a more contemporary feel. Unique to the hotel, it has a private beach area, exclusively for the use of its hotel guests, and it is on a stunning part of Waikiki Beach. Known for the awesome Mai Tai Bar, which rests against the beach and boasts incredible Waikiki coastline and Diamond Head views.
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort (~ 524 rooms)
Profile: All rooms, except the standard rooms, have a balcony that sits up to 4 people. On the lobby level is the world-famous Duke’s Waikiki restaurant, which has an awesome energetic vibration. The beach in front of the hotel is awesome and on either side you have the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Moana Surfrider – both highly rated luxury hotels.
Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach (~796 rooms)
Profile: The original iconic structure (today known as the Banyan Wing of the Moana Surfrider) opened its doors year 1901, making it the oldest hotel in Waikiki, known as the Moana Hotel. Moana Surfrider became part of the WestIn group year 2007 – prior it was part of Sheraton. The hotel has 3 structures: Tower Wing (tallest structure closest to the Royal Hawaiian Resort and only wing with a soaking bathtub in the rooms), Banyan Wing (iconic middle section and on average slight more expensive, because of its history) and Diamond Head Wing (closest to Kapiolani Park side). Many rooms have balcony, but some only Juliet type. The hotel is home to the only beachfront spa in Waikiki, the Moana Lani Spa, and the popular Beach Bar (obviously on the beach too).
Hope you enjoyed learning about Waikiki’s beachfront hotels – would love to hear from you in the comments!