It just got a little more difficult to choose which Oahu hotel to book for your vacation (or staycation, for the locals). Harder, because in the first six months of 2016, the Gathering Place is now home to four more hotel resorts. And each one is a stunner in its own way.
This month, the luxury Four Seasons brand officially opened its doors to well-heeled travelers at its newest property in Ko Olina on the west side of Oahu. (Four Seasons has long operated on Lanai, Maui and Hawaii Island). Nearly every room in the 17-story hotel offers an ocean view. Rooms start at $595 per night.
Next door is the giant Disney-run Aulani Resort complex, but take a stroll through the Four Seasons' garden, amongst the koi ponds, read by the infinity pool, or get a beachside massage in a private cabana, and you can still find luxurious bliss, and seclusion.
The new property features five restaurants including its signature seafood restaurant, Fish House. And, since the resort is in Ko Olina, hotel guests have access to the Ko Olina Golf Club and the Ko Olina Marina.
After 24 years of operation in Kapalua, Maui, the Ritz-Carlton has come to Oahu. On July 15, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach will open its doors. The hotel, which is also part residential condo, offers studio and one- to three-bedroom rooms starting at $599 per night with a minimum two-night stay.
Oceanside rooms at Ritz-Carlton Waikiki overlook the nearby 20-acre Fort DeRussy military reservation and park.
The resort’s signature restaurant, BLT Market – not to be confused with BLT Steak in the Trump Hotel Waikiki – is already open, and serves American-inspired cuisine. Much of the menu will change daily thanks to its fresh, Hawaii-sourced produce and fish. Later this summer, the property will also open the first Hawaii location of popular gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca.
The Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club is the new, cool kid in the neighborhood. With a retro, surf-inspired vibe, the boutique hotel was well received in Waikiki when it opened on March 31.
Surfjack’s design elements help set it apart from other hotels—especially in its price range, rooms start at $169 per night. Local designer, Andrew Mau created customized wallpaper for the hotel, including a shaka print, there’s a fern gallery by Kakaako plant store Paiko and restored 60s era upholstery by designer Tori Richard.
Another bonus about staying at Surfjack? Its restaurant: Mahina and Sun’s. The restaurant is operated by Kaimuki chef and restaurateur, Ed Kenney. Like Kenney’s other three restaurants, Mahina and Sun’s menu focuses on focuses on locally sourced ingredients and seasonal foods. You’ll find starters such as avocado tacos, Beignets, mains such as rigatoni and seared ahi, desserts and housemade cocktails.
If you thought Waikiki was out of room, think again. After a $115 million renovation, the Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki opened last month. It’s the largest of 686 Hilton Garden Inn properties at 623 rooms.
Hilton Garden Inn is a welcome addition with its mid-range rates, starting at $259 per night, plus the large hotel makes the formerly crime-ridden area of Kuhio Avenue once again sought after.
Many rooms feature a lanai with seating and have a partial ocean view, or a Waikiki city view. The expansive resort also has a rooftop pool, with a poolside bar. Only two blocks away, it’s an easy walking distance to Waikiki Beach.