Halekulani means “house befitting heaven” in Hawaiian. And the elegant Halekulani hotel in Honolulu certainly qualifies.
Not because of its physical construction – the 453-room resort occupies five relatively standard buildings.
But because of the serenity it manages to instill throughout the guest stay.
For one, it sits on the quiet end of Waikiki Beach (but still tantalizingly close to luxury shops).
Halekulani hotel rooms
Rooms too are very Zen-like and calming.
“Seven shades of white” is the theme of the décor. The carpets and sofa are ivory, sliding louvered doors opening onto the balcony are white, and the palest shade of blue-grey silk wallpaper covers a feature wall, adorned with a silver-framed, sea-themed picture.
Big bathrooms are also tiled in all white with a marble countertop.
A little heavenly pampering
But the service is what really makes you cast off the burdens of the real world outside for a moment when you check in.
You’re personally escorted to your room for the process (no standing in line at a busy front reception desk). And you’ll discover a welcome fruit bowl and box of Halekulani’s own chocolates to sweeten your stay. WiFi is free too.
We checked into the Halekulani after cruising – actually “un-cruising” – between some of the Hawaiian islands. After our last night on the cruise snorkeling with manta rays, we were happy to chill by Halekulani’s pool.
It has a beautiful mosaic of an orchid in the center, made from 1.25 million glass tiles.
Beside the pool lies a large expanse of lawn, sprinkled with lounge chairs shaded by swaying palm trees. Attendants make sure you don’t lack for a drink or towel.
The sea-view Orchids dining room is lovely for brunch – crisp white tablecloths, gracious service by black-jacketed waiters (who shelter you from splashing water with a napkin when pouring ice water from a silver jug) and everything from sashimi to tempting desserts.
One of the best Honolulu hotels
Other guests think Halekulani is pretty heavenly too.
It’s won a string of awards over the years and is consistently rated one of Honolulu’s best hotels.
Our magazine story
This story was published first in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles magazine as “Heavenly Halekulani is Truly a Slice of Paradise” (see below). (Photos not ours are courtesy Halekulani.)