Waikiki Hotels: New, Chic and Boutique


If you’re considering a visit to Oahu, you’re more likely than ever to be staying in Waikiki, since the local government is cracking down on unlicensed vacation rentals, which is nearly any place outside of the busy tourist district.  Here are some highlights of new and newly renovated lodgings in town:


This summer, the aptly named 72-room boutique hotel shortened its name from Hotel Renew and sharpened its focus to wellness, with new interiors and programming from the team that made Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club a hit with the Instagram crowd. Cool beach colors, custom rattan and wrought-iron fixtures reflect the soothing, “modern apothecary” design aesthetic, while the new Wellness Concierge can recommend suitable dining, shopping and outings, including voluntourism options through travel2change that let you spread the wellness around.

Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani

Scheduled to open Oct. 25, the new Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani is a major makeover of the former Waikiki Parc (across the street from its storied sister property, Halekulani.) The 284-room, four-suite hotel will feature the all-day, informal Halekulani Bakery & Restaurant, a remodeled eighth-floor pool deck with bar and fitness studio, and perks like free admission to the Bishop Museum and Honolulu Museum of Art.


Self-described as “the jewel of Waikiki,” this complete metamorphosis of the former Aston Waikiki Beachside redefines luxury accommodations. There are just nine suites, each on its own floor with private elevator entry and 2,250 square feet, including three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, ocean-view balconies and high-end kitchens. The circa $5,000-a-night tab also covers a dedicated butler for each suite, airport transfers, access to premium cars and on-demand chef service, among other amenities.


Jeane Cooper

Travel and features writer Jeanne Cooper fell in love with Marin and the Bay Area as a graduate student at Stanford University. After 20 years as an editor and writer for the Washington Post, Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle, she began a freelance career that has taken her from the Austral Islands to Zimbabwe, with many visits to Hawaii in between. Her stories have appeared in numerous national and regional magazines, including Hemispheres, Sunset, San Francisco and Nob Hill Gazette, as well as Marin and Local Getaways. The author of several Frommer’s guidebooks, she now lives on the Big Island, where she’s active in animal rescue. She still enjoys exploring Northern California with her husband and friends.