New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel Review


The Best Hotel in Waikiki

Many agents associate Joanie and me with the cruise industry and the home based travel agent sector. Before we became involved in the cruise industry, Joanie and I owned a Hawaii wholesale tour company that served agents with FIT access to over 86 resorts and condominiums throughout all of Hawaii. I had been employed by Aloha Airlines and Joanie was the Sales Manager for both Classic Hawaii (when they first started) and Runaway Tours. I actually met Joanie on a Hawaii fam trip, as I escorted hundreds of fam trips during my 12-year tenure with Aloha. Because of the extensive amount of travel I escorted in Hawaii, I ended up staying in virtually every property on all of the islands.

I would normally meet the group in Waikiki the night before they went to the neighbor islands and stay at the same hotel that the group was at. Over the years I made it a point to stay at virtually every property in Waikiki. It was this knowledge that allowed us to launch a FIT operation that served agents well and made our tour company a complete success. Back then agents would ask me which property I thought was the best in Waikiki and I would always answer “Either the Halekulani or the Colony Surf”. This was before the original low rise Halekulani was torn down to make room for the new Halekulani, which is still a great hotel, it just lost the true Hawaiian flavor of the original property. Joanie and I actually met in the lobby of the old Halekulani Hotel when I picked up a Runaway group that she was escorting. Unfortunately, the Colony Surf Hotel is no longer active in the visitor market, but only rents to long term guests and most of the units are owner occupied.

Joanie and I have continued our love affair with Hawaii ever since we sold our tour company back in 1984 and have visited it at least two times each year. We just love everything Hawaii has to offer. Today many agents still ask me what I think the best hotel in Waikiki is and I always answer the same.

“It is the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel’s Ocean Front Rooms”

While Waikiki has some spectacular hotels, the Kaimana has everything going for it that Joanie and I are looking for in a hotel. Here are just some of the reasons.


The Kaimana is an Intimate Boutique Hotel:  Forget the crowds and the hassle. The Kaimana reflects its Hawaiian heritage and its staff offer the kind of hospitality that only Hawaiians can.


The Kaimana Sits on Waikiki’s Best Beach: San Souci Beach is well known to locals as the best beach in Waikiki. It is like having your own private beach, as most tourists don’t even know it is there.


There is a channel through the reef right in front of the Kaimana that offers the best place to swim and snorkel in Waikiki. The surf spots named Old Man’s, Sand Bar, Tongg’s and Rice Bowl are all just a paddle through the channel away and never get crowded like Canoes, Queens Surf and Populars do. The white sandy beach offers calm protected waters for children and is always safe for swimming.


The Hau Tree Lanai is One of Waikiki’s Best Restaurants: Recognized by locals as one of the best restaurant in Waikiki, the Hau Tree Lanai resides right on San Souci Beach and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a fantastic setting. The food is wonderful, but the location is simply to die for. Enjoying a glass of wine at the Hau Tree Restaurant and watching the sunset is something every visitor that loves Hawaii should experience.


The Ocean Front Room Views are the Best in Waikiki:  While some the hotels in Waikiki offer spectacular views, nothing beats the ocean front rooms at the Kaimana. Located on the Diamond Head side of Queen Kapiolani Park, the views not only take in all of San Souci Beach and the sunsets, they also overlook all of Waikiki.


Watching the fireworks from your balcony is simply breathtaking. We love nothing more than to open the drapes all the way in the morning and take in the vista.


No Resort Fees: Just about every hotel in Waikiki has resort fees that cover such things as pool towels, Internet access and so on. The Kaimana does not have resort fees, yet wi-fi Internet access is available throughout the property.  Beach towels and mats are available for free at the bellman’s desk and many other amenities are also included for free.  Surfers will find that the Kaimana’s free surfboard storage just off the beach is invaluable. The storage is completely enclosed and padded so that the boards are kept safe and without the usual dings from resting on concrete.


No Tourists: Probably the nicest thing about the Kaimana Beach Hotel is its location. Being on the Diamond Head side of Queen Kapiolani Park makes the hotel seem like a neighbor island property. Yet, downtown Waikiki is just a short 10-minute walk away. It is convenient to the southern side of Waikiki and all of the restaurants on Kapahulu such as Side Street Inn on da Strip, Uncle Bo’s and Rainbow Drive In.