The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
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TravelPod Member ReviewsThe New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel Honolulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel Honolulu
Wow!! - what a treat
This is a real find - a truly wonderful hotel at the quiet end of Waikiki on a superb little beach. When we were shown our room (a corned ocean front room) it completely took my breath away. The view is truly as good as it gets - two walls of floor to ceiling windows, one overlooking the ocean and the other Waikiki). You could lie in bed at night and watch the lights of Waikiki - absolutely stunning. I loved sitting there and just gazing out to sea or looking at Waikiki. The balcony had a lounger as well as chairs and table and got all the afternoon and late evening sun.
I suppose if you want to be right in the heart of the buzz of Waikiki this wouldn't be for you, but if you want peace and quiet with Waikiki a short bus ride down the road you wouldn't be able to do better.
All the staff were friendly, helpful and obviously proud of this delightful hotel.
The food was good, if perhaps a little pricey, but, hey, you are eating in one of the best locations on the planet so who is going to bitch.
If I had any suggestion as to how it could be improved it would be to ask that parasols and loungers be provided on the beach (either free to hotel guests, or at a charge), so you can enjoy the wonderful beach in a tad more comfort.
I can't wait to return.
I recently stayed at the New Otani with my teenage son, who completed his diving certification while I attended a conference. We enjoyed this hotel so much. The location -- away from the downtown hussle, across from a lovely park, and within walking distance of the aquarium -- was perfect. The hotel beach was wonderful for swimming and snorkling, although the beach itself got a bit crowded. Even some surfing. Very convenient to destinations by car. The staff could not have been more friendly and helpful. We enjoyed both restaurants -- I picked this hotel in part because it houses a wonderful Japanese restaurant. Our room was small, but pleasant, clean and safe, and we were rarely in it.
I don't think I would stay anywhere else on Oahu (unless suddenly bequeathed great wealth).
Lovely, quiet, & classy little hotel
I stayed at the New Otani Kaimana back in Sept. 2003 while on a personal visit to Honolulu. The primary reason I chose this hotel is because the late entertainer Arthur Lyman used to play vibes there before his death, and Arthur had once been a very special person in my life. My trip to Honolulu was actually a sad journey, but was made much much nicer by the lovely people & facilities at the New Otani. From check-in to check-out, every employee I encountered treated me like I was someone special. They were all so nice & took exceptional care of me. I ate at the beach front restaurant at least 3 times, and each time was wonderful... and what a view! The valets, bellstaff, housekeeping, desk, restaurants... just everyone... were always friendly & polite & helpful. I also ate at several nearby wonderful restaurants (within walking distance). Just ask! They're there if you know where to look. Having a rental car (or taking the bus) is a must if you're going very far though. The beach here is absolutely beautiful and never crowded (yes, you have to walk around the hotel, but BIG deal) and the locals will always welcome you to events in the nearby park. Yes, my room was "small" by most standards, but it was definitely more than adequate and was light & airy. And the view was fantastic. Would I stay here again? In a heartbeat!
Warning to non-smokers!
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel has the potential for being a true gem. It is affordable, offers sweeping views from the room lanais, a great beachfront location away from the noise and frenzy of Waikiki, and is home to Hau Tree Lanai, one of the best restaurants in Honolulu.
Now for the downside: unfortunately, management refuses to offer non-smoking rooms, stating it is impossible to block such rooms due to the large groups of Jananese tourists who stay here (Otani is a Japanese owned hotel chain). Be forewarned that the tiny rooms will smell heavily of smoke, and that their practice of "airing" out rooms for non-smokers, is simply to open the windows prior to a guest checking in. While this serves to initially mask the odor of smoke, it does not eradicate the smell. Also, as previously stated, the rooms are miniscule in dimension, barely suitable for a single occupant, and then only for a brief stay of one or two nights, tops--and this was a "suite", so I am left wondering how inadequate the regular rooms must be. I was able to tolerate the room for only one of the seven nights I had booked. I was able to move next door to the Hotel W, to a much larger non-smoking room, with the same beautiful Diamond Head view, and it actually cost less money.
Friendly Staff But SMALL Rooms
I just got back yesterday from staying here for 4 nights.
My life long friend and I have been wanting to make a trip to Hawaii for the past 25 years or so, and finally we decided it was time!!! We were doing two islands. Oahu was the first and the The New Otani was the first of our stay.
I had booked this whole 10 day vacation with a travel agent.
When we arrived to check in, the staff was very friendly. They sent us to our room on the third floor. We had paid for a ocean view. Well, when the bellmen opened the door for us, I about died!!! The room was soooooooo small that there was NO room for our suitcases. Being two gals, we had "large" suitcases!!! We had requested two double beds, but this room only had two twin beds. Yes.....the view was of the beach and ocean, but that was about the ONLY thing good about this room. We decided to go back down to the front desk and see if they could give us something bigger. The guy was soooo nice about our request. He said he could give us one up on the 6th floor, BUT they didn't have ANY double beds in this hotel at all. All they have there are twin beds or king beds. Being how this was someone I grew up with, we had no problem with the thought of sharing a king bed! So we said we would pay the extra to get higher up and a larger room
Now, this new room was much better. It too had a beautiful view of the beach and ocean plus the park that is on the one side of the hotel. It just so happened that the whole time we were there it rained so we didn't really get to see all that much. The room service was fast and good, but a bit on the high priced side.
The hotel is way at the end of all the busy day/night life which was nice cuz there wasn't a lot of noise, but if you don't have a car and use a taxi it will cost you a lot!!! We found this out when we went to the Flea Market on Wed. and took a Taxi. It cost us $40.00! Lesson learned real fast was to catch a bus which came right in front of the park.
If I were to go back to Oahu I might stay here again "IF" I didn't want to do anything but hang out at the beach. And of course, I would request when booking, for a larger room!!!
New Otani Kaimana - quiet beach, OK stay
Just returned from a short trip in mid-November to Oahu, stayed at the New Otani Kaimana hotel based upon previous good reviews and decent rate (use the hotel's own website as there are several good package deals offered). Was pleased upon my early arrival to see that my room was ready (be aware there are no non-smoking rooms; they offered to air out the room before I got there, which seemed to have worked as there was no smell of smoke). The beach area in front of the hotel is very nice, extremely quiet compared to those in Waikiki. However, I was surprised to find how far removed the hotel was from Waikiki; I was traveling alone and would have liked to have been closer to the shopping, restaurants, and busier beaches, especially at night. In order to get to Waikiki beach, it's about a 15-minute walk across Kapiolani Park; this was fine during the day (although if you're carrying all of your beach gear and anxious to hit the beach, it can seem like a lot longer), but at night, it didn't feel very safe walking back to the hotel, especially since I was female and alone, as there are several areas along the walk that are not well-lit (I waited about 1/2 hour for the bus one evening, as there is only one bus line that will take you down that way - and many of the shuttles and tours will charge you $2 extra compared to the Waikiki hotels because of the additional distance; cabs are expensive). Also, the best waves to surf and boogie board are in Waikiki, not at the Otani (and it's much less expensive to rent a surfboard/take lessons in Waikiki than at Otani as well!), however the snorkeling was excellent right in front of the hotel. My room was very small, as the bed took up the majority of the area, but since it was only myself, it wasn't a problem. My package was for a standard room, so I was pleasantly surprised when I looked out the small balcony to see both Diamond Head and the ocean on opposite sides (not the greatest view, but a view nonetheless). The bathroom was small, and the water pressure was terrible, but it was cleaned very quickly after I left each morning. The beachside restaurant was extremely overpriced, but luckily my package came with breakfast coupons that allowed me to pick from the menu - very good breakfasts without exception - try the coconut macadamia nut french toast. The location of the restaurant was perfect, as every morning I got a table facing the ocean (~30 feet away); it was very peaceful and a great way to start the day. There is a small sandwich shop in the hotel which was handy for lunch, but unless I wanted to eat dinner at the 2 overpriced hotel restaurants, it was another hike back into Waikiki. I was a bit surprised by the lack of knowledge of the hotel's "travel desk" clerks - one who was on duty when I tried to get a rental car booked said she "wasn't really familiar with the area of the hotel" and later directed me back to the receptionist when I inquired about how to get to Diamond Head park. Also, be aware that there are no cash machines in the area - a trip into Waikiki is necessary, so make sure you leave yourself enough cash for the shuttle/cab back to the airport on your last day.
All in all, it was an average hotel stay; the staff was polite, but not overly friendly with the exception of the bellhops who were always smiling. If you want an active Hawaii experience, with a beach party atmosphere (surfing, people-watching, music, and alcohol) with many easily accessible shopping and eating options - don't stay here - choose a hotel right in Waikiki; it's worth the extra $ to avoid the hassles of being so far away. If you want a very quiet, relaxing, secluded environment, then the Otani is for you. PS - I highly recommend Tiki's Bar & Grill at the Aston Waikiki for a great meal on the patio facing the beach; as well, if you have the chance, climb Diamond Head and rent a car to drive to the North Shore for the really big waves.
The New Otani Kaimana Beach hotel is absolutely by far the best hotel that I've ever stayed in. It is on the quiet end of Waikiki Beach, as the website says, but truly only a 5 min walk to the chaos at Waikiki. No big monster hotels next door, no loud traffic, just a terrific staff and uninterrupted peace and the most amazing unobstructed views of the Pacific and Diamond Head. Truly a treasure!
The hidden gem near diamondhead
best deal in town, best beach, small rooms, great japanese restaurant- get the special fixed price meal, locals hang out on this cool beach with very few tourists compared with a half mile in wiakiki central where it is pure tourists. The gem hotel, I have been a guest more than a dozen times, good service. enjoy ALOHA
Good hotel, a little dull, great location
While we picked this hotel because of a discount we got, via an acquaintance, we had already been attraced to its location, simple rooms, and Japanese touches. First of all, the hotel is separated from the crowds of Waikiki by a park, and while there is a cluster of hotels and condos nearby, it feels relaxed and quiet. When we wanted a livelier beach or a "happening" beachside bar, we strolled up the beach a ways. Also, the new W is basically across the parking lot, and there's a lively hipster scene in the 2nd floor bar.Our corner room was fantastic with a wrap-around balcony and view of waikiki and the sunsets. These rooms are slightly more expensive but worth it. Nice to see an empty in-room refrigerator--no tempting minibar.We had specially reserved a tatami mat room at the Kaiseki restaurant, and despite double checking before arrival, the tatami room wasn't available. However, the restaurant seated us at a regular table and gave us our meal for free! Of course we spent more on sake, but the meal was fantastic and we were very impressed.However, the main beach-front restaurant managed to fumble our breakfast--incredibly slow service, served us the wrong items, and way overpriced. Avoid it. The hotel seems ill-at-ease with its beachfront location; beach access is through a one-way back door down a hallway, and to return you have to go all the way back around to the front door. Not too inconvenient, but this is not a hotel that seems to embrace a casual, bare-sandy-feet kind of attitude. Which, really, is kind of nice--no bratty kids running around.Overall, a slightly expensive but very pleasant small hotel, away from the crowds but close enough to feel a part of Waikiki.
New Otani Kaimana Beach, Waikiki
A nice location, near/in the park and on the quiet end of Waikiki beach. Snorkeling is very good. Great views with the right room. Neat restaurants, one Japanese and one under a tree right on the beach.
TripAdvisor Reviews The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel Honolulu
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