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Star Attraction

In January 1964, The Kahala Hotel & Resort opened its doors on prime beachfront next to the famous Waialae Country Club private golf course. The rest is history, with six decades worth of illustrious guests, from royalty to heads of state and Hollywood stars. Join us as we stroll down memory lane.

Inspired by the great homes of the Hawaiian monarchy, with its elegant and grand residential feel, the hotel was originally designed by architects Edward Killingsworth, Jules Brady and Waugh Smith of Long Beach, California.

Then known as the Kahala Hilton, the resort cost $12 million to build, and was the first major resort to have air-conditioning in all rooms.

In a few months, the resort capitalized on its relatively removed location, thanks to its entrée to the Hollywood community. Not long after the resort’s opening, the management of NBC booked every room for its annual affiliates meeting and brought in a bevy of Hollywood stars.

Recognizing its potential as a celebrity hideaway, an advertising campaign targeted film and television luminaries. Word quickly spread of this elegant and exclusive resort, and the Kahala Hotel & Resort was soon placed on the map for discriminating world travelers. By 1967, it achieved a remarkable 90 percent occupancy rate and sealed its reputation as a watering hole for the extremely wealthy and hugely famous.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort attracted countless film and television stars with its exclusive setting, exemplary service, and regard for privacy. Weekend afternoons around the pool were a veritable who’s who of the silver screen, with the likes of John Wayne and Frank Sinatra lounging in chaise lounges with sunglasses and cool drinks.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort also became the hotel for royalty, heads of state, and legends of the sporting, musical and literary worlds. Despite its reputation for attracting the rich and famous, the resort also became a legendary gathering place for Honolulu’s local society.

In the last decade, the Kahala Hotel & Resort has become a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and continues the privileged position among celebrities and islanders.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort Facts

More than 100 coconut palms were planted and 18,000 yards of fine sand were barged from Molokai island to pad the 800-foot stretch of beach.

Two man-made peninsulas were created at each end of the resort beach, to prevent tidal action from washing away sand.

The resort has one of the largest rooms in Hawaii at more than 550 square feet, with his-and-her bathroom vanities and walk-in closets.

The hotel’s floors contain three acres of Thai-teak parquetry, while lobby chandeliers feature 28,000 multi-colored pieces of Italian fused glass.

Every U.S. president from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush has stayed at the resort. President Obama stays at a private residence when he returns to Honolulu, where he grew up. President Obama has enjoyed dining at the award-winning Hoku’s restaurant.

A beach bar was opened as the location for ‘Rick’s Bar’ in the TV series Magnum P.I. The bar is now The Kahala O Ke Kai, a beautiful oceanfront function room.

Distinguished Guests of The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Throughout the years, The Kahala Hotel & Resort has hosted 20th century icons such as John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jack Lemmon, musical legends such as The Who, The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder, dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth, Emperor and Empress of Japan and modern day A-listers such as Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Drew Barrymore and Michelle Pfeiffer. Below names just a few of our famous guests.

  • Adam Sandler
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Burt Reynolds
  • Christopher Walken
  • Dean Martin
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Whitney Houston
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Glenn Ford
  • Henry Fonda
  • Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Janet Jackson
  • Julie Andrews
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Lionel Richie
  • Liza Minelli
  • Martin Sheen
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Robert Redford
  • Rolling Stones
  • Sammy Davis Jr.
  • Sir Elton John
  • The Dalai Lama

Join Our Legacy

Follow the footsteps of our esteemed guests and experience life at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

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Families are Forever

With plenty of onsite activities, The Kahala Hotel & Resort is the perfect island getaway for you and your keiki (children).

Day 1: Fun In The Sun

  • Soak up the warm Hawaiian sunshine at our outdoor pool and hot tub. Rent a cabana for the day so you can lounge peacefully while the kids make a splash. With pool toys available for purchase, they’ll never run out of things to do! When you get hungry, there’s no need to go far. Enjoy a light meal at our poolside restaurant, Seaside Grill.
  • In the afternoon, get to know the playful Bottlenose Dolphins who live in our natural water lagoon. This experience is fun for the whole family, and you’ll get to feed, play and swim with these amazing creatures. Learn more about our partner, Dolphin Quest.
  • End the day with an oceanside dinner at Plumeria Beach House. Enjoy fresh island-inspired cuisine as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Day 2: Explore Waikiki

  • In the morning, let the kids indulge their creativity at our weekly Hawaiian Culture Classes, which include lei making, lauhala weaving and more.* View the calendar.
  • While they learn, why not treat yourself to a relaxing Couples Massage at the Kahala Spa? We are proud to partner with Aloha Sitters to offer child-sitting services so you can give yourself a much-deserved break. View spa services.
  • After a quick lunch at Plumeria Beach House, hop on our complimentary shuttle to the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. From there, it’s a short walk to the Waikiki Aquarium or Honolulu Zoo where your family can spend the afternoon marveling at the creatures of the deep or meeting friendly beasts from around the world.
  • Head back to your room to freshen up and enjoy cocktails and dinner service at The Veranda. Enjoy live music from local musicians every Thursday - Saturday from 6:00pm - 9:00pm. Learn more.
    *Activities are subject to change. Please see our events calendar for more information.

Day 3: Snorkel & Beach Adventure

  • Wake up bright and early to go snorkeling at the legendary Hanauma Bay. Please note that reservations must be made in advance to enter the park.
  • Return home to spend a golden afternoon on the secluded beach in front of our hotel, where the gentle waves are safe for all ages. For your convenience, we offer beach gear including snorkels and fins, bodyboards, kayaks and paddle boards.
  • Create lasting memories with a sunset photo session on the beach. As a guest, you can book a 45-minute photo shoot on our grounds with Pacific Dream Photography. Learn more.
  • Afterward, tuck into a delicious meal at Arancino’s, voted Best Italian Restaurant in Hawaii.

Sunset Sweethearts

The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a top destination for honeymoons and anniversaries. Celebrate your love with a romantic retreat to paradise.

Day 1: Discover Kahala

  • Wake up to the relaxing Hawaiian tradewinds blowing through your suite and stunning views of the mountains or sea.
  • Don’t let this luxury go to waste. Order our Grand Breakfast service delivered to your door for one-of-a-kind breakfast in bed. View menu.
  • In the afternoon, rent a pair of our cruiser bikes to explore the beautiful neighborhood of Kahala and soak in the gorgeous views. Stop by Kahala Mall to browse the stores and recharge with a light meal or beverage, or see a movie.
  • Rest a while and freshen up, then change into your evening attire and make your way to The Veranda, our open-air dining room. Visit Thursday - Saturday to sip delicious Mai Tais while listening to live entertainment by Hawaii’s top local talent.

Day 2: Indulge Your Senses

  • On your second day, rent a car at our on-property car rental desk and head west for a leisurely drive around Diamond Head. If it’s a Saturday, stop by the KCC Farmer’s Market to sample fresh produce and browse handcrafted gifts. Afterward, continue on to the eclectic neighborhood of Kaimuki, known for its vibrant art and food scene.
  • After returning for a short nap, head to the Kahala Spa for our signature Romance Treatment, which includes a customized full-body massage, a deep soak tub with rose petals and a soothing facial.
  • At sunset, head down to Hoku’s for a decadent four-course dinner. With views of the ocean and a selection of wine fines, it’s the perfect place end a night a paradise.

Day 3: Lover’s Retreat

  • On your last morning, indulge in a late start to your day.
  • After brunch at Plumeria Beach House, head to the Honolulu Museum of Art for a guided tour of Shangri La, a historic Islamic-inspired estate perched on Black Point.
  • Return back home to rest, or read a good book by the pool.
  • At golden hour, take a romantic walk on our stunning shoreline, hand-in-hand. Have your cocktails hand-delivered from Seaside Grill as you enjoy happy hour on the beach.
  • For dinner, book a table for two at Arancino’s and savor the elegant flavors of Italy over a bottle of wine.