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Since Oahu’s plush The Kahala Hotel & Resort first opened in 1964, guests have included Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, William Shatner, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, James Michener, and the Dalai Lama. When Prince Charles and Princess Diana were there, they commanded more than 100 rooms. Even if your star may only be on the ascent, you’ll still be treated like one — especially poolside where you may rub exposed shoulders with Cameron Diaz, Faith Hill, or Whitney Houston.
5000 Kahala Ave.
808-739-8888; 800-367-2525 (toll-free, U.S. and Canada)
Book room 580 at the newly reopened “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” The Royal Hawaiian, and experience a 180-degree vista of Diamond Head’s crater and Waikiki Beach. One regular says that staying here makes him feel “like I am living inside a postcard.” Even if number 580 isn’t available, there are 527 other rooms, all with bragging rights.
2259 Kalakaua Ave.
The sprawling, five-acre Duke Paoa Kahanamoku lagoon at the legendary Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort makes a big splash. So do regularly scheduled luaus on the lagoon’s expansive Great Lawn. This traditional Hawaiian pastime gives guests an oceanfront spread of luau favorites — like Huli Huli chicken, sweet potatoes and Hawaiian fried rice — as well as an array of foot-tapping, hip-swaying Polynesian songs and dances. Don’t forget your lei; just arrive early, as these fragrant floral necklaces represent the official start of any proper luau.
2005 Kalia Road
The Outrigger Reef on the Beach displays authentic examples of handcrafted lei hulu (feather lei) in its expansive lobby. Also showcased is artist Herb Kawainui Kane’s dramatic 36-foot-long mural depicting various past Pacific voyages. Before entering this dynamic hotel, look up at a typical canoe dating back 100 years and floating above the porte-cochere. Once inside, take in the entire collection of canoe art and the ever-changing showcases of Hawaiian artifacts curated by the Bishop Museum. A practical plus at the Outrigger: free wireless internet and free long-distance telephone calls to the neighbor islands, the mainland, and Canada.
2169 Kalia Road
Unprepared for your beach run? Never fear, Waikiki Beach’s Hotel Renew is here. The intimate, artsy Jiun Ho-designed hotel, situated seconds from the Pacific, not only provides cushy towels but also beach chairs, boogie boards, and (at a mere $10) Hotel Renew-logo flip-flops. After your swim, luxuriate in your kimono-style designer bathrobes and take in the rarified atmosphere of Honolulu’s first deluxe boutique hotel, whose 72 rooms give a nod to nature with Shoji screens, wave patterned carpet, and natural rock hues. Then there are the TVs, some measuring a whopping 80 inches, projected against an entire wall to transform Jiun Ho’s stylish guest rooms into lavish movie theaters.
129 Paoakalani Ave.
888-HTL-RNEW (toll free), 808-687-7700
By Paula Conway
My last-minute trip to Louisville was also my very first — guaranteeing one delightful surprise after another.
As a neophyte, I was urged by a friend to try a Hot Brown (an open-faced turkey sandwich, smothered in cheese, with bacon), to sample a Derby Pie (a cookie stuffed with chocolate chips, walnuts, hot fudge, [...]
RUMBAR, inside The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, lays claims to being Miami’s only live Latin music venue. On weekends, a four-piece band in white dinner jackets will take you back to Old Havana with rhythms of vintage Cuba. Order a rum flight for a vertical tasting of Miami’s largest selection of rums from Trinidad, Barbados, [...]Read More