Planning your beach getaway to Oahu? If you desire boutique luxury without the service fees of chain resorts, take advantage of the incredible ocean views provided at Prince Waikiki. I found Prince Waikiki to have such an authentic and warm Hawaiian hospitality. From the moment of check-in throughout every interaction with staff, you’ll be greeted with aloha. The lobby and accommodations are modern, yet have island influences in every detail from intricate art installations to hand-painted Nai‘o flowers on suite walls. Even the aromatic in-room toiletries by Kauai-based Mālie Organics remind you that you’re in an island paradise.
Each and every guest room at this newly renovated waterfront property has breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Rooms have a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall window offering panoramic views of blue skies and sparkling waters. I loved watching a colorful sunset while I prepared for a night out. Want an even better view? Head to the rooftop pool and lounge where you can soak in an infinity pool. Or pick up your favorite cocktail from poolside Hinana Bar and keep cool under the shade of a cabana.
At Prince Waikiki, you’re mere steps from those famous sandy beaches of Waikiki. Plus, you’ll enjoy free WiFi and free daily self-parking without any mandatory resort charges. I really appreciated the little details that helped make my stay comfortable, too. Digital information stations provide local weather, surf reports, and tips for area activities. Plus, there’s a great assortment of on-site dining available at Prince Waikiki. From in-room dining to a gorgeous Honolulu Coffee in the lobby, and the Japanese cuisine of Katsumidori Sushi Tokyo, you’ll find whatever suits your tastes morning through night. I loved the ease of the bountiful breakfast buffet served at 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar. The quality of the food and the variety in selection was fabulous, plus there’s an amazing view of Ala Wai Harbor through endless windows. What a perfect way to start the day.
Prince Waikiki has all the amenities and luxury charms to keep you satisfied throughout your stay, but you’ll no doubt want to wander and explore the area. This boutique hotel is perfectly situated for both beachgoers and culture seekers. Prince Waikiki is a short walk to popular shopping mall Ala Moana Center, though you can always use the hotel’s courtesy shuttle if you prefer. The shuttle also delivers guests to the heart of Waikiki’s beaches, or you can stroll a scenic seaside boulevard if you prefer a little window shopping along the way. Plus, Lappert’s Ice Cream is just around the corner from the beach boardwalk and I highly recommend trying their gourmet scoops. My favorite is Caramel Cashew Turtle Cluster, though Kauai Pie remains their number one bestseller.
After you’ve introduced yourself to Honolulu Coffee at Prince Waikiki, I recommend visiting nearby Honolulu Coffee Experience Center. You’ll learn all about their farm to cup experience, sample a variety of roasts in the cupping room, and witness their roasting process at this flagship facility. Once you’re out and about, feed your cravings at Wahoo’s Fish Taco before exploring the shops at sophisticated Ward Village. Then head to the beaches at Ala Moana Regional Park and hop on a boat tour with Hawaii Glass Bottom Boats. You’ll likely encounter sea turtles and vibrant schools of fish, and the captain will point out additional sightings of dolphins or whales when in season. Even on a slow marine life day, you’re guaranteed an incredible view of Oahu’s south shore, sailing along Waikiki’s beaches and resorts toward incredible views of Diamondhead. You’ll also catch a unique vantage point of surfers awaiting the perfect wave.
After refreshing in your luxurious suite at Prince Waikiki, take in an evening stroll. Just on the other side of those sailboats at Ala Wai Harbor, stroll along Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon until you reach Gilligan’s Beach Shack. Pick up some garlic fries and a shave ice, then take in the free Friday night fireworks along Waikiki Beach. Or if you don’t feel like fighting the crowds, slip into the infinity pool back at Prince Waikiki, where you’ll get a fair view of the celebratory sky in a serene environment.
Lori A. May is a Seattle-based travel writer. Follow her on Twitter at @loriamay.