The New Otani Kaimana Hotel - Luxury nearby but away from the crowds of Waikiki
Waikiki stretched out before me forming a backdrop for the grassy park and narrow white sandy beach. Clouds roil over the mountains and I can peer around the corner of my lanai to see the lava flows that created the icon Diamond Head. The New Otani Kaimana Hotel is tucked into a corner adjacent the park at the edge of crowded Waikiki - an area I soon came to call The Strip. The hotel is an oasis in a wildly popular tourist destination on Sans Souci - Kaimana Beach (meaning diamond in Hawaiian).
The hotel is built on the site of the McInerny family home and the Hau Tree Lanai restaurant sports a photo of the hau tree that still remains - giving the restaurant its name. The Oahu surf peeks out from this peaceful, shady bower. The New Otani Kaimana Hotel has undergone a major renovation. Invited to experience their revitalized resort we're staying in a corner junior suite with two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows and doors creating a feeling of sleeping amid the scenery.
But the New Otani Kaimana offers more than spectacular views. The staff is aloha friendly and satisfyingly efficient. A call to the desk for an in-room coffee pot brought one up almost before I hung up the phone. And every day, the room staff cleaned the pot and refreshed the coffee and accompaniments so we never ran out. Turn down service with a fresh flower on the beds every night. L'Occitane amenities stock the bathroom. Our lanai had a lounge chair as well as a small table and two sitting chairs. A recently completed renovation included complimentary high speed wireless internet access, large flat screen high definition television, and upscale furnishings. In addition, the hotel has implementing eco friendly initiatives, such as LED lighting for all the recessed lighting and energy efficient sliding lanai doors, with censors that automatically shut off the AC unit in the room when the doors are opened. Room service was friendly and delivered our order well within the promised 15 to 20 minutes. Some mornings we enjoyed our breakfast looking down on the park and the ocean, other mornings we opted to enjoy that shaded patio. Regardless, my favorite soon became their French Toast coated with Macadamian nuts. I am now ruined for any other version. That along with the coffee and fresh fruits, especially the pineapple, made for a perfect day-starter. The decor of the hotel is feels more comfortably well-designed Asian than American opulent, likely in keeping with the Tokyo-based consortium that owns the New Otani group. Some evenings we enjoyed the open air bar for fruity rum drinks (what else would one drink in Hawaii?), and light meals. Other nights we enjoyed gourmet dinners cooled by the soft beach breezes. Visitors who want to be in the thick of the noise and hubbub of Waikiki might want to move closer to The Strip. But we found the ˝ mile morning walk along the beach path to the center of the Strip both delightful and a bit of much-needed exercise. In contrast to the crowded beaches, we had a few hotel guests and locals and an ocean that beckoned us to bob along with the waves, smiling that we weren’t quite in the thick of the crowd.
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