When you walk into the heavenly Halekulani Hotel you enter another world, although just a block from the bustling center of Waikiki, Hawaii, the stunningly gracious century old property moves to an unparalleled celestial tempo. If you’re a return guest you are greeted with a ‘welcome home’ and whisked to your room where the seamless registration process takes place. To say it’s a glorious place to stay is an understatement, the Halekulani is simply one of the best hotels in the world (with rates to match) that caters to a very discerning clientele that wants to feel sequestered and pampered but not too far from the action.The historic hotel first opened in 1907 as the Hau Tree, a property owned by Robert Lewers for which the street on which it has its address is known. In 1919 it was purchased y Juliet and Clifford Kimball who turned it into a stylish resort for wealthy vacationers and renamed it the Halekulani which means “house befitting heaven”.
Since then it had many owners all of which continued the legacy and today the 453-room hotel attracts guests from all over the world. The décor reflects an understated, elegance with no detail left undone from fluffy Frette bath robes that are impeccably folded each night at turn down, to the soaps, shampoos and other amenities and of course the seamless service. The hotel is known for its impossibly beautiful 46 by 82-foot Oceanside pool that is decorated with 1.2 million individual pieces of ¼ glass mosaic tiles imported from South Africa, and a stunning signature Cattleya design at the bottom that measures30-by-30 feet. While steps from the ocean most guests spend their time at the pool deck where helpful attendants bring water and cool wash clothes to your chaise. In the last decade or so the Halekulani has also instituted a world class spa with a vision that to promote a healthy lifestyle, called the SpaHalekulani that recently launched a unique Living-Well Program offering a series of wellness lectures, a cleanse program and individual lifestyle coaching sessions. The programoffers in-depth consultations with Kamala Skipper, Halekulani hotel’s in-house Lifestyle Coach, a former attorney and professional athlete, who gave up past careers to pursue a lifestyle change, and today works to arm Halekulani guests with the tools to self-motivate, self-regulate and create lasting change through a program that includes:
Individual Consultations in 60 and/or 90 minute sessions that cost from $175-$255 per session. You can also enjoy a free 20-minute introductory session with Skipper.
Living-Well Packages that include lifestyle coaching sessions and consultations plus a SpaHalekulani treatment and activity one of which is called Foundation for Optimal Health and costs $595 for which you get nutritional advice, a personal training session, signature spa treatment and phone or email support with Skipper. For a few more bucks you can enjoy an executive package that runs $685 and includes coaching sessions, spa treatment, and backup support from Skipper. There are other packages designed to cleanse, relax and teach available by clicking here.
When you’re not at the spa you can head to the well-equipped fitness room for a good workout, hit the spa, business center or dine at one of the hotel’s top rated restaurants, a Mer or Orchids. The hotel offers packages that include a daily buffet breakfast at its al fresco House Without a Key, that’s a sumptuous feast for the eyes and tummy. At night the area turns into a watering hole with hula dancers and ukulele strummers paying homage to the amazing Oahu sunset.
While you really never want to leave the place, and I’m not kidding here, we once spent a week at the Halekulani and only left once to walk around Waikiki, we did take a stroll down the urban renewed Lewer Street. What a shock. The once seamy street now boasts upscale eateries, hotels, boutiques, and shops and more tourists than we saw anywhere in other Hawaiian islands or French Polynesia. We did go off property for a light lunch at Roy’s—the famous Hawaiian restaurant that now sports offspring in Los Angeles and the Valley—it’s just across the street and serves only appetizers and drinks until dinner time. But that was fine with us as we were saving our appetites for our diner at Chef Mavro that night—it’s one of the best restaurants in all of Hawaii and we are friends of the chef and his wife who hosted us.
In addition to robes, slippers and the gamut of toiletries, rooms come with a box of decadently delicious chocolates on arrival, balconies, free bottles of water, flat panel LCD HD-TVs, Sony MP3 docking stations, separate sitting areas, Kohler deep soaking tubs, free high speed wireless Internet, free local calls, morning newspapers, safes, twice daily turn down and super posh linens and robes. For more information or reservations call 800-367-2343 or go to the Halekulani website..