Romantic Waikiki Vacation Tips by the "Fives"
5 Romantic Things to Do, Plus 5 of the Most Romantic Hotels for your Waikiki Getaway
Romantic Vacations Home
Romantic Waikiki Beach with a View of Diamond Head
By: Greg Mattson, ERV Editor - Updated: Jul 5, 2014
Romance and Waikiki? Granted, Honolulu may not be the No.1 place you go seeking a secluded getaway in Hawaii. But with just a little planning, you can have both a relaxing and romantic Waikiki vacation on Oahu.
5 Romantic Activities
& Things to Do in Waikiki
1. Watch the Hilton
Hawaiian Fireworks Show – every Friday night around 7:45 PM. If you’re not
staying at the Hilton that’s no problem – one of the best views from Waikiki is
along the beach or pier in front of the Waikiki Shore & Outrigger Reef
hotels (don’t go to Ft.Derussy Beach Park – the lights ruin the view).
2. Dinner Cruise –
the Star of Honolulu has romantic sunset dinner cruises, and one in particular
perfect for honeymooners: the 5 star Sunset Dining & jazz, where you dine
on French cuisine on a separate top deck private table (jackets recommended for
men). More info: www.starofhonolulu.com
3. Walk & Window
Shop the Waikiki Beach Walk – window shopping, happy hour at several
restaurants (try the Yard House) cultural activities, and a free hula show
Tuesdays at 4:30 PM (Lewers St between Kalia Rd and Kalakaua Ave).
Waikiki Beach Walk at Night
Fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Resort
4. Escape the Crowds at Kapiolani Park – a refreshing walk. Best to see weekdays as weekends usually means more people.
5. Enjoy a Sunset Together - it seems obvious (duh!), but actually, you can get caught up enough in sightseeing, tours, eating and shopping and actually miss this most romantic part of the day on the Hawaiian Islands. Sunset times in Waikiki vary (around 5:50 PM in the winter, 6:45 PM or so in the Spring). Best Spot: the beach of course...
5 of the Most Romantic Waikiki Beach Hotels
1. Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
Guests Relaxing Poolside at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
- Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk – although it’ not beach front, the Trump International Hotel in Honolulu is a mere 2 minute walk to the Waikiki sand. It's not an inexpensive stay, but this is for sure the newest and most upscale hotel in Waikiki – perfect for a special occasion honeymoon, anniversary or romantic Waikiki vacation. The infinity pool, while not as large as some of the other resorts nearby, is very nice and tends to be one of the quieter Waikiki hotel pool areas. The staff are super-friendly, all rooms are spotless, have kitchens, and the location is excellent, just a few minutes walk from all the dining and shopping along Kalakaua Ave. (Booking Tip for the Trump International: The hotel is surrounded by streets on 3 sides. Ocean view rooms, which are those facing Saratoga & Kalia Rd on floors 15 and lower will hear more street noise, so if you’re sensitive to this, consider booking a room higher up, or go with a studio unit facing Beach Walk.) 2014 ERV Rating* for Romantic Waikiki Hotels: 94% - Excellent. (223 Saratoga Rd, Honolulu, HI 808-683-7777 )
2. Outrigger Reef on the Beach
Sunshine, Palm Trees and the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel in Waikiki
- Outrigger Reef on
the Beach – we spent 5 nights in Honolulu at this Outrigger recently
(just across the street from the Trump), and we were very happy with it – good
location, very good value for the money, busy but not overcrowded, and
exceptionally friendly staff. And like most oceanfront Waikiki hotels, the pool and beach are only 3 minutes walk apart. 2014 ERV Rating* for Romantic Waikiki Hotels: 92% - Excellent. (2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 877-739-3199)
3. Halekulani Hotel
One of Waikiki's Quieter Pool Areas - the Halekulani Hotel's Oval Heated Pool
- Halekulani Hotel – classy and very luxurious, with an atmosphere of total elegance. That describes the Halekulani, which in our opinion is perhaps Waikiki’s only true 5-star hotel. Accordingly, it’s also one of the most expensive Waikiki beachfront hotels, so celebrating a special occasion like a wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary will take a real splurge and some planning $ wise (rates starting at around $430/night). We would certainly rate it as one of the best & most romantic Waikiki hotels for a wedding location. So what does a $400+/night room in Honolulu get you? Despite being in the center of it all in Waikiki, you can really relax at the Halekulani, and you won’t be bombarded with loud ukulele music here (even loud hotel guests are few and far between). The La Mer Dining room is jacket & tie romantic, and accommodation ranges from standard guest rooms to the jaw-dropping opulence of their Halekulani, Royal and Orchid suites. 2014 ERV Rating* for Romantic Waikiki Hotels: 91% - Excellent. (2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 808-923-2311)
4. Sheraton Waikiki
The Adults-Only Infinity Pool at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
- Sheraton Waikiki – if you want your romantic Hawaii Holiday to be in a “super resort”, try the Sheraton. There is shopping galore in and immediately around the hotel, and even poolside! They’ve got an awesome oceanfront lounge, RumFire, and the best Infinity Pool in Waikiki (Adults only too). If you’re a couple that likes being in a hotel that feels like the hub of activity, the Sheraton is for you. Best Rooms at the Sheraton: Ocean or Diamond Head view, 7th floor & up. 2014 ERV Rating* for Romantic Waikiki Hotels: 75% - Good. (2255 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 808-922-4422)
5. Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Photo Time for this Couple on their Romantic Wedding at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki
- Royal Hawaiian Hotel – renovated just a few years ago, the Royal Hawaiian, like the Moanna Surfrider next door, exudes an atmosphere of old Hawaii. Their Mai Tai Bar is outstanding, and for room choice, the Tower is newer, but the older section has more of the Old Hawaiian feel. 2014 ERV Rating* for Romantic Waikiki Hotels: 81% - Very Good. (2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 808-923-7311)
Video: Romantic Waikiki Vacation Highlights
This is our video which shows the highlights of some of the romantic Waikiki vacation spots we describe on this page...
Travel Deals to Waikiki:
Save on Waikiki Package Deals - Trump, Halekulani, Outrigger Reef & more with Flights
Save up to $500 on Hawaiian Packages, from $327 pp!
Best Places to
Propose in Honolulu & Oahu:
Great Views at Makapuu Lookout on the Eastern Tip of Oahu
- If You Have a Car: Mount Tantalus has awesome views of just
about everything and will be sufficiently un-crowded compared to the rest of
Waikiki. Or up at the Makapuu lookout, with panoramic views of Waimanalo below.
- No Car: We can’t recommend anything better or more romantic
than the Waikiki Beach itself – sunset is the best time naturally!
(If you’re including other islands on your engagement trip,
see our report on the best places to propose on Maui, Kauai and the Big
Romantic Restaurants in Waikiki:
Taormina on the Waikiki Beach Walk
Don’t spend your evenings at chain restaurants or with 300
people per table at an overpriced luau!
Here’s a few spots in Waikiki we checked out that meet the grade for romance…
Taormina: on the
Waikiki Beach Walk, a nice fusion of Sicilian & Hawaiian cuisine, coupled with an
impressive wine selection. Prices are very reasonable, and we enjoyed the quiet
“oasis-like” feeling amidst the Waikiki hustle and bustle. They’ve also got
outdoor patio seating which tends to fill up quickly near dinner hour. We stopped by during late afternoon and loved the $5 wine and appetizers happy hour (3 to 5
La Mer: an
exquisite place (we’re taking 5 diamond here!), the La Mer is a choice spot for
special celebrations, like a honeymoon or 25th/50th wedding
anniversary trip. Inside the Halekulani Hotel.
Surf Room at the
Royal Hawaiian: Breezy, relaxing and romantic, and a perfect spot for a weekend morning brunch.
cozy, intimate little place tucked away quietly on – street. The Italian flags
out front give it away, but expect your pasta to arrive with an almost Asian-fusion
flare! The lobster bisque is the signature dish here.
Roy’s: this Waikiki legend consistently gets 4/5 stars, and try the Ahi tuna if you get a chance. One other thing we noticed on the menu: they feature a number of Hawaiian specialities made with local grown produce.
Romantic Lounges &
Places for a Drink in Waikiki – RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki for their
fire pits, rum selection and tasty “Bahawaiian” appetizers (oceanfront, awesome
views of Diamond Head, $5 cocktails from 4 - 6 PM .)... or, sacrifice a bit of
the beach for more altitude at Top of Waikiki’s revolving restaurant – get
there for their 5PM to 7PM happy hour and combine the $4 Martinis with the
sunset views... The Shorebird restaurant is a great spot for dinner, with
excellent food and views out across the water to Diamond Head, but it can get
crowded at dinner hour. However you can sample the atmosphere for cheap anytime
between noon and 5 PM with their $3.50 Mai Tai special. Alternatively, the Ocean House beside it has the same view and is a little quieter.
Map of Romantic Waikiki Vacation Spots
View Romantic Waikiki Vacation Spots - Excellent Romantic Vacations in a larger map
This map shows the locations of the various attractions we talk about on this page. Clicking on the blue bubbles reveals what each Waikiki destination is, address, and related details.
*ERV Rating for Couples: our unique, non-scientific rating formula for romantic hotels which includes:
- Romantic Amenities: such as an in-suite JACUZZI® tub or Whirlpool bath, scenic view, lounge, etc
- Location: proximity of hotel to restaurants, pubs, downtown, etc
- Clientele: demographic the hotel
attracts (couples, families with kids, business travelers, etc)
with Couples & Honeymooners: based on variety of social media & crowd-sourced reviews.
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