This Honolulu Hotel Is an Idyllic Escape from Waikiki’s Bustling Beaches

As the nation’s most crowded beach, it’s easy to understand both the attraction and aversion to Waikiki. While Oahu’s famous southern coastline boasts some of the most beautiful waters, gentle waves, and temperate weather across the United States, its easygoing nature means it can also attract practical hordes of visitors. Generally speaking, that makes staying along Waikiki a bit of an endeavor, to say the least. But that’s not the case with the stunning Lotus Honolulu, the perfect escape from Waikiki’s multitudes without losing the Oahu coastline’s ease, convenience, or beauty. 

Located just a few blocks (meaning significantly less than a 10-minute walk) away from the main beach, the Lotus abuts one of the island’s most famous mountains—Diamond Head—which means that views from the property’s 51 rooms encompass both sea and sky at once.

The tranquility of the Lotus starts at check-in, where guests are greeted with a welcome beverage and a lavender-scented towel. The peace and quiet continues in guest rooms, which are not only roomy, but free from much of the hubbub that pervades the main stretch of Waikiki. Dark wood floors are made more welcoming with cleverly placed rugs, while large bathrooms feature cooling stone floors that perfectly contrast the hot sand just outside. 

Rooms feature calming natural color palettes of deep browns, greens, and tans. These, along with an in-room massage, can help you relax and unwind, whether from your Oahu adventures or just from jet lag. If you’re staying with a larger group or looking for the ultimate luxury experience, book the newly renovated 1,700 square foot penthouse, which comprises the entirety of the hotel’s top floor and a 900 square foot wraparound balcony with stunning views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean.

Thanks to the hotel’s prime location, it’s just as easy to get to the famed Diamond Head hike (don’t forget to make reservations for the summit) as it is to get to the beach to help make your trip even more efficient, the hotel offers complimentary bikes as well as car rental options directly on the property. Beachgoers can grab chairs, towels, and other necessities for a day by the water. Or, if you’d rather play some pickleball at the nearby courts, you can also check out a set of paddles and balls for the day. 

If outdoor activities have gotten the best of you, make your way to the second floor of the hotel, where you’ll find a shared space called the Living Room, offering several non-beach related activities, including a golf swing simulator, shuffleboard, and some specialty food and beverage options throughout the week. And once you’ve played your fill, eat your fill at one of the true gems of the Oahu culinary scene—Arden Waikiki. This award-winning restaurant, owned by husband-and-wife team Makoto Ono and Amanda Cheng, offers some of the best food on the island, showcasing local Hawaiian ingredients, farmers, and artisans. Don’t miss out on the incredible cocktail program either; beverages are incredibly well-balanced and creative, leveraging sweet and savory ingredients for a transformative experience. 

Staying away from all the action isn’t always a recipe for success, but in the case of the Lotus Honolulu, it’s the perfect escape. 

Top Takeaways

Location: Oahu, Hawaii

Rating: Five-Star

The Vibe: A tranquil luxury resort with the option for both water and land adventures, where you can immerse yourself in these serene island surroundings.

Food + Drink: Dine at Arden, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, where the culinary experience is elevated by the use of fresh, local Hawaiian ingredients sourced from nearby farmers and artisans, creating a unique and flavorful menu that celebrates the island’s rich agricultural heritage.

Amenities: Living Room, Restaurant, Beach amenities, Pickleball rentals, Bikes, Car rentals 

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: With so many outdoor activities in Oahu, it’s surprising to want to stay inside. But the Living Room, with its delightful simulator, is an excellent way to unwind and change the pace. 

What’s Nearby? Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu Zoo, Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design, Waikiki Aquarium 

Any personal neighborhood recs? Head next door to Hau Tree for a sunset cocktail or morning breakfast. 

Rooms: 51 rooms and one penthouse suite. 

Pricing: Rooms start at $225/night  

Closest Airport: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)

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