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Honolulu Travel Guide

About Honolulu

Surrounded by a sumptuous array of tropical beaches strewn with soft silky sands, the sophisticated, cosmopolitan city of Honolulu is the buzzing heart of Hawaii.

The rolling honkers (large waves) rushing into the world renowned Waikiki Beach still attract surfers from around the globe, but as Hawaii’s centre for business and politics, as well as art and entertainment, this laid back city on the island of Oahu has more to offer than sun, sea, and spectacular aloha shirts.

Head downtown for the best architecture, taking in the glorious Iolani Palace, the former residence of the Hawaiian monarchy. Poke around the fascinating Bishop Museum, a space dedicated to Hawaii’s rich natural and cultural history, or discover the oeuvres of Picasso, Monet, and Modigliani in the Honolulu Museum of Art.

You won’t be able to miss Diamond Head, the magnificent volcanic cone that frames the city, or want to overlook Honolulu’s beautiful harbour, a port which once welcomed the merchant ships that sailed between Asia and North America.

Those links helped this sprawling city meld into a cultural melting pot, something reflected in the diversity of Honolulu’s cuisine. Visit its farmers’ market to sample specialities like macadamia pesto pizza and barbecued abalone (sea snails), or dine in a Hawaiian Regional Cuisine movement restaurant, which trumpets Hawaii’s best food.

For shoppers, it’s not all hula skirts and Hawaii Five-O aloha shirts. Try on heritage jewellery, take home designer quilts or rustle for souvenirs, art, and oddities at Honolulu’s hip night market, the eclectic Aloha Stadium Swap Meet.

There are few cities in the world that mix an enchanting urban setting with the paradise of pristine waters, endless sunshine, and stunning coves as easily and elegantly as Honolulu. So whether you’re here for the surf, diverse museums, or superb cuisine, your Instagram posts are sure to make everyone jealous.

Key facts

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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Featured Hotels


The Royal Hawaiian

Located on the Waikiki beach, this beatiful "Pink Palace of the Pacific" is popular with Hollywood celebrities and world dignitaries. It has 528 rooms and suites, many of them overlook the sparkling Pacific Ocean. It has become a popular wedding venue too.

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

A 10-minute walk from Waikiki beach this reasonably-priced 4-star hotel has 112 rooms and guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi and great amenities nearby.

Vive Hotel Waikiki

A great deal for its price, this sophisticated hotel is just three blocks the famed Waikiki Beach, and offers free breakfast and Wi-Fi, paid parking, and a spa. If you request a room above the seventh floor, you will also have a gorgeous view of either Koolau Mountain or the Pacific Ocean.


Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head

Constructed just close enough to the majestic Diamond Head Crater for peace and quiet, yet only a short (free) shuttle ride from Ala Moana, this boutique hotel offers the best of both worlds. Accommodations are intimate and classy, and visitors can participate in beach cruiser bike rides, outdoor yoga classes, and complementary evening wine receptions courtesy of hotel management.


Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa

Luxury holidaymakers will appreciate the on-site car hire agencies as well as the foreign currency exchange and Private Line programme providing complimentary local toll-free and calling card phone calls. Your stay also comes with in-room coffee and discounted self and valet parking.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

Consistently voted one of Hawaii's top luxury hotels, the opulent Kahala offers up-close and personal Dolphin Quest encounters with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, private spa suites, and complimentary hula, ukulele, and lei making classes.