Perhaps it was the haul of chocolate eggs our 11-year-old son, Sasha, 11 at the time, collected at our stay this past Easter. Or learning about and stroking Kamali’i the dolphin in the large lagoon, with Kamali’i’s trainer standing by, for his very own, one-on-one, educational encounter. Or crabbing and fishing with a bamboo pole and line at the kids’ club. Or even the in-room Super Nintendo and his own bathroom complete with separate mahogany vanity in our his-and-hers bathroom. Whatever. Sasha’s favorite resort is the gracious Kahala Mandarin Oriental [editor note: As of 3/06, renamed the Kahala Resort] (808/739-8888). His dad and I agree.
Its teak parquet floors, Tibetan rugs, and elegant 550-sq.ft. guest rooms with four-poster beds are so impressive, they temporarily inspired him to grow up to be a hotel architect. And the hotel couldn’t be better located. Bordering a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach in a quiet residential area of Honolulu, it’s just a short drive away from nifty family attractions like Waikiki Beach (where you and the kids can learn to surf), the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Sea Life Park.
Ocean view rates are expensive, but deluxe garden views are a deal for what you get. And the classy individual dolphin program for hotel guests makes it well worth the cost, not to mention the impeccable service, complimentary bikes and shopping shuttle, and numerous other amenities.
5000 Kahala Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816-5498
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