In Waikiki, it’s all about beachfront. So how can a hotel set nearly one kilometre back from the surf compete? The Ritz-Carlton Residences knows: give people no reason to leave. From the welcome drink at check-in (rum optional) to an exclusive 16-seater restaurant and an adults-only infinity pool, this high-rise has the dial turned up. And while the overall note it strikes is a luxe one, kids aren’t forgotten: they’ll love the free ice-cream cart that appears by the family pool at 3pm and the small, toddler-friendly slide into the water.
Less than a 20-minute drive from the international airport, the hotel sits at the expensive end of town and shares a block with Saint Laurent, Gucci, Chanel and Prada. It’s also just a few minutes on foot from the Bills Waikiki outpost, should you need an Aussie-style coffee.
Suites are true dwelling spaces – kitchens feature Miele appliances and a Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine, sofas seat four comfortably, baths are deep and king-sized beds dressed in Frette sheets. Their two-bedroom ocean-view “residences” let you spread out, with walk-in wardrobes, enough bench space to prepare food and views out to the ocean from a balconies that can be accessed from both bedrooms and the living areas. If you’re travelling with the family, you’ll appreciate the Asko washer and dryer.
Food and drink
As well as offering 24-hour room service, the hotel has five dining options: for casual, trattoria-style Italian, head to Quiora which overlooks the family pool and has views out to the ocean; the open-air La Vie serves a modern French menu as well as breakfast; The Lounge focuses on afternoon tea and cocktails (try the hibscus pisco sour); find the only Hawaiian outlet of Dean & DeLuca, a deli and wine bar, at street level; and finally Sushi Sho, an intimate Japanese restaurant which seats just 16 people at a time, is the place for your indulgent holiday dinner.
For business travellers
The property has two business centres with iMac stations, plus a boardroom, theatre and a function room with views to the ocean for conferences.
For wellness travellers
Trainer to the stars, Harley Pasternak, designed the gym here and it’s open around the clock. The space has views to the street and the equipment goes beyond standard hotel fair – treadmills come with in-built TVs, plus there are exercise balls, ropes, a boxing bag and more. There’s also an adults-only infinity pool as well as an excellent spa with four treatment rooms (try the deeply remedial huki huki mud wrap) and relaxation lounge (snack on the dried hibiscus – it’s tangy and chewy).
The fab factor
The cabanas here are next-level, with smart-TVs, bar fridges and space enough for four chaise longues.
Best for: The luxury traveller
Number of rooms: 552
From: $500 per night
Wi-fi: Speedy and complimentary
Parking: $40 per day for valet parking
Address: 383 Kalaimoku Street, Honolulu
Telephone: + 1 808 922 8111