Oral history handed down through the ages tells us that early Hawaiians viewed Waikiki as a place of hospitality and healing. The beach was known for its healing waters – in fact, the name Waikiki means freshwater springs.
This beachfront location has welcomed people since 1883 when the original owner, Robert Lewers built a two-story house on the site of what is now their main building. The fishermen of the area would bring their canoes onto the beach in front of the property to rest. So welcomed were they by the Lewers family that the locals named the location “house befitting heaven” or Halekulani.
The original Halekulani began in 1907 as a residential hotel, owned by Robert Lewers. It consisted of a beachfront home and five bungalows.
In 1917, Juliet and Clifford Kimball purchased the hotel, expanded it and established it as a stylish resort for vacationers, and gave it the name the locals originally bestowed on it, Halekulani.
In the 1930s, the original home was replaced with a plantation-mansion styled Main Building with a high-pitched hip roof to catch the cooling trade winds. Also known as a “Dickey Roof, it is a trademark of Hawaii’s legendary architect C.W. Dickey, and is continued today in Halekulani’s architecture.
The hotel was sold following the passing of the Kimballs in 1962. Almost 20 years later, it was purchased by what is now the Honolulu-based Halekulani Corporation. The hotel was closed and rebuilt as the existing 453-room property.
Today, their staff, their location and their hospitality reflect this original, Hawaiian welcome that defined the property. Regularly considered to be the finest hotel in Honolulu, and a destination for honeymoons in Hawaii, this hotel is more than a series of rooms and suites. It’s a spirit that defines your stay with them. I invite you to discover the intangible magic of this destination.
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