Each day, the island of Oahu entertains more than 100,000 visitors, all of them flying at least five hours — often longer — to experience a piece of paradise. When traveling that far, how do you make sure that your dream Hawaii vacation goes without a hitch? It’s simple: Book a room at the best hotel on the island. For that, look no further than Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk. This luxury property is the only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel on the island. Here are five other things we love about Trump Waikiki that set it apart from the rest:
The residential amenities
In 2006, when the units at Trump Waikiki went up for sale on the open market, demand was so great that the entire property sold out within eight hours. So, after the structure was converted to a hotel in 2009, all of the units — from the studios to the one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom suites, executive suites and penthouse suites — had the feel of a home away from home. At their most basic, studios contain kitchenettes, luxury marble baths, plush beds, a sitting area with comfy couches, floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony. Multi-room suites have amenities such as a washer/dryer; full kitchen with granite counters and stainless-steel, Sub-Zero refrigerator and dishwasher; pullout sofa beds; not to mention spacious balconies in every room.
The Five-Star service
From the minute you arrive at the Waikiki hotel, you’ll notice the staff’s amazing knack for making you feel as if you’re a regular, greeting you by name in the hallway — even after the briefest encounter. Hostesses stationed at the entrance welcome you warmly with an “Aloha” and offer a lei before accompanying you to the second-floor lobby, an open-air space with magnificent views of the Waikiki skyline. There, barely a minute passes before another team member arrives with a tray of fruit-infused, ice-cold water and a refreshing hand towel. You’ll breeze through an efficient, detail-oriented check-in before being whisked up to your plush room or suite.
Another aspect of the service that will make you feel like family is something specific to all Trump properties — Trump Attaché. A step above a butler service, the attaché acts as your personal assistant from the time of booking through the end your stay, performing a variety of tasks that range from personalized grocery shopping and setting up specific in-room amenities to booking excursions.
The rock star bathrooms
There are hotel bathrooms, and then there are the marble oases that await you at Trump Waikiki. The elaborate areas, which are more like lavish bath retreats than simple corners of a room, are fully decked out in white marble. For an added sense of opulence, you’ll find Japanese wonder toilets (water massages, air drying) and a sunken bathtub big enough for two to play in the bubbles. As for amenities, you’ll have everything from Trump signature toiletries (including bath salts, a dental kit and much more) to blissfully cushy white spa robes and slippers for lounging around the room in style.
Location, location, location
Not only is the Trump Waikiki one of the newest addresses for luxury high-rise lodging in Waikiki, but it’s also arguably its best located. Though it doesn’t have direct access to the sand, the property is a mere half a block away from the public beach. At the concierge desk, reserve your spot for a lounger or cabana, in an area sectioned off specifically for Trump patrons, and pick up complimentary beach bags filled with water, fruit and sunblock along the way.
Want great food? Choose one of the on-property restaurants (BLT Steak, Wai’Olu or In-Yō Cafe) or venture a few blocks for great eats at places such as the famous Roy’s Waikiki, Nobu Waikiki or Four-Star Halekulani’s House Without A Key, a popular establishment for an alfresco meal and live Hawaiian music, or its fine-dining La Mer, Hawaii’s sole Five-Star restaurant. Also within walking distance are other local eateries (Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin) and quaint coffeehouses.
As for shopping, you couldn’t ask for more. Just down the street from your room is Kalakaua Avenue’s luxury shopping row, where you can exercise your credit cards at Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and more. The retail therapy continues for several blocks, too, spanning indoor stores located within the Royal Hawaiian Center and the T Galleria by DFS (Duty Free Shops).
Spectacular views everywhere
Part of the allure of a Hawaiian vacation is that you get a chance to wake up each morning to spectacular ocean views, and that couldn’t be more true at Trump Waikiki. The wraparound vistas start to draw you in when you step off the elevators onto the lobby floor, strategically designed to wow you with a gorgeous panorama of twinkling ocean and verdant landscape. And it only gets better from there. Kick your feet up at the infinity pool or at the Wai’Olu Ocean View Lounge to catch the island’s ethereal sunsets. On Friday evenings, book a private dinner on the lanai (balcony) of your room for a romantic meal while catching the free fireworks show thrown by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort at 7:45 p.m.
From ocean-view studios to the penthouse suite, the design of the property maximizes what you can see from the your in-room terrace. Still, for the most breathtaking photo ops, book a three-bedroom suite with a corner-shaped balcony (dubbed “the Leonardo DiCaprio balcony” because the corner mimics the famous “I’m the king of the world” scene from Titanic). Or, if you book far enough in advance, splurge on a reservation for one of the penthouse suites, which comes with stunning wraparound, 360-degree perspectives that let you see as far as Diamond Head.