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The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Honolulu , HI

LOCATION

Honolulu, HI US

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REVIEWS

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4.9/5.0
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Charis & Travis
Wedding:
4/20/2014
5.0/5.0
The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a beautiful property located a few miles off of Waikiki. The staff is very friendly and the hotel is kept in immaculate condition. It is worth noting that the Kahala is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

Our ceremony was held on the beautiful Kokohead lawn overlooking the ocean, and our reception was held in the Waialae Ballroom with views of the waterfall. Both locations were perfect to accommodate our 85 guests. There were also many sites on the property for us to take pictures.

We truly had the wedding of our dreams, and our guests had nothing but positive comments to say about the hotel and staff.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Miyabi
Wedding:
3/1/2014
5.0/5.0
I had an intimate wedding of 70 at the Diamond head gazebo followed by reception at the Waialae ballroom. My planner (Tori Rogers) and I worked with Anna from Kahala and she was very responsive to all my emails and made sure all my requests were addressed from decoration, food and drinks order. They were also very accommodating in pushing back our reception ending time so we were able to spend more time with our guests. The food and drinks were excellent and you cannot go wrong with the Kahala hotel. My guests complimented on how attentive and professional the catering team was. I would recommend this site to any bride but note it can get pricey.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Shylee
Wedding:
7/7/2013
5.0/5.0
We had an amazing time at The Kahala Hotel and Resort. Our guests, who attended the wedding reception were not stop telling us the great time that they had and the spectacular view! The staff are all friendly and helpful, Kari the planner and Susan (one of the waitresses that I could remember). The experience is one thing that you can't get nothing. We were happily spending thousands of dollars during our stays. Everything is literally 5-star, from the food, services and to the environment.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Lily
Wedding:
9/2/2012
4.1/5.0
Definitely a beautiful venue for any wedding if budget permits. Since it's a well known hotel so definitely is more strict. We are thankful for our wedding coordinator as she was easy to work with and made great recommendations. Our wedding turned out beautiful and everything was smooth. Would definitely recommend this hotel to others.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Carolyn
Wedding:
6/30/2012
5.0/5.0
We had our wedding reception under a clear top tent on the lawn right on the water. Six months later and people are still talking about how beautiful our wedding was and how amazing our venue and food was. We had AMAZING food and service. The Kahala does a fantastic job. Aimee, our coordinator, was extremely helpful. She knew what I wanted and respected our choices. She helped us stay within our budget while being able to serve amazing food and drinks. Its the Kahala and its reputation says it all.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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jtangkwan
Wedding:
5/25/2012
4.4/5.0
Overall, we are really happy with our choice to hold our wedding and reception at the Kahala hotel. We worked with Aimee Graham who was really great at helping us see our wedding through. She and the staff we've interacted with at the hotel have excellent customer service. The venue itself is extremely beautiful. We were married by the Kokohead Gazebo (though we got married off to the side by the trees) next to the ocean, beach, grass. About as private as a wedding at a hotel could be -- which was one of our main criteria.

The food is really excellent. Definitely some of the best wedding food we've had, with a price tag to match (starting around 70-125 I think, not counting drinks, cake etc). However, when we compared our food to other weddings we've gone to (even some with price tags of up to 250-300 per person) we felt that the food quality was really excellent and there was so much food that no one could go home hungry. Many of our guests told us that the food is the best food they've ever had at a wedding, and they were able to provide a range of food from Sashimi (which was really great Tuna) to Cold Chicken with ginger (also very much complimented on) to Cantonese style duck, prime rib, great ranges of salads, etc.

The value of this place depends on what you want. It is definitely more expensive in some regards than any of the other venues we saw -- so we tried to really save where we could. The ceremony fee starts at around 4200 and there is a 2,000 dollar room rental fee for the reception that isn't waived regardless of food/drinks purchased (on a Friday night). Prices vary for reception rooms, depending on size of your party, day of week, time of day etc.

Also they are slightly inflexible when it comes to certain things like having your own wedding cake. All food and beverages must be purchased from the hotel. Fortunately the food, cake, and beverages were all really excellent. Our wedding cake was Almond and Guava flavored cake with Passion Fruit filling. So yummy. The tropical fruit punch was also delicious and definitely worth having for guests who want non alcoholic drinks.

Overall, if you can handle the costs, I would definitely recommend this venue to anyone looking for excellent food, service, and a beautiful, semi private venue close to but not in the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. It was really a perfect choic for us, and we are so grateful to have been able to host our wedding there.

On a side note, if you plan on having a room or two there for your wedding, we highly recommend it -- the beds were the most comfortable beds I"ve stayed in at a hotel! We slept really well!
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Shane and Christine (Australia)
Wedding:
5/16/2012
5.0/5.0
Well, where do we start.

Aimee Graham was our co-ordinator /venue manager. She is amazing. Aimee knows all the ins and outs of the resort, she understood what we wanted and what we were trying to achieve.

We reside in Sydney australia,so communication can be tough, but we were glad Aimee was there to respond to our at times annoying emails lol.

The venue on the day looked amazing, the catering was 10 out of 10. Every guest that attended said, it was clearly the best food and venue they have ever been too. It was truly amazing.

We would highly recommend the kahala resort for any wedding. We only had a small group of 21, which made it beautiful.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kelly
Wedding:
10/20/2011
4.4/5.0
We had our wedding ceremony here in October. First off, the resort is stunning and has many great spots for photos. We were blown away with the grand lobby and dolphin/ray/turtle area. The beach is quite secluded and there is not a ton of sun bathers so if you want beach shots consider this over Waikiki. We did have a few fans during our ceremony but they were discreet and it was actually nice they were so happy for us. It's only about 15 minutes drive from Waikiki so we were happy with that. We had our ceremony at the Koko Head Gazebo which is more secluded than the other gazebo. It is VERY windy at Koko Head, so brides keep that in mind for your hair do.

I was a little annoyed at first because The Kahala requires that you use their preferred vendors. I had already selected a photographer but was told it would cost $1000 more if I choose to go with an outside photographer. In the end, I understood why they mandated their preferred list of vendors. Everything went off without a hitch and we are very pleased. I considered Paradise Cove during my planning stage but am very happy we went with The Kahala in the end. I will write separate reviews for the vendors we went with.

One knock is the catering manager we worked with seemed rushed and was not very detail oriented. Emails would go for several days sometimes weeks unanswered and I had to do a lot of following up. My face to face encounter with her also seemed rushed and she did not have the calming factor I was hoping for. I have higher expectations for a resort of this caliber. Perhaps they are understaffed and luckily since we had a very small, simple wedding this was not a problem for us. Their vendors are top notch and had everything under control.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Gina
Wedding:
4/8/2011
5.0/5.0
Most beautiful wedding ever! Charles Keegan of the Kahala gave me my dream wedding. Everything was so perfect, I would swear I dreamt it if I didn't have pictures. Every vendor they recommended was top notch and the service, the stay everything was so amazing, it made me cry. The food, the wedding cake, everything they did was beyond perfect. All of my guests were overwhelmed at the location, everyone said they felt like we were in a painting because of the breathtaking beauty of the Diamond Head Gazebo, truly a dream come true.
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Wedding Venue
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fugu
Wedding:
7/3/2010
5.0/5.0
Grace Chan was awesome. She was super fast and responsive to every phone call and email. She took care of everything and it was such a relief to work with her. The vendor list is very helpful as well. Beware if you do not use the photographer on the vendor list there is a $1,000 extra charge. Everyone said that the food was amazing. The ballroom was beautiful and the scenery around the hotel is excellent for photos.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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anna_tinyee
Wedding:
10/3/2009
4.6/5.0
I had my ceremony on the Lagoon Lawn and my reception on the Lurline Lawn. The senior event coordinator that I worked with at the Ihilani was helpful throughout the entire process, although at times it was a bit difficult to get a hold of her. It turns out that a lot of people get married here! The location could not have been more beautiful. The only draw back of getting married on a resort is that other people at the resort can sneak a peek into our wedding festivities.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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catscradle123
Wedding:
8/1/2009
3.8/5.0
The Kahala is a gorgeous property where I had always dreamed of getting married. You do not need flowers for the ceremony (ok, maybe very few) because the gazebos have a beautiful oceanview backdrop. Dealing with the Kahala from the beginning was a frustrating process, but I love the property so we decided to get married there despite the annoyances. We met with one catering manager who acted as if she was doing us a favor by showing us the grounds. The catering manager we eventually worked with, Charles, was initially quite unresponsive, but later became very responsive to our needs. One thing to note is that our catering manager was pretty unresponsive with emails until the month before the wedding. I think this is pretty characteristic of the catering managers since my friends had the same experience.

Wedding Ceremony Package

The hotel requires brides/grooms to purchase one of their weddings ceremony packages, the lowest priced of which is approximately $4k. This fee includes an hour of photography, a minister, bride's bouquet/groom's bout by Evan Morita, and a musical soloist of your choosing. You will have to choose from their approved list of photographers, otherwise, you must pay $1k for an outside photographer. In addition to the vendors, the package comes with 40 chairs, so if you have more than 40 guests, you will need to pay an additional $4/chair.

The ceremony went flawlessly. Our catering manager was punctual in meeting us at the bridal suite to escort us down to the Kokohead Gazebo. The ukelele player that Kika Inc. arranged for us was amazing, as was the bouquet and boutonniere that Evan Morita provided to us. Our officiant, Reverend Michael Nelson was extremely organized in directing the ceremony (during rehearsal and the day of) and I highly recommend him.
Cocktail hour/Reception

We held our reception in the Maile ballroom. Like other hotels, there is a minimum revenue requirement for the ballroom. The ceremony package does not count towards the minimum revenue for the reception, so the costs can escalate quite quickly. During the cocktail hour we had a welcome drink passionfruit bellini, which was a huge hit. We also had four canapes, all of which were quite good - ahi tartare, crab salad with avocado, mushroom cap, and bbq chicken with pineapple.

For the reception, we had the ahi trio (the sashimi was kind of old), endive salad, a duet of beef tenderloin and mahi mahu, and wedding cake as dessert. I do not expect much from reception food and I would say the food was good, but not exceptional. The highlight was definitely the cake. We had a three tier cake, with red velvet as the first tier, coconut as the second tier, and vanilla with coconut filling as the third tier. The cake was moist and light, and I still dream about that cake! I am still so regretful that I did not get to have a full slice of the cake.

We also had a late night snack bar, which consisted of malasadas, kalua pig quesadillas, crabcakes, red velvet cupcakes and a chocolate fountain. All of the items were delicious...except for the malasadas-- steer clear of those! All in all, we have many foodie friends and there were pretty surprised by how good the food was.

Hotel Rooms

We negotiated with the hotel for a good 5-6 months before we reached a deal on the room rates for our guests. At first, they gave us a 10% discount on the rack rates, and they required us to sign a draconian contract whereby we had to guarantee a number of rooms. After several months of negotiating, they finally gave us a rate that was around 30% off their rack rate, which was not bad considering we got married during the high season.

PRO/CONS

Charles went above and beyond his normal scope of responsibilities and helped with laying the programs, fans and parasols by the chairs for the ceremony. The Kahala also helped set up the escort cards, place cards, table names, wedding favors and certain candles I wanted on the reception tables. I was extremely pleased with this aspect. The ceremony and reception flowed very smoothly and the table service was very good.

There were two things that put a damper on our experience. One is that we could not extend the ballroom for another hour the day of the wedding, and two, the catering and banquet managers were breathing down the groom�s back about alcohol consumption. Our speeches ran long so we wanted more time for dancing. While we were willing to pay the extra $500 cost for each hour of the ballroom, the hotel did not allow us to since we had given too short of notice. With regard to the alcohol consumption, the bartender refused to serve us liberally. We had an open bar at the reception, and while our guests consume a lot of alcohol, they were not acting belligerently. I was disappointed to hear that the consensus amongst my friends was that the hotel was trying to contain their good time. While the groom shielded me from the foregoing issues during the reception, in retrospect I wish we had hired a wedding coordinator to assist in this regard.

Advice

Pick a low season and a weeknight to get married at the Kahala Resort. Your may be able to get a lower room rate and minimum revenue requirement for the reception. If we had gotten married during a weeknight and in June, as opposed to August, the room rate and minimum revenue would have been less than what we had paid for.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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gracejennifer
Wedding:
6/28/2008
4.9/5.0
The best customer service, location and food.. A bit pricey but worth every penny. Just be sure to look over the photographer list. To bring in an outside photographer will cost an extra $1000. Luckily, my first choice was available and on the list.. The catering manager (Jamie Ing) is the best.. Easy to work with, fast email reply, very hands on. Awesome place to get married!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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kino_iki
Wedding:
6/16/2008
4.7/5.0
Everything went well with the catering staff. The room was very clean and neat. The food and drinks tasted excellent.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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minac
Wedding:
4/24/2008
4.5/5.0
The Kahala Resort is the best place to have an upscale wedding. We had our reception there but you can also have the ceremony there as well as a package deal. We had it at the Maile ballroom, which is the grandest ballroom and fit a little over a 100 ppl in it. The service was amazing, the food was exceptional and the catering manager who was in charge of my wedding was impeccable. For a four-five star resort I wouldn't expect anything less. However, if you're on a budget, this is not the place for you. The Kahala is very posh and everything is pricey as expected with such luxury. We had a three course dinner with the sea bass and beef tenderloin as the entree. We also had an open bar the entire evening and had butler passed appetizers throughout the cocktail hour. I wouldn't have had my wedding any other way!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Christine
Wedding:
6/22/2007
4.8/5.0
I loved getting married at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. The hotel itself was absolutely gorgeous and my wedding was perfect. The coordinator they gave me, Grace, was very helpful, responsive, and professional. Everything was top rate and I would highly recommend the Kahala to anyone looking to get married in Honolulu.
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
4.8/5.0
We LOVED having our wedding here on 5/22/2010! They created our dream wedding and thought of little details we never would have considered on our own. Jamie Ing was a great coordinator. Thank you, Kahala! It was perfect. Wish we could do it all over again! :)
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
5.0/5.0
What a dream come true! We had a fairy tail wedding at the Kahala Hotel and I could not be more pleased with every single detail. I worked with Grace Chan who is the catering manager there and if we had more people like her in this world it would be a much better place! She was amazing to work with, she responded to my every question very promptly with patience, and kindness. The hotel had a prefered vendor list and everyone I picked from that list was a delight to work with. My planning experience was amazing and our wedding exceeded our wildest dreams. I felt like a queen on our wedding day and it is all because of Grace Chan and the Kahala Hotel. Our guests were stunned, everyone said they had never seen anything more beautiful, never tasted better food, and never seen a wedding so elegant.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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