Updated: May 1, 2023
Waikiki Beach boasts crystal clear blue water and beautiful sunset views, making it a popular tourist destination.
However, with a myriad of resorts and hotels to choose from, it can be tough for tourists to figure out where to stay on a visit.
Enter The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani—an award-winning resort that offers beautiful rooms for a relaxing overnight stay. This affordable yet chic hotel offers guests gorgeous vistas of the ocean as well as easy access to some of the best activities in Honolulu.
If you’re considering staying at The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani on your next visit to Waikiki, here’s everything you need to know about this hotel.
A Bit of Background on The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani opened in 1955, just after World War II. This was when Hawaii began to gain traction as a tourist destination, with more developers investing in beachfront hotels and high-rise towers in the area. However, at the time it was built, this 11-story hotel was the tallest in the area!
Originally built by the Matson Navigation Co, the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is a 296-room beachfront hotel that, even 50 years after its opening date, retains its traditional architecture and cultural interior design.
The hotel was eventually sold to Sheraton Hotels in 1959, and under the new ownership, the Princess Kaiulani saw the addition of its Diamond Head Wing. Twenty years later, in the 1970s, the hotel added another wing called the Ainahau Tower to the hotel as well. These additions brought the total number of rooms in the hotel up to 1150, marking huge expansions for the hotel.
Despite all these changes, the hotel has conserved many historical and cultural elements that make it unique. Once you enter the lobby, you are greeted by Princess Kaʻiulani, a life-sized portrait dressed in a sophisticated yellow morning dress.
An enclave stands across the life-sized portrait, and it narrates the princess’s life through images. You can see the garden, the kimono dresses, and the princess’s transformation into a sad and dignified woman. This enclave is a reminder of the royal Hawaiian lineage and a nod to the role the hotel has played in the island’s rich history.
Other historical elements of the hotel that serve as reminders of the resort’s rich history include various weapons and musical instruments that once belonged to royalty living on the island.
Booking The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
You can book a room at The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani from several travel sites. However, you can also book directly through the hotel website. Additionally, since this is a Marriott-owned hotel, you can book stays through Mariott’s Bonvoy program.
Because it’s a Marriott Bonvoy Category 5 Hotel, it costs at least 35,000 points each night. If you use your points to book the hotel, you can enjoy upgrades such as late check out or upgraded guest rooms.
Getting to The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
The nearest airport to this resort is Honolulu International Airport. You can either take local bus services or a private car to get to the hotel. If you go by car, it’ll take you about 20 to 25 minutes to get there.
The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is located within walking distance of Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach. Since the hotel sits on Kalakaua Avenue’s busiest stretch, it’s also within walking distance of the district’s dining, shopping, and drinking scenes.
It’s also close to the Hawaii Convention Center. The Hawaii Convention Center is the largest exhibition center of its kind in the state, and conferences and local events are frequently held there.
Besides the convention center, you’ll also find a number of restaurants nearby.
Other nearby attractions include:
- Honolulu Zoo
- Diamond Head Crater
- Pearl Harbor
- Hanauma Bay
- Kaimana Beach
Since these destinations are nearby, it puts guests in the perfect location to enjoy the top attractions in the area.
Checking In The Hotel
Once you reach the resort, signs will direct you to the koi pond leading to the check-in area. From there, you’ll take a short outdoor path to reach the reception area.
What’s unique about this is that the reception area is open-air. However, it’s under a covered pavilion, so even if it’s rainy, you’ll be able to stay dry.
At check in, you’ll need to confirm payment details. If payment has not been made ahead of time, it will need to be completed upon check-in. If you book through Marriott free night awards, you can ask the receptionist whether a room upgrade to an ocean view room or larger suite is available.
You’ll also need to pay the resort fee, which is a standard for hotels in the area.
Your resort fee includes:
- Free internet access
- A go-pro to borrow during your stay
- Guest activities
As part of the check in process, the receptionist will give you a full list of activities and amenities available during your stay.
In addition, during check in the receptionist will offer you the option of an upgrade to a plated breakfast. This comes at an additional cost. However, if you want to skip the plated breakfast, you can choose to dine at the breakfast buffet, which includes coffee, tea, or juice as well as your meal.
From there, you’ll be given your room key and can begin exploring the grounds or just relax in your room.
The Guest Rooms
The rooms would at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani feature cream-colored furniture and floral wall art. All the rooms at the hotel feature a number of amenities, including:
- A 32-inch LG flat screen with 35 channels
- Internet access
- Recycling bins
- Mini-bar with a coffeemaker that comes with complimentary Tazo tea and Kona coffee
- Bathroom with outstanding water pressure and hotel-brand toiletries
Beds have Serta Perfect Sleeper mattresses with polyester and cotton sheets.
There are eighteen different room types, with options for a city view, partial ocean view, ocean view, or view of the pool.
Pool View Room
The pool view rooms come with a balcony overlooking the central courtyard, which is where guests can lounge at the pool. These rooms are located in the Princess wing and include King, Queen, Double, and Deluxe rooms.
City View Room
City view rooms offer vistas of the bustling Kalakaua Avenue below. They’re a great way to take in the Waikiki skyline and admire the highrises in the area.
City view rooms are available in King, Queen, Double, and Deluxe. In the Kaiulani Wing, these rooms feature balconies as well.
Partial Ocean View Room
If you’d prefer to save a bit of money but still want to see the beach, you can opt for a partial ocean view. These rooms are available in the Princess Wing and in the tower.
You can choose between King, Queen, Double, and Premium rooms.
Ocean View Room
The Ainahau Tower and the Princess Wing both have ocean view rooms. You can get an ocean view with a King Room, Queen Room, double or premier room.
You can also ask for a skyline ocean view room. These rooms are located on the top floors of the tower and offer stunning vistas of the beach below.
There’s also the Tower Luxury Room, which is a suite situated on the top floor of the tower.
In addition to standard rooms, there are also accessible rooms available on request. These include things like a roll in shower and other amenities that can help make guests who need special accommodations comfortable.
The hotel also allows for service animals. Service animals must be registered at check in and have proper documentation.
Amenities Around The Hotel
Besides its gorgeous ocean view rooms and idyllic location along the waterfront, there are multiple amenities that guests can enjoy at the hotel. These are a variety of cultural activities as well as spaces such as the fitness center that they can make use of.
The Outdoor Pool
The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani features an outdoor pool that’s much more spacious than other hotels around the area. The pool is 8 feet at its deepest point but also has a shallower section for little ones.
Lounge chairs are almost always available and come at no additional charge to guests. The hotel also provides complimentary umbrellas or cabanas that families can rent while relaxing at the poolside.
You can directly reach Kalakaua Avenue with foot access to it adjacent to the outdoor pool. The foot access leads to several shopping centers and restaurants, making it a convenient place to hang out no matter what your plans are.
The pool is open daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm and provides complimentary towels to guests.
The Sheraton Kaiulani has an outdoor games area next to the Splash Bar Restaurant. This area features Foosball tables and cornhole. Table tennis equipment is also available if you want to learn the sport.
The games area is covered, so guests can enjoy the space regardless of the weather. This area is open 24/7.
Waikiki Beach Access
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is only about a block and a half from Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach. You can reach the beach through foot access to Kalakaua Avenue, which will only take a few minutes on foot.
Guests at the hotel also have access to the white sand beaches at the neighboring Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider resorts.
The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani has a well-equipped and spacious fitness center. This space is located on the 2nd floor of the hotel. The fitness center features a variety of workout equipment, including:
- Cardiovascular equipment
- Exercise bikes
- Strength machines
- Free weights
The fitness center is open 24/7 and is complimentary to guests staying on the property.
Aside from the pool, games area, and beach access, you can also try out daily activities offered by the hotel. Daily activities are displayed on TV screens located in the hotel lobby.
Some of the favorite activities offered at the hotel include:
- Hawaiian quilting
- Hula lessons
- Arts and crafts
If you want to venture off the resort property, the hotel makes that possible by organizing outings. Families can enjoy tours to popular local spots such as:
- Honolulu Zoo
- Ko Olina Golf Club
- Bay View Mini Putt and Zipline
- Nuuanu Pali Lookout
- Queen Emma Summer Palace
Just ask the hotel concierge about organizing these excursions and activities, and they’ll be able to assist you.
Restaurants at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani offers two restaurants: Splash Bar and Bento and Pikake Terrace. Aside from the on-site restaurants, the hotel also has a coffee stand.
Splash Bar and Bento
Splash Bar and Bento is an al fresco restaurant offering a wide range of cuisines at huge servings. It’s open daily from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm.
Tourists love the breakfast menu at Splash Bar and Bento as well as their grab-and-go lunches. The portions at Splash Bar are huge, so they’re best for sharing.
At night, Splash Bar and Bento becomes a lounge bar that serves finger food and alcoholic beverages. All the cocktails are inspired by Polynesian influences that give you a feel for local Hawaiian culture.
Food options offered by Pikake Terrace are almost the same as Splash Bar’s. Because both are al fresco, it can get pretty confusing which is which. One of its specialties is the Loco Moco. It’s a hamburger patty served over rice with a fried egg, grilled onions, and gravy.
If you want to venture off the property, there are several nearby restaurants at sister resorts that guests can enjoy. A few popular picks include:
- Veranda at the Beachhouse
- Mai Tai Bar
- Rum Fire
- Surfrider Cafe
These are great picks for guests who want to dine with an ocean view since the restaurants at the Princess Kaiulani aren’t on the beach.
Checking Out At The Hotel
Like other hotels, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani’s check-out time is at noon. You can request a later checkout, but it comes with additional charges. Marriott Bonvoy members can sometimes get a late check out as an upgrade or by using their points.
Upon checking out, the front desk personnel orders the room service staff to do a quick rundown of the room. The staff checks for possible damage or items you may have left behind. That means there’s another considerable amount of time to wait.
If you charge anything to the room, you’ll settle those charges upon checking out of your guest room.
What We Like About The Hotel
The best thing you can get from your stay at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is its location. Because it’s right at the center of Waikiki, it’s convenient, regardless of what you plan to do during your visit.
Shopping centers are everywhere, as are tourist attractions such as Diamond Head and the Honolulu Zoo. There’s also the convention center nearby for business travelers.
Another thing we love is the organized activities. Sheraton Princess Kaiulani does not disappoint with its classes, ensuring its guests are entertained. Plus, there are updated programs listed in the lobby for you to check out.
We’re also fans of the accommodations that the hotel makes by offering rooms with a roll in shower and accepting service animals for individuals who need them. They go above and beyond to make guests feel welcome at the hotel, no matter what.
Finally, one thing we loved is that despite its fantastic location and great amenities, this hotel is budget-friendly. It allows individuals to experience an all-inclusive resort vacation without having to spend as much money as they might at other hotels.
What Could Be Improved
There really isn’t much that the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani could improve. The hotel accommodates guests of all kinds and has a number of incredibly comfortable rooms.
The one thing that should be noted is that there’s no free parking. So, if you’re coming in a car, you’ll need to pay to keep your vehicle on the property.
However, the cost of parking isn’t overly high for the area. Additionally, you can easily avoid these charges by taking a cab or Uber. Since the hotel is within walking distance of the best beaches and activities in the area, you’re not likely to need a vehicle anyway.
Our Thoughts: Is Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Worth It?
If you want a hotel with a convenient location that’s also within walking distance of famous must-see places in Waikiki, we recommend staying at Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. It allows guests a comfortable yet affordable place to stay with plenty of activities both on and off the property that they can enjoy.
Additionally, this hotel is an excellent pick if you need accessible rooms or are traveling with service animals. The hotel goes above and beyond to make sure guests from all walks of life are comfortable during their stay.
Overall, if you’re planning to visit Waikiki, the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is a must-visit place. Its comfortable rooms, the array of amenities, and convenient location make it the ideal spot to book, regardless of how long or short your visit to Hawaii will be.