Talk about a room with a view. From my 18th-floor balcony I could survey an enormous expanse of placid Pacific waters, the full sweep of Waikiki Beach, as well as the jutting brown face of Diamond Head. At the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort, a two-tower complex, every room has a view and a lanai, and following the just-completed renovation, 85 percent of the 1,310 guest rooms are in the the “ocean deluxe” category.
For some the location of the property, at the far edge of Waikiki Beach, might be a handicap. But I preferred the resort's more laid-back ambience, and its walking distance to Diamond Head, Kapiolani Park, and the International Marketplace. I visited the property last summer, while attending the annual meeting of the American Society of Association Executives, held at the island's beautiful Hawaii Convention Center.
Since then, the renovation of guest rooms in both towers has been completed and the 6,000-square-foot Spa Olakino Salon has opened, featuring body treatments using custom-made, Hawaiian-based spa products. The spa /salon is managed by celebrity hair stylist Paul Brown. The resort has also opened a new Italian restaurant and a streetside cafe. Completing the recreational package: two heated indoor pools, a 24-hour fitness center, shops and boutiques, and the world-famous beach just across the street.
Plenty of meeting space rounds out the resort's amenities, including three ballrooms and seven meeting rooms, as well three lovely outdoor terraces. Topping it all off — the Marriott Aloha spirit, which made my short stay at the hotel especially pleasant. Then again, who could not be happy with a room with a fabulous view of Paradise?