Originally established in 1975, the W Honolulu Diamond Head was bought by Castle Resorts & Hotels in 2007 and reopened as the Lotus at Diamond Head. In stark contrast to the megaresorts that line Waikiki Beach, this 51-room boutique hotel offers tranquility just a stone's throw from the Pacific and expansive Queen Kapiolani Park. As a unique feature, every single guest room has a view of Diamond Head, Oahu's famous volcanic outcropping.
The hotel's dycor is a fusion of Hawaiian and Asian cultures, inspired by the elegance of the lotus blossom, which rises from pond depths to yield a beautiful flower. The lobby forms the hub of social activity here, where guests can relax to the sounds of soothing music and enjoy aromatic scented candles, with the option to play board games or video games on a Wii-compatible 42'' flat panel screen. There is free Wi-Fi access, too.
Walking paths lead from the lobby to a private sandy alcove and the popular San Souci Beach nearby. Beach chairs, towels and iPods are available to guests who would like to spend a day on the sand. Or the concierge service can arrange for guests to take outings to the Honolulu Zoo or Waikiki Aquarium adjacent to the hotel.
The 12th floor Diamond Head View Penthouse affords spectacular views from its wrap-around lanai. It comes with a full kitchen, living area, and in-room library, along with two bedrooms and a total floor space of 2,540 square feet.
On the lower floors, Ocean View and Diamond Head View rooms feature one king bed or two doubles, furnished lanais, and 455 square feet of Balinese decorated space. Cable/satellite television with pay movies and video games, a DVD/CD player, multi-line cordless phone with voice mail, mini-fridge, hair dryer and coffee/tea maker come standard. High-speed Internet access is available for a surcharge, and non-smoking rooms can be booked upon request.
For dining, the Diamond Head Grill & Bar is open daily from 7am to 10pm, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu developed by Executive Chef Mariano Lalica blends the best of traditional classical cuisine with the fresh bounty, flavors and spices of Hawaii. From 10pm till midnight, the restaurant's bar/lounge remains open for cocktails.
The hotel's Diamond Head Room is available for meetings and banquets. It can seat up to 80 people and accommodate as many as 120 for standing cocktail receptions. There is also a glass-enclosed boardroom, which can be used for smaller gatherings. Both function rooms offer Diamond Head views, too.
On weekends, one of the hottest spots in town can be found on the premises of the Lotus at Diamond Head. Located on the second floor, the venue is called "The Nightclub'' (formerly, the Wonderlounge), and it has been attracting Honolulu's hip and beautiful crowd since its opening in 2000, playing fierce, upbeat dance music till well past midnight.
The Lotus at Diamond Head is easy to find at the east end of Waikiki. The address is 2885 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96185; valet parking is available for a fee.