Maybe it's because there is so much to do in "the gathering place," or maybe all the hotels were developed too early, before the heyday of the big resort swimming pool. But despite having more than half of the state's population, it has a tiny fraction of its best hotel swimming pools. Until recently, there was no aquatic-playground style pool anywhere on the island. The list today remains short.
Sheraton Waikiki-Royal Hawaiian: One of the best things to come out of Sheraton's renovation of its four Waikiki properties was the construction of Waikiki's first real resort-style pool, wedged between the towering Sheraton and the venerable Royal Hawaiian. The Helumoa Playground has two pools, a 70-foot-long waterslide and two whirlpools. Best of all, the Infinity Edge pool blends nicely right into the famed beach at Waikiki, with the classic crescent of sand stretching away. A guest at any of the four Sheratons (the other two are the Westin Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani) can use the facilities.
Honorable mentions: The pool at the Halekulani in Waikiki is a sedate but lovely pool with 1.2 million South Africa glass tiles, part of which form a Cattleya orchid. It's a work of art and one that feels like you are desecrating by swimming in the pool, much less performing a cannonball. The elevated pool at the Trump International Tower is one of a kind in Hawaii — an urban resort pool. It's a cool idea, with clear panels that make it appear as if you are floating three stories up in the high-rise. Too bad it looks out on streets and a park instead of the beach. As "The Donald" should know, in real estate it's all about location, location, location. The Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore has added a respectable if unspectacular waterslide and given the aged outpost in the mecca of surf, a place for families to bring their kids.
PICTURED: Stunning views can be seen from the resort-style pool, which was part of the Royal Hawaiian makeover. It is nestled between the Royal Hawaiian hotel and its sister property, the Sheraton Waikiki in Oahu, Hawaii. (Cindy Yamanaka/Orange County Register/MCT) INSET: The Trump International Tower in Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. (Michael Goulding/Orange County Register/MCT)