The Honolulu Marathon has taken place on the second Sunday in December since 1973. One of the largest marathons in the country, tens of thousands of entrants flock to Honolulu each year for a chance to run the 26.2 miles of picturesque coastline on the race course. It’s also a great race for beginners as there are no cut off times – the finish line stays open until the last participant crosses, which can be as much as 15 or more hours later!
Other unique features are a pre-race carbo-load luau and concert plus a large marathon expo at the Hawaii Convention Center take place in the days leading up to the big race. If you’re coming to participate in the event or to cheer on a participant, here are your best options for staying close to the Honolulu Marathon starting line or finish line.
>> Haven’t entered yet? Visit the official website of the Honolulu Marathon.
>> Check out the inspiring story of Gladys Burrill – at 92 when she finished the Honolulu Marathon in 2010, she may just hold the World Record for the oldest female to finish a marathon!
Hotels Near the Honolulu Marathon Starting Line
The Honolulu Marathon kicks off with a bang – literally – with fireworks overhead at 5am on race day. The official start line is on Ala Moana Boulevard between Ala Moana Beach Park and Ala Moana Shopping Center.
Ala Moana Hotel
The Ala Moana Hotel has been a local favorite for years for its proximity to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, which also happens to be a transportation hub for the city’s bus network. Besides being close to the marathon start line, it’s right across from the Hawaii Convention Center for runners picking up their race packets at the marathon expo.
Hawaii Prince Hotel
The Hawaii Prince Hotel is literally steps away from the marathon starting line, with beautiful views of the marina and Ala Moana Beach Park. If you have friends and family cheering you on, they’ll be able to view the fireworks at the start of the race, plus see runners around the 3-4 mile marker before they circle into Waikiki.
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Hilton Hawaiian Village
A bit further down Ala Moana Boulevard towards Waikiki lies the Hilton Hawaiian Village, a mega-resort, great for families traveling with children. A calm lagoon and a menagerie of animals on the property are popular with the kids. Close enough to walk to the start line and either a little longer walk or short cab ride from the finish line.
Hotels Near the Honolulu Marathon Finish Line
The marathon concludes at beautiful Kapiolani Park between Diamond Head Crater and the beach. It’s a perfect location for the runners to pick up their finisher’s shirts, refreshments, and to listen to live entertainment while celebrating their run. The Diamond Head end of Waikiki (near the Honolulu Zoo) is full of good choices for hotels nearby so that you don’t need to walk a step more than necessary.
New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
This hotel sits right on beautiful Sans Souci Beach (also known as Kaimana Beach) with a view of the finishers chute on the way to the marathon finish line in Kapiolani Park. Perfect for a post-run soak in the healing ocean waters as well. This property is a bit quieter since it’s just outside of Waikiki proper, closer to Diamond Head.
Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel
Just a block away from the Honolulu Zoo and steps from the marathon finish line, the Aston Waikiki Beach is a good choice for runners not wanting to catch a cab back to their hotel. The popular Tiki’s Bar & Grill downstairs provides live music, ono pupus, and sunset views. There’s also an ABC store right on the corner between the finish line and the hotel for stocking up on ice, bananas, and ibuprofen after your run!
Waikiki Beach Marriott
Just across the street from the Aston Waikiki Beach (two blocks from the finish line), this large resort has many room categories for all budgets. On-site dining options include the popular Sansei Sushi Bar (check out their late night happy hour with half-off sushi!) and DK Steakhouse. Great for carb-loading or for your post-run celebration.