Halekulani, 2199 Kalia Road, 923-2311

Eating with your eyes: The first thing you see at the brunch buffet at Orchids is a triple table of desserts.

photo: Hotels & Resorts of Halekulani

Orchids is the gold standard for brunch in Honolulu. We did it last instead of first, because I had to wait three weeks for a reservation.

The crowd at brunch is predominantly local, often big parties, celebrating birthday luaus and such. People walk in bearing gifts, balloons and lei. It was a perfect example of Rule No. 1: Brunch is by nature a special occasion.

Rule No. 3 also applied here as well. It may be impossible to describe the extent of the brunch buffet at Orchids without a diagram. The buffet stretches around corners, into alcoves, tables of salads and pokes on ice, silver chafing dishes full of entrées and breakfast goodies, dozens upon dozens of dessert platters. It’s more food than the average apartment in Honolulu could hold.

ARCHIVED:  Read John Heckathorn's entire review in our "The Six Rules of Brunch," April 2007 issue.