History of Our Waikiki Hotel
Family owned and operated
Equus Hotel has a unique history that gives rise to its name and equestrian theme. Unlike any other hotel in Waikiki, it is rooted in the elegant and exciting sport of polo and inspired by Hawaii’s fascinating paniolo history. Through the hallways of the hotel, guests can get a glimpse of paniolos in the old days through vintage family photos.
The hotel is owned by the Daileys, a local family with equestrian roots. Mike Daily was born and raised in Oahu surrounded by horses and polo culture. The history of The Equus dates back to the 1950s, when Mike’s father, Fred Dailey, built and opened the iconic Waikikian Hotel. Back then there were only a handful of hotels in Waikiki.
On the heels of World War II, Fred helped revive the sport of polo in Hawaii from its war-time pause by forming the Waikiki Polo Club in 1956. The Waikikian was a major sponsor of polo in the 50s and early 60s and hosted all the visiting players and teams, including Great Britain’s Prince Charles.
Meanwhile, Fred had a role in building the Old Driftwood Hotel in the mid-60s. When the Waikikian was sold in the late 1970s, the polo connection with a Waikiki hotel was lost until Fred’s son, Mike, assumed ownership of the old Driftwood Hotel in 1990.
After multiple renovations and the care that only a family-owned and operated business can provide, the hotel was re-named The Equus Hotel. The Equus was lovingly designed by Mark’s wife, Becca Dailey, who created the distinct flavor and charm of the hotel. Becca received the BIA Renaissance Building and Remodeling Award for the redesign.
To this day, Mike, Becca, Devon and Mariah Dailey continue to operate The Equus, which still serves as the headquarters for the Hawaii Polo Club. Each year, The Equus hosts a variety of visiting teams and players from around the world and shares the history of the inspiring paniolo with its guests.