Are hotels in Waikiki really this bad?

Old Aug 14th, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Are hotels in Waikiki really this bad?

In all my years of travel planning I don't know if I've ever had a more difficult challenge than the one I've had trying to find the right Waikiki hotel. We will be there for 5 nights in April of 2014, as part of a 15 day trip. We will be celebrating an anniversary as well as Hawaii being my 50th state visited.
I have thoroughly researched no less than 30 hotels in this area and have been amazed at how bad the reviews are. I can live with the negative reviews for the outragious resort and parking fees, but I am reading way too many reviews citing filthy rooms, horrible service, outdated and run down facilites, not being able to check in until hours after check in time, and not getting the room type originally reserved. Even prime properties such as the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider get one poor review after another.
I have never experienced this while researching ANY other place in the country. Even Detroit has hotels that get regular quality reviews. The only property I researched that did not get a healthy dose of poor reviews was Halekulani, but I'm not paying $700 a night.
What we are looking for is a normal sized, clean room, a lanai with a quality ocean view, laundry facilities on the premises, and something that is less resort/children oriented. We are trying to stay between $250 and $350 per night (including fees). After several months I have narrowed it down to 3 properties...the Aqua Lotus, Park Shore Waikiki, and Waikiki Parc. While each of these hotels have several unpleasant reviews of their own, they are less frequent.
I would appreciate any feedback or opininons you could give on these properties and also any suggestions for others that you think would fit our criteria.
Honestly, I've gone from trying to find a hotel that will enhance our trip, to finding one that won't ruin it.


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Old Aug 14th, 2013, 09:39 PM
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Bill-I am a Travel Agent and have been to Oahu many times. You will get a lot of answers. but here is what I recommend in your price range. Outrigger Reef-on the beach and has been re-done. All those other properties are ok, however not near the beach. You can do better. I like the Hilton Hawaiian Village, but they just started a resort fee, which is a rip. The Doubletree isn't too bad, but the Outrigger Reef will be a good choice for you.

Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 15th, 2013, 12:39 AM
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The Moana-Surfrider IS right ON the beach. The problem with it and the Royal is often due to their AGE; they were the first hotels built in Waikiki and inside the rooms can definitely harken back to that era, dark hallways, etc.

However, the Moana does have a newer tower which some folks like.

Wherever you stay, at least consider doing the Moana Sunday Brunch...absolutely unforgettable.
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Old Aug 15th, 2013, 08:51 AM
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I'm a budget traveler and have never had any of those problems in the hotels I have stayed at in Waikiki. Except for ocean view I have all those things you mention... clean room, lanai, laundry, etc. I have paid as little as $80/night and never more than $150/night.
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Old Aug 15th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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Suze, we will be in Honolulu for two nights next March. What would you recommend in the price range you mention?

Lee Ann
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Old Aug 15th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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White Sands on Nohonani
Waikiki Sand Villa
The Breakers on BeachWalk
Royal Grove

(the $80 was an internet special deal at Sand Villa a few years ago, I think all these hotels currently are more in the $125-150 range)
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Old Aug 15th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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We've not stayed there, but we peeked at The Breakers a couple of years ago, and if I were on a budget, I'd definitely consider that hotel. Great location, and very cute.
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Old Aug 15th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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We stayed in Honolulu at two different times in our trip in February - for one night at Outrigger on the Beach at Waikiki and three nights in a lovely condo, at the Ilikai Marina. We loved our unit - fabulous ocean view and all the amenities except a pool. It was about a ten minute walk to the heart of Waikiki. Outrigger was great too, in the heart of the action, just more expensive with less of a view. The Ilikai Marina units were definitely more of a bargain though, and we loved having a full kitchen, washer/dryer, etc.
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Old Aug 15th, 2013, 04:24 PM
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I liked the Princess Kaiulani which is across the street from the Moana. Be sure to ask for a full ocean view.
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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You might try VRBO for a condo. The Waikiki Shores is right on the beach all with lanai but no pool if that is something important to you. i like to have one but since it is right on
the beach, the whole ocean is your pool. I prefer Condos so I don't have to eat every meal out and the convenience of extra rooms not just a room with a bed. About the same price as a decent hotel with added benefits in my opinion. Banyan and Waikiki Sunset are two other condos reasonably prices with lanais and ocean views....Also try Costco Travel if you are a Costco member. They offer very good deals. We have used them several times and have saved a couple hundred dollars each time......
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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You don't need a condo, in order not to eat "every meal out" in Hawaii. I can easily do that as long as I have a mini-frig in the hotel room and a coffee maker for mornings. I shop at the grocery store, ABC, bakery, food courts.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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I agree with Shar, I did the hotel search in Waikiki for months with the same disappointment. After much research we went with VRBO. We will be leaving in just over a month and are staying at the Ilikalani, it is a Hotel/Condo, including a pool, reception desk, laundry facilities, plus the unit we rented has a full kitchen and a wonderful ocean view on Waikiki beach. The reviews we read for the unit were outstanding, so I feel really comfortable with the decision. The cost is great as well, only $175 a night and our particular unit sleeps 6. I think the best thing to do is browse the rentals, good ones book up very far in advance. We booked our unit over 6 months ago. We are told by the owner of the unit we rented that as well as ocean views we will also be able to see the fireworks that are set off at the adjacent Hilton every Friday night and the Luau that is performed nightly just below. I am loving that we can wake and have the option to just make a quick breakfast without having to run out for every meal, or make lunch or dinner for that matter. We are only spending 4 nights in Waikiki, and the other 5 nights up on the North shore at the Turtle Bay Resort, but after looking for so long with little or no success I was very relieved to finally find what I had imagined and hoped for in our vacation.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 01:13 PM
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We only stayed in Waikiki for two nights and then went on to the Big island. We stayed in the Aqua Lotus and just LOVED it! We had a large lanai, a great view of Diamond Head (which is what we requested) and we could see the ocean from the lanai as well. There is a large park right across the street and it is great for walking and just watching all the activity.
The service at the hotel was wonderful, the rooms were exceptionally clean and the bathroom was huge. We really were very impressed.
There is not a pool at this hotel, so be aware of that. They have bicycles you can borrow and mats for the beach for you. We walked into Waikiki with very little effort. There was a small refrigerator in the room. I would recommend this hotel without hesitation.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 07:22 AM
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The Marriott Waikiki Beach Hotel and Spa overlooking Waikiki and Diamond Head was great for our stay. We had a room in the recently redone tower; ask which it is if you book here. Two rooftop pools, music around the pool bar nightly, great breakfast buffet, fabulous sushi and steak restaurant onsite, proximity to the beach and Fantastic customer service make this our go to hotel on Oahu. Fairly priced at mid range, as you would expect a Marriott to be.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 08:11 AM
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To me the first mistake is going to Oahu at all. There are only 2 islands worth visiting in my opinion, Molokai and Lanai. If pushed I'd pick Lanai over Molokai if only because there isn't even one single stoplight on the island.

Do you want to visit the Hawaiian islands or just another resort area. That's the difference euclid. You couldn't drag me to Waikiki.

It's the old joke. First prize is a week in Waikiki, second prize is 2 weeks in Waikiki.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 08:17 AM
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No one here asked for an opinion about where they have chosen to go on their vacation. They'd like help with hotels.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 02:37 PM
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Hotel Renew is a totally modern & streamlined boutique hotel -- very clean and only $179/night (ocean views are a bit higher). No floral patterned bedspreads or wallpaper. No bright "tropical" color schemes. No wicker or rattan. They did leave fresh fruit and flowers in our rooms which was the closest we got to a "birds of paradise" decorating theme. After our trip a few years ago, one of my friends continued to book here when he returned for annual work-related trips, once as low as 120/night. We had free internet and even a free continental breakfast IIRC (we only drank the coffee). This was a few years ago so check recent reviews but we had a great experience at Hotel Renew.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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Fra, the poster in question was active on the Thorntree (Lonely Planet) forum before joining the Fodors discussions. He/She was Travelinstyle46, author of 3271 posts oon Thorntree. The style of the posts on Thorntree seems similar the style ofn Fodors.

Fortunately, the Lounge forum is closed to him/her.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 08:20 PM
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For our son's wedding next month in Oahu (his fiance is from Waikiki) I researched hotel after hotel and finally decided that renting a house would be our best option to keep the costs down for the week. Our other son and wife, and son to be married can all stay at the house with us. It is on the hill overlooking Waikiki and looks lovely: large deck where we can host all the family. I know our situation is a bit different than what you are looking for but don't discard rentals as out of the question. It saved us a small fortune.

As a side note...Improvisor, you are really getting annoying...sooooo opinionated...let's all meet over in the Lounge where he/she can't find us.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 10:32 PM
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We are visiting Hawaii (Oahu and Big Island) in a few weeks and have booked the Waikiki Marina Resort which seems to meet your requirements. I had trouble finding just what I wanted as well and hope this place is OK for us. It gets reasonable reviews on Trip Advisor and location seems fine. We've booked a cheaper rate where you don't get the room made up every day. We'd really prefer no maid service at all - I think I can make my own bed - but understand it's providing employment for someone.

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