Best Hotel on Waikiki

Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 11:53 AM
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Best Hotel on Waikiki

I will be on Oahu for 4 days and have never actually stayed on Waikiki. I want to stay at a beachfront hotel where I can walk on the beach easily, and enjoy a nice pool, too.

I like a nice room, but super restaurants or romantic settings are not necessary. A city view is fine, too, but I really like a nicely-appointed fresh room and am willing to pay for it. A plus would be a good spa for massages and treatments, too.

Price isn't the issue, location is. Any recommendations?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 11:59 AM
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hhv - hilton hawaiian village

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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 02:33 PM
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Halekulani is #1 classiest hotel on Waikiki beach.

The New Otani Kamaina is down at the quiet end toward DiamondHead (but they don't have a pool).

Royal Hawaiian & Moana Surfrider are the two oldest historic hotels that are beach-front and high-end.

There are only ~dozen hotels that actually front Waikiki, so your list is not all that long to choose from.

Hilton Hawaiian Village is OK but realize it's big family-friendly, a bit Disney-esque with multiple towers and pools, etc.

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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 03:26 PM
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The Royal is closed for renovations for another 6 months or so. I'd stay at the Moana. The Sheraton Waikiki is fine, too, and at least some of the rooms have an awesome view.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 03:29 PM
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The Halekulani is probably rated the highest out of all the beachfront hotels, but the pool is rather small, as is the beach area fronting the hotel.

The Sheraton has a small beachfront area too - I think the beach fronting the Surfrider and Royal Hawaiian is larger. Not sure about their pools.

The Outrigger is beachfront and a fairly nice place to stay, but not in the same category as the previously mentioned hotels.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 03:48 PM
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Not to stay for you, but as an aside, the Outrigger Reef has a pretty nice spa called, Serenity Spa (has its own website).
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 04:51 AM
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The halekulani is wonderful and is considered the most luxurious in that area. their restaurant is amazing- the best of our entire honeymoon (most of which was spent on Maui).
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 05:43 AM
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Didn't stay on Waikiki, but my dining experience at Orchids at Halekulani was also the best in our 10 night trip to Hawaii.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 06:54 AM
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I have stayed at the Hilton, the new Embassy, the Outrigger Waikiki, the Sheraton and the Hyatt.

I loved the Outrigger and it's casual atmosphere. It's right on the beach in a perfect spot. The pool was not huge, and we spent most of our time on the beach. We upgraded to Ocean Front and it was worth it. We sat on our balcony every morning and watched the surfers and just relaxed. Heaven! You can walk to any restaurants from your hotel, it's pretty easy to get around. I've posted longer reviews on tripadvisor. Under Worldtripper.

The Hyatt wasn't bad either and it was right across the street from the beach. We were Ocean View and our balcony faced Diamond Head. It's a big hotel with a decent pool.

The Hilton is very busy, and pretty remote. I would stay there again if I got a great rate.

I loved Waikiki and would go back in a heartbeat.

If Price isn't an issue, I would check out what other's have recommended and stay at the Halekulani. Ask about construction noise: when we were at the Embassy which is right behind the Hale, there were two construction sites next to us. The Outrigger Reef was renovating and the new Trump property. It was very loud.

Have fun!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 02:25 PM
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I will be returning to Oahu in two weeks duplicating our fantastic vacation from last year.

I love Waikiki and will be staying again at the Surfrider in a tower ocean view room. There have been some improvements in the hotel since last year and am looking forward to seeing them. I have not stayed at the Halekulani but it is widely considered the most luxurious hotel on Waikiki beach. Their beach frontage, however, disappears at high tide and I watched people clinging to the tiny bit of sand left as the water crept upward.

HH Village seemed a zoo to me - and I have a young child.

I love the Banyan Courtyard at the Surfrider for dinner and drinks outside. The pool is small but no pool in Waikiki could be considered big. The beach is great in front and right at the doorstep.

The rooms are nicely appointed - not the most luxurious ever but lovely. Note I stayed in a tower room - these are the newer, larger rooms at the Surfrider (their are older rooms in the historic sections and a low rise section that I would be concerned about for you).

I think the new spa is open at the Surfrider but check for an update.

Enjoy. Waikiki is now my favorite place in Hawaii.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 05:47 PM
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HHV has cut staff to the point where there is no manager anymore! No more refrigerators or coffee makers in the room either. The new owners have pushed the remaining staff to a point of horrible morale.

The Moana or Halekulani would be my choices for on the beach luxe hotels.


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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 06:52 PM
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when i was at the hilton 5 years ago, there were staff issues. my room was run down and the ac wasn't great. wow. I prob won't go back there until I hear good things.

too bad there aren't more luxury hotels on W.Beach. it's such a magical place and then as i wrote on trip advisor, at the Outrigger, we could hear entire conversations from our neighbors next door. Cheap-o.

Too bad Wynn doesn't get in there and buy up old properties and make a Wynn or something elegant on Waikiki.

We want to stay at the Moana next time. Husband loves the rocking chairs on the porch.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:20 PM
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thanks beachkomer- I like the location of Outrigger, but your last comment is a bit bothersome.

The Moana Surfrider doesn't have an oceanview room available for all the days I'll be there.

As it's all about the beach, I'm not up for the Halekulani.

I'm thinking about the Hyatt, for the spa, and maybe the club level.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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We liked the Hyatt. Walking across the road to the beach was not a big deal. Our balcony was smaller than the one at the outrigger, but the two of us sat out there in the mornings and it was fine for two.

One thing about Waikaki, it's against the law to drink ON the beach, unless you are sitting in a hotel pool area or lounge. We like to sit in Duke's lounge at the Outrigger and have drinks and watch the people. You just can't order drinks to your lounger on the beach. (at the Outrigger).

Yes, the walls are thin at the Outrigger, if you do a search for reviews here, you might find this fact from fellow fodorites. On tripadvisor, read the reviews and this is mentioned a lot. There was a big group of athletes there when we were but they must have been on different floors, we didn't hear them: just our early rising neighbors. (5am!)

You might also look at the Sheraton, it's on the beach too.
They have ocean front/view rooms.
You can walk from the pool area down a few steps to the beach.
It is centrally located on the beach.

bk
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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I was at Wikiki in May and stayed at the Ilikai at the beginning of Waikiki at the yacht basin. It is part condo, part hotel. I loved it! I had a huge room on the 23rd floor overlooking city lights and at night I left the drapes open to the wall to wall windows and would wake during the night to the city lights. VERY reasonable price. Right down a path to the beach. No restaurants except the fancy Italian one at the top reached via glass elevator, but there is a gift shop and mini market and HHV is right next door. Didn't use the pool cause I wanted the beach but it looked nice and secluded if small. I would stay there again just for the huge room and view of the city at night.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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hi icuy

had no idea hhv has come to such an awful state.

my stay 3 years ago was great - loved the bedding, the little indoor pool out of the sun , the bus at my door step - when i asked there was a bit of shock to answer a bus question but it's so easy and inexpensive. I was there for 3 weeks over christmas and although busy the people of all ages were well mannered. And, probably a girl thing, but it's not the worst thing to live inside the mall for awhile. They were a bit nuts counting the coffee. Thanx for you knowledgeable news about the hhv.

Mildred
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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ok, I'm worried. I've got people at my office going to HHV in October because of a conference being held there.

How worried do I need to be? Is there anything I could do to mitigate the negatives of the hotel?

(sorry to butt in Marginal, but thanks in advance)

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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 12:13 PM
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We were just at the HHV in July. Although I probably wouldn't stay there again (my pick would be Ala Moana Surfrider!) it really wasn't bad. We were in the Kalia Tower and the rooms were beautiful, refrigerators that worked great and coffee makers, though with a Starbucks in the lobby, who needs it. The bedding was sumptuous and the view was great, especially on Friday nights when they had fireworks. Daughter visited friends in the ALoha Tower and she said their rooms were a little dumpy compared to ours but don't know specifics. The biggest downsides for me was its proximity to all the shops. It was a bit of a walk, and at high tide, you couldn't walk home along the beach. I guess it depends on what you want. If you will be driving around a lot anyways, it is a good base, easy to get to (especially the Kalia Tower - our valets were all great!) but if you will hotel based, I would go with something else.

Ala Moana Surfrider is on my wish list. It looks romantic, historic and is centrally located. SO spent a night at the W and said it was gorgeous.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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Hi Marginal!

It's me. Weadles.

I just got back from Hawaii. Because of our travel plans, we stayed in Waikiki twice. Once at The Hilton Hawaiian Village in the Al'i Tower, and once at The Outrigger next to the Moana Surfrider.

Guess which one we preferred? In fact it wasn't even close. Yup, The Hilton Hawaiian Village! Yes, it's zooey, but when you stay at The Al'i Tower, you feel substantially removed by the crowds and zooiness on the rest of the property.

There's separate check-in which speeds the process, plus a crowded but private pool for Al'i Tower guests on the fourth floor. This is in addition to the ground floor super pool, which honestly isn't the best pool I've ever seen.

Also, you want to talk beach? At least The Hilton has one! It's rather wide, too. Nothing fancy or dramatic, but still a fairly long, wide beach. At The Outrigger, the beach is a swath of sand that comes and goes according to the tides. Same is true next door at The Moana, and farther down the beach at The Sheraton.

As for room quality, it wasn't even close, despite the fact that we had deluxe oceanfront rooms at The Outrigger. The Hilton won again. We had really spacious rooms with excellent city/beach views for significantly less than The Outrigger, once I applied my AAA rate.( Definitely check online since the rates seem to fluctuate daily!)

The Hilton supposedly has a fabulous spa, but we didn't get a chance to check it out. You do have to be prepared for crowds at The Hilton, but hey, you're in Waikiki, and unless you're hiding out at some amazing condo on The North Shore, that's pretty much the way it is.

Hope this helps!
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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We stayed at the
Sheraton Waikiki on the 29th floor and just loved our view overlooking
Diamond Head. It was a post card view. The hotel was nothing to brag about. We had drinks at the Royal Hawaiin and decided that we would stay there if we ever came back. I think it is still closed for reservations. If money is no object, I would pickthe Halekulani. If the pool is small, it still looks lovely. I know some people don't like Waikiki, but we enjoyed it. We walked the streets at night, lighted by torches filled with street performers - a wonderful atmosphere. It's like walking down 5th Avenue in NYC with a great atmosphere.
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