Fodor's Expert Review Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki
444 Kanekapolei St., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, USA See on Map
This boutique property just two blocks from Waikiki Beach offers surfer-chic accommodations at a great value. The cool blue-and-green color scheme, surfing videos on flat-screen TVs behind the check-in desk, and lounge chairs throughout leave no doubt about where you are and why this hotel appeals to the young and young at heart. Most rooms in this no-smoking hotel have lanai, and the resort fee includes Wi-Fi in both the lobby and rooms, Continental breakfast, Kona coffee and tea service available around the clock, and newspaper delivery. As with all hotels, rates can vary greatly from week to week depending on the season and occupancy. Asking for a few different travel times can often net you a great deal of savings. The Tuesday Manager's Reception features the hotel's signature drink, the Wipeout. Parking costs $25 per day and is limited.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Though the hotel has great rates, there is an additional $25 amenity fee per day.
There are a variety of rooms at this budget hotel, including deluxe, moderate, and superior levels, as well as some suites. The rooms come in a variety of configurations, some with private lanai. The prices are very affordable at this budget hotel, making suites affordable. All rooms include microwave, mini fridge, and air conditioning.
This hotel will be undergoing renovations in the latter part of 2019. If considering booking, it may be worth calling to find out where they are in the process.
Bathrooms, with tub and shower combos, are a bit cramped, but bold paint helps to keep the bathroom from looking too plain.
The lobby is spacious and bright, with some seating throughout. It leads into an open-air area where guests can find a small sundeck and pool.
The pool is very small, but provides a nice spot to relax if you need a quick dip.
Free continental breakfast included if you book directly, though most guests weren’t big fans.
Waikiki and surrounding areas are easily reachable from the airport by cab or rideshare. There is plenty to do in these areas without ever leaving (walking, biking, taking the bus, or hailing a car), so a rental car is only necessary if you want to explore other parts of the island.
If you’re looking for some hearty Korean BBQ or stews, Sorabol (8-min drive) is a great option for classic Korean food, along with an extensive sushi menu. They’re especially great night for some late-night indulging, as they stay open until 1 a.m. during the week and all night on the weekend.
Located inside the sprawling Waikiki Marriott complex, Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar (4-min drive) has a wide-ranging menu that features seafood in a variety of ways. Of course there’s a beautiful sushi menu, but there are also lots of other options like tempuras, poke, and a variety of rotating seafood specials. They also have a surprising array of vegetable sides that can appeal to any vegetarians in your group.
Visit the oldest sports pub in the entire state at Legends Sports Pub (4-min walk) for great deals (especially on their Mai Tais), a variety of screens, and a chance to watch NFL games at 7 a.m.!
If you’re in the mood for a bit of Irish aloha, Irish Rose Saloon (5-min drive) has nightly live music and that great pub feel that you’re looking for. It’s a true favorite among locals and visitors.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Though it may not be as nice as a lot of Waikiki’s hotels, it’s certainly more affordable that most of them. The vibe of the hotel is fun and little treats like a weekly manager’s reception every Tuesday are a nice touch.