Fodor's Expert Review Aston at the Waikiki Banyan
201 Ohua Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, USA See on Map
Families and active travelers love the convenience and action of this hotel, just a block from Waikiki Beach, the aquarium, the zoo, and bustling Kalakaua Avenue. The recreation deck at this family-friendly property has outdoor grills, a heated swimming pool, two hot tubs, a children's playground, a mini putting green, and volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts. The welcoming lobby is decorated in warm tropical woods with plenty of seating to enjoy the trade winds. There is also a koi pond and a mini waterfall. One-bedroom suites include island-inspired decor and have fully equipped kitchens and lanai that offer Diamond Head or ocean views. The resort fee includes Wi-Fi, in-room PlayStations, and unlimited DVDs from the lobby kiosk.
All suites at the Waikiki Banyan are 1-bedroom, 1-bath start and average 535 square feet. Each includes air conditioning, a lanai, and full kitchen with basic, island-inspired décor that makes the rooms bright and cheery. The price difference comes when you’re selecting your view which ranges from a standard room with no view to full ocean.
South-facing rooms are your best bet for getting the best ocean views that the hotel has to offer.
Bathrooms are very basic and fairly small, with shower/tub combos.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Many of the rooms have a bit of a dated feeling, including older appliances.
The open-air lobby of the hotel is very lovely, with Asian-inspired décor, rich woods throughout, a koi pond, and a small waterfall feature. Guests immediately feel relaxed upon arrival thanks to all of the thoughtful, calming touches throughout.
The large, heated rectangular pool is less of a destination on its own and more a part of a sprawling rooftop activity deck. The nearby dual hot tub has its own wooden deck to set it off from the activity complex and give more of a relaxing feel.
There is no traditional gym, but the activity deck includes basketball and tennis courts for guests to get a workout in.
In the lobby guests will find Banyan Breeze, a cute café with teas, smoothies, espresso drinks and food like sandwiches, salads, wraps, and pastries.
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.
Located inside the sprawling Waikiki Marriott complex, Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar (4-min walk) 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.
Eggs n Things (13-min drive) will help satisfy those island breakfast cravings, with a large omelet menu, along with pancakes, crepes, and waffles, served with different fruits and towering dollops of whipped cream. You’ll have a hard time choosing between the daily specials and the classic menu, but you can’t really go wrong, either way. This popular eatery has been serving locals and visitors since 1974.
While Tiki’s Grill and Bar (5-min walk) has a pretty delicious Pacific Rim menu, you don’t need to go much further than the bar to have a good time. The drink menu is full of fun, tropical cocktails, including the memorable Son of an Itch. This tasty treat comes in your choice of glasses to take home, is served with a bamboo backscratcher, and the best part – it has dry ice in it, so it’s as playful as it is yummy. Live music helps make this popular place even more fun.
Visit the oldest sports pub in the entire state at Legends Sports Pub (4-min drive) for great deals (especially on their Mai Tais), a variety of screens, and a chance to watch NFL games at 7 a.m.!
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Aston at the Waikiki Banyan is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of options for families and groups to spend their free time when they need a little break from the beach. Suites are affordable and make for a nice place to relax.