Fodor's Expert Review The Residences at Waikiki Beach Tower
2470 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, USA See on Map
You'll find the elegance of a luxury all-suites condominium combined with the intimacy and service of a boutique hotel right on bustling Kalakaua Avenue. Facing Kuhio Beach, this 39-story tower offers spacious (1,100–1,400 square feet) one- and two-bedroom suites with gourmet kitchens and windows that open to views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean. Amenities include in-unit washer-dryers, free in-room Wi-Fi, complimentary valet parking, a recreation deck with a heated swimming pool and sauna, and spacious private lanais.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There is a $25 daily amenity fee that is not included in the room price.
Each of the large, beautifully furnished one- or two-bedroom Residences (they call them Residences “because they’re so much more than a hotel room”) include a well-appointed contemporary kitchen, private lanai with gorgeous ocean views (yes, all of them have ocean views), in-suite washer/dryer, dining table, and daily maid service. The décor and furnishings are recently upgraded, a mix of bright, island-inspired and contemporary.
While you may be tempted to be out for dinner around sunset time, you’ll have some of the best views in Waikiki from your own room -- make sure to take advantage of them and dine on your lanai!
Bathrooms have also recently been upgraded and have contemporary furnishings, lovely vanities (some single, some double), with lighted circular mirrors. Standard bathrooms have tub/shower combos, while the upgraded bathrooms have gorgeous stand-alone soaking tubs and walk-in showers.
The hotel lobby is luxuriously decorated, with nice furniture and a small check-in desk that isn’t too obtrusive.
The resort’s recreation deck plays host to a heated pool and hot tub, as well as a kid’s pool. Decked out cabanas with privacy curtains, ice chests, and Bluetooth speakers are available to guests on a first come, first served basis.
The fitness center is spacious, with carpeted floors, and a variety of cardio and strength machines. In addition, there is a yoga and spin studio for guests.
Though there is no on-site restaurant, it’s easy for guests to prepare their own meals. The outdoor grill area lets guests feel right at home, with a bar area, under the counter refrigerators, sink, and grilling supplies for guests’ convenience. Rather dine indoors or on your private lanai? The in-suite kitchens are chef-inspired and actually make you want to cook dinner and the rooms have 6-person tables for leisurely dining.
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.
Have a picky group with you? Stop by Honolulu’s newest Whole Foods Market Queen (13-min drive) to pick up a variety of groceries, or stop by one of the variety of eateries inside this two-story complex. Options include their classic salad and hot bars, a banh mi counter, poke bar, and a non-dairy frozen banana stand. Don’t leave without loading up on ice cream mochi from Bubbie’s -- but good luck making out of the store before eating all of them! Pro tip: Though you can find Bubbie’s all over the island, Whole Foods manages to keep it perfectly stored so that the mochi exterior is as soft and luscious as possible. Try as many as you can here, you’ll fall in love with most of them.
One of Chinatown’s standout spots is trendy The Pig and the Lady (18-min drive), a Vietnamese/Asian fusion restaurant with creative dishes that appeal to a variety of palates. They are even able to modify many of their menu items to meet the dietary needs of vegetarians. Their dessert menu is quite stunning, featuring island flavors and a rotating soft serve program, as is their cocktail menu full of quirky drink names and ingredients.
Even if you’re not staying at The Modern, you’ll want to sneak behind the bookcases in their lobby to grab a drink at The Study (10-min drive). It may look small from the outside, but this bar with yummy cocktails, incredible live music that gives way to a DJ, and diverse crowd is large and inviting. Alas, you will definitely not get any studying done.
House Without a Key (10-min drive) inside Halekulani Hotel provides some true upscale island ambiance along with its dinner and cocktails. The restaurant has a dedicated portion of its service area for those looking to enjoy a drink and an appetizer along with their nightly music and hula performances. Their signature drink is the mai tai but take our advice and try the off-menu “Lost Passion,” a tequila/passionfruit/champagne concoction that will get you in the island spirit.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The new renovations that have transformed Aston Waikiki Beach Tower into The Residences at Waikiki Beach Tower have truly made it a luxurious island getaway, in a perfect locale across the street from the beach, with all the comforts of home in a luxurious setting. Staff goes above and beyond to make sure that guests are treated well and have an unforgettable visit, and the extra perk of the hospitality room that is nicely decorated, with shower/bathroom, WiFi, a library, and an entertainment area, is a nice addition.