Fodor's Expert Review Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk
201 Beachwalk St., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, USA See on Map
In a place where space is at a premium, the only all-suites resort in Hawaii offers families and groups traveling together a bit more room to move about, with two 21-story towers housing one- and two-bedroom suites. All rooms have at least two balconies, some with ocean views; most overlooking the 1,965-square-foot, open-air Grand Lanai with its heated pool, sundeck with chaise lounges, and outdoor bar, which has a daily happy hour. Rooms, with Tommy Bahama–meets–island beach home style (carved-wood tables, pineapple-print upholstery, hula-dancer artwork), have relaxing earth tones, with amenities like pull-out sofa beds and wet bars with microwaves and mini-refrigerators inviting longer stays. The hotel is steeped in Hawaiiana, with tapa-pattern murals adorning the exterior and cultural programs for adults and youth. The location, in the heart of one of Waikiki's newest dining and shopping areas and a close walk to the beach, makes it tough to beat.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Though you’ll save in a resort fee, valet parking is a bit steep at $40 per day.
Choose between a one- or two-bedroom suite, each with a separate living area, with either standard, city, or ocean views and two queen or one king bed per room. Each suites include a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, and coffee pot. Decor and furnishings are a bit dated and don’t leave much of an impression, but they look just fine.
Not all rooms have lanais, so be sure to ask for one when you book.
Each suite has a one-to-one ratio of bedroom to bathroom, with nice-sized marble vanities, a large mirror, shower/tub combos, and plenty of lighting. Toiletries include Giovanni products.
The lobby area is big, bright, and bustling! It’s partially open, with seated check-in areas and plenty of couches for lounging.
The sprawling pool area is as spacious, fun, and beautiful as what you’d find at one of the large resorts, with waterfall/pond feature, a pool bar, lounge chairs, attached kiddie pool and hot tub.
The fitness center is open 24-hours, with a set of free weights, cardio equipment, and yoga balls. It’s a bit claustrophobic, set in a narrow room with low ceilings. In addition, there is a free yoga class (mats included) three times per week on the Grand Lanai.
Some of Waikiki’s most popular restaurants can be found at Embassy Suites, including Roy’s Waikiki, Yard House, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Thanks to its location along the Waikiki Beach Walk, there are even more dining options just steps away. The hotel offers a complimentary daily breakfast with egg station.
The hotel offers a complimentary nightly poolside reception at the poolside bar on the Grand Lanai featuring cocktails and appetizers along with live music. In addition to the pool bar, there are bars located in the many restaurants in and around the hotel.
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.
Venture outside of your ramen comfort zone at Agu Ramen (4-min walk) by adding their signature “hot mess” – a heavy dose of parmesan – to your bowl. No really, it works! Their offerings include classic ramen bowls, options for vegans and vegetarians, and a ridiculously unctuous curry that will have you thinking about it for days. They also have a great happy hour at their multiple locations that includes 50% off appetizers and draft beers.
Without exaggeration, you will likely have the best omelet of your life at The Original Pancake House (11-min drive). Fluffy, huge, and stuffed with some unique items, they’re nothing if not memorable – and so is the décor. This strip mall offering sees Europe meet the Pacific at this German-styled restaurant with Portland roots and Hawaiian favorites like Spam and eggs and macadamia nut pancakes on the menu. They also brew up a damn fine cup of coffee.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of Irish aloha, Irish Rose Saloon (6-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.
Though MAC 24/7 (8-min drive) is definitely a great place to grab a meal, especially breakfast, it’s their cocktails that we really love. Last call is at 3:30 a.m., so you can enjoy a nightcap with your late-night pancakes before heading back to your hotel. Fruity cocktails like the Frozen Mo’o and Lava Lava Rocks fill that island cocktails craving. They also have a great reverse happy hour from midnight to 3 a.m. (except Friday and Saturday), as well as a regular daily happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The extra perks like in-room Wi-Fi, complimentary hot breakfast, and nightly poolside reception (kid-friendly) show that it is possible to offer perks without charging a resort fee. The spacious rooms, super quick walk to the beach, expansive pool area, laundry rooms, nearby restaurants and shopping, and excellent customer service makes this an excellent choice for traveling families.