The Pagoda Hotel makes for a great affordable option in the middle of Honolulu. The property, recently purchased by the Aqua-Aston brand, has received a facelift in its rooms to make it more modern, while maintaining the charm that guests have grown to love. The popular on-site restaurant and accompanying koi pond with a variety of fish (including some extremely valuable ones) make this hotel quite different from others, as does the pagoda-style architecture that it’s named for.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Though not a resort, the hotel does charge a $15 per-room, per-day amenity fee.
There are three levels of rooms at the hotel. The Moderate is 324 square feet with wet bar and two double beds. The Studio Kitchenette is 341 square feet with king or two double beds (and kitchenette, of course). The Deluxe is 324 square feet, with king or two double beds and wet bar, but these are considered the highest level because of their location on higher floors and because they have recently been remodeled. All rooms come with refrigerator, microwave, air conditioning, and coffee maker. The price difference from the lowest to the highest level is only $20, so upgrades are fairly easy to afford here.
Rooms in both towers can get a bit noisy, especially at a lower level. If you’re staying more than one night, it might be worth getting a higher level room.
Bathrooms are fairly simple, with tub/shower combos and bright lighting.
Pagoda Hotel is charming without being fussy, mostly thanks to its pagoda shape and vaulted wooden ceiling. There is some seating for guests near the standing check-in area.
The hotel has a very small, oval pool surrounded by a green turf and a few loungers.
The famous Pagoda Floating Restaurant where “East meets West. And Hawaii, too” can be found attached to the Pagoda Hotel. This lovely restaurant and teahouse is well known for its food and the koi ponds and water features surrounding it. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, as well as a dinner buffet, as well as a Sunday brunch.
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. Guest parking is available at $13 per night.
Eggs n Things (7-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.
If you’re looking for some hearty Korean BBQ or stews, Sorabol (1-min walk) 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.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of Irish aloha, Irish Rose Saloon (5-min walk) 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 (12-min walk) 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
Pagoda Hotel offers an affordable option for budget travelers, but with the Aqua Aston facelift that have revived a few of Honolulu’s hotels. Some of the rooms are dog-friendly, and the restaurant with relaxing koi pond, hair salon, and sundry shop all give this hotel a little something extra that you don’t typically find at this price point.