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“great trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pililaau Army Recreation Center

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Pililaau Army Recreation Center
Building 4070 85-010 Army Street, Pokai Bay, Waianae, Oahu, HI 96792   |  
Hotel amenities
indiana
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“great trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2008

My family and I stayed here for 9 days and we had a great trip. After reading some of the reviews I was a little nervous. No this isn't a golden apple but it was clean and had a great beach.
We got to no one of the guards really well and he made us fresh gumbo. I had never had it before and it was great.
That's the kind of people who work here. If you need something all you had to do was ask and they done their best to get it for you.
I always felt safe, there was always at least 3 guards on duty. I would walk from my parents cabin to mine and was never worried. They had a great beach club where you can get drinks or eat. We eat here several time and had great food and their prices were reasonable. Their drinks were great also and to me cheap.
If I go back to Oahu I would stay here again.

  • Liked — beach and safety
  • Disliked — had to drive everywhere
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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62 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2008

We arrived at 2330 hours after a horrible travel day that included delays, missed flights, and ticket errors that would make a priest cuss. The security guard had our cabin keys and was very helpful. Trying to find Pililaau ARC in the dark is not easy espicially when your dog tired. There is a sign on Army Street but it's not lit and off the highway so you better know right where your going or plan on stopping at 7-11 and ask for directions. The drive from the Honolulu Airport is about 40 minutes with light traffic.

PARC is right in the middle of a neighborhood I would not walk at night without a fire team locked and loaded but once your inside the wire, your OK. One of the PARC civilian neighbors raises roosters so you country folks will feel right at home at sunrise. Our two bedroom cabin was adequate if all you want is a bed, kitchenette, and small deck but my oh my what a beach! You have your own private beach that is great for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, or just lounging. The Waianae Beach Club offers great drinks, snacks and meals. The AAFEES Shopette is convienent and well stocked with all your basic needs.

Laundry room is next to the office, wireless internet service is limited or not available at although internet access is available at the office for a fee and cell phones work fine. The PARC staff is friendly and helpful. I would recommend staying here if you just want an economical place to sleep and enjoy all the other activities Hawaii has to offer.

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — The location
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apple Valley, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2008

Stayed here because the Inn at Pearl was booked up but was very happy with Pililaau. If you are looking for a five star hotel this is not it but this is just a very nice place to enjoy the company you are with and the beauty of the beach directly in front of the cabins. These cabins are no frill but it's not necessary as we were only there to sleep. Beds are VERY comfortable. We stayed in a two bedroom, one with a double bed, the other with twin beds...a/c, ceiling fans, kitchenette with stove, sink, microwave and fridge, t.v with vcr and dvd player, small dining table. The front desk help were very friendly, there is a small px shoppette with everything you may need that you forgot. There is a restaurant that from what I understand is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the weekends, but was only open for dinner during the week. We did not eat there but had drinks at the bar (very reasonable prices) that had an open side inside the restaurant and service on the outside to a covered patio that looks over the beach....it was very nice, kind of old school but we really loved the feel of the whole bar there :-) The bartenders were so nice and hospitable.

This rec center is about 30 miles from Waikiki but it worked for us as we didn't need a crazy beach scene, we really liked being "away from it all". With the three highways available to you, you can travel all over the island very quickly so being that far up the coast is no big deal. Don't be thrown off by the homeless people camping on the beach on the way to the cabins, they don't bother you if you don't bother them and you don't see them at all when you are on the military property. The security is very very good there...even if the guards recognize you they still ask for all the id in the world when you come in.

We will stay here again...excellent place to bring kids as the beach is a lagoon type area with no waves. The site itself rents snorkling stuff and canoes..things like that....a very nice place to stay and glad we came here.

  • Liked — Right on the beach
  • Disliked — Far from the south side of island
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stanhope, NJ
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2008

We returned from staying in a Maui condo which was well kept and very clean. We arrived at this site late and had no other choice but to stay. The cabin was not well maintained or cleaned. We had to call the front desk for additional sheets to cover the existing sheets. We had to wear our flip flops in the shower as it was extremely dirty. In addition we had to wear socks because we did not want our feet touching the floors. Our socks were filthy when we took them off to get in bed. The front desk sent a cleaning person the next morning. She arrived when we were getting ready to leave. She informed us that the company she works for cleans these units only when they are called to do so. She could not believe that they rented the unit in the condition it was in. The cleaning person also said that a lot of people leave after staying one night. Two nights were paid for and we got our money back for one. We found another hotel in Honolulu for the next night. When checking out we were given a card with a website address to express our concerns.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Cleanliness
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2008

We stayed at PARC in February 2008 and had a nice time. The cabins at the rec center are older, solid and in need of painting. The beach location is great. The housekeeping and repair of the units is a problem. They weren't very clean or in very good repair. The furniture was average but on the older side and some of it was dirty. The kitchen was not clean. The cabins are not far off a main road and kind of noisy at times. Waianae is kind of a working class area rather than a tourist area but everyone we met was nice.

The cabins are staggered along the beach near Pokai Bay which is about 30 miles from Honolulu. Each unit has a lanai with a table and chairs and there is a small bulkhead between you and the beach. It was fun watching the surfers down by the beach club near the store.

This is not luxury by any means but is good for families. You can shop at the nearby stores and barbeque in front of your cabin (there is a picnic table next to the barbeque). Maid service is spotty and the beach club is not inexpensive.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Locust Grove, VA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2007

Stayed from Nov. 13-21, 2007. Let me start with the cabins. We were in cabins 22 and 27. I don't know if these were considered deluxe accommodations or not, but they suited our purposes well. We had two bedroom cabins, which have ceramic tile in the living areas (kitchen bath, living room) and carpet in the two bedrooms. Bedroom 1 had queen bed and ceiling fan; bedroom 2 had two twin beds. We also had a crib rented for the week for our two year old. The kitchen had standard appliances, including microwave and coffee maker The shower was a bit small, but adequate.

Before I start let me say that these ARE beach front cabins. There are some negatives to be expected and NO ONE should come here expecting three-star accommodations. They are simple, but clean.

Negatives:
We had to hold the carafe in the coffee maker, or put a knife under the rear end of it, or the coffee would not brew. I think someone figured out another method later in the week, but I don't know how they fixed it.

Bugs! We had an army of small ants along the baseboards. To their credit, the staff was VERY responsive regarding this issue. They first gave us a spray for the baseboards, which I used effectively on the small ants. Then we found a large cockroach in the kitchen (they live in the sea wall, BTW), and two red ants in the bedroom. After that they came through with an organic spray and sprayed all the baseboards in the cabin. Once this was done, the problem nearly melted away completely. Again, we WERE in cabins on the beach, so I was expecting a few visitors.

The hot water in cabin 27 didn't seem to last very long, but the water in 22 was fine. More on why later.

Positives:
This area apparently has a reputation for not being safe. I'd done a lot of research before our vacation (including purchasing the book Oahu Revealed, which mentions Waianae's reputation specifically), and the reputation no longer fits the actual conditions here. First to the safety of PARC itself. There are lots of camera's everywhere, you can't get onto the property without showing an ID, and there are several guards on duty 24/7.

The cabins are up off the ground, so you can see under them. Lights have been installed under the cabins so that you can see under them in the dark as well. There are also motion sensors in some places so that dark areas become lit as soon as you walk into them.

Our two year old was still on East Coast Time when we first got there, so he was up at 3AM. We ended up taking a walk at 4, and when we got down near the showers, we saw one of the Security Guards coming towards us on a golf cart. He stopped and said "I saw you in the camera, so I thought I'd bring you a paper". For everyone who's concerned about safety there, don't fret. We went out to some of the convenience stores locally, and didn't have any worries there. Locals were very nice.

The staff did a great job of cleaning the cabins while we were gone. Beds were made, trash emptied, towels refreshed, etc.
They were all very friendly and responsive to our needs.

The Beach Club was nice. There weren't many people the night we went, but the band was good, and the small buffet they set out was delicious!

The office has a small room off to one side with exercise equipment in it, as well as two computers where you can access the interned for 10 cents/minute.

The PARC is also green! By that I mean they have solar panels installed on the cabins for hot water heating. There are also lights along the path by the beach that stay lit most of the night.
Unfortunately, they may not have adequate backup for the solar arrays, which COULD explain the lack of sufficient hot water in 27. We were later told that we could have requested another cabin. We were under the impression that the place was booked solid, but apparently that wasn't the case.

Look in the forums for more info. I was posting there regularly during our stay, and I have several tips posted.

  • Liked — Closeness to beach!
  • Disliked — lack of sufficient hot water
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Pililaau Army Recreation Center

Address: Building 4070 85-010 Army Street, Pokai Bay, Waianae, Oahu, HI 96792
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Waianae
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Specialty lodging in Waianae
Also Known As:
Pililaau Army Recreation Hotel Waianae
Pililaau Army Recreation Center Hawaii/Waianae, Oahu

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