This hotel is two to three blocks back from the actual beach (approximately 4 minute walk).
Upon arrival at the hotel - 2300 Kalakua Avenue Honolulu we were greeted by the porters downstairs.
There was a escalator up and down at the drop off drive way point entering this hotel; the hotel lifts were up to the left of the hotel, turn right and walk another minute into a downstairs area, there are security cameras placed in this area, and you wait for the lift to the lobby.
Weather: This is Hawaii, it is the beach, it is expected to be warm to hot. Take loads of sunscreen, hat and comfortable shoes. Relax. Carry water with you.
Arrival: On contacting the hotel we were greeted by the general reservations and given wide information on the packages and rates available.
Following the online links to contact the hotel directly there is the email address which we did receive a reply to our specific questions about the hotel and surrounding areas.
It was especially polite that the staff who replied to our email to offer to answer any further questions that we may have; which they did.
They offered assistance with our luggage as we were earlier than check in time. Because of this we decided to take our bags upstairs the porters were very helpful and directed us to the lifts up around the corner.
Entering the lobby there several lifts operating; the floors were clean; existing the lifts and facing into the foyer; to the right was the reception, check-in desk and priority line up. In front was several seats and lounges for guests to use. Over to the left there was a line up of people and over the far left was a desk and sign welcoming people to the entrance of the onsite restaurant (Jimmy Buffetts restaurant* . Not to confuse this with a buffet this is the name of the place - the only buffet is at breakfast. [see review here Honolulu: Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber: Average Breakfast].
Heading over the reception there is a carpeted area and tile area - taking your own suitcases stick to the tile area, easier ride.
As we are priority club members (its easy to join) we lined up at the priority check in line; and listening to the counter staff looking after the guests ahead of us they were polite, kind and offered answers to all the questions asked by them.
When we were next in the line the counter staff was polite and welcomed us to the counter. There was a senior employee training a new employee about the processes and asked if we would mind if they took a minute to chat - which we did NOT. This was extra courtesy they gave to us to actually ask us if we minded to take a few minutes to help train this other person. This was great it actually was showing this new employee how to treat guests with kindness. Ten out of ten on the customer service.
Over the far back there is a convenient store that has a selection of items for purchase (i.e. snack foods, premade sandwiches, drinks, bathroom amenities, souvenirs, etc) and next door was a local store.
Upon checking in we had a package deal for our stay that included a massage, four breakfast coupons - that was four coupons, not one for each day for each guest but in total four coupons. So plan ahead. As priority club members we received two coupons for complimentary bottles of local water from the convenience store on the lobby level, we redeemed this coupons easily.
We were put into our room on level 14 of the hotel. We had ease using the lifts to get to our room and the security was as expected. To gain access to the floor you had to swipe your room key across the scanner and then select the button. Coming out of the lifts the level 14 floors was clean and presented tidy.
THE ROOM ON LEVEL 14.
Entering the door to the immediate left was the sink. This as multi-use sink, for the bathroom and for general use. Above was a good sized wall mirror with two lights each side. On the counter was a tray with a coffee making machine (US style that was filter use) with cups and coffee.
Under was a cupboard with a mini fridge inside - this was empty - THIS IS GREAT, it lets you use it for what you want too and for you to put whatever you want inside during your stay.
Across from the sink is a wide cupboard with floor to ceiling mirrored sliding doors. Inside is a hairdryer, blankets, safe and bag stretcher.
At the end is the style like ensuite bathroom: the toilet to the left and the shower over a mini tub to the right. Towels were higher above the toilet on a rack. The shower tub was clean on the right side but still had former guests hair over to the left.
Coming out into the main room there is a link-door to the other rooms which you can lock on the right wall.
Next to the day continuing into the room is a chest of draws with a slimline TV on top. There is no usb connector, no dvd or other. On this same chest was an ice box and some glasses.
Further into the room and on the other side of the TV on the chest of draws was a study /business station table that had one lamp on it, a telephone and a cushioned based chair.
It would be easy to turn this table out to that three or four people could sit at it using the end of the bed seatee.
Bed: very large bed with four pillows with a label over them that told you if they were soft, medium or firm. There was a end of bed seatee.
Bed side tables with lamps each side with one draw and open space underneath. On the left side bed side table there was an Alarm clock radio.
There was painting and artwork on the walls.
For our room was a balcony - the doors had an internal latch that had to be lifted to open. Walking out onto the balcony there was a lovely site. To the Left was mini views to the ocean blue water, this was in between the other hotels and buildings between this hotel and the beach. Over to the right was some partial views of the far-away landscape of Hawaiian hills.
The railings were flimsy to say the least - not at all what we expected being on level 14. The wind was up and down during our stay and so there were a few moments were it felt like that it would easily knock a person off their feet. BE CAREFUL on the balcony.
Below us was the alley way overlooking the international markets and stalls. This was a always seemed busy lane way - but there was no noise heard so long as you had the door closed shut.
We could see the pool and some pool lounges also and could easily reach the neighbouring rooms balcony and even talk to them.
There were two outdoor woven chairs and mini glass circle table that was no higher than 70 cm on three legs.
The hotel is on a main street of Waikiki, close to most areas by walking - it is not worth hiring a car and having to pay for parking given how close everything actually is to the hotel.
Otherwise if you’re looking to go a little further down or out get help from the EXPEDIA concierge about the bus numbers to take and for $2.50 for open two hour travel around you can get anywhere in within a short ride.
Supermarkets to get your own foods: For example there is a SAFEWAY shop that has food and groceries for purchase. There is a wide range of foods here for all needs. Its a long walk but short bus ride. The other way there is apparently a Wal-Mart and other supermarkets (ala Mona which is an upmarket high priced centre so take heaps of cash to get the basics).
Markets: there is a market place right next to the hotel there is a lot of little set up stalls with loads of nick knacks and ‘Hawaii’ souvenirs to buy. NEVER pay asking price - you see the price listed - given them the price you’re most happy to pay and bargain, bargain, bargain! They will take advantage of those tourists who won’t bargain for the items they want so be ready to bargain.
Over the way is the international food area - if you actually listen to locals, it is a great way to get a cheap meal but take note of the way which foods are made or handled. Whilst looking we seen a few things that turned us away from this area. Food handling that we seen was NOT the same as other places; so you get what you pay for so be cautions.
Out over the back of the hotel you will find another of the main streets - that has Chilli’s restaurant this is excellent clean hygienic place to sit in and eat or order takeaway from the bar. (see our review here “Honolulu: Chili’s Grill & Bar: Burgers plus - dine in or take away”.).
CLEANLINESS OF THE ROOM:
Somewhat lower than expected. The shower tub was dirty as mentioned. The ice container was not clean.
WORKING CONDITION OF THE
TELEVISION: there were several channels that had no signal. When looking at the aerial outlet it was almost detached. *We did not bother to raise this hotel staff during our stay as we were only watching the tv after 11.30 at night to wind down and the rest of the time we were outside - so if you’re staying indoors tell them.
AIR CONDITIONER/HEATER: worked well and easy controls to use
SHOWER /HOT WATER: was disgusting and utterly unacceptable. *******We wanted nothing more than to have a nice hot shower upon arrival to freshen up. Not able to do so; even after running the water for 4 minutes it was no hotter than a luke warm cup of tea. Seriously you would not have been even able to have a cuppa from this water from the shower. Very disappointing.
We did raise this with the staff - they were excellent and efficient in responding to this matter for us. Upon on level 14 we received very prompt reply and the hotel service man was very apologetic about this, even though it was outside of his control. The hotel hot water thermostats are set at a low level in conversion rates for Australia it was less than 35 degrees. Which in water terms it quiet cool. The staff member who came to check explained that this was normal for the hotel and all rooms were set at this heat and that they personally wished they could get it hotter for us but were not able to do so; they did say that they would pass on the fact that we had stayed at many hotels and this was the first hotel with ‘hot’ water this cool and that it did not even get any steam in the room.
As I said the staff service was ten out of ten.
Surprisingly after we had raised this matter again with the downstairs staff at the reception - to make sure that they understood how much this was an issue the next evening /night shower we had the water WAS noticeable hotter. And did give a little tiny bit of steam. So they seemed to have listened and that was really nice to have a hotter shower that even - actually we had no cold water what so ever running.
HIDDEN BONUS: look around your hotel - there is a couple of vending machines and ice machine and hotel water machines on the same level of the gym. There is also a all for use microwave. This was not clean but if you have a takeaway frozen meal its a great bonus for those staying at the hotel.
The hotel calls itself ‘Holiday inn Resort’ Waikiki Beachcomber. This in USA terms means that they can charge a ‘resort fee’ to guests. This is NOT IN ANYWAY A RESORT.
During our stay we walked along the beaches and had look, a good look at the surrounding hotels, apartments and resorts and this is definitely not a resort. The onsite pool is SMALL, tiny and probably one comparatively found in the back yard of normal Australian suburban house. So if you are looking for a RESORT experience try the Sheraton, Royal Hawaiian hotels they are on the beach and have massive resort style pools that can be seen from the beach - from what we could see they even had staff to bring drinks to you while you lounged on the beach.
Pool: as mentioned tiny compared to what we expected. Did not use it - too crowded with seven people. There is a disability seat to assist those with limitation into the pool
The pool is actually next to the outdoor breakfast buffet Jimmy Buffetts’ eating area. So if seated in the right place you look out at the pool in the mornings - when no one is using it and that is really nice.
Gym: great set up - basic but still allowed for a good work out - extra bonus is that security checks the area to ensure guests are safe. This was really good feature. Need to swipe in side.
There are walkers, bikes, ball, mirror, TV to listen too, towels, water available and little cups.
BREAKFAST INCLUSION: “Honolulu: Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber: Average Breakfast” see the review here.
OVERALL: the staff were excellent and very happy to help at any point that they could. Even when we were talking to the staff during our stay they listened to us and made every attempt, it seemed to us, to help and reply to our questions and matters.
Expedia on site at the HOLIDAY INN WAIKIKI: On site at this hotel is a Expedia what on / events concierge. At check-in you’re provided with an invitation to attend a Complimentary island orientation that includes a breakfast. This covers a wide range of activities that you can do while staying in Waikiki and great discounts. This is a must for any first timer. So you can register to go to this even if you are at a different hotel. The discounts alone are a great incentive to attend.
James took our group of Expedia and was very happy and made the information session fun.
So attend this approximately 3 hour session, that gives you great information on things to do, discounts on events and a free breakfast.*
(send us any questions about our experience or questions you may have)
This is not what I expect as a resort style. Listen to what your package includes (i.e. coupons for...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 8, 2013
Aloha Aussies2011, thank you for a most thorough review and for staying with us at the Beachcomber last month! We're delighted to hear that in general, you enjoyed your stay and am pleased to read your compliment about our excellent staff. We appreciate your detailed feedback and will work to improve upon some of the areas where we fell short of your expectations. As you're aware, the Beachcomber is popular with many of the Australian visitors and we hope you consider us again for your next visit to Hawaii. Mahalo, Dean.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.