I had five nights at this great hotel at the end of Feb. The hotel is located around half an hour from the airport and I caught one of the shuttle buses (Speedi Shuttle) from outside the terminal. A round trip will cost about $30 USD and doesn’t need to be booked in advance. As the hotel is located close to the airport as far as the “Waikiki strip” is concerned, I was the first to be dropped off.
I checked in at 0930 and was initially told the room wouldn’t be ready until 1500, which I was expecting. Just before the registration process finished they found a room and off I went (2440) on the 24th floor (25 in total, plus the Penthouse). The room was huge with a large king sized bed. The bathroom was also big with a bath large enough even I could submerge myself in at 6’3”. The bathroom can be split in two with a sliding door separating the vanity & bath from the toilet & shower. The shower cubicle was long but a little narrow so you found yourself rubbing against the shower curtain. I didn’t find this a problem and besides, the bath also had a showerhead on a flexible hose so that was the preferred option. The room had both a safe and bar fridge which was empty; a great idea so you can fill it with whatever you want and not worry about taking something supplied by the hotel. The room had a large balcony with a table and two chairs with an “ocean view”. The hotel has three wings, like a Mercedes Benz symbol effectively. I was on the south eastern wing (Diamond Head side) so looked across to the hotel opposite but to the right and below were the pool, lagoon and ocean beyond. To be honest as good as it was, I have learnt that you don’t generally spend a lot of time in the hotel so if you want an ocean view the beach is 2 mins walk from the foyer! Those on the south western side would have perhaps had a better view across the marina and the sunset beyond.
Reception have both beach towels and deck chairs which can be gained by swapping them with a card given to you at check in. There is free wifi in each room but I used the computer next to reception. It was pretty fast and free. There is a bar as well as a number of shops in the lobby area including a general store and sight seeing booking desk.
I found both the lagoon and ocean great to swim in but didn’t try the pool.
Outside the hotel can be found numerous shops and restaurants. Two minutes from the hotel at the large intersection can be found one of the numerous ABC shops which sells everything from cold drinks to t shirts to band aids. Also opposite the hotel are numerous rental car companies including Enterprise, National and Alamo (which I used). Ten to fifteen minutes walk away back towards the airport can be found the Ala Moana shopping centre which has most things you are looking for. A Walmart is another five minutes beyond it. Alternatively, the main strip is ten minutes walk along the beach or the road behind the hotel.
I only encountered one problem during my stay; the air con in the room worked great but I woke up to it rattling away in the middle of the night. A couple of strategically placed wads of paper solved the problem and I reported it early the next morning before heading out on a day trip. I returned later that evening to find the air con had been replaced by a completely brand new unit. Talk about service!
It was pointed out to me by someone staying at another hotel that the Ilikai features in the opening credits to the original Hawaii Five-O TV show. I found it on youtube; the main character is zoomed in on in the hotel and even my room could be seen!
The hotel isn’t the most glitzy or newest on the beachfront but it oozes character in all the right ways and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it; the staff are fantastic and I can’t wait to return!
Just a couple of other thoughts; if you hire a car head around the island in an anti clockwise direction as it is much easier to find a car park on the beach side and you are right on the ocean for most of the way. Diamond Head has a small car park so you may need to park outside the crater and enter through the tunnel Allow 30 – 45 mins to climb to the top depending on your level of fitness. Traffic in Honolulu during peak hour is horrible so avoid driving during these times.
I went to the Chiefs Luau which was great. Reviews I’d read noted the food wasn’t particularly nice. I thought it was ok; if you are looking for burgers and fries you are in the wrong place! I had a Royal Package which means you get table service and front row. It isn’t in big area so no need to be up front. Although it is only 25 mins from Waikiki, you spend an hour driving around before leaving downtown after picking everyone else up. The other options would be the same though if not worst due to their locations.
A local bus to Pearl Harbour will cost $2.50 and take around 1.5 hrs each way. I thought I’d be clever and get on the Pearl Harbour Express. It cost $30 return and took a change of bus and an hour to get there so don’t bother! We were left stranded on return so a couple of us split a cab which cost $40 USD. Get there early if you want to get to the Arizona Memorial; you my have to wait for your turn to get out there by boat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites is a classic oceanfront hotel situated on the Ala Wai Yacht Marina at the edge of Waikiki and just a short stroll to Ala Moana Shopping Center and 2 blocks to the Hawaii Convention Center. Internationally-recognized as the famous opening shot of Hawaii Five-O with Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett standing on the penthouse balcony overlooking Waikiki Beach, the hotel is truly a Waikiki landmark. Each guest room and suite features extra spacious accommodations with a large lanai offering fabulous views. The hotel walkway from the lobby leads to the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon and beach.
With our hospitality fee for all stays, Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites allows guests to enjoy many hotel services and activities without having to incur miscellaneous charges. These amenities include WiFi throughout the hotel, DVDNow (Unlimited movies & PS3 games), Waikiki Shuttle (Complimentary Waikiki Shuttle Service), Daily Newspaper, In Room Coffee, In Room Safe, Local & Toll-Free Calls, Water in Lobby, and a Weekly Manager's Reception. You'll also enjoy the heated swimming pool, fitness room, coffee shop, rooftop restaurant and more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ilikai Hotel And Suites
- Ilikai Hotel Hawaii
- Ilikai Honolulu
- Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites Hawaii/Honolulu