First - my perspective...I'm a road warrior/business traveler, on the road 3-5 times a month. In the past 25 years I've stayed in absolutely the worst properties and the very best. I like to think I know hotels. The Aqua Aloha Surf & Spa is pretty darn good given that you could pay far more for a major chain hotel like the Hyatt or Hilton or Sheraton and get a room that looks like any other. This hotel is just fine for couples, families or business. If you want expensive luxury, pampering and a view of the ocean, this ain't it. If you want good value for money - this is it.
CHECK-IN: a guest had an "issue" when I arrived and desk staff - after saying they'd be with me - focused on that for about 5 mins. They apologized profusely when they did get to me; no problems after that with check-in. They were friendly and helpful and correctly advised against eating in the Asian fusion restaurant in the hotel (I did anyway and I regret it).
MY ROOM: I'd researched a lot of Waikiki properties in advance and booked directly with reservations staff at Aqua - the small Honolulu based chain of boutique hotels that owns the Aloha Surf & Spa. I requested a 1-bedroom suite with a view as high up in the hotel as possible, and that's exactly what I got. Top floor, north-west corner, with a large wrap-around balcony and lovely view of the mountains over the canal from living room window. I can see a tiny piece of the Pacific. Bottom-line: you will NOT get an ocean view at this property. The street noise up this high is not a problem.
Room Size: I don't know about the rest of the rooms, but this 1-bedroom with separate living room is big enough for me. I imagine a couple with two kids might be a bit squeezed since there's very little closet space. There's just a kitchenette, small microwave with turntable, sink, plates and cutlery and a fridge underneath sink. Apparently there are other rooms with a full kitchen.
TV's - yes, they are flat screens as advertised, but NO they are not wide-screens (they're 4:3) or HDTV's. They're also not very big. Reception is not great. But you aren't coming to Hawaii to watch TV are you? It's good enough.
OVERALL ROOM CONDITION/CLEANLINESS: appointments and furnishings aren't new, but they all match and they're in decent condition. I wouldn't say its the most clean room I've been in, but its not dirty at all, good enough. The ceilings are the old acoustical prickly stuff - they really should scrape it all off, they're weathered and stained. There are blackout curtains but because some of the curtain has pulled off the hook, they don't completely block all the light - its good enough. The bed is kinda tired and lumpy, but good enough if you're looking for a semi-firm bed as am I. No plush pillow-tops or sleep number beds here I'm afraid. There are different kinds of pillows on the bed - not just puffy, fat ones, which makes me happy, I like thin, firm pillows.
BATHROOM: my suite has a little dressing mirror and shelf outside of the bathroom, next to the closet. Bathroom itself has seen better days but its clean enough; shower only; good water pressure. The towels are decent and there's a lot of them. There's a safe in the closet; you take the key with you. Ironing board and iron are provided.
INTERNET: essential for me; they asked if I had a laptop and gave me the cable (CAT5) at the front desk. Room hookup is glued to dresser that TV sits on, which means the cable trails across the floor if you put your laptop on the coffee table in front of the couch: trip hazard. There's a table and chair by the door meant to be a desk, but I don't like staring at walls when I work. Internet connection is free and works just fine.
BREAKFAST: continental breakfast offered, includes pancakes, toast, and oatmeal, fresh fruit, coffee, etc. It's nothing special but its good enough. Served on paper plates with plastic utensils - they could do better there. Seating is a bit of a problem; everyone is all over the lobby trying to eat breakfast at the same time. Starts at 7am - I need it earlier, oh well.
PARKING: There's maybe 25 spots down there, but every time I come back from work there seems to be a spot or two open. Fingers crossed. Parking costs $20 a day; pricey but worth it.
MAID SERVICE: the person cleaning my room, Analiya, is doing fine. She makes the bed, tidies up and washes my dishes for me and sets them out to dry. I did notice when I first checked in that there was a little food from previous guest in fridge - she must have forgotten to check. No big deal; she's getting a nice tip.
SPA: I'm about to have a massage, I'm sure it will be fine. They've got a special on right now - 50 minutes for $65 including tip. Not bad. Lots of spas here are double that.
HOTEL RESTAURANT: CHINESE/ASIAN Fusion. They warned me at the front desk that it wasn't very good; it's not. There's a bar/internet cafe too; I'm sure its fine.
OVERALL - you could do a lot worse and spend a lot more; the Aloha Surf and Spa is certainly good enough!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, one of Waikiki's most popular hotels, is a boutique hotel located 2 blocks to the beach and steps from world class dining and shopping. The large, open air lobby connects to a fitness area and Internet cafe as well as a relaxing pool area with cabanas and barbeque grill lit by tiki torches every evening. Continental breakfast is served complimentary daily for bookings made directly through Aqua. With our $15 hospitality fee for all stays beginning August 1, 2014, Aqua Aloha Surf allows guests to enjoy many hotel services and activities without having to incur miscellaneous charges. These amenities include 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. In addition, Aloha Aqua Surf guest rooms offer AquaBLISS pillow top beds, LCD TV's, mini-refrigerator, a microwave, coffeemaker and safe. Select accommodations offer views of the magical Koolau Mountain range and Ala Wai Golf Course. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki Hotel Honolulu
- Aqua Aloha Surf Honolulu
- Aloha Surf Hotel
- Aqua Aloha Surf Hotel
- Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki Hawaii/Honolulu