First of all for ratings, I would give this place a 5 star for convenience and
friendly staff, but a 3 star for cosmetic and appearance.
IHVC- check in is not until 4pm, if you do not request early check in the staff
will hold your bags until your room is ready, in our case we stopped at Safeway
on the way in and they put our cold & frozen items in the fridge & freezer as
well as storing our luggage, very accommodating. For Timeshare owners there is
a REALLY nice Owners waiting/lounging area on the 26th floor with beautiful
ocean views, T.V.'s, kitchen, pool table, etc.
IHVC is a high rise, 27 floors sitting amongst about 6 other high rises, so
views are limited of the ocean unless you are on the 24th floor and above. The
other floors you mostly see other high rises from the room windows.
Main floor: the lobby, activities desk, movie rentals, Denny's restaurant, an
ABC store (like a mini grocery/Target) and a few little trinket shops.
2nd floor: parking, laundromat
3rd floor: Hot tub, Sauna, workout facility, Housekeeping (available: small
appliances, beach chairs, ice chests, extra towels, etc)
27th floor: the pool, patio, ice machine, penthouse room
Our room: we exchanged some of our timeshare, we were supposed to receive a 1
bedroom w/partial kitchen but were upgraded to a 1 bedroom with a full kitchen
(small fridge, full stove/oven, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, counter, sink,
dining ware amenities, SS frying pans, dish towels, etc. if you need anything
else just call housekeeping there is a good chance they have it. There is a
living room with a couch, T.V. & DVD, a very small balcony w/partial ocean view,
a small dining table and chairs, a Murphy Bed (Qn), full bathroom w/tub/shower.
The bedroom was small, Queen bed (not the most comfortable), small dresser,
closet but you couldn't completely access because the dresser is in front of it
and there is no place else to put it. A full bathroom w/ shower only, T.V.,
DVD, small outside balcony. The room has A/C, a safe, iron, ironing board,
beach towels. The decor was dated and even though the room looked newly painted
there were stains on the ceiling, the carpet looked like it could be cleaned and
it had an overall aged worn look and feeling as well as the hotel in general.
Even though IHVC is fairly close to the main drag noise was not much of an
issue. Every now and then you could hear sirens or Harleys. I rarely ever
heard other guests, never to the side or above us, only occasionally in the
hallway. We were directly in front of the elevators (3), I was a little nervous
when we first saw this but it was never a noise issue either.
IHVC sits on Lewers st 1 block West of Kalakaua ave at the north end of
Kalakaua. Kalakaua is the main avenue of Waikiki where most of the shopping,
International Marketplace, restaurants, Resort entrances, etc are. Kalakaua
avenue is approximately 1.8 miles long ending towards the South at the Honolulu
Zoo and Kapiolani Park. For the average person this is a great walking area and
you can also pick up the local Trolley's for a nominal fee if you get tired or
do too much shopping. Kalakaua is a one way street running North to South for
vehicles. There are quite a few one way streets in this area, I would highly
recommend getting a good map of the area and becoming familiar with the streets
if you are renting a car. Also the IHVC parking fee is $20 per day.
Lewers is approximately .2 miles long from IHVC to Kalakaua ave (west to east).
The following is on Lewers: several boutique shops, restaurants; The Yard House,
Roy's, Giovanni Pastami (they deliver to IHVC & you offer a 10% discount if you
pick up the cards at front desk of IHVC) Subway, Sushi restaurant,
Cheeseburger's, P.F.Chang's, Ruth Chris Steakhouse and Nobu is around the
corner. There is a Starbuck's on Lewers and a Starbucks and Tea House 1 block
over on Beachwalk ave.
Beach: directly behind IHVC are 2 resorts which sit directly on the beach, The
Outrigger and Sheraton. You can access the beach by walking on either side of
the resorts or we also found you could walk through most resorts to access the beach
they just frown on using their pool.
Because we exchanged timeshare time it is hard to compare IHVC based on pricing.
As I said it is in a convenient location the staff is very friendly and it had
all the amenities we needed away from home just in need of a facelift.
Notes: The following is additional info on some of the things we did, so you
can continue reading if you like.
Airport shuttle-We used Oahu Airport Express. On time. It was a flat $30. No
other passengers just our party and luggage. You can only book 3 days in
advance but usually not a problem. I requested in advance to stop by the
grocery store and he was able to accommodate our request for an additional $15
(based on addt'l time). Once with him you can book your return and any other
shuttle service you want on your stay. It took approx 40min airport to IHVC @
noon on a Wed (excluding 30 min store stop). 20min from IHVC to airport @ noon on
Restaurants: (please remember Hawaii is more expensive so meals tended to be
about 30-50% higher then what we normally experience in AZ)
YARD HOUSE-reasonable pricing, good selection, very close, nice atmosphere,
dining & bar, Happy hour 2-5:30pm M-F, casual
FURUSATO'S-decent pricing, great sushi, fast food atmosphere but not fast food,
on Kalakaua about 1 mile south (see review on T.A.), dining, casual
NOBU-Expensive but good, sushi, beef, Kobe, restricted menu, very close, behind
IHVC, hip atmosphere, pretentious, dining & bar, dressy
GIOVANNI PASTRAMI-Reasonable pricing, good selection, breakfast also, dining,
sports bar area, happy hour & 10% discount for IHVC guests,casual
P.F.CHANG'S-Chinese, ok food, reasonable pricing, good selection, casual to dressy
CHEESECAKE FACTORY-Reasonable pricing, Great selection, big portions, Love the
CF, breakfast also, GREAT CHEESECAKES, about .8 miles South on Kalakaua, dining
& bar, casual to dressy
POOL SIDE RESTAURANT AT THE MOANA SURF-RIDER/SPA WESTIN HOTEL-Pricey, decent food, paying for the atmosphere, beachside and good entertainment, dining & bar,
KONA BREWING CO-reasonable, great food, best pork sandwich ever, good selection,
dining & bar, casual, off Kalaniana'ole Hwy (10 miles SE)
MOANA SURFRIDER HOTEL LANAI RESTAURANT-Buffet breakfast $32pp, cereals, breads
& pastries, fruits, eggs, sausage, bacon, Miso soup & fixings, rice, potatoes, cooked to order: waffles, pancakes, omelets, french toast, juices, coffee, tea. Great selection, good
food, beautiful ocean view.
Rented a Scoot Car (2 seater) 2 cycle engine for 24 hours -$150 (price can vary
to $250 based on availability), cannot use on Freeway, big hills are a little
challenge but better than a scooter you might want to opt for the 4 cycle but it
was out when we decided to rent, a little squirrely but tons of fun. Rental is
located on Kuhio just South of the backside of the International Marketplace I
believe just after Ka'iulani St. We drove the scoot car SE as far as possible
for our time frame and then headed NE past Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay ending up
at the beach across from Sea Life Park, nice drive, beautiful scenery. We ran
across the Farmers Market at the Kapiolani Community College, GREAT place to
stop, free to get in. Wonderful foods from all over, fresh veggies & fruits,
bakery goods, beautiful fresh flowers, highly recommend, runs on Sat not sure of
any other day. We had lunch at Kona Brewing Company on the way back and had a
great meal. Slab on some heavy duty sunscreen, bring a hat, cover up, etc. you
don't realize how much sun you are getting with the breeze keeping you cool.
There is also a pineapple store just a few doors up from the scooter guy, GREAT
fresh pineapple, pineapple juice and smoothies, absolutely worth stopping in
for, average cost is $5 for each of the above.
Moana Lani Spa @ the Moana Surf-Rider Hotel-Great spa, great therapists, on Kalakaua, just south of
Cheesecake Factory (See review T.A.)
Pearl Harbor & historic Honolulu Tour-We purchased through the activities desk at IHVC because tickets were already sold out online. If you want to visit on your own
time, I would recommend purchasing tickets a few weeks in advance, otherwise
Discover Hawaii Tours was absolutely wonderful and you can relax while they
fight the traffic. Our tour guide ???(Misty Heaven in english) was so funny,
informative and just an absolute kick. I would highly recommend. Cost about
$40 pp including transportation & entrance fees.
Shopping-It is a shoppers paradise here. If you are looking for great deals
though I would recommend going to the swap meet on the weekend. Otherwise pick
up the little books you see around town, i.e. Collections, Best of Oahu, etc,
there are discount coupons that could have saved us at least $100 had we picked
them up early on.
Aloha Landing-This is located just to the side of IHVC in the Sheraton
semi-underground area (less than 5 min walk). It is where all the tour buses
and shuttles pick up for tours. This is also where you can catch a FREE shuttle
through Hilo Hattie's (local Hawaiian store). This shuttle takes you all around
the Waikiki area and over to the Ala Moana Shopping Mall. A very nice outdoor
mall with a few unique stores but most stores are typical mall stores of the
Mainland. Still a nice afternoon or evening place to walk around. I believe
the shuttle runs every 30 mins and it's FREE!
Transportation-We did not rent a car. We periodically used a taxi service,
Hubby tore his calf muscle right before coming so on crutches. From IHVC to the
South end of Kalakaua Ave a taxi cost us approx. $10 including tip. Going North the
cost was around $12-$15 because of the one way streets. You can also buy a weekly pass
through the trolley service for about $50 with unlimited usage for 7 days. If
we had known sooner we might have rented the little ride along mobility
scooters from Honolulu Hawaii Wheelchair & Scooter Rentals 808-772-9723. For
anyone with a disability this would come in handy for this area. About
$250-$300 for a week.
I think that about covers it, hope it helps your vacation to be an easier one!
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