My wife and I stayed three nights at the Aqua Lotus over Christmas and had a pleasant stay. We moved to this hotel after five nights at the Trump at the other end of Waikiki, so this was an interesting contrast. The Lotus is a small boutique hotel that is pretty isolated from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. It actually is a little further from Waikiki Beach than I first thought. I would say you are a good ten to fifteen minute walk before you hit the first hotels (Marriott, Aston Waikiki) and shops, so keep that in mind.
I believe the hotel used to be a 'W' property, and it retains that funky vibe along with the dim lighting in the lobby. There are only one or two staff at the front desk, it's pretty relaxed and casual. There is no self-park, valet parking only. The rooms are very nice, modern, comfortable, inviting. Maybe nicer than at the Trump, although there was no kitchen. But it does have a fridge.
Since the hotel has no dinner restaurant, you will have to go out to eat. Immediately next door there are three excellent restaurants. Michels at the Colony Surf is an outstanding french/italian restaurant in a gorgeous setting, right on the beach, with tuxedoed waiters, luxury dinnerware, soft live music and tiki torches, very romantic and very high priced. We had a very nice meal here, it is a beautiful spot.
Also next door at the Kaimana are two others. Miyako is on the second floor and is a japanese restaurant with a great view. I would highly recommend you book one of their three cabana tables (2-5 people), they are gorgeous, private, and scenic. The menu is fixed for the cabanas, only a couple of choices with 6-8 items on each. All the food was excellent. Try to book here for sunset, it really is gorgeous.
The second restaurant at the Kaimana is the Hau Tree Lanai, another beautifully scenic restaurant right on the beach and under three giant Hau trees. We had a lovely breakfast here although a sudden shower had us running to another table.
Other than these, plus a second floor casual breakfast spot at the Lotus, you will have to travel a fair ways for other dining choices.
I would recommend the zoo, which is very good and not far away. The aquarium is very close as well. It's quite small and would only take an hour of your time.
While I really liked the vibe of the hotel, I am not sure I would stay here again if coming back to Waikiki, as I feel it is just a bit far from the action. I think the Lotus is great for a short stay, 2-4 days maybe, but if you are staying longer you might want to be nearer the other end of Waikiki. Still, it's a very nice hotel...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review of the Aqua Lotus Honolulu. Your sentiments reflect what most guests comment on the most and what we consider the details that separate us from most hotels. Whether it be the excellent location, friendly and efficient staff or the number of value added amenities that are provided, this property will not let you down regardless the reason for your trip.
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We are hard at work to improve our product offerings and services. In the past few weeks we have added Varisimo Espresso machines and new upgraded bed linens, added small touches to our evening turndown housekeeping service and a daily breakfast offering on our second floor. We are very near to announcing a much anticipated operator for our restaurant space that will change the culinary scene in Honolulu for years to come.
We hope to see you again very soon at our charming little hideaway on the Gold Coast.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.