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Alternatives to Waikiki

troy mi
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952 posts
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Alternatives to Waikiki

Would appreciate some input from readers on alternative locations within a half hour or so from Waikiki with superior + hotels that are better value/less congested than Waikiki and with nice beaches, restaurants, etc. We will have a car.

Goodyear, Arizona
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993 posts
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1. Re: Alternatives to Waikiki

Hi neighbor (Spence3787) - I'm from West Bloomfield, MI. This is our first trip to Hawaii!

Me and husband we're originally booked at the Ali'i tower Hilton Hawaiian Village, but after readings reviews (not necessarily negative) we decided to move to the Kahala Mandarin Oriental which was a nice upgrade and a much quiter resort. Quite expensive, but you get what you pay for. I am not trying to take a 9 hour flight over to Hawaii only to be stuck in a dinky hotel in a congested area. This hotel is away from the hustle and bustle and is said to be located in a middle to upper class area of the island and has a BEAUTIFUL beach area. It is on the other side of Diamond head, yet a 10-15 minute drive to waikiki. We are renting a car as well (National Car has a facility on site and my hubby works for GM so we get a nice discount). We will get our car keys when we check in, however, the parking at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental is quite expensive $22 per day. So we are just going to park on Kahala drive and walk to the hotel. (the front desk clerk was extremely nice and suggested this).

Anyhow, I think this is a nice pick, however, there's Turtle Bay Resort and JW Marriott which I have read are quite nice as well which I believe are way from the hustle and bustle of waikiki. The Kahala Mandarin Oriental though is a 5 star AAA resort and rated #2 on tripadvisor, so if you are looking to stay in an oasis where the celebs like to go, my pick would be this hotel. They even have a private dolphin lagoon where you can feed the dolphins from your room (if you stay in a lagoon suite of course.)

PS. We leave the 1st week in November. I am SOOOO excited!

Hope this helps!

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2. Re: Alternatives to Waikiki

Hi lknight:

We just returned from ten days at the Ali'i Tower. I wanted to let you know you've probably made a great decision to switch to the Kahala Mandarin Oriental.

We were very unhappy at the HHV. I remembered your post while we were there and I called the Mandarin to see if we could move over there. They were so gracious! Unfortunately we had two rooms for over a week and while they tried their best we would have been one night short.

We drove by the hotel on our way to Roys for dinner one night. It's interesting. A bit older. The front lobby which we could easily see was full of fresh flowers and had big windows.

I'm sure just from speaking to the reservations desk that you've made the right move. You can find my review of the Ali'i Tower on the HHV review page if you want it.

Have a great trip come November! And let us know all about it!

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3. Re: Alternatives to Waikiki

While Turtle Bay and the Ihilani are both nice, they're a long drive from most tourist sites, dining, etc. (I'll guess and say 30 miles).

The Kahala Mandarin is perfect if you want to get out of Waikiki - and it is just 10 to 15 minutes from Waikiki. It is a luxury hotel with its own beach - almost every U.S. President in recent memory has stayed there while in Hawaii. It has one of the best restaurants in Honolulu - Hoku's. And the rooms have all been remodeled in recent years. Many of the garden view rooms overlook the Waialae Country Club golf course. The cabana rooms are right on the beach.

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4. Re: Alternatives to Waikiki

Another vote for the Kahala Mandarin ..... the Ko Olina resorts and North Shore will be more than half hour. Or why not stay at a rental property on the Windward side?