Stayed at the Hale Koa from 10/2 – 5 2008 in a deluxe oceanfront. We were in the newer tower with a lanai facing the city and the ocean, hands down the best views in my opinion.
The property consists of 72 acres and is an oasis in the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. We saw numerous homeless people outside of the grounds but never on the grounds.
There is a really nice museum on the grounds doing a sort of history of the place from the beginning to the present.
The exchange has the lowest prices you will find for anything on Oahu. $10 and up aloha wear for men and women, low cost T-shirts and ball caps for the folks back home.
We only ate at Bebe’s restaurant. It was good but a bit pricey (like everything else in Honolulu). A 12 oz draft beer in a plastic cup at the Barefoot bar was $4.75. Nice place to people watch but also expensive.
Best breakfast we found was at Moose McGillicudies (Beachwalk and Lewers). Get there before 9 AM, look for the guy in the moose costume handing out 2 for 1 coupons and you can get two really good breakfasts for 6 or 7 dollars total. We tried the IHOP, it was $27 for two basic breakfasts!
The room itself is pretty basic, comfortable but not spectacular. The maids keep it very clean and stocked.
If we ever go back to Honolulu we will stay here again, great bargain for military families.
Waikiki was pretty much what we expected, crowded, expensive and busy. We did not see or do anything that has not already been reported on but we did have a good time.
One tip, if you plan on doing a picnic any where along or near Waikiki beach forget using a public picnic table, they are all staked out by homeless people, we did not see a single one not in use.
I have posted a report on the Hale Koa itself which should be up in a day or two. For those previous posters who asked about the luau at Hale Koa, it is for the military folks staying there ad IF they happen to have any seats left over just before the show they will let the general public in, otherwise an ID card or guest pass is required to get a reservation.