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Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
31 posts
Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

Hi All

I religiously look at TA before any of my traveling.

My husband & I (both 27) are traveling to the US for a 5 week trip in aug/sept 2012.

We're ending our trip with 6 days in Hawaii.

I have been looking at acc in Honolulu but would love some recommendations. To be honest I was impressed by top rating of Hotel Renew until I read up on the forums which has changed my mind a little.

We're after somewhere with decent room, wi-fi, ideally breakfast included but not a must, good location a must...

We're also tossing up whether to visit another island (probably Maui) for a night or so or just stick to the one place & enjoy not having to travel too much before heading home.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

Also keen to know what people's experience with Hawaiian Air has been?

Level Contributor
18 posts
3 reviews
5 helpful votes
1. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

Hi Maggie,

My husband and I went to Hawaii last May and are returning again this May. It really is the best place on earth.

We stayed one night at the New Otani at Diamond Head but ended up checking out as it was a bit took far away from the action. We booked hotel Renew based on TA reports. It is really nice, clean and reasonable but our only gripe was the in-room airconditioner which continually broke down or kept us awake all night. It is apparent from other TA reports that this is ongoing. If it wasn't for that it would have been great as the service etc is really good, breaky is included etc. Unless you can get a room with a new aircon system I wouldn't stay there as being tired and cranky on holidays isn't fun. It's too hot and noisy outside to leave the windows open.

This May we are staying at Trump as they have a kitchenette which will be handy as you get a bit sick of eating out for every meal. We got it super cheap on JetLuxury website. A lot of our friends stay at Aqua Bamboo as they are super reasonable and all have kitchenettes, they are a bit older but have since had a re-furb. Anyway hope this helps, what a great way to end your US trip. Make sure you hit up the Cheesecake Factory!

Hervey Bay...
Level Contributor
23 posts
15 reviews
28 helpful votes
2. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

My partner and I are about to also book for September but are also tossing up hotels. I very much look into Tripadvisor and the reviews of each hotel before I book any trip.

We have narrowed our search down to Holiday Inn Beachcomber, Hotel Renew and Doubletrees as they each fit into our budget and generally the reviews that have been written on here are good.

At the moment with the expedia deal, Hotel Renew is the cheapest but I've also read reviews/looked up on the forum and now I have my doubts. Holiday Inn looks like its right in the middle of everything but is the most expensive out the deals.

Would be interested to see what people can recommend.

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,965 posts
22 reviews
17 helpful votes
3. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

I've stayed at 5 different hotels, and top of the list now is the Holiday Inn Beachcomber.

You cannot pass on the location. It's in the centre of everything Waikiki has to offer; is opposite the Cheesecake Factory - an Aussie favourite and next door to the International Market Place.

It has been renovated in the last couple of years. The rooms were good size, and it has a pool, bar and restaurant on the first floor.

We were never in the room long ... just long enough to drop off the shopping and head back out for more.

We're hoping to go again next year and we'll stay here again.

Compared to some hotels right on the beach, there is great value for money here.

We only went to the beach to dip our toes ... its a small beach compared to what we have at home.

You can get ocean view rooms if you wish ... but we never bothered.

Lake Macquarie...
Level Contributor
3,982 posts
20 reviews
35 helpful votes
4. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

For 6 days, stay on Oahu. You'll waste too much time in airports going to/from another island. You'll find that Oahu will have more than enough to keep you amused. Don't worry, you'll get "bitten" and want to return.

In '05, we flew with Hawaiian Air for our first Hawaiian vacation. Friendly cabin crew, meals okay (we ARE talking airline food) and a couple of movies on the overhead TVs. The planes were a bit worn and it felt like you were travelling with uncle & aunty. Worn but comfy.

In '07, we flew Qantas to Hawaii and the plane was terrible. Cabin staff were polite, but not helpful. The TV near us jumped and flickered the whole trip. The wife's char wouldn't recline. The plane plastic interior panels rattled for the whole trip. We returned on a Jetstar flight and that plane was all but spanking new. Unfortunately, it was a flight that they were using to return extra passengers from Hawaii that were stranded for days because of a problem with another Jetstar plane's fuel gauge. They then under-catered dramatically, even running out of anything to drink (except TONIC WATER) about halfway through the journey to Australia. Seat allocations were ignored by Jetstar and they had young families spread to all corners of the plane. It was a shambles. There was a lot of unhappy people.

In 2008. we visited the US mainland. We flew with Jetstar to Hawaii (uneventful), had a night in Honolulu, then flew Hawaiian Air to San Francisco. After a couple of weeks, we returned to HAwaii with Hawaiian Air and spent another 5 nights in Waikiki. The final leg to Australia was with Jetstar. That ended up saving us about $500 pp in airfares as opposed to flying Qantas direct to Los Angeles. The Hawaiian Air planes were a little more worn than the Jetstar planes, but the cabin staff were terrific and really "made" the flight.

Subsequent flights to/from Hawaii have since been on Jetstar, as the times we need to vacation are not ones that Hawaiian Air discounts heavily. We're returning the week before Easter this year and Hawaiian Air would have been nearly $400 more pp for cattle class return. Also, the clincher was that Jetstar had a sale on Business class to Hawaii that was too attractive to pass up. It ended up being only $200 dearer than Hawaiian Air cattle class for the same dates.

Accommodation-wise, we first stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki in the "manor wing", which I think they have now closed (probably out of embarrassment). Next trip, we stayed at the Waikiki Circle. Had a great time there.

Next, we had an overnight stay at the Equus whch was down past the HHV. Too far out for me, but it was cheap, clean & very comfortable. On the return from The US mainland, we spent another 5 night at the Waikiki Circle. We used the Entertainment book for 50% off the rack-rete, which ended up $40/nite cheaper than any other price I could find for Oceanfront Rooms there. I think it cost us about $110p/n.

Next time, we stayed at Waikiki Parc Hotel. Nice enough place, but it cost us about $ 280p/n for a room up the top floor to get a view over the Halekulani. You still end up with an exceptional view of every room at the back of the Sheraton. Not for me, thanks. I longed for the Waikiki Circle again.

This time, we'll be staying in an oceanfront condo at the Waikiki Shore. Feedback looks good on the condo (booked on VRBO), so here's hoping.

I think if I was staying for any time in Waikiki, I'd shell out a bit more for a nice room view. I know that people say that they only sleep in the room, but it's still nice to get that view.

Level Contributor
7,278 posts
16 reviews
16 helpful votes
5. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

What's your nightly budget?

Personally I would skip the Renew there's no way it's #3 in Waikiki or better than the Outrigger Waikiki or Reef taking the the TA rankings as gospel can be so misleading. Besides most of the rooms don't even have a lanai that is a deal breaker for me.

The Waikiki Circle that Harleynut mentioned is a nice small hotel killer views from your lanai if you get oceanfront or oceanview but rooms a re small and no pool if that matters.

Queen Kapiolani Hotel and Parkshore Hotel are also at that end of Waikiki the Diamond Head end which we like better it's a little quieter imo. These are all moderate priced hotels.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
55,769 posts
3 reviews
5 helpful votes
6. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

The hotel Renew is renowned for soliciting reviews. Which, by the way, is just fine with TA. It's rating has nothing to do with star ratings given by other agencies, rather it's a "popular" rating. If it would fit into my budget and needs I would have no problem staying there.

Corona del Mar...
Level Contributor
62,229 posts
442 reviews
775 helpful votes
7. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

Skip the Renew, look at the Waikiki Circle, the Queen Kapiolani, Park Shore and the Waikiki Parc Hotel.

We actually love the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel precisely because it is out of the craziness of Waikiki, but you can still walk to Waikiki.

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
31 posts
8. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

Thanks so much for all of the replies I really appreciate it.

Budget probably around $200/night up to about $250 max as.

Would it be best to make our choices re accommodation & get the travel agent to book it all or get online & do it ourselves ?

Again thanks

Level Contributor
283 posts
12 reviews
10 helpful votes
9. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

I'm going to be different and suggest you spend the majority of your time on Maui or even Kauai. After 4 weeks on the mainland you will have gotten your shopping out of the way and be looking for a bit less hustle and bustle.

A condo at Napili Bay on Maui would be my suggestion for some R & R for 4 nights, Napili is a great beach ( http://www.napilisunset.com/overview/webcam )and you can explore the island from there or just laze about and do nothing.

We love Kauai and the area around Hanalei Bay (watch the Descendants)

The other 2 nights you can spend at Waikiki before flying home

Level Contributor
7,278 posts
16 reviews
16 helpful votes
10. Re: Honolulu Accommodation for Aussie Couple Sept 2012

With that budget you could also look at Outrigger Reef or Outrigger Waikiki both are on the beach.

You could do a different island but you will have to rent a car if you do.