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“Bellows just keeps getting better!”

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Bellows Air Force Station
Certificate of Excellence
Grass Valley, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Bellows just keeps getting better!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2012

My first visit was in 1967 as a military brat living in Hawaii. We usually went for day trips, but sometimes camped as we were on a tight budget. The cabins were rustic, even back then.
I honeymooned there in 1980 and loved the upgrade from camping to cabin.
Brought my kids and extended family a few times since then and stayed in the renovated cabins.
It's been ten years since I visited.

The non-renovated cabins are being torn down. The renovated cabins are wonderful. The condos? Well....not for me. If you want a big flat screen and AC and Wi-fi, an ocean view that includes looking at all the beachfront cabins and a long haul to the beach they might be for you.

Just returned and chose to "downgrade" my condo reservation because I lucked out and there was a cancellation for the cabins. The condos were built due to all of the complaints from the folks who expect the Hale Koa (for half the price) with AC and Wi-FI. You don't need AC on the windward side of the island, the trade winds are always blowing. Wi-Fi is available at the reception area, or use your G network if you have to be connected.

The staff are wonderful. All these complaints about reception services are probably due to the web res system they have that isn't accurate. No availability calendar, so you have to just keep entering dates. I did this for an hour last night and came up with nothing for the rest of this year! They have a screen on their side that shows availability and if you are patient and respectful and courteous when you call them, they will gladly share! This is the frustration that they deal with day in and out. Not their fault. I found that treating them with kindness and being on Hawaiian time was the best approach. If you irritate them, don't expect good service. Most of the staff is local, and let's face it, the military basically owns the islands prime areas.
Go and enjoy Bellows, but don't expect a resort experience.

There is no "maid service" here! Housekeeping supplies you with fresh linens, makes your bed for you and sweeps and mops the floors. Don't expect them to be your maid!

This station is the best place to stay on the island. Best beach, gentle surf, excellent location, near Kaneohe for commissary.
I've stayed at PARC near Wainae, Kaneohe cabins, Hale Koa, Lockwood Hall. I recommend Lockwood for late arrival or early departure from Airport, then stop at NEX and commissary for supplies at Pearl before heading out to Bellows. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Beachfront away from rock wall. Front row if you can get it, but they're all so close and have t...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank californiayogini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Charleston, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2012

I agree with all the positive posts that describe Bellows as the perfect beach location with limited people. I just want to warn folks that cabin 154A is infested with mice. We had about ten mouse sightings in just one evening. Maintenance was very nice and brought us a trap but a mouse snagged the bait and kept trucking. We asked for at least one of our two nights refunded for the mice but was only given half a night's refund.

We'll be back but we'll be staying in the renovated places that are hopefully mice-less. Watching the tv while mice run around on the kitchen counters is less than desirable. However, the beach is so good that we couldn't help but still give this place 5 stars.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JLJ5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarksville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
55 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

We rented a tent and spent the night camping at Bellows. The beach is beautiful, and it's fun to hunt for crabs once the sun goes down. The camping site has tons of grills for grilling out and comfortable spots for tents. You can rent cabins there, but we heard they were a bit run down. If you walk out to the beach during the day, there's a great chance you'll see giant turtles. An absolute do if you love camping. Note: Flies are bad.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank Brittanie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaiserslautern, Germany
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

Staying in an un-renovated cabin at present. I agree with some of the other posts...If you want to stay at the best beach on Oahu for incredibly reasonable price, and can put up with a few bugs, this is your place. Very basic...maybe about 2 steps up from camping...indoor plumbing, hot water, full kitchen with pots pans utensils and plates. TV with cable and internet (free, many hotels in HI charge for the internet) hook up (not wi fi), free parking (most hotels charge for parking). Had everything we needed, and who stays in your cabin in HI anyway...not much time spent in cabin, so why not go rustic. Note about the staff: I found everyone very friendly (accept for one 'frau' who was cordial, but not overly friendly...she was all business, but not rude). ITT ticket office right there for discounts on local attractions. Scheduled a massage for Sat...all in all, no complaints.

Room Tip: Make reservations long in advance to get renovated front cabin(meaning more than 4 months)...they no...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gnlac130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2012

Rented beach side cabin...
Scenary: cool temp, nice beach (although very sandy tide...what I mean by that is, if you submerge yourself head to toe, you will having be fun taking a lot of sticky sand out of your hair).
Room: compacted for 6. no wireless...and ants...ants..and more fire ants!
House Service: hit or miss...some cleaners are good and some not...we sprayed two cans of Raid in 4 days due to ant problem...the killed ants were never swept away.
Front Dest: hit or miss. Rude or nice.
Other: good rentals...

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank l l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wahiawa, Hawaii
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2012

We loved going to Bellows on the weekend for camping (09-10) then command changed and we have had nothing but problems with reservations being cancelled (You have to call ahead to make sure they haven't cancelled your reservations, "it's not their job" We had to cancel our cabins and did so and we were told we would be refunded our deposit. Not only were we not refunded our deposit two weeks later they hit our bank account for over $400.00. We have tried calling and can not get anyone to answer or return phone calls.. Have even tried contacting base commander and have left voice mail there as well. Very disappointed in customer service as it has gone down hill very quickly in the last two yeas

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank cgit44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2012

We lived in Hawaii from 1999 to 2002 and so were very familiar with Bellows Beach. It was one of our favorite weekend getaways for camping and beaching. When we planned our return to Hawaii for a vacation, now 10 years later, we decided that Bellows would be the cheapest and best option to just unwind - and we were right.

First let me say that we stayed in one of the non-renovated cabins on the seawall, near the far end of the property. This is about as "bad" as it can get and it was really nice! My advice for anyone wanting to vacation in a Bellows AFS cabin is to show up with realistic expectations and you will enjoy the stay. The cabins are designed to offer a place to stay on the beach in relative comfort and at an exceptionally low cost! If you are willing to put up with a fine coat of salt from the ocean spray, a bit of rust on the metal doors and a harmless ant or two you will be rewarded with a relaxing, stress free escape on one of the nicest, least crowded beaches in Hawaii (I can speak for the rest of the world). If the one or two ants really bug you, buy a $2 can of any and roach spray and have at it. They will go elsewhere for a few days.

Our cabin was number 451, right at the end of the tree line. It was clean, mostly bug free (a few ant were on the dresser of all places, but never in the kitchen), and, did I mention that this is RIGHT BY THE GREATEST BEACH ON OAHU!

The beds were comfortable but the pillows were lacking, so we purchased more (see below). The appliances were perfectly fine (full size fridge, electric range/oven, microwave). There were dishes for about 8, and very basic cooking pots and pans. The knives needed sharpening, but were OK. There is a DVD player and a flat screen TV (with basic cable) that we could connect to our iPads with cables we brought with us. The cabin has a picnic table out back near the seawall and two plastic chairs. The nearest beach is about a 6 minute walk back toward the gas station.

We stayed in this cabin for 10 days, so we hit Costco to purchase two pillows, beach chairs, board shorts, a boogie board and fruit (pineapple, mango, guava). The chairs and boogie board were cheaper to purchase than rent. We hit the Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe Exchange/Commissaries for extra swimming suits/beachwear, booze, and food. We ended up returning the boogie board because for the first few days, the seas were too rough to surf. We left the chairs and extra food with friends when we departed.

Other details: There is internet (computers and wireless) in the registration building. There is laundry available, but we never used it. There is a DVD rental machine at the registration building. The small store has a limited selection of food, booze and clothing/beach items. If you need more, Kaneohe is about 15 or 20 minutes away. There is no fitness center, but there is a lot of space to run or rent a bike and ride.

Feel free to connect with me to ask any other details. Pictures will be posted soon.

By they way, I wanted to be sure I communicated that the beach is really, really nice!!

Early on while the trades were up and the seas were rough, we set up shop right behind the cabin along the seawall where we caught rays and read most of the day. About half way through, the trades calmed and we camped out on the beach right near the gas station. The beach was nearly deserted on the weekdays and still not over crowded on the weekends.

Room Tip: The best cabins are full most weekend with local military. If you want the best options, you have t...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Evan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bellows Air Force Station

Property: Bellows Air Force Station
Address: 220 Tinker Rd, ** Hotel is for Military personnel (active or retired) ONLY, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1903
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Waimanalo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Waimanalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 188
Also Known As:
Bellows Air Force Station Hotel Waimanalo
Bellows Air Force Station Waimanalo, Hawaii - Oahu

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