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“Cheap but it comes with wildlife”

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Bellows Air Force Station
Certificate of Excellence
Honolulu
Level Contributor
77 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Cheap but it comes with wildlife”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

We recently spent three nights in a cottage at Bellows. In the space of that time, our water was turned off during the day both days, I was bitten by a large centipede, we found a scorpion in the kitchen, and the engineers had to set a trap to catch and remove the mouse who was sharing the residence with us. The kitchen had flies, army bugs, and roaches. The personnel running the facility were very nice, but you have to sign a waiver specifying that bugs are not a reason for a refund. My husband managed to kill the centipede after it bit me, but my foot was black and blue for nearly three weeks, and because we had no water, I was unable to wash the wound with soap and water as recommended. Next time we will find less stressful accomodations.

Room Tip: Select the second floor condo rooms to avoid the creatures
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Cris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 reviews from our community

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English first
Lakewood, Colorado
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2013 via mobile

Thanks to our friends, we were sponsored onto Bellows AFS, for 4 nights. The lodging was rustic, but after having spent 2 nights in Waikiki, it was a fantastic change of pace.

Would recommend it to anyone, just understand that it's not the Ritz. But with the beach being only 50 yards from your front porch, you just can not beat it.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank dhageman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fountain, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2013

We return every year to Bellows. >The beach here is NEVER crowded and it is safe for little kids (shallow way out). The sand is extremely soft, like powdered sugar and is very white. There are really no fish, but you might see a Green Tea Turtle. >If you are only able to rent a Non-renovated cabin- take it, and ask when you can move into a renovated cabin. People are coming and going everyday. There are 8 new (2012) apartment like units, 2 bedroom rentals open that sit away from the beach across the grass near to the Paintball field at the far end of Bellows - towards the Commanders home. We have stayed in unrenovated, renovated cabins, and new apartment-like places. We have never stayed in the camping cabins or tented on the big grassy area. The weekends typically have boy scout groups tenting on that area, but it is so large there is no problem with noise. The only problem is they NEVER invite you over for Smores by the bonfire. Maybe that's a girl scout thing... The whole place is safe, guarded / patrolled well. If you have a bug problem just call maintenance and they will come out and spray. I've never had a big ant problem. In an old un-renovated cabin Years ago there were some roaches, but maintenance is better with keeping bugs at bay now. There was that one centipede that crawled up my leg in the shower, but just that one time! Some mini ants have been around, but not in my toiletries at all, and never in any food. I store cereals and such on top the fridge or in a cabinet with no problem with insects. Keeping crumbs wiped off the table, counter and sweeping your floor helps. You can ask the daily cleaning lady to sweep too. >I always visit in February so it's never too hot, but hey, if you're hot, the ocean is about 40 feet away! These duplex cabins were Officer quarters during WWII. The non-renovated cabins may still have lever windows. The old runway is still visible on the tour of Bellows. >The Driving Range was closed for the last 2 years. Something about discovering unexploded bombs? It's been roped off, but I'm not a golfer anyway. The mini-gold course is open and not used much, but it looks fun. Take your mug of coffee to see the Sunrise. It is often colorful. Sunset is behind the mountains behind you. >People are friendly and might even offer you their unused food when they move out. You're only about a half hr. over the Pali highway from Waikiki and the Hale Koa and a shorter drive over to famous Kailua town. >When you go into Waikiki, park in the Hale Koa parking garage across the street from the hotel. >Plan your trip to Bellows a year in advance to get front or back row renovated cabin reservations. This is a small Air Force Station with limited space to rent. Also they keep some cabins open for local military active duty. Through the years the methods to obtain reservations have changed, perhaps as the Commanders change out. >This is a low-key quietly beautiful beach cabin experience. No frills cabins are basic. I would not want to spend all day everyday of my 2 weeks at Bellows, but do explore the island every other day. Some people don't want to wander over the island I've noticed. Some people cook dinner here everyday. I just eat breakfast and might fix sandwiches to-go if the days activities off Bellows might leave me away from cafes. Check out the Salvation Army in Kailua for insulated lunch carrier and Hawaiian shirts for beach cover-ups. If you want the night life and luxury accommodations - this is not the place for you. BELLOWS: Find a small bar in the lounge/ snack bar, a Subway sandwich shop and Shopette, outdoor laundry facility. Find a large screen TV with an old movie 1 night a week; a mini take it leave it Library in the lounge, WIFI in cabins, TV in cabins, liquid soap dispensers in showers, hair dryer by the sink. There is a small gift shop connected to the Snack Bar where you can purchase discounted show and luau tickets, a lounge area, movie rental kiosk, WIFI computer. There are volleyball courts and lots of grassy area beside the soft sand beach. There is no fitness center, no swimming pool. > Just outside the base is Waimanalo which is old Hawaiian native housing. Waimanalo Beach is next to Bellows. Leave it for the local Hawaiians. Locals can camp on the beach before Bellows cabins begin on the weekend only. WWII veterans say the town of Waimanalo looks much the same as in the 40's. It does have a Mc Donalds and 7-11. You can get Shave Ice and awesome Lunch Plates at a local place run by a Christian wrestling coach. Lots of scripture on the walls and the flys are after your food. You can buy food here and take it back to Bellows, or know that the same man runs the Bellows snack bar. The Bellows site doesn't have the extensive menu as the place in Waimanalo. It's typical authentic Hawaiian food so you might want to order the Mini plate to avoid the 2 scoops of rice and heavy on the may mac salad. BBQ whole chickens often sold on Sunday at the entrance to Bellows can be your Sunday dinner. >Regarding check out time - it is early for those afternoon and evening flights. We just put the bags in the rental car (which is the only way you are getting to Bellows by the way), and head on over to Kailua beach or into the Hale Koa to have lunch on their lanai, sit on the grass there or wander around the crowds on Waikiki. The Cheesecake Factory can fill in some of that time too. Usually the rental car needs to be returned leaving us a couple hours at the airport. There is a garden in the airport that is quite nice.

Room Tip: Call a year in advance or reserve on-line.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
11 Thank JanetRomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2013

My wife and I recently stayed here with 2 of our friends. We stayed in one of the new two bedroom condos. The condos are great, but with the only downfall being that the tankless water heater clanks every time you turn on the hot water. They have a great location (only about a 5 minute walk to the beach), and are fairly new so are in great shape. The beach at bellows is one of the best I have ever been on. You can walk for miles if you cross over into the public section. Definitely a great place to stay if you are a service member. We would always choose to stay in the condos if we went back as the cabins on the beach looked dated and worn, but we will definitely be back.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank RxTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2013

I have been visiting Bellows Beach for years while on trips to Oahu. I decided to stay in one of the cabins this time & chose a renovated ocean front 2 bedroom. These cabins are a good choice for someone who is comfortable with basic accomodations. I chose to look at my stay as an upscale camping experience. The biggest advantage of staying @ Bellows is the proximity to the beach. The worst downside of Bellows is the customer service. It was very spotty. It is hard to get through to reservations by phone. Some employees were helpful & cheerful as you would expect from the hospitality industry. Others were difficult. For example, upon check-in, I inquired about accessible cabins since my spouse is a disabled vet. The young woman checking us would not discuss these cabins as an option because according to her, accessible cabins are for disabled people-people in wheelchairs. Also, housekeeping was hit & miss. We had a young man who cleaned our cabin that was efficient & personable. Another day, a woman entered before we had a chance to let her know that we were in the unit & sleeping. One day we received no housekeeping service & 2 other days-towels only. Despite these drawbacks, I would return to Bellows because where else can you get an Oahu cabin on the ocean front for $95.00 per night?

Room Tip: Choose a renovated room.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Danielle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shorewood, Illinois
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Bellows AFS is "lost in paradise!!!" Granted the cabins are a little dated but exactly how much time do you spend in them???? The Shopette and their staff were wonderful. Where else could you do laundry and see the waves coming ashore??? As far as cabins not having AC, we just opened the front and back doors and got the most wonderful cross breeze. All of the housekeeping staff were really great, friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable. No better way to watch the sun and moon come up than on Bellows beach. Truly a hidden gem!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Dennie2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida City, Florida
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Bellows AFS is great for those looking to stay near the beach without paying Waikiki tourist prices on Oahu for rooms and parking. If you're looking for 4 star lodging with room service and fine dining, look elsewhere. We stayed at the cabins located near beach with electricity/kitchen but no AC unit.

Pros: The cabins are within walking distance of beach, and they have tile floors so that you don't track sand onto carpet. Housekeeping sweeps and mops floors every day to help keep clean. Room has a kitchen with utensils, barbecue, and outdoor hose to help you rinse sand/saltwater off after swimming in ocean. Bellows also has laundry facility and shopette if you need them.

Cons: No AC in cabins and bugs can and will get in. That being said, we kept fans on 24/7 to keep air circulating and kept food in fridge to minimize bugs entering cabin. Room actually isn't too hot if you open windows and turn on fans.

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay here for entire trip due to availability of cabins. Will definitely come back here again when opportunity presents itself. Bellows is a hidden treasure on Oahu-most people think of Waikiki when it comes to Oahu hotels for tourists on vacation.

Room Tip: There are different types of accommodations: Tent campsites,Primitive cabins without electricity, c...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mustang9975
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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