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“Ideal location in Waikiki”
Review of White Sands Hotel

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White Sands Hotel
Ranked #70 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Reviewed June 11, 2008

Have just been staying for 3 nights at this hotel. As a woman travelling alone, I must say that it has been ideal: I got the room type that I requested (2nd floor, with lanai, facing pool courtyard). Room has basic cooking facilities - very handy. Staff are friendly and helpful, activities desk is excellent, free coffee in the morning. Best thing is the location: on a quiet side street just off of Kuhio. Amazing bakery & an ABC Store at the corner, larger Food Pantry (pricey but OK for short time) up the road, zillions of shops of all types within minutes' walk, including market stalls (beware predatory stallholders! if you act interested, they will pounce!). Walking distance to the beach, too.

Only criticisms are: room security could be improved (in-room safe but no chain on door & only very basic door lock; and only 1 simple up/
down lock on sliding door to lanai). Also, there is a musty smell in the room when you first enter, but this disappears when a/c is run. Room was well cleaned, no problems with sheets, towels, etc. Am staying here again in a couple of weeks, so will report back if experience is any different. BTW, hotel recommended Reliable Shuttle for airport transport, and they were also excellent. All in all, a very pleasant place, esp. for people looking for something smaller and friendlier than a high-rise.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank Dacquiri24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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496 - 502 of 670 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2008

We booked the Celebrity Resorts Waikiki after reading the reviews from other travellers. I had to switch rooms after my first night. The pull out bed was blood stained and the small lanai faced an apartment building with a view of the tenants' garbage.

The first front desk clerk I spoke to said there were no rooms available to switch. But after my travel agent contacted them, there were two rooms available that they could move us to. We were moved to another room that seemed cleaner but a similar view.

Another front desk clerk, Aaron, was helpful the rest of the trip offering suggestions for dining, etc. He made an effort to learn guests' names, acknowledged anyone who walked through the lobby and offered my daughter flowers on the last day. He was a gem!

I did not have trouble with housekeeping as previously inidicated by another guest. A nice little touch was a white board in the room so if you had any requests or comments for housekeeping, you could indicate it on the white board. What a great idea!

The location was good, the staff were helpful (except our first night), they have free internet use with a 10 minute limit, and an activities desk to get information on the area. They also offered free scuba lessons in the pool on Tuesdays.

However, the rooms were not what I expected. We ended up being in three different studio rooms during our stay (we paid $10 to use a room to shower in on our last day after we had already checked out), and none of them were the same. The "shower room" that we used was cleaner, bigger kitchenette, bigger lanai and bigger bathroom. I think you have to be very specific on your needs when selecting a room or you will be disappointed.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank JennieS_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2008

This hidden gem is the best place I've found to stay in Waikiki. In December, 2007 I made my sixth trip to Hawaii and I stayed for two weeks at this hotel. What can I say? The hotel is just steps away for the International Market place and only a block and a half to the beach. The prices are fantastic. I had a two room suite consisting of a living room/kitchen and a master bedroom and the suite had two bathrooms. For all that I paid approximately $130.00 per night. Everything was immaculate in the hotel common areas and the rooms. This is the only place I've ever heard of where the spreads are changed for clean ones every time the room turns over to another guest. I am semi-handicapped and they saw to it that my needs were met in that regard. The staff is fantastic, from Judy, the manager to Aaron and the other desk clerks to the maids and maintainence men. By the time you've been there for a day, they know your name! I was there for my birthday and they gave me a present. None of the big hotels in Waikiki give that kind of service. I will never stay anywhere else again when I go to Hawaii.

Carol

1  Thank Carol0429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2008

The room was very dated, & smelled of mildew as per previous reviews. We asked for a room facing the courtyard as per previous travellors suggestions, but they were not able to honour that. I decided to go with celebrity because of the kitchenette facilities, but it was not worth it. I think we got one of the older rooms & it faced another apartment. Our AC made a lot of load noises, and the mattress took a little getting used to. The head of the bed was against the wall that separated us from the hallway. Each morning, we would hear all the noises of the hallway. The hotel did suggest we ask the manager to have our room changed, but we were settled with alot of groceries, so it would have been more bothersome to lug all of that stuff to another room. Housekeeping was horrible & inconsistent. The first day, we left $2 tip & our bed sheets were not changed, our dishes were not washed, nor was the place vacuumed. Thus the next day, we left $1 tip, but our sheets were changed, & our dishes were washed (no vacuuming though). The next couple of days, we were sick & stayed in, missing housekeeping. When we finally were well enough again to explore Hawaii, we left $3 tip (because the place was very messy), but no bed sheets were changed, no dishes were washed, kitchen garbage bin was untouched (with 2 days worth of old food in there), but somehow we got vacuuming. I was so disgusted with housekeeping @ this point. The only good thing about the hotel is the front desk staff. The friendliest, courteous, most helpful staff I've encountered, making the stay more acceptable.
Good things about the location of the hotel
1) close to a breakfast place that served cheap breakfasts
2) close to the beach & international market place (yes do bargain with them)
3) an agent on site to arrange for tours etc
4) close to the food pantry market, but very expensive & not the freshest stuff i.e. purchased bagels & found them to be moldy (the staff @ the hotel can direct you to a local Walmart)

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank pamsadventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2008

My stay at the Celebrity Waikiki confirmed the reviews I read on TripAdvisor. While the rooms are not of the same level as the new mega hotels, the rooms were pleasant, clean, and gigantic. Both smoking and non-smoking rooms are available.

The Celebrity is convenient to shopping and dining. The inner courtyard and pool area are a refreshing oasis from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu.

The front desk staff were, perhaps, the most pleasant and helpful staff I have ever encountered.

The next time I am in Honolulu, I will be staying at the Celebrity Waikiki.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BiLLYiZME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2008

If you are looking for inexpensive apartment-style accommodation with full kitchen facilities, this is a great option, just 2 short blocks from the infamous Waikiki beach. While there were certainly no celebrities staying at THIS hotel, we got a nice, very clean one bedroom apartment in this rather oddly named hotel for $119 per night. Very friendly, excellent tourist advisor on site, they even let you take their boards and inflatable pool toys down to the beach!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank tmwli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2008

I booked this hotel through Hotwire thinking that I was getting a different hotel. Hotwire has been inaccurate with 2 of my recent bookings. When referring to Tripadvisor ratings, which they do for some of their listings, they'll be off (by up to a month) as to when the last review was posted or how many points the listing has on Tripadvisor.

Anyway, I was worried about this booking because the last review that had been posted at that time indicated a horrible stay. Lots of great reviews though, so in my review I'll just focus on what stood out to me. The hotel has a 2 1/2 star rating I believe, and I'd say this is fairly accurate. If the AC in the room wasn't running there was a mildewy smell. The AC was a little noisy so I had to sleep with earplugs every night but I am a sensitive sleeper.

The room was spacious enough, had a nice little kitchenette, and we did get a room with a lanai overlooking the pool as I had requested. The staff were quite nice, and Aaron (sp?) at the front desk was exceptional. He was nice and funny, always in a great mood.

I always read through all of the reviews on Tripadvisor before going to a hotel and I was disappointed that they no longer have Monday night hula dancing as some other reviewers had referred to. I asked about it at the front desk and the staff member said they had stopped the show months ago. They did still have Thursday morning pancakes but no pizza/cheescake on Thursday nights.

Even though I booked this on Hotwire I later found other listings that were rated with more stars and were available for less money. I probably wouldn't stay at this hotel again, but I enjoyed my stay.

If you like to do a lot of active and touristy things on your vacation I highly recommend purchasing the Go Oahu card (Google it) ahead of time. I bought a 5 day pass (we were there for a total of 7 days) and not only did we save a ton of money, but we got some great ideas for things to do.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nhsuzanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about White Sands Hotel

Address: 431 Nohonani St., Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-2622 (Formerly Celebrity Resorts Waikiki)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#37 Business Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range: $111 - $218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — White Sands Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This quaint low-rise hotel is your home away from home located just 1 1/2 blocks to Waikiki Beach, less than a block to shopping, dining and the best Waikiki activities. The lovely central courtyard features a swimming pool with sundeck and barbeque grill. All rooms offer lanai/balconies open to city or pool views and most rooms include kitchenette facilities with stove-top, microwave and refrigerator. With our daily convenience fee for all stays White Sands Hotel allows guests to enjoy many hotel services and activities without having to incur miscellaneous charges. These amenities include DVDNow (Unlimited movies & PS3 games), Waikiki Shuttle (Complimentary Waikiki Shuttle Service), Daily Newspaper, In Room Coffee, In Room Safe, and Local & Toll-Free Calls. Come experience quintessential Hawaiian hospitality! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Sands Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu

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