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“Poor Customer Service And Not As Advertised”
Review of White Sands Hotel

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White Sands Hotel
Ranked #70 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Reviewed March 20, 2014

I used to like this area but it's now loud, they allow large parties by the pool, they no longer have a hot tub, and they advertise that they do, this should substract from value, their parking is $25 a night and it's build for migits and their smart cars, and if your an inch over the line they complain. Rudely and aren't polite at all.. They made a promise to me and my newly wed wife that they would have something special for us ready in our room, well... here it is... and i'm not seeing anything special but bunch of noise and customer service people who really just want your money.' The last few times i have traveled here the experience was great and i thought it would be even better now that i was getting married and on a honey moon.. We are planning on bringing our two 10 year old daughters with us next time to Hawaii in June as we travel here numerous times per year... Unless the hot tub comes back or the price drops and customer service improves we won't be coming back.. this place has gone down hill fast.

Phil Granere - Returning Frequent Customer.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Philip G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandcolonyaqua, General Manager at White Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 24, 2014

Aloha Phil G,

Thank you for taking the time to report to us regarding the inconveniences that you endured. We are very sorry for this experience and are most disappointed to learn that your visit was unpleasant. All things considered, we should have been able to meet your expectations with satisfactory accommodations and the level of service that you would expect from White Sands.

Situation about the noise, we had a student group in house and on the St. Patrick’s Day, they were meeting at the pool area for less than 30 minutes. Then, their friends left the property. And the group was staying at the pool area and singing for celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day. Before 9:30pm, front desk made sure they cleaned up and did not stay at the pool area.

We truly appreciate the feedback and look forward to accommodating you in June. We sincerely hope that you will choose Aqua Hotels and Resorts for your hospitality needs.

Mahalo
Lendy Ma
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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222 - 228 of 670 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2014

We live in Honolulu but entertain in Waikiki often and at times like to stay in Waikiki. The White Sands is like stepping back into they good old days of Aloha in Waikiki. Love the casual Hawaiian feel and ambiance. The staff is friendly and upbeat. Love not having to wait for an elevator. An Oasis in Waikiki.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank Darla H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandcolonyaqua, General Manager at White Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2014

Aloha Darla H,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know of your experience at the White Sands Hotel. We at Aqua White Sands greatly value your compliments.

I am glad to hear that you loved the casual Hawaiian feel and ambiance. And you do like our property that brings you back to the old days of Aloha in Waikiki.

I am also pleased to hear that you complimented on our staff who was friendly and upbeat.
When you plan on your next time to stay with us, please feel free to contact me needs.

See you soon.

Fond Mahalo

Lendy Ma
Hotel manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

I stayed at the White Sands 2-9 March, 2014. I was delighted with the place. I wanted a budget hotel but in Waikiki, and didn't wish to pay extra hundreds for marble floors and thick towels. White Sands was perfect. The building is a 50s style, 3 flat, walk up, with a central courtyard and pool. The room was adequate and comfortable, with a lanai overlooking the pool and trees. The strong point here is the staff who are friendly, warm and helpful. I would especially like to compliment Christieann at the front desk who treated me like family, Jason who gave me a great room overlooking the pool, and Rosalina who kept my room clean and always said Hi. Internet router costs $9/day extra, but was high speed and no problems. You can walk to everywhere in Waikiki since the hotel is smack-dab in the middle. Food pantry is 2 blocks away with sashimi a wine to bring back and enjoy on the lanai. Seaside Restaurant is less than a block away with a great and cheap breakfast.

OK, it's not fancy, but this is the kind of Ohana place I like for economy, friendliness and location.

Room Tip: Looking into the pool is probably better than looking onto the neighboring high rises.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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2  Thank SailorJerry113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandcolonyaqua, General Manager at White Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2014

Aloha SailorJerry113,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience. We truly value your patronage and appreciate your positive comments.

I am pleased to hear that you complimented on our staff, Christieann, Jason, and Rosalinda – they are warm, friendly and helpful. And you like the room that Jason assigned to you – the room overlooking the pool.

You also enjoyed our convenient location and reasonable rates. We will keep the affordable price for our loyal guests.

Your comments are very important to us and will be used to improve our service. Again, we look forward to accommodating you at White Sands Hotel.

Fond Mahalo
Have a nice weekend

Lendy Ma
Hotel manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

I just stayed here for a week, March 4 to 11, and I was happy with the White Sands. I just read the review previous to mine, and I disagree with many things that reviewer said. Yes, the property is old, but clean.

There is no elevator but it's only 3 floors. It was likely built in the 1960's back when the whole neighborhood were all 3 stories and folks didn't complain about a couple of flights of stairs.

These older retro hotels are all disappearing fast, this is one of the few left that are not sterilized high-rise boxes hundreds of feet in the sky.
The previous reviewer mentioned there was no a/c, untrue, there is a/c (but not in the bathroom as he stated).

It's not totally quiet because it's located in a city, but I was never bothered by noise from the other rooms, because the walls/floor seemed to be concrete built. Outside noise came through open windows (which I had open to enjoy the tropical air), but with most rooms facing the pool, it was quieter than other places I've stayed that charged more.

This hotel is an oasis that is stuck between high rises, this hotel is the way it should be!

Rooms came with Kitchenettes, flat screen TV, 24 hours of complimentary wi-fi (only accessible in the lobby or pool area)... but damn, you're in Hawai'i and get off that device & have a blast!

Overall, the staff was great, the rooms were clean, my bed was comfortable, the week I was there, they had a tree-trimming company trimming trees for 3 days, so during the day it was a bit loud at times... but the maintenance only was a 3 day affair.

Come to Hawai'i, grab a cheap room (I paid $112/night + tax), reserved 4 days before arrival. I was happy with this place - it ain't the Ritz, but spend the extra money on fun stuff!

Room Tip: I think your better off facing the pool/fish pond.... it will be quieter!
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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8  Thank crazyguyonabike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandcolonyaqua, General Manager at White Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2014

Aloha Crazyguyonabike,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience on your vacation.

I appreciate your positive comments and defensed us against some reviews on tripadvisors.

I am so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us and you were happy with White Sands.

Your comments are very important to us and will be used to improve our services to the valued guests.

Again, I appreciate your comments and thank you for staying with White Sands Hotel.

Fond Mahalo
Lendy Ma
Hotel manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We made this unfortunate selection through Hotwire after viewing the reviews on Trip Advisor.
Believe me, this place isn't close to a four star.
This dump was built back in the early 1960s and they have not spent any money to upgrade it.
The fact that this is a part of the Aqua hotel chain was another confusing issue for me. Aqua
hotels are known for good value with decent accommodations, and I've stayed at three of their
properties with no problems.
The property is completely open to the elements with no protection from street noises or weather. There's no sound proofing and no insulation. There are no views and the property
butts up against a huge parking garage.
The parking here is expensive and extremely limited.
The only in room Internet they have is expensive. They were too cheap to install wi-fi.
There were bugs in the room and the bathroom.
This is a three story property without an elevator!
The small mattress is old and lumpy and the pillow is too. The furniture is old, well used, and tacky.
There's no Air Conditioning in the bathroom, just two open windows. The shower stall is small and the commode runs constantly.
The lobby is hot and humid and has no AC, the pool is small and overcrowded.
There's mold in the shower, and the bathroom tissue is so cheap that it makes the
tissue from HNL airport seem luxurious.
The carpet is old, dirty, and worn out. The rooms are small and cramped.
They were charging $120 a night plus $20 in tax last Friday evening.
Shame on Aqua Hotels for taking advantage of the heated Hawaiian market, and not spending anything to improve this hovel.
The room clerks like Jason and Christina are friendly. Christy Ann was also helpful.
The people here is the only thing management got right.

Room Tip: Select any other hotel in Waikiki. I've stayed in 60% of Waikiki hotels since 1966, and this is...
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank bobemac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandcolonyaqua, General Manager at White Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2014

Aloha bobemac,

Thank you for your feedback on your vacation. We greatly value your feedback. We are taking your concerns very seriously and are trying to improve our service to better accommodate our valued guests. I want to thank you for your observations. I am very sorry to hear that we did not achieve your expectations

You are right, we are not close to a four star. We ranked 4 points on Trip Advisor. We are a lite category (2 ½ star) that provides affordable, reasonable rates for guests that they want to share the beautiful Waikiki Beach. During your stay in Hawaii, it was still in our high season; therefore, the rates might be relatively higher than the low season or our shoulder months. .

I am very pleased to hear that you complimented on Jason, Cristina and Christieann who provided good services to our valued guests. I will acknowledge and recognize their efforts.

I am sorry you don’t like our hotel; however, I hope you will reconsider giving Aqua Hotels and Resorts another opportunity to show you other properties for your next trip to the paradise, we do have boutique hotels and monogram hotels which are very nice. They are all newly renovated.

Fond Mahalo
Have a nice weekend

Lendy Ma
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

This is a cheap option if you don't want beachfront Waikiki accommodation. It's pretty dated, a nice pool area but not too many other amenities.
The staff were friendly, helpful and patient. They provided us with a crib and bedding for the baby, and were helpful with transport ideas.
We stayed in the biggest room in the hotel apparently - a 1 bedroom suite with separate lounge/kitchen area with a double bed. The kitchen was old but well set up. The bed was comfy. The suite was on the ground floor right by the hotel entrance and street so a bit noisy and we didn't feel 100% safe.
Worthwhile if you want cheap, but if you have a few extra $$ I would consider going all out for a beachfront Waikiki experience.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank workholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandcolonyaqua, General Manager at White Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2014

Aloha workholiday,

Thank you for taking your valuable time to post the review of your recent stay with us on tripadvisor. I am happy to hear that you complimented on our friendly, helpful and patience staff.

Situation about the noise, being in the heart of Waikiki, there is a lot happening around us and we do apologize for the inconvenience. In the future, please let our guest services know of your situation, and we will be happy to find another room that meets your expectations.

Again, thank you for choosing White Sands Hotel for your hospitality needs.

Fond Mahalo
Have a nice weekend

Lendy Ma
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Nice Hotel, very good value for the money. Staff reallY fantastic, if you go to Honolulu stay there!!! Very close to the beach, many channels to choose on TV, awesome pool! Free Wifi! Nothing else to say, strongly recommended! Go there u won't regret it!
Daniel

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Daniel1607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandcolonyaqua, General Manager at White Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2014

Aloha Daniel 1607,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experiences with us on Tripadvisor. We truly value your feedback. It is helpful to have your feedback so that we continue to strive to improve the quality of your stay at our property.

I am very glad to hear that you mentioned our hotel is nice, good value, nice pool and you will highly recommend this place.

I am also very pleased to hear that you complimented on our staff who were fantastic. I will recognize their efforts in providing good services to our valued guests.

When you plan on your next Hawaii vacation, please feel free to contact me. I will update you about the hotel and the Hawaii events. Again, thank you for choosing White Sands for your hospitality needs.

Fond Mahalo
Lendy Ma
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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