I stayed in room 812, September 1st through 7th. This was my 6th time to Oahu, 3rd time to stay in this hotel, and 2nd time to stay in this same room.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that since I stayed here in 2011, the room has been further updated. There is now a granite countertop on the sink and new tile in the bathroom. The old wallpaper has been ripped off, and new paint applied. There are new fixtures, carpeting and bedding. All in all the room is much more inviting and pleasing to the eye. My only complaint, is there is absolutely no artwork...not even any cheap travel prints. I would stick a couple of pictures on the walls of palm trees or something to make it more homey. The main common areas of the hotel are still very much out-dated, but with the open air lobby and interior....you can kinda overlook that. :-) Obviously, the view from the balcony of the ocean and the city is still spectacular. This time my neighbors were quiet, so rested wonderfully. Also, compared to previous stays at this hotel, the staff was much more pleasant. I guess it depends on who is working. They still make you pay to print your boarding pass, (what a rip-off, so just checked in with my i-phone, and then printed the boarding pass at the airport). The bar is still more expensive than any others on the strip, (11.00 for a mai-tai), and the convenience store is still more expensive than the ABC stores...but, knowing all of this, I planned accordingly and tried not to dine or shop at the New Otani stores. I still had to request a coffee maker, which seems odd that this is standard in every other hotel I stay in. And, the ironing board is one of those "dorm sized" things....granted the hotel literature said you can request coffee makers and a full sized ironing board...but, why not just provide one already?
Also odd, is the in room safe. It locked and everything...but, it was not bolted to anything. I literally could pick it up....so if someone had the inclination...they could see it was locked, and know that is where I put my valuables, and just walk away with it.....very strange.....so, New Otani...please permanently bolt the safes in the room.
Regarding Honolulu, the poor WWI monument Natatorium is still in a state of disrepair, and is an eye-sore. It is my understanding that they may be tearing this grand old structure down, instead of rehabbing it...what a shame....and, what an insult to the military, that this honor to them has suffered this fate.
Also, disappionting is the number of homeless people in the city. I have been coming here for 10 years, and the number of homeless has increased probably 10 fold in that time. Where there once were a few in the Kapiolani Park, there are now dozens camped out, ignoring the no tent and no loitering signs. As I ran nearly every morning I was there, I passed by the exact same group of homeless camped out under the structure in front of the Natatorium. They had sleeping bags on the ground and benches, various food and alcohol lined up on the wall behind them. They were always there, each morning....obviously loitering. Also I noticed a group of 3 men permanently camped out in front of the Starbucks every day, on the major corner below Lulu's...just on the sidewalk with their shopping carts and sleeping bag...one even had a sleeping bag on a blow up air floatie. I am not sure what can be done about this....and we do need to be compassionate to their plight... Currently, I enjoy staying in Waikiki, and driving to the other side of the island during the day....however, with all of the homeless...I am now toying with the idea of staying on the other side of the island...and just driving a couple of times into Waikiki. From what I read, the city says they are cracking down on the homeless population...but, obviously this is just lip service, when you see the exact same people loitering in the exact same spot for 6 days in a row.
So, the hotel has updated the rooms. It is an older hotel, and has not been gutted to the studs...or restored to its original character....so, it is not going to be a 5 star property, if that is what you are seeking. But, it is nice. It is clean. The views are spectacular. This time the staff were pleasant. And, this time my neighbors were quiet. Having it's own beach is nice, and the beach is far less crowded than those on the other side of Waikiki. The beach seems to draw more locals, and that is fun. In my opinion this is the best hotel for the price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Take advantage of its paradisiacal setting, The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel is a refreshing escape from the crowds of Waikiki. This boutique hotel sits right on one of Honolulu’s best white-sand beach, cradled next to the slopes of Diamond Head Crater, and located directly across from the 108 acre Kapiolani Park, perfect for those seeking a recreational or romantic. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
- New Otani Kaimana Beach Honolulu
- Kaimana Beach Hotel
- New Otani Hawaii
- The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu