We stayed in room 812 for eight nights, on September 2nd through the 9th. It was an ocean-view deluxe room.
First the negative:
Renovations: The hotel and staff bills itself as newly renovated. Well, the carpet is new, and the bedding was fresh and comfortable, but that's about it with new renovations. The bathroom has peachish/pinkish colored tile with pink grout. The bathroom's wallpaper is pink and green, and the sink has a formica-like countertop over a painted plyboard cabinet. The bathroom's renovation hasn't happened since the 1980's. I feel a little duped by the hotel's website that states, "newly renovated", and shows picture of granite counters, etc... I wish they would be upfront and honest in their ads, and state not all rooms have the complete renovations pictured....when I called to confirm my reservations, the receptionist even stated specifically that all rooms have been newly renovated. A more honest statement would be all rooms have been at least "partially" renovated. The common areas of the hotel, atrium, etc... also do not appear to be newly renovated. The atrium has painted cinder block, the lobby has plain furniture that is outdated and worn. This hotel needs an infusion from an investor of 50 million or so, and it could be a premiere hotel. The potential is there...but, the investment just hasn't been made.
Coffeemaker: There is not a coffeemaker in the room. Called the front desk, and one was brought up quickly. However, on the third day, the hotel did not leave any coffee for the coffeemaker. And, when we called the front desk again, we were told we had to request coffee on a daily basis? Really? What good is a coffeemaker without coffee? However, each of the remaining days, we were provided coffee, without having to further request it.
Staff: The maid service was exceptional, and they were all very friendly and personable. But, all other staff at the hotel, front desk, travel, etc... were very lackadaisical. Most of the staff are Asian, and many of the clientelle are also asian, so maybe this is a cultural difference. But, from the pricepoint of this hotel, I expected a few more smiles and pleasantries. No one was rude. But, no one went out of their way to be friendly or helpful.
Location: To get between the Waikiki strip and the hotel, you have to walk on the sidewalk near the street to get around the park, or the sidewalk near the ocean to get around the park. No biggie, except there are MANY homeless people camping out in Kapiloani Park, and this is a bit disconcerting at night. There are many signs in the park that says no overnight camping, tents, etc... but, obviously those laws are not enforced as there are tents, umbrellas and sleeping bags there at all hours of the night with people in them. I will say, I was never accosted, no one ever begged for money...and, I never felt specifically threatened. There was also always quite a few tourists out and about, so maybe there is safety in numbers. But, I am a guy, and am in shape, etc... I would be concerned for women and older folks walking through.
Natatorium: Our room looked out at the ocean, park, Waikiki and the Natatorium. The Natatorium was once a grand WWI monument but now it is in a bad state of disrepair. From our room we could specifically see the holes in the concrete deck, the wooden plyboard partially covering the holes and the warning signs to keep out, etc... I hope the city renovates this historical place but, at the present it is an eyesore. Add, the eyesore to the homeless camped out and it is not an inviting picture.
Restaurants: I ate breakfast and dinner at the Hau Tree. It was not necessarily to my liking. Amazing view. The service was o.k. Dinner cost 150.00 for two with drinks. Breakfast 50.00 for two. At this price, I expected a lot better food and service. I also ate dinner at the Myoku Restaurant. It was again about 150.00 for two with drinks. However, it was very good and the waitresses were dressed in Kimonos, which was a nice authentic touch. The view is amazing. But, the restaurant looked like some cheap Chinese restaurant off of the interestate. Again, it was probably last decorated in the 1980's. Atmosphere was disappointing. Obviously, the pictures for the internet were tweeked again to make it look a little more up to date than actual. And, for $150.00 I expect a nicer place.
Internet: After spending several thousand dollars at this hotel, restaurant, parking and room, you would think they would print your airline boarding pass for you...but, nope...had to pay $5.00 at their money taking computer. Come on guys...this seems a little petty. Really you couldn't have spared a piece of paper?
Late check out: Our red-eye flight was delayed to an 8 p.m. departure. I requested a late check-out of 4:30 p.m. , which the hotel accomodated. Eventhough there was no one booked for my room for that evening, they still charged $150.00! Again, really? I spent several thousand dollars with you, and you are still charging that much to stay a few hours later? Come on, where is the value added touches that you could provide?
Now the good:
This is the quietest hotel I have ever stayed in. I never heard the neighbors above us, or to the sides, the whole time we were there...except when I was on the balcony and they on theirs! Seriously. Fantastic.
The room was comfortable. It was small as others have stated, but it had ample storage. There was a built -in chest of drawers with five drawers, a small closet with a shelf. A built in for the refrigerator, which had a drawer above. There were shelves over the sink. There was a cabinet under the sink for your toiletries to be nicely put away, and there was shelving near the bed. So, once the luggage was unpacked, the room was very comfortable for two people, and always seemed tidy because of the fantastic storage.
The bed and linens were very comfortable.
The maid service turned down our bed every night and put a small flower on the pillow. That was very nice. But, they also straightened up the room, and replaced towels, etc...So, we effectively had maid service twice a day. How cool is that?
In my opinion San Souci is the best beach on the Waikiki strip. And, this is evident by the number of locals that were also using it. The beach was sandy, (other parts of Waikiki are rocky). There is a natural reef not far out, so the water is calm, and there is good snorkeling. And, this hotel is right on the beach...so, easy to run to your room for a break, and then right back out.
The location of this hotel is also fantastic, (except for the homeless in the park)....I love the fact that the hotel was a 10 minute stroll from the strip. We could enjoy all the restaurants, night-life, shopping, and happenings on the strip, and then quickly retreat to our quiet hotel. What a treat...the best of both worlds.
The view was breathtaking, (except for the neglected Natatorium). Lying in bed we looked out over the ocean, and could see part of Waikiki. From other vantage points in the room, you could see the park, and residential areas of the city, etc...It was so cool to observe the happenings of the Waikiki Strip, and at the same time the calm and quiet of the ocean.
This is my 4th trip to Honolulu, and at this pricepoint, overall has been the best value for the price. It is not a Lodge of the 4 Seasons, or a "W". But, it is quiet and very clean. It could be exceptional with some more renovations and more personable staff....but, I guess that would change the pricepoint.
I will definitely stay here again. And, would definitely recommend this hotel to friends. Albeit, if the walk through the park is a concern to you, I would suggest taking a taxi, which would be a minimal charge from the strip to the hotel....as it is hardly half of a mile in distance.
I hope the city works on the Natatorium and the homeless population. And, I hope the hotel works on the staffing and renovations, with these tweeks....it could be a premier location and hotel
Tip to those visiting Oahu. The Waikiki strip is fantastic...and a lot of fun. But, definitely rent a car and check out the other parts of the island....particularly Lanikai and the North Shore....a whole different vibe, less touristy and pristine beaches. Hike Pali Lookout, and checkout the rainforest hikes....beautiful
- 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