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“Sometimes you get what you pay for”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Holiday Surf Hotel

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Holiday Surf Hotel
Ranked #79 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Sometimes you get what you pay for”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2013

I've been to Waikiki before, as the lacrosse club I play for sends a team to the annual tournament held at Kapialani Park each October. Everyone typically stays at the Waikiki Banyan but when my g/f couldn't make it due to work commitments, I decided to search for a cheaper option that still had a kitchen. Location wasn't a major concern for me, as I've found that everything is within walking distance; from this hotel it's about a 35-40 minute walk to Safeway from this hotel, a 10-15 minute walk to the beach, and about a 20-25 minute walk to Kapialani Park.

The Holiday Surf Hotel seemed to meet my criteria, and for the price I paid the room and furnishings were about what I expected...maybe a little lower in standards. The size was fine, and it had everything I needed so for the most part it was satisfactory. The dishes and cooking instruments provided were perfect, and the room and items in it were all clean and well kept. However, the drapes were very thin and since my room was facing Ala Wai Boulevard, with all the street lighting my room was lit 24/7. The A/C was also very weak (I had to pull the mattress off the bed and lie it on the floor right next to the A/C unit) so combined with the light pollution, it was difficult to get to sleep.

The highlight of this hotel is definitely the people running it. Anytime I had a question the ladies at the front desk were more than happy to help answer them, whether it was regarding the best shops to get food, which farmer's market to go to, or helping me find a local SIM card for my phone. If they didn't know, they'd find out and call me in my room with the information. Service with a smile goes a long way.

The low point of this hotel, and the reason my rating is so low, is the water quality. I'm an experienced traveler and have been to many countries outside North America (India, Africa, Mexico, Europe) where water quality is a concern. But when visiting places within North America, I expect that the tap water should be drinkable and in previous visits to Waikiki -- albeit staying at a different hotel -- this has not been an issue. But at the Holiday Surf it was.

I arrived on Thursday and with the heat, I started drinking a lot of water. I'm thirsty after flying and since the lacrosse tournament started the next day, and ran over the weekend, I also needed to hydrate. By Friday night, I noticed some slight stomach cramping; like a more severe hunger pang. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, it got worse and while I didn't notice it while playing in the tournament, when I wasn't playing it was very uncomfortable. By Monday morning, it was very painful.

I suspected the water was the reason because it was the only thing that had changed. I bought the same groceries that I do at home, and hadn't eaten out since my arrival (I like to keep my food intake consistent during competitions). As a test, I stopped drinking the tap water and 6 hours later, the cramping had subsided significantly. The next morning, my stomach was almost back to normal, so to test the theory further I drank 1 glass of tap water. Within 30 minutes, the cramps were back.

At that point I simply bought several jugs of bottled water from the store and I had no further issues the rest of the week. I'm not sure if this hotel is just older and has some issues with their own pipes but as I mentioned, I've drank from the Waikiki water supply before with no problems.

Draw your own conclusions as to whether this hotel is for you. If you are like many of my teammates and you buy water whenever you travel, then I would definitely urge you to consider the Holiday Surf. I stated the service was excellent, and with a sleep mask to combat the light issue this would be a solid place to stay at an economical price. But I couldn't give it a higher rating based on the issues/concerns I had regarding the tap water.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank vrecksler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2013

I couldn't get a room at the other hotel I wanted to stay at so decided this one would do. The rooms were nice except for the bathroom. There was no room to move around in the bathroom and had to stand in the tub to close the door when friends stopped by. The bathroom sink was not even in the bathroom, its out by the closet. While staying here nobody cleaned my room and when I asked to have new towels and sheets they were given to me and was told to do it myself. If you want wi-fi you need to pay $14 a day for it, so I went to other hotels to use the wifi they offered. The staff were not helpful at all when I asked how to get places. I would never stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank partygal82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Honolulu hotels

Altadena
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

My husband and I were there in August to set up our daughter for college. When I booked this hotel it was the best price AND it was in waikiki. The room was spacious complete with kitchen. We had a patio that looked out at the Alai Wai canal and we enjoyed our coffee there very morning. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We both loved Carmen, the guest services mgr. She sent us to some great places for local hawaiian food. It was great !!!!! And some places to get good deals on goodies !! The hotel and rooms are clean but not fancy. That was ok with us because we weren't there very much anyway. We loved being so close to everything in Waikiki. We would recommend this hotel for its great price and great location. A win win !!!!!!!

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Spree2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013 via mobile

This small hotel served out purpose just fine. One of the cheapest options I could find online to prebook. Carmen and all the staff are extremely helpful and accommodating. The location is just a few short blocks from everything central to downtown including Duke's, shopping, the beach, etc.

The hotel itself is outdated like most in Waikiki. That's almost a given until you are willing to spend over $400 a night.

We recommend "upgrading" for $35 extra a night through Carmen. We felt it was worth it. She booked everything for us that we planned, was extremely pleasant, have us reduced parking rate and a room upgrade when available. Best to call ahead if time.

Again, for the amount of time spent in the room it more than served the purpose. It isn't the Trump hotel, but it is children friendly.

We would stay here again. No problem.

Mark and Krista.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kihei, Hawaii
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2013

This is a great location as it is down the street from some of the most popular night life and great shopping. The rooms are in good condition and the housekeeping staff as well as the front desk are very friendly and accommodating. GREAT PRICE...GREAT LOCATION..

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CamilleJ314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elk Mountain
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

We loved our stay at this hotel. It doesn't have all the plush of the $300 night hotels but we didn't go to Oahu to stay in the hotel. We went to surf, snorkel and hike. It was very budget friendly and the location was great, in Waikiki, only two blocks from the beach, one block from the bus stop, 2 blocks from a local grocery store, right across the street from the hotel was a car rental place. If you are just looking for a safe, clean place to crash this is perfect. We loved the view from our balcony over the canal with the sunrises and the lush mountains. The room we had was clean with a small kitchen-which saved our family of four a fortune and a nice bathroom tiled shower (perfect for washing off all our beach sand :)) The staff was so very helpful. Our AC didn't work the first night and they came and put in a new unit the very next day. When we couldn't get the DVD player to work, they again brought in a new TV and DVD combo. They seem to be a family run business and I liked the more family oriented feel. They let us store our luggage at the front desk after checkout because our flight didn't leave till 9pm that night. They even gave us two boogie boards for our girls that another guest had left behind to use for the two weeks we were there. My daughters loved the aquatic art work in our room and the giant whale in the front of the hotel. I was afraid it would be too noisy after the reviews I read. We stayed on the 4th floor and didn't find that it any more noisy than a big city would be. We would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ryan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dacono, Colorado, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

We couldn't have asked for a better place to stay than the Holiday Surf Hotel on Waikiki on our ten day vacation. The staff were very helpful, the location was perfect and the accommodations made all the difference in our ability to have our vacation of a lifetime. The kitchenette was perfect! We were able to save so much money on meals that we could afford to visit more tourist sites, buy more souvenirs and enjoy the night life.
There was a lot of street noise, but we didn't want to close the windows, turn on the AC, and miss out on all the sweet smelling fresh air. From our balcony, we could people watch to our heart's content. It was apparent that the hotel was undergoing a rejuvenation, but for the most part our room seemed to be pretty much redone. Should I return to the Oahu, I won't even bother to look for other accommodations, as the Holiday Surf Hotel is a great value for the money and I wouldn't think twice about staying there again!

Room Tip: Top floor, northwest corner room overlooking the canal was the bomb! We had great airflow in the roo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Edward R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Surf Hotel

Property: Holiday Surf Hotel
Address: 2303 Ala Wai Blvd, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-2692
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #79 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Holiday Surf Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 34
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotwire, Booking.com, Priceline and Agoda so you can book your Holiday Surf Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Holiday Surf Honolulu
Holiday Surf Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu

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