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.
- 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