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“A Cattle Car That's Not for Families”

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Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra
Ranked #54 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
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jbhb
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Cattle Car That's Not for Families”
Reviewed July 20, 2014

If you are here on business and don't care about the beach, this might work for you. If you are a family, don't consider it. The closest beach is Ala Moana Beach Park and it's not family-friendly. If you feel like giving your kid a crash course in why people are homeless, or why some people yell at their kids incessantly threatening to smack them, that's your beach. The adjacent bus stop that takes you to Waikiki is usually taken up by homeless people sleeping on the benches. There are strip clubs right behind the hotel. I understand Honolulu has a homeless problem and I totally empathize as I don't know the right solution, but it's not where I want to take my family on vacation. If you just want to come and shop at the adjacent Ala Moana mall, the location is perfect.

Regarding the hotel, it's a cattle car. They try to cram as many people in as possible. They don't have enough elevators nor do they have enough parking. People park illegally all over the parking garage as there aren't enough spaces because the hotel crams guests in like a cattle car. The hotel hosted a ton of military for RIMPAC and there was no additional security. It felt very vulnerable. Housekeeping was mostly fine but didn't replace sugar or Sweet & Low for coffee for 3 days. Only 1 pack of coffee for 2 adult guests per day. Laundry facilities are ancient and they don't have nearly enough considering how many long term guests they have. Rooms are comfortable and have fridge and microwave, but sheets are not always clean. One pair seemed to have a mud stain that never came out in wash. There are other options. Check Hotwire and Priceline and you'll get a better hotel at the same rate.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank jbhb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ron T, Manager at Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Dear Jbhb,
Pleae accept my apology for the hotel not meeting your expectations during your family visit to the island. I wish that we would have been able to meet all of your needs as a visitor to Hawaii. Location seems to have been an issue with your visit and hope that Hawaii would be more desirable if Waikiki was what you were expecting on your vacation. Even if we were not able to meet your demands, I am sure that there is a hotel on Oahu that would be more suitable to you and your family.

Mahalo and Aloha.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kwajaleinns, null, United States
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2014

I have stayed here at least 4 times in the last 5 years with my most recent stay in June of 2013.

First I have to say that I love the location of this hotel for one night stays on my way through Hawaii back to my home island in Kwajalein Atoll. Mostly becuase it is right next to the mall, and a few blocks from Walmart or any other shopping you may need. Kwajalein does not have a lot of variety, so getting some groceries from the store in the mall or Walmart is great.

Second, there is a price disparity between what is offered at this hotel based on how you booked your stay. There are a lot of rooms that are owned not by the hotel but by other people who then rent them out at different prices. Those rooms when booked through sites like Priceline or Hotels.com are normally the ones owned by other people and not the hotel. This makes a differance in your quality of stay. If the person who owns the room does not hire someone to clean it on a regular basis you may not find it clean, and the one time I did rent the "condo" it had a roach there to great me. These rooms often rent for about $170 a night. And any diparities or uncleanliness you find in the room the hotel has nothing to do with it and will not help you.

Third if you do book from the hotel website I recomend the Wakiki tower. This is the taller tower and the elevators to access it are right in the hotel loby next to the front desk. If you book the Kona tower it may be cheaper around $180-$210 per night but you have to drag your suite case across carpeting for almost 50 yards or more in order to get to the Kona tower elevators. I hate doing this because my suitecase is often heavy and gets stuck in the carpeting or drags considerably, so it is like pulling a 50 pound weight instead of rolling it.

Honestly the hotels rooms owned by the hotel are clean and quite and I do not have a single complaint about those features. The thing that I do not find pleasent is the sticker price. The Waikiki tower rooms range from $190 to over $300 dollars. There are a lot of cheaper hotels that have the same quality rooms for less. If you stay here it is really just for the location.

All of my prices mentioned are before taxes and fees.

One other thing. They try to sell you on the inclusion of breakfast at their cafe, but I have yet to eat there even though I had the tickets. The food may be fine, but the line in the morning for breakfast is so long that it could take an hour before you get to the door. I have waited at least 45 minutes and gotten close but gave up when i was told it would still be a 20 minute wait. It was faster and perhaps better to eat at a local restaurant.

Okay a final note: This hotel is used for airline delays and the pilots and crew. So you may have a nice quite hotel one night and a very busy and disgruntaled group of travelers the next due to some flight delay that caused the airline to give them a hotel voucher. This may make your wait in the loby's line rather long but if you avoid the loby and go out through the ramp to the mall you can avoid the lines. I also recomend calling the front desk instead of going down there durring these occations if you need something.

Room Tip: Rooms in the Waikiki Tower are better than the others and personally I enjoy a mountain view instead...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Crystal D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
phoenix
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2014

The hotel is adequate, near a mall, not far to walk to places on Waikiki, but the service gets on one's nerves! I travel a lot and stay at many of the budget chain hotels for work. The service at most of those is superior to what you get here. We checked out after three days and found something else because it wasn't the slightest big relaxing. My key wouldn't work, which is the only way to get on the elevator. I went to the front and found a line with 12 people waiting to check in. So, i asked the concierge if she could just help me reprogram my key so i could go to my room. "No, you have to wait in line." Really? So, I asked one of the other people at the front desk. "No, you have to wait in line." I gave up after 20 minutes of fuming, woke up my significant other, and had him come down and get me. When i finally did get my key reprogrammed, she told me i had probably put it next to my phone. Really? I know better. Upon check out, we were charged an "upgrade fee" which we had not asked for. (If you do have to stay there, don't get a "mountain view". It's really a rooftop view of a not so great neighborhood.) When i told her we had not requested an upgrade, she said, well, i'm going to have to talk to my manager. Her manager was really kind enough to take it off our bill, since we had not asked for it. Not once, was a "sorry" heard. There's lots of other good options. I encourage you to find one.

Room Tip: get a lower floor or you will spend your time waiting for elevators. and stay away from "mounta...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
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Helpful?
5 Thank cmaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2014

We overnighted at Ala Moana while flying Hawaiian Airlines from PDX back to SYD. We checked in about 2.30pm, avoiding the 3pm rush in evidence when we went back to reception to get our second door keycard enabled. When we got served, the rather snotty reception member immediately said "you must have had it near a phone" which was ridiculous and wrong, both had been the only things in my shirt top pocket. One card did not work from the get go, trying to get to our floor in the elevators, or opening the room door. So our first impression was pretty negative.

The room was a king bed high floor with views, and that was fine thought the entire building is showing its age and was just adequate. An annoying aspect was that while the rooms have a microwave and small fridge, they are devoid of any glassware, plates, cutlery, no bottle opener, nothing. Housekeeping did deliver 2 wine glasses on request, but we had to buy a corkscrew/bottle opener with a bottle of wine over at the nearby shops.

Overall our description of the hotel is "just adequate", the king bed fine and shower good to use, a small but functional balcony - with an exhortation that smoking anywhere including the balcony would incur a $200 cleaning fee. But don't expect anything extra like much friendliness or flexibility from the staff, and our second encounter with reception was memorably bad.

One final plus is the little shop, quite hidden on the lobby level, which sells lots of nibbles and drinks, fruit and all sorts of bits and pieces for travellers, and is staffed by the most friendly and helpful staff. We wish we had found it earlier in our stay.

Room Tip: Go as high as you can afford, with king bed if you want.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank wabster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2014

The hotel itself is ok for the price, our room is a bit older but clean and the location is a bit further away from the beach as advertised. It is a decent place to stay during a conference, not so much for a vacation.

However, we had a very bad experience with the staff at the reception. My wife asked for a wifi password in the lobby and was treated like an intruder by the reception staff, who wanted her to show her ID and then first refused to give the password because the room is not registered under my wife's name. A friend had a similar experience where he was told that it is was own fault that his key card was deactivated since he must have put it too close to his mobile phone.

The customer is apparently not always right in the Ala Moana Hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MT031981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2014

A guide-book essential (from a company that rhymes with Hodor, for you Game of Thrones’ fans) ranks this a best bet for moderate lodging and Hawaii Magazine readers named this a top budget pick for 2014. I would happily return, despite a very rough start. We waited an aggravating half an hour to check in. (When I waited seven minutes this spring at the Marriott in Baltimore because the computer was down, I received a hand written note of apology and chocolate bars, but I digress.) Then, for the three of us, we were given a skanky, small room, replete with someone else’s hair on the pillow of the only bed, a double, with views into the apartment complex a few feet away. In my jet lagged and near-tears state, it dawned on me that we had not been give the correct room in the Tower that we had reserved. When they reassigned us, what a world of difference! The room was clean, spacious, nicely appointed in contemporary Hawaiian décor, and best of all, had a spectacular 180 degree view of downtown Honolulu from mauka to makai (mountain to sea) with a glimpse of Diamondhead in the background. Having coffee on our upper floor balcony each morning was sheer delight. Honestly, that was the most schizophrenic hotel experience I have ever had. Whatever you do, reserve and then insist upon a room in the Tower. Finally, the location is hard to beat—away from the sheer density of tourists on Waikiki (but located at its northern end near the yacht club) and next to the splendid Ala Moana open air shopping mall with its restaurants, wonderful Foodland for groceries, and $4 Mai Tais at the rooftop bar (aptly named Mai Tais) on Mahalo Mondays (with terrific live music and good pupus as well!) The crowd next door shopping is decidedly tony and international, so it is also a blast for people watching. Parking in the hotel’s underground lot is probably as cheap and convenient as it is likely to get in downtown.

Room Tip: Tower ONLY (ignore at your real peril), upper floor for best views! Tower rooms are clean, spacious...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ProfLuvCruzin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2014

I stayed at the Ala Moana Hotel simply because I attended a conference held here. I did not have many expectations before leaving home, but I did read some reviews just to get an idea. I know hotels in the USA are very different than hotels back home when it comes to service. You just get what you paid for, and dont get the extra friendliness from hotel staff. I wont say that this was a great hotel, but I have nothing to complain either. For me, this was just a place to sleep over. The hotel is close to the shopping area, with a bridge connecting to the Ala Moana Center. Lots of eating places nearby. And since I like walking a lot, I enjoyed the 15-20 minute walk to Waikiki, you can also take the Waikiki trolley at the mall ($2 one way, or even better get a $38 one-day pass form4 different bus routes). I read some reviews mentioning that the rooms at Kona Tower were small, but I don't think that was a big problem for me. If I had to travel to Honolulu again for a conference or business-related trip, I would probably stay here again, although I would be open to other options, if any.

Room Tip: If you are an international traveller arriving at Honolulu in the early morning, do please note that...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Danny-Yatim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AMHGM, Manager at Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra, responded to this review, June 30, 2014
Mahalo for staying with us and we hope you will return in the future. As to shopping, there will be a number of exciting new stores opening shortly. We will sy a hui hou!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra

Property: Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra
Address: 410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96814-4730
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #54 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra 3*
Number of rooms: 1169
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ala Moana Hotel By Mantra Hawaii/Honolulu
Hotel Ala Moana
Ala Moana Honolulu

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