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“Unpleasant way to start a vacation”

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Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki
Ranked #64 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Reviewed March 17, 2014

My husband and I booked our hotel stay with the Aqua Aloha Surf on 10/6/13 for a stay from 2/28/14-3/7/14. We were very excited about our stay and planned and reserved many activities, restaurants and car rental based on our hotel location.

When we arrived at the Aqua Aloha Surf from an over 6 hour flight from Arizona and were told that they did not have a room for us due to over booking, we were in a huge state of shock. For one, we are both seasoned travelers and luckily have never, ever experienced this and secondly, we never received any advance notice of this by either email or phone. The front desk staff and manager did their job and tried be nice, however it left us with a very uneasy feeling to start our vacation off this way.

In any case, we were given a box of chocolates and told that they reserved a room for us at the Luana hotel located on Kalakaua. Since neither my husband nor myself have ever been to Honolulu, we had no idea what this meant location wise for everything we had planned. However, at this point based on what the people at the hotel were telling us, we hoped to be fine with all we had planned. They paid for our cab and off we went to the Luana, which we knew nothing about.

The front desk staff at the Aqua Aloha Surf told us that the Luana was a better caliber of hotel and we would find it to be an even better stay. So, we arrived at the Luana and were greeted by the front desk. Upon our arrival it became apparent that the staff at the Aqua Aloha Surf only partially notified the front desk at the Luana and so we the displaced travelers, who booked our room almost 5 months before had to go over with the front desk at the Luana our rate, the fact that the Aqua Aloha Surf already charged us for our first night and that they would only be responsible for charging us for 6 nights. We had to review the rate we were going to pay at the Aqua Aloha Surf as it was less than what they were charging at the Luana. We also had to discuss parking fees as we would be renting a car (5 minutes from the Aqua Aloha Surf, now 15 minutes from the Luana) in a few days and we were planning on paying for the parking fees that the Aqua Aloha Surf charged and not what the Luana Charges. We also were going to be given some free breakfast vouchers. This was nice, however, we had not planned to eat there but even that was a fiasco. Initially they showed only one person would be in our room, another error??? So they did not want to give us vouchers for more than 1 person and we would have to check back. We did not need or want them, but if we did, we would then have to waste more time explaining this to the front desk and taking up more of our precious vacation time. When I expressed this to the girl at the front desk, she responded in a condescending manner.

Our room was not ready when we arrived but when it was we were fine with the room. It was simple but comfortable and we chose to put all of the aggravation behind us and enjoy our vacation. After returning and speaking to many people in the lodging business, I feel we should have been given a lot more for our inconvenience. The story that the Luana is a much higher scale hotel is all well and good, but they did not offer us anything more than we were going to get at the Aqua Aloha Surf as far as amenities go. I believe we should have been comped a night or upgraded on our room at the very least for this huge inconvenience.

In the end I learned a huge lesson, even if you book your hotel well in advance, don’t always expect it to be yours until you arrive. I love to plan our vacations so it won’t stop me from planning them as I do, but at least now I know that this can happen. I am hopeful though it never will again because it started out our vacation in a very unpleasant way.

Room Tip: You may or may not have a room at this hotel even if you book it way in advance
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Service
3  Thank love2traveltogether
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaSurfHotelMgr, General Manager at Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2014

Aloha "love2traveltogether",
I apologize for having to relocate you to our sister property, the Luana. After traveling all the way here and finally arriving at the Aloha Surf, it must have been very disconcerting to be told we would need to move you to another hotel. I do appreciate you sharing your experience. Feedback is how we improve. Obviously we could have done a much better job at handling this situation. I have shared your comments with my team to be used to help us grow and improve. If you would contact me directly via email at tclark@aquaresorts.com I would like to discuss this situation in more detail with you.
Mahalo and Aloha,
Tim Clark
General Manager

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Reviewed March 16, 2014

I am writing this for my 91 year old parents. They have stayed at this hotel every year for the past 8 years. They were here from Jan 20 to March 4th. They are not the only guests that keep coming back. There are many repeaters and lots of new guests. Families are here as well as couples and single people. The guest rooms are clean and comfortable. There is a mini fridge and a microwave. The open air lobby has many chairs to sit on and meet your friends or just relax on. The breakfast has many choices which is nice. The pool area is separate and in the sun. The staff is wonderful. They are very attentive and caring. They know my whole family and every guest that comes they take and interest in. I would especially like to thank Lance, Douglas, Nolan and Helene who take such great care of them.The hotel gives their guests beach chairs and towels to take to the beach. The location in away from the crowds and about three blocks from the beach. The Bus is a block away and there is an ABC store on the corner. It is a really nice place to stay in a great location.

Room Tip: A higher floor has a better view.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
2  Thank simomx4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaSurfHotelMgr, General Manager at Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Aloha "Simomx4",
Thank you for taking the time to share the experience of your parents here on Tripadvisor. Your Mom and Dad have become part of our Aloha Surf Ohana (Family) We look forward to their visit every year. They are such positive and charismatic characters. We really enjoy them. Your Dad is a proud veteran of WWII, having served with the crew of the USS Massachusetts. A great Battleship that served in the Atlantic. We thank him for his sacrifice and service to our country. It is indeed an honor to know him and your Mom.
We hope to welcome them back for many years to come. We wish them good health and happiness.
Mahalo and Aloha,
Tim Clark
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

I went with a friend and got a great deal with the flight and hotel combined. We opted for a room with only 2 single beds and no balcony. When we arrived, we were upgraded to one single, one double and a pull out couch plus a balcony.

Loved this hotel.We also got breakfast every morning, Try the pancakes, they are great. A little older and not right at the beach, but what is 2 blocks to walk?

The staff was great (loved Douglas).

Only problem was I had a water bottle go missing from our room. I had bought it especially for this trip. It was collapsible and would fold up when not in use. I had left it with water at the side of the kitchen sink and was going to empty it when I found it was missing. I reported it, but they seemed to think I had lost it, but it did go missing out of my room?

I would stay here again, but would lock up my belongings.

Room Tip: 801 was great, but a little noisy as is on the street side and the apartments down the street are lo...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cathy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaSurfHotelMgr, General Manager at Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2014

Aloha "Cathy F",
Mahalo for staying with us here at the Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki. I am glad you enjoyed your time with us. Thank you for mentioning our staff and Douglas. He is great. I am sorry about your water bottle going missing. I have shared your comments with our team members in our ongoing effort to grow and improve. We hope to welcome you back again soon.
Mahalo and Aloha,
Tim Clark
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

We were there in late February. The room is kinda small but its adequate, you are there for the beach not the room. The breakfast was not anything great but its adequate too. No wifi in rooms, they give you a cable to plug into a port. Wifi in the lobby only. Waikiki area is very busy so you do get a fair amount of traffic noise, it didn't bother me though. I will say the staff was very friendly and helpful, exceeded my expectations. Its a basic hotel about 3 blocks from the beach so it fit my needs just fine

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Curt48187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaSurfHotelMgr, General Manager at Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2014

Aloha "Curt48187",
Mahalo for staying with us here at the Aqua Aloha Surf. I am glad you enjoyed your time with us.
We hope you will come back and visit us again soon.
Mahalo and Aloha,
Tim Clark
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

I was quite happy with the location, condition and friendly staff. Don't think it can be beat in Waikiki for the price. The hotel seems to have been recently updated. Small room but more than sufficient, wonderful bed and good clean furnishings. I didn't have the breakfast. Only negative is the poor wifi in the lobby. I hope that Tim gives that a boost or else stop calling it an amenity. It's a bargain and it's safe and clean.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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1  Thank dale d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaSurfHotelMgr, General Manager at Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2014

Aloha "dale d",
Mahalo for staying with us here at the Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki. I appreciate you sharing your experience here on tripadvisor. we hope to welcome you back again soon.
Mahalo and Aloha,
Tim Clark
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014

We have just returned from our trip 26th Feb and absolutely had a great time!!! We loved the location where we stayed close walk to beach, shops and everything really no need to hire a car. Pick up point for our tours were very close just around the block.

Hubby and I were impressed by the cleanliness of our room the cleaners were great! we would sleep in or leave our room late but would always come to find our room had been clean and bed made. My previous experience in hotels that our rooms will not be cleaned if we will still in our rooms before lunch. Staff were very friendly and helpful too.

We definitely visit again and recommend this hotel to others.

We loved it there that we are already planning our second trip next year early 2016.

Mahalo
Angela & Ulusese :)

Stayed: February 2014
1  Thank Angela A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaSurfHotelMgr, General Manager at Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

Aloha "Angela A",
Mahalo for staying with us here at the Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki. I am so glad you enjoyed your time with us.
We look forward to welcoming you back again in 2016!
Mahalo and Aloha,
Tim Clark
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2014

We found this hotel clean, safe, and great for being in Waikiki. We were very happy with the complimentary breakfast.....fluffy pancakes, good coffee, hard boiled eggs, oranges, cereal,
toast, etc. Being a little further from the beach, it was quieter and we enjoyed our morning walks along the Ala Wai Canal.I feel our room needed updating ........very dated shower stall and bathroom and a chair and small table would be nice.Otherwise, it was fine for us because we were
out for most of the day. We were on the 4th floor and I do believe they are renovating floors from the top down. Another nice feature was complimentary beach chairs and towels available at the front desk. The staff was friendly and helpful. If you travel like us and enjoy the sights, this hotel may be all you want and need.

Room Tip: Try booking a higher floor, we tried to change, but it was too busy. Also book a room with a lanai...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank blesstotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaSurfHotelMgr, General Manager at Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2014

Aloha "blesstotravel",
Mahalo for staying with us here at the Aloha Surf. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience here on tripadvisor. I am glad you enjoyed your time with us.
We hope you come back soon.
Mahalo and Aloha,
Tim Clark
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki

Address: 444 Kanekapolei Street, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-3099
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #64 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Price Range: $126 - $246 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki 2.5*
Number of rooms: 202
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki, one of Waikiki's most popular hotels, is a boutique hotel located 2 blocks to the beach and steps from world class dining and shopping. The large, open air lobby connects to a fitness area and Internet cafe as well as a relaxing pool area with cabanas and barbeque grill lit by tiki torches every evening. Continental breakfast is served complimentary daily for bookings made directly through Aqua. With our hospitality fee, Aqua Aloha Surf allows guests to enjoy many hotel services and activities without having to incur miscellaneous charges. These amenities include WiFi Interent throughout the hotel and in guest rooms, DVDNow (Unlimited movies & PS3 games), Beach Towels and Chair rentals, Waikiki Shuttle Service, Daily Newspaper, In Room Coffee, In Room Safe, Local & Toll-Free Calls, Water in Lobby, and a Weekly Manager's Reception. In addition, Aloha Aqua Surf guest rooms offer AquaBLISS pillow top beds, LCD TV's, mini-refrigerator, a microwave, coffeemaker and safe. Select accommodations offer views of the magical Koolau Mountain range and Ala Wai Golf Course. Self Parking is $25 daily. Note: Oversized vehicles will not fit in the hotel parking garage. If you have what you believe may be an oversized vehicle, please call the hotel to confirm whether the garage can accommodate the vehicle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki Hotel Honolulu
Aqua Aloha Surf Honolulu
Aloha Surf Hotel
Aqua Aloha Surf Hotel
Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki Hawaii/Honolulu

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