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Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort – Oahu – ☆☆☆☆

November 10, 2010

Date of Travel: Novemer 2010

Since United Airlines’ “double elite miles program” has not yet been released, an occasional trip to Hawaii or perhaps New York is annoyingly imperative to maintain our coveted ‘elite status’. Until the requisite portion of qualifying miles is achieved, we have no choice but to take to the “friendly skies” with no apparent plans in mind (that’s an entirely separate story in itself). On a whim we decided to grace Honolulu with our fabulous presence for one enchanted evening and return the next day.

I wasn’t expecting too much of the 3 star accommodation we had secured on Expedia, but to my great surprise, the newly renovated (and under new management) Holiday Inn Beachcomber Waikiki offered an enjoyably comfortable experience. The building has clearly been operational since long before my physical existence, but it has been maintained beautifully and all of the new fixtures and furnishings are aesthetically and functionally pleasing. For $150 a night, this accommodation is reasonably priced for its current condition and close proximity to Waikiki Beach.

Right outside of the hotel is a bustling street with shops and restaurants such as Apple, LeSportsac, ABC Store, UGG, Cheesecake Factory, Bally, Bebe, and many, many more. In addition to the mainstream retail stores, you can also fulfill your touristy souvenir quota by visiting the International Market also located directly below the hotel.

Before heading back to get some sleep, we sat down at Doraku Sushi Restaurant for a quick bite to eat. The kimchi, edamame,sautéed vegetables and avocado roll (rice on outside w/ sesame seeds of course) were all pretty decent. Every staff member was exceptionally friendly and attentive.

Our hotel room was on the 3rd floor, so in the evening we broke out our trusty earplugs to achieve a relatively acceptable sleep worthy ambiance. In addition to the street noise, there is one of those cheesy Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville bars directly beneath the hotel.. so that brought in a few late night annoyances as well, but as previously mentioned, once the earplugs are inserted you should be fine. The walls are extremely thin and the front door doesn’t completely seal at the bottom, so we were lucky to have had docile neighbors. Had there been any late night commotion, it most certainly wouldn’t have gone unnoticed.

For breakfast we walked across the street to the Moana Surfrider Westin Resort & Spa. Menu prices are pretty average for a resort of its level ($28 full buffet or $21 for a basic a la carte omelette). Our ocean front table made for an enjoyably sedate atmosphere with views of a turquoise Pacific littered with sunbathing vacationers and distant paddle boarders.

Bad Idea

From Honolulu airport we had arranged to take the Robert’s Hawaii shuttle bus to and from our hotel for a total of $15 round trip per person. Please do not make this same mistake. This shuttle stopped at every imaginable hotel (keeping in mind that our hotel just happened to be its last stop). We left the airport at 7pm and didn’t arrive to our hotel until 8:10pm.. if we were to have gone direct it wouldn’t have been more than 15 minutes. On the way back to HNL, it took 1 hour and 20 minutes to arrive due to some passengers from other hotels not being ready at their appointed pick-up time. Everyone on the bus was panicking about missing their flight. We just barely made it solely because of our ability to bypass the lines at check-in, security and boarding. It’s worth a few extra bucks to take a cab instead of risking a late arrival to the airport.

*Read a review of another hotel in this area here.

***My iphone pictures are pretty bad, I should have brought my camera!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Lost in France permalink
    November 11, 2010 2:29 am

    Looks very pleasent, love the logic behind just hopping over to Honolulu just keep up the air miles.

    So having not been to Honolulu I picture Waikiki beach as being great, so the fact that the hotel is close to it, must be a real plus

    • November 11, 2010 10:42 am

      You’re right, this hotel is in a great location.. I was impressed (and thats never easy!;^)

      It’s perfect for somebody who doesn’t want to spend enormous amounts of money on an ocean front resort property. Personally I have never been a huge fan of this island (due to its touristy vibe and overpopulation), however, it was fun for the few short hours that we were there. Also, (change of subject) the surf break at Waikiki requires seemingly endless paddling to reach the surf break, so I’m not sure why people like to surf there. The ocean is pretty to look at though 🙂

  2. November 11, 2010 11:51 am

    I wouldn’t have expected to find a decent hotel in Hawaii for $150 a night. Maybe we’ll add it to our (long) list of places to visit. But I’d need more than one night to make it worth dealing with airports:

    “We just barely made it solely because of our ability to bypass the lines at check-in, security and boarding.”

    How did you do that? Maybe you could do a post on airport survival tips, if you haven’t already.

  3. November 11, 2010 3:36 pm

    I wish that I didn’t have to deal with airports as much too. In order to maintain our 1K (elite status with United) we have to fly 100,000 qualifying miles each year. This status gives us priority gold airport access (most, not all airports) to skip to the front of the line under most circumstances.. 1K status also allows us to get unlimited free domestic upgrades to business or first among many other advantages. So you can see why we’re so adamant about staying 1K.

    United is getting a little arrogant though now that they have merged with Continental, so many of our seating upgrades now come with a ludicrously excessive co-pay. I should elaborate on that (in blog form) at some point too.

    Sometimes we accumulate enough miles without having to inconvenience ourselves, but this year we booked a trip with award miles (to Australia and New Zealand) that did not offer ‘qualifying elite miles’ toward our status. Because of this we have to do random trips (like this one) to make up for the inadequacy. So in essence, we fly far more than 100,000 miles per year yet we’re still forced to take unnecessary trips. Sounds crazy but it ends up saving money in the long run 🙂 (..sorry for that novel of a comment)

  4. December 8, 2010 11:19 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful information..I really like your post..The place is outstanding..I love it..Just wondering to know is there any special discounts for the people who come in group..We are around 20 people including 4 kids..

    • December 9, 2010 4:16 am

      Hi from Copenhagen! Thanks for reading. To inquire about group rates, contact Holiday Inn reservations directly.. I’m sure you’ll easily be able to find the phone number online 🙂 Have a great day!

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  1. Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio – Oahu – ☆☆☆☆ « Heather Atkins' Travel Blog

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