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