This page was initially going to be about all the Waikiki hotels that are not situated directly along the coveted Waikiki Beachfront. With only 16 hotels having unobstructed access to the beach, the vast majority of hotels in Waikiki are located throughout the two or three blocks between the beachfront hotels and the Ala Wai Canal.
In fact, there are so many non-beachfront Waikiki hotels that I couldn’t possibly address them all in one page. Therefore, I’ve divided Waikiki into three geographic portions...
This page is specifically about the Waikiki hotels that are located in the southeast portion of Waikiki, but not directly on the beach. These hotels are closest to Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, and Diamond Head crater. Many have easy access to the widest, most-iconic stretch of Waikiki Beach and the best beginner surfing break.
As a quick reminder… I live on Oahu. So I seldom have any occasion to stay in our many fine Waikiki Hotels. I go to many of them for entertainment, events, and meals; but that’s often the extent of my personal experience at these Hawaii lodging places.
Nevertheless, I can give you unbiased local insight about these various properties and how they might be right (or wrong) for you, based on the type of Hawaii vacationer you are at this point in your life:
1. Bargain Hunter
2. Family Vacationer
3. Dream Vacationer
If you haven’t already done so, you might want to read my introduction to the Hawaii hotels. It will give you a picture of my perspective and explain what I mean by these various types of travlers.Once you’ve figured out which hotels appeal to you, you will still need to carefully research the rooms, rates, and amenities available to you. Read guest reviews and look at the online photos of the various properties before you make your final decision. I’ve found (ad) Hotels.com to be a good resource for that research.
And now, let’s take a look at the off-beach southeast Waikiki hotels…
Like I said… only a handful of Waikiki hotels are located directly on the beach. There are, however, several more that are darned close to the beach (within half-a-block or so and having easy, almost-direct access). In the southeastern portion of Waikiki, these are the almost-beach hotels…
The only thing keeping the Waikiki Resort Hotel off the beach is its size. It is located directly across the street from the main entrance of the Pacific Beach Hotel (which means it’s just as close to the beach); but because this hotel is one-third the size of Pacific Beach, it sits behind the Waikiki Circle Hotel and other properties that occupy the beachfront. This hotel also looks to have spacious rooms with modern furnishings. I’d say this hotel seems well suited for family vacationers and dream vacationers on a limited budget. Additionally – unlike so many other Waikiki hotels – this one has workspaces in the rooms, which might also make it ideal for business travelers (if you happen to be so unlucky).
The only thing separating the Hotel Renew by Aston from the sands of Waikiki Beach is the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. And unlike a few of the low budget Waikiki Beach hotels, this property seems to be modern and classy. With this in mind, I’d say this hotel seems well suited for family vacationers and dream vacationers.
At only half-a-block from the widest expanse of Waikiki Beach and directly across the street from the Honolulu Zoo in Kapiolani Park (with unobstructed views of Diamond Head crater), the location of the Waikiki Grand Hotel is just about as choice as any could be. Unfortunately, the hotel itself hasn’t been looking very grand for several years. However, it has been undergoing renovations for quite a while, and I’d have to agree that they seem needed. The Waikik Grand is managed by the Castle Resorts group; and many (if not all) of the guest rooms include kitchenettes. This hotel is also noteworthy for its popular open-air bar, which overlooks Kapiolani Park (visible on the second floor in this photo). It’s a favorite hang-out for same-sex couples. This Waikiki hotel seems well suited for bargain hunters.
Sitting only one intersection farther from the beach than the Waikiki Grand Hotel, and having the same great views of the Honolulu Zoo, Kapiolani Park, and Diamond Head crater, the Aqua Queen Kapiolani Hotel also occupies one of the best locations in Waikiki. I’ve always liked its outward appearance; and I have to say that I’ve been impressed with several of the properties managed by the Aqua Hospitality group. Unfortunately, the guest rooms look to be on the small side, which might make the Queen Kapiolani a little cramped for family vacationers (unless the kids get a separate room). This hotel seems well suited for bargain hunters; but I wouldn’t exclude dream vacationers on a budget.
One of the nicest Waikiki hotels in the Aqua Hospitality group, the Lotus Honolulu is even closer to the beach than any of the properties discussed above. If it wasn’t for a couple of small vacation rental condos directly on the sand in front of it, this would be a Waikiki beach hotel. It’s also closer to Kapiolani Park and closer to Diamond Head crater. In case you missed it on the map above, it’s the lone hotel all the way at the bottom exactly one kilometer (0.6 miles) from all the others. If you have a family that needs easy access to snacks and fast food restaurants, this probably isn’t the place for your family Hawaii vacation. But if you’re looking for a somewhat secluded writer’s retreat or honeymoon haven, this might just be your dream vacation location.
If you’re looking for Hawaii hotel deals, there are a few to be found in the southeastern portion of Waikiki. Just keep in mind that I’ve classified these as discount Waikiki hotels based exclusively on their published room rates* and not necessarily based on the value you get for your money…
As far as I can tell, the Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel seems to be as inexpensive as it is because the rooms are small. It’s in a great location for mountain views across the Ala Wai Canal and Ala Wai Golf Course; but it’s two to four blocks from the beach (depending on how you count them), so it might not be ideal for families who want to walk their kids down to play in the ocean and sand. If it wasn’t for the fact that this hotel has a fairly nice, family-friendly-looking pool, I’d probably tell you to forget about staying at this place for a family vacation – unless you can afford a second room for the kids. Otherwise, I’d say this Waikiki hotel is best suited for the bargain hunters who are willing to walk a bit to save a bunch.
The way I understand it, the Stay Waikiki used to be a hostel, which has recently been renovated into a trendy little boutique hotel. It’s only a couple of blocks from the beach; and it seems to be well suited to young singles – bargain hunters.
Sorry, this hotel no longer has a website.
First of all: this is NOT to be confused with the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, which is located next to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor in the northwest portion of Waikiki. They are two vastly different Waikiki hotels. That said, I’m going to urge you to look up this hotel’s address using the street view feature in Google Maps. It’s not in a “bad” location, per se; but it does feel like it’s hidden away in a back alley, which might be less comfortable to come home to after dark. But if you’re a bargain hunter, and all you need is a place to keep your bags and get a few hours of sleep, this hotel is situated only two short blocks from the beach and close to the nightlife of central Waikiki.
Check Rates and Availability at the Royal Grove Homepage.
I hate to say it, but it looks like perhaps the “royal” in Royal Grove Hotel has more to do with it being the same basic color as the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach (not affiliated) than with anything being fit for a king. Everything about it looks old. But it does have kitchenettes in many (or perhaps all) of the rooms. It’s three short blocks from the beach and close to central Waikiki. Again, I can only see this place appealing to a bargain hunter.
As far as cheap Waikiki hotels go, I get the impression that the Ewa Hotel Waikiki, which is managed by the Aqua Hospitality group, is one of the nicer discount places. Nothing stands out as being a remarkable value for the price, but nothing makes me want warn you away either. Many, if not all, of the rooms have kitchenettes. It’s located half-a-block from the Honolulu Zoo at Kapiolani Park and 1.5 short blocks from the beach. So, this hotel might be suitable for family vacationers in addition to bargain hunters.
Rounding out the remainder of the southeast Waikiki hotels are several mid-range and boutique properties. If you belong to any of the major chain hotels' frequent guest programs but can’t stay in their Waikiki Beachfront properties, some of these could be your within-brand alternatives. Others just make for a nice place to stay in this portion of Waikiki…
The Aqua Bamboo Waikiki Hotel has been nicely renovated with a contemporary Asian theme; and as far as I know, it has the only hotel swimming pool in Waikiki that’s filled with seawater. Personally, I find seawater much easier on the eyes than typical chlorinated pool water, so I like this unique feature. I also like that many of the rooms have kitchenettes. It’s located three short blocks from Waikiki Beach and is very close to the central part of Waikiki. I’d say this hotel is probably well suited for family vacationers and some bargain hunters.
The Vive Hotel Waikiki has been completely renovated and re-branded as a stylish, new, modern boutique hotel near the central part of Waikiki. It’s also just three short blocks from Waikiki Beach. Because it’s fairly new, I don’t know much else about it; but it looks like it’s probably suitable for family vacationers.
The Aqua Pacific Monarch is another one of those nicely renovated Aqua hotels. It has both studios and suites; and the unique feature here is the rooftop swimming pool – not on top of the parking garage, but way up looking out over all of Waikiki. This property is also just three short blocks from Waikiki beach. Basically, I’d say it looks most appropriate for the family vacationer; but it might also be good for a bargain hunter (depending on when you book).
Honestly, the Hilton Waikiki Beach Prince Kuhio Hotel is exactly what I expect from the Hilton brand of hotels – both in price and amenities. It’s nice and the price reflects that. There’s not much more I can add to that expectation, except to point out that it is located only one block (equivalent of three short blocks) from Waikiki Beach and just a couple blocks from the Honolulu Zoo at Kapiolani Park. This hotel is ideal for all Hilton HHonors members; and it’s probably also suitable for many family vacationers and dream vacationers.
As far as I know, the Waikiki Banyan Hotel is mostly or all suites. That in itself tells me it’s probably best suited for family vacationers. Being next door to the Hilton Prince Kuhio Hotel, it’s also located just one block from the beach and a little less than two blocks to Kapiolani Park.
The Aston Waikiki Sunset is located approximately 4.5 blocks from the beach, which I would consider to be a strike against it for some family vacationers with young children. On the flipside, however, I believe all or most of the rooms are suites, which probably makes this hotel good for family vacationers who want the extra space. I was unable to get a good sampling of room rates*, but this hotel might also be suitable for some bargain hunters.
Unlike so many hotels throughout the U.S. mainland, complimentary breakfast is not commonly offered at most Waikiki hotels. But the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach Hotel stands out as the one Hawaii hotel I know of that does offer this added value to their guests. It also appears to be very modern and classy with spacious guest rooms. It’s located slightly less than one block from the beach and from Kapiolani Park. And even though the sample room rates* I found might suggest this property to be a dream vacation location, I’d think that the good location and added value also make this a great place for family vacationers to stay.
*Sample room rates reported above are in $US and intended only as a snapshot of the rates published directly by the various Waikiki hotels using their online booking tools in March 2014. They are provided exclusively for the purpose of convenient seasonal comparison. Rates are per night for two adults in one standard guest room at the lowest non-promotional price. Rates were obtained for the following dates in 2014: April 15-21, July 15-21, and October 15-21; and rates were also obtained for the following dates in 2015: January 15-21. Rates marked as NA were not available for the requested dates. The rates published here are only samples based on my research on a single day in March 2014. They do not represent a price guarantee or quote to you. You must still obtain you own hotel pricing information based on your booking/travel dates.
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