Video | Ilikai Hotel & Suites – Waikiki Beach – Honolulu, HI
The Room(s): It’s like visiting your cool grandparent’s Waikiki Beach winter timeshare. If that visualization doesn’t help then you might have gathered from the video that the room’s furnishings are slightly dated and the room is a bit tired. Decor aside, the space is at the very least functional. A good sized living area and full kitchen make it great for longer trips and family travel, particularly if you’re on a budget and choose to eat-in. The washroom is pretty bland but serves it’s purpose…again, underwhelming. There’s wired internet access but it ties you to the small desk area. On a leisure trip this might not be a huge disadvantage but if you’re like me, you’re always wanting to type something so this makes it difficult.
Service: Front desk staff was very friendly…at least I think they were. I had my eye on a nearby TV screen repeating the shot of Jack Lord in the opening to the original Hawaii 5-0 so they didn’t have my full attention. Door staff , Concierge and other hotel staff were perfectly courteous.
Perks: Nothing extra here except the natural benefits of being close to the beach …(Note that I didn’t say “on” the beach). The neighboring Hilton has the prime beach area that you’re more than welcome to use. There’s also a small lagoon-like thing to swim in if you’re afraid of large bodies of water…or sharks.
Location: This is why you stay here. For the money the location is just about right. A short walk out the back of the hotel and you’re on the beach and not far from the little touristy village attached to the neighboring Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Lobby: The lobby is large, open but just as dated as the rooms. Not in a cool Hawaiian retro-style, but more of a “we remodeled in the mid-90s” thing.
Overall: This is a hotel that should embrace it’s long past but sticks to it’s more recent past. If they put me in charge (which they shouldn’t), I’d throw some retro furniture in the rooms and lobby and litter the place with cardboard cutouts of hula dancers everywhere (or real ones). It seems that management doesn’t share my passion for kitsch so it retains it’s moderately priced family hotel chic that shares it’s hallways with smelly condo owners. The rooms are certainly habitable though, unless you’re sickened by Bush Administration (the first one) era decor.
Rating: 2 Hops (out of 5)
The Deal-How I got it: This was part of a package from Delta Vacations and still seems like our preferred location as other choices seem to be a little further off the beach. However, there are other hotels in this class (3 star) to choose from that might provide a better balance of style and location. This was paired up with a Delta flight aboard an Airbus 330, although it appears the airline has switched up the type of aircraft it uses to Hawaii since my visit.