This was our 3rd stay at the Marriott Waikiki over the years. We have family in Honolulu so we typically visit during the summer and for Xmas/New Years.
HOTEL LOCATION( rating of 4 out of 5 stars): The hotel provides for a convenient location at the end of Waikiki with beach access across the street(Kalakaua Ave). The easy access to Kapahulu Ave also gets us out of Waikiki quickly without having to deal with the traffic on Kalakaua Ave down Waikiki.
ROOM QUALITY and ROOM SERVICE(4): The rooms are clean and beds are comfortable... consistent with Marriott standards. We typically received the extra towels requested each day. The direct beach view was a nice bonus this time. Last time they called it a premium ocean view room but our balcony faced the parking lot... if you looked towards to left you at an angle the ocean was visible. That's a stretch for what I'd call an ocean view room.
Parking and Valet (3): Expensive parking whether you self park or Valet so we went with valet for a little more. The valet service got our car promptly and some would open our doors and help us but others where just comfortable waiting for us to retrieve our cars keys from them.
HOTEL RESTUARANT (1)
Avoid the in-house restaurant... I believe it's called the Kuhio Beach Grill. Way too pricey for brunch, bad food, and poor service. Scrambled eggs where cold... how do you mess up scrambled eggs. We had to ask for coffee three times before getting serviced. We only tried them out because they offer a 30% of promo for Xmas bunch but save your money and go somewhere else like Eggs and Things or for half the price at Zippys. For a little more you can go to John Dominis for a real Brunch on Sunday... yum.
Sansei is good if you can get in. We waited outside for 30mins before they open the doors in the late afternoon only to be told that they were at capacity already. Imagine waiting for a Disneyland ride for 30mins only to be told that you can't go on the ride after all. Why even bother. We ended up at Uncle Bo's which is less than a mile down Kapahulu Ave. Zero wait time at 5pm, attentive service, great food, and fun for a family gathering with teenagers to seniors.
AMENITIES NEARBY (4 with wheels; 3 w/o wheels):
Starbucks is around the corner if you need some Java to start off the morning.
Municipal Golf Course only a few blocks away across the Ala Wai Canal. Decent 18 holes and low cost... ~$50 greens fee, carts available, a few water hazards and some sand traps. Good for an afternoon that's easy on the pocket book. Reserve a tee time weeks ahead if possible and make sure you show up on time. They operate like Japan Rail... on time and punctual.
Super Market - Safeway is a mile down Kapahulu Ave. Stock up on water, food, and sun tan lotion there if you have wheels. We try to avoid the pricey ABC stores near by on Kalakaua Ave.
When I stayed there, Internet cost was $30/day (before free for platinum). I would go to the Starbucks, enjoy a coffee drink and use the Internet for free. The Starbucks was close and convenient. I was not as lucky with a room. I had a Diamond Head view as opposed to an ocean. I tried the breakfast because of a coupon and even using it, it was too expensive. What I got was acceptable but nothing to brag about.
We just returned from 9 days at the Waikiki Marriott. We had a fantastic time. Great room in the Paoakalani Tower (#2372), partial ocean view on the 23rd floor. In truth, it was a great view of the city (at night) Diamond Head and the ocean. The balcony was my little bit of heaven. We ate 3 times at the Moana Terrace by the K Tower pool and it was very good. Nightly entertainment was a plus. I can only say good things about this resort. From the moment we were attended to by Andres (fantastic!) to our late check-out, this vacation was perfect.
We rented a car two days and saw the rest of the island. Waikiki is a bit noisy, so if you're looking for peace and quiet, go to Ko Olina or North Shore.
View from our balcony - close up. I miss it!
Where might I find your report??
Funny you should mention the weather! We've lost our breezes, and are now experiencing abnormally cold weather... granted abnormally cold means high 50's to low 60's at night! Yesterday was quite gloomy, so I'm hoping the weather will stay clear for iestrikesback!
But yes, next time you come back, you should give Ihilani out in Ko Olina a try
We're still trying to get rid of the snow here in northern Michigan. There's been quite a bit of melt - but one day might be warm in the high 30's and the next day we'll get a couple inches of snow. AARGH! People here have that 'deer in the headlights/Jack from the Shining' look about them. We need spring and soon!
Wish I was back in Hawaii!!
Now that is some of the whitest sand I have ever seen!
I'd definitely stay at the JW Ihilani, it's sure away from the bustle of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. We had a great time enjoying the walk along the ocean and the lagoons, lovely hotel and has Roy's just across the street with some yummy happy hour food/drinks.
I'll see if I can find a few pictures later.
IAHFLYR, I love the JW Marriott Ihilani too! And the area is only getting better. Aulani added more dining options, and new restaurants are opening across the street. One recently opened that intend to check out during our Aulani stay over Memorial Day weekend: Monkeypod Kitchen Restaurant in Wailea, Maui and Ko' Olina, Oahu
Funny you should say that as I am searching flights right now for sometime next year. Even though we love Maui and Kauai, we did have a great time at Ihilani. Finding the right flight with this new United is tricky to make sure we get first crack at using miles and hopefully the won't swap out the good passenger aircraft for the ones I try to avoid.
Don't feel bad! I'm the evil one posting pictures of beautiful Hawaii while you folks freeze!
If it makes you feel any better, today's weather isn't so great. Gloomy and VOGGY... add to that a very large influx of box jellyfish (very painful if stung) on our southerly shores and dangerous surf on the north shores, and you've got conditions that'll definitely keep you away from the beaches!
Have a great weekend Mary!
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate our tourists! The funny thing about weather in Hawaii is, bad as it may seem, there's always a flip side to it. Dangerous surf may mean no swimming, but it is absolutely breathtaking! VOG may not be nice during the day, but a VOG sunset is simply amazing! All the vibrant reds and oranges... And rain means, of course, that you get to see our famous rainbows.
The only thing that really is negative is the jellyfish influx.
Those darn jellyfish. My daughter stepped on one in Florida when she was little. Painful!!
We still have snow and cold here - this is insane weather even for us! It was 22 degrees this morning when I drove into work. AAARGH!
Talking about those famous rainbows - there was one over Honolulu when we flew in and I saw 4 more in the 8 days we were there. I loved them!! I miss Hawaii but I hope we'll be back!
Thanks Kyle for your wonderful posts about Hawaiian weather - I love it actually!
Yikes! Luckily I haven't been stung yet... though I rarely go to the beach anymore
22 degrees is insane! We went from cold (for us) to constantly muggy weather. It was an unusually cold and wet winter for us, but it seems like things are now warming up!
Hope you'll be back soon Mary! Maybe JW Marriott Ihilani next time?
Thinking of staying at Aulani & JW Ihilani??
Not quite... Gotta get through the wedding first! Been slowly exchanging currency since the rates are pretty good right now. Best rate here that I know of is at DFS Galleria in Waikiki, but they don't have Euros or Pounds unless someone from abroad exchanges, so it's been kind of hard obtaining the amounts I need
Take a look at the link above. sg1974 suggested it in an earlier link. I had already converted dollars into GBP for walking around money thru a trader buddy, so I didn't use this time, but their rates were the closest to matching actual currency traders of any I had seen (again, I didn't use this time, so I'm not aware of transaction costs, but it's worth a look and sg gave it a hearty endorsement and he knows his stuff).
Whereas they're all terrific sources of info on all things UK; Ark's my pub man, Jerrycoin fine dining, and sg the king of monetary value - check it out.
Like you, I have a trip to London coming up, so I've been working on my tube logistics, then after the baseball season, I've got a couple of fall trips and then onto Hawaii, which is truly going to be my relaxation trip, just hangin'. Heck, I'm thinking about using your photos (and writeups) for the guys back home, so I can spend all of my time tossing back a few Kona products; Fire Rock and Big Wave ales and my favorite, Longboard Lagers .
I'm bringing the entire clan, granny, the mrs., and three adults your age and are staying at a private condo in the Wyndham near the CY in Waikiki. I'll track you down in November to see if we can all get together. In the interim, if you think of a nearby Waikiki place that puts on a good hula dance exhibition, please let me know. With what your suggestions Azure and Chef Mavro are going to set me back, a free hula by the local girl scouts sounds ok by me! Thanks
Awesome, sounds like one heck of a schedule! I take it you'll be paying a visit to Kona Brewing Co?
Looks like you got an amazing family vacay in the works! I'm down for a meet up, just let me know! We return from Europe on 11/23, at least that's the plan for now! For free hula, I'd check out Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center and Ala Moana Center. I know both have free hula often, I think Ala Moana even has it daily, though nothing spectacular. Just be sure to check their calendar of events prior to planning a visit to make sure there will be a show that day:
If you need any more dining events and/or want to know something in specific, let me know! Perhaps we can plan a meet up?
Great stuff, exactly what I was looking for. I'm laughing as I type this, because yes, I had looked into Kona, sadly the actual brewery is on the big island, but I will be hitting the Koko Marina Pub (if I could swim across the canal, it's right up University, piece of cake - don't worry, just kidding about the canal). A meet up sounds good. At Thanksgiving give me your new bride's e-mail and I'll write her and ask if you can go!
Thanks for all the help. Mahalo and Ho' omaika'i (I'll save Mele Kalikimaka for the trip and then you can teach me new phrases)
haha, yes it is! At least the Pub is here! There's a Big Aloha brewery on island, but it was attached to Sam Choy's Breakfast Lunch and Crab. Sam Choy's recently closed, so I don't think anyone can go to the brewery anymore... that being said, there is a restaurant in Ko Olina that prides itself on having a huge beer selection too. I'm not much of a beer person to be honest, but I will be checking it out next month for the food!
Man, if you swam in that canal... I'd be surprised to see you come out alive... I kid of course! But it is NASTY... smells weird, and has tons of runoff from all over! Never fish or swim in the Ala Wai... still can't believe they jumped into it for Hawaii Five-0!
Funny you should mention Hawaiian phrases, haha!
Never been to Kona Brewing Co in Koko Marina (don't get out there much) and sadly, Sam Choy's Breakfast Lunch & Crab shut down on March 30th.
I forgot to mention, new Ko Olina place is called Monkeypod Kitchen! Monkeypod Kitchen Restaurant in Wailea, Maui and Ko' Olina, Oahu
I should have a full report of the place done sometime in April after we visit the restaurant during our Memorial Day weekend staycation