As I flight attendant, I stay in hundreds of hotels, so I’ll admit, I have high expectations. So I’m always excited to let my fellow travelers in on what I think about the places I’m staying.
Flight Attendant Tip: Don’t forget, if you’re flying to the island (and you probably are), Alaska Airlines has a complimentary Mai Tai service to get you ready for your exotic vacay!
Honolulu, especially the Waikiki Beach area, hosts thousands of tourists every day. Hawaii is an idyllic vacation and I always say that Honolulu is for Hawaii beginners. What do I mean by that? The Hawaiian islands all have unique characteristics that make them special, whether your plan is to venture around volcanos, hike to waterfalls, or lay on the beach with your lover all day long, each Hawaiian island is sure to please. The island of Oahu, has a little something for everyone and is a great starting point for Hawaii newbies. Is it my favorite island? Not by a long shot. Is Honolulu my favorite Hawaiian getaway? No way. Is Honolulu amazing and do I tell everyone to go there? Yes!
Where to Stay and what will it cost me?
An arm and a leg. Sad, but true, almost every hotel in the Waikiki area is expensive year round. That’s because there really is no high and low season for Hawaii. This is because like Paris, Hawaii is always a good idea! Although it’s expensive to stay in Waikiki, I do think it’s important for first time visitors to experience the Waikiki area. This is because it’s easy to navigate on foot. Due to of all the tourists, Waikiki has a lot of the beautiful, sometimes cheesy things that first time visitors look for, whether it’s free hula dancing shows or fire dancers in the park, you’ll never run out of fun things to do. Including hustlers trying to throw fliers into your hands for the tour excursion they’re selling. They’ll promise you it’s the best deal, but be wary. But I digress…onto our featured accommodation.
Ocean view rooms start at a little over $200, unless you get lucky with a crew special (which often are sold out). It’s located right on Kalakaua avenue, which hosts many restaurants, hotels and shops and more importantly, it’s right across from the beach. Even better for families, the beach in front of the Aston Waikiki has a barrier to block the waves, creating a protected ocean pool to swim.
What I liked about the hotel
For the price (because $200 for an ocean view in Waikiki is actually pretty decent), the view is amazing. I love that the room I had on the forward right side of the building had a sweeping view of the entire avenue and beach front. I’ve been centrally located before, facing forward and it’s a gorgeous view, but I think I favor this one. I love that this hotel is located down at the end of the main drag because it’s a little less crowded and a little more quiet. Also, I feel like admitting this is cheesy, but I liked the restaurant/bar at the hotel. It’s an indoor/outdoor tiki bar that faces the ocean so it’s got a great view. It also has fun drinks, yummy food and entertainment in the evening. I would definitely go back to that tiki bar even when I’m not staying there. It’s called Tiki’s Bar and Grill.
The beds and amenities were good/average.
View from my room
What I didn’t like
The pool was very lackluster. Honestly, that’s not a huge deal to me because when I’m in Hawaii I prefer to be on the beach anyway. If you are a pool person, probably pass on this hotel. The pool is a bit old school, small and always filled with kids. Not very many places to lay out in the sun. I didn’t have many complaints about the hotel, but if I had to come up with something else, it’s that it didn’t have a very Hawaiian feel about it. Some hotels in Waikiki go above and beyond with gorgeous fragrant flora and pineapple juice upon arrival and this hotel didn’t really give me that same welcome to Hawaii feel. The view from the balcony was great, but I guess I should mention that it was a bit small compared to other Honolulu hotels such as the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa. But that’ll cost a bit more.
Bottom line: The Aston Waikiki is a great hotel, not my favorite in Honolulu, but a solid choice. No matter where you stay, make sure you have an ocean view. It makes waking up all the more magical. At the end of the day, anywhere you stay in Hawaii will be brilliant, because it’s an amazing place.
The Luv Aviatrix