Even though it’s the biggest metropolis in the middle of the Pacific, there aren’t many places to stay in Honolulu, most likely because Waikiki is practically next door. There are a few hotels near the airport for those who have an overnight layover and don’t wish to take a taxi into Waikiki, one hotel downtown serving a strictly business clientele, and a two more hotels near Ala Moana Centre. For a different experience, there’s a historic and luxurious B&B, and there are also clean, safe budget options provided by the YMCA and YWCA respectively.
Accommodations in Ala Moana
The YMCA Nu‘uanu Branch (1441 Pali Hwy., 808/536-3556, $42) is a male-only facility just north of downtown and Chinatown and has 70 single rooms for $42 per night. For women, the YWCA Fernhurst (1566 Wilder Ave., 808/941-2231, $45) offers a secure residence with 24-hour electronic access located in the downtown Historic District. Double occupancy rooms are $45 per night and singles are $65 per night. The rooms are equipped with telephones and free Internet access. They also have a free computer lab.
The Pagoda Hotel (1525 Rycroft St., 808/948-8356, $128-192), near the Ala Moana Center, is a great option for travelers on a budget who won’t be spending a lot of time at their hotel and don’t feel the necessity to stay in Waikiki. The Asian-influenced design and decor is complete with Japanese gardens, koi ponds, and waterfalls. The 359-room hotel has standard guest rooms in the main tower and studios, one-, and two-bedroom units with kitchenettes in the five-story terrace wing.
Just on the outskirts of Waikiki and situated between the Ala Moana Center and the Hawai‘i Convention Center is the Ala Moana Hotel (410 Atkinson Dr., 808/955-4811, $169-219). A bargain compared to some of the beachfront hotels in Waikiki, the location lends itself to those attending a convention or visitors wanting the flexibility of getting out the door and on the road without worrying about the congestion of Waikiki. The two towers offer ocean and city skyline views, and the rooms have free Internet access. They also have one-bedroom suites. And with Ala Moana Center next door, there are plenty of dining options a quick walk from the hotel.
Accommodations in Greater Honolulu
Built in 1912 in lush Manoa Valley and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Manoa Valley Inn (2001 Vancouver Dr., 808/947-6019, $160-235) is a bed-and-breakfast set in a luxurious Victorian inn filled with European antiques. Nestled in verdant Manoa Valley, the intimate retreat is peaceful and unique, with seven spacious rooms available. The residence is surrounded by a tropical garden and has a heated saltwater swimming pool with a meandering waterfall. There are two friendly dogs on the premises.
The Airport Honolulu Hotel (3401 N. Nimitz Hwy., 808/836-0661, $169) has basic 300-square-foot rooms with free wireless high-speed Internet, microwave, refrigerator, and free 24-hour airport shuttle service to the hotel.
Clean and scenic for a hotel near the airport, the Best Western the Plaza Hotel (3253 N. Nimitz Hwy., 808/836-3636, $199-209) offers 274 rooms with microwaves, refrigerator, and free high-speed Internet. They also have free airport shuttle service. There’s even a pool if you need to take a quick dip and can’t make it to the beach.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.