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“Look at it as upscale camping”

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Bellows Air Force Station
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 October 2013

I have been visiting Bellows Beach for years while on trips to Oahu. I decided to stay in one of the cabins this time & chose a renovated ocean front 2 bedroom. These cabins are a good choice for someone who is comfortable with basic accomodations. I chose to look at my stay as an upscale camping experience. The biggest advantage of staying @ Bellows is the proximity to the beach. The worst downside of Bellows is the customer service. It was very spotty. It is hard to get through to reservations by phone. Some employees were helpful & cheerful as you would expect from the hospitality industry. Others were difficult. For example, upon check-in, I inquired about accessible cabins since my spouse is a disabled vet. The young woman checking us would not discuss these cabins as an option because according to her, accessible cabins are for disabled people-people in wheelchairs. Also, housekeeping was hit & miss. We had a young man who cleaned our cabin that was efficient & personable. Another day, a woman entered before we had a chance to let her know that we were in the unit & sleeping. One day we received no housekeeping service & 2 other days-towels only. Despite these drawbacks, I would return to Bellows because where else can you get an Oahu cabin on the ocean front for $95.00 per night?

Room Tip: Choose a renovated room.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Danielle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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100 - 106 of 164 reviews

Reviewed 24 October 2013

Bellows AFS is "lost in paradise!!!" Granted the cabins are a little dated but exactly how much time do you spend in them???? The Shopette and their staff were wonderful. Where else could you do laundry and see the waves coming ashore??? As far as cabins not having AC, we just opened the front and back doors and got the most wonderful cross breeze. All of the housekeeping staff were really great, friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable. No better way to watch the sun and moon come up than on Bellows beach. Truly a hidden gem!!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Dennie2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

Bellows AFS is great for those looking to stay near the beach without paying Waikiki tourist prices on Oahu for rooms and parking. If you're looking for 4 star lodging with room service and fine dining, look elsewhere. We stayed at the cabins located near beach with electricity/kitchen but no AC unit.

Pros: The cabins are within walking distance of beach, and they have tile floors so that you don't track sand onto carpet. Housekeeping sweeps and mops floors every day to help keep clean. Room has a kitchen with utensils, barbecue, and outdoor hose to help you rinse sand/saltwater off after swimming in ocean. Bellows also has laundry facility and shopette if you need them.

Cons: No AC in cabins and bugs can and will get in. That being said, we kept fans on 24/7 to keep air circulating and kept food in fridge to minimize bugs entering cabin. Room actually isn't too hot if you open windows and turn on fans.

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay here for entire trip due to availability of cabins. Will definitely come back here again when opportunity presents itself. Bellows is a hidden treasure on Oahu-most people think of Waikiki when it comes to Oahu hotels for tourists on vacation.

Room Tip: There are different types of accommodations: Tent campsites,Primitive cabins without electricity, c...
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank mustang9975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2013

I have read many poor reviews of this lovely property and it makes me sad. I am certain the cabins and cottages are in need of renovations after all the many years they have been there serving a plethera of happy military families. I was a mere child but Bellows Beach will forever be embedded in my heart. The beach itself is magnificent, the waves perfect for body surfing! Back to the cottages, they serve there purpose. Most guests are there to spend the entire day on the beach or in the surf. Absolutely spectacular!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank 45StacieS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Bellows has been a regular stop for our family since we lived in Mililani Town over 20 years ago. The Cabins are a little dated, but the value is second to none on Oahu.

There are a lot of family activities. It's literally right on the beach. The rooms are always very clean and the staff are super friendly.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Wine_loving_Chef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2013

We stayed in the rustic camper cabins - basically, they had a full size bed and a bunk bed, nothing else. I recommend bringing a broom of some sort, as the floor gets pretty sandy. There is no electric in these cabins, but if you are looking for a camping experience, you don't need electric. The bathrooms are a short walk away. I give these cabins four stars because for the price, you can NOT beat this on Oahu! The beach at Bellows is just beautiful. It was amazing to wake up and be on the beach within minutes. The beach is extremely family friendly with lifeguards on duty during normal hours. They also have kayaks, surf boards, stand up paddle boards, etc to rent at a very affordable rate. The grounds themselves are just lovely with the pines and the sound of the waves crashing. We have stayed at Waikiki Beach, but prefer the peace and quiet at Bellows. Highly recommend staying here if you are looking for a camping experience with a million dollar view!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Desiree W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2013

I don't understand how other reviews mention the cleanliness of the cabin. It's a cinder block cabin with tile floors, vinyl sofa, hard beds, and filthy bathrooms. There was a film on the tile that was so disgusting I had my kids wear their shoes on day one. The shower was not clean. There was debris and grass on the bottom. Since the entire bathroom is tile, including the shower, I also made everyone wear their crocs in the shower.

I'm not a clean fanatic, but it's disgusting. The "renovated" cabins were renovated upwards of 8 years ago. So, don't expect much with that description. I get it, these are ocean front cabins and they receive a lot of abuse. But my floors had not been mopped in a long time.

Here's my take: unless you're staying in the front row cabins, don't waste your time staying overnight, just come for the day. At $95/night, I think the back row price should be lowered by about $20/night. Why pay the same price for a lesser experience? That's my opinion.

However, the studio-like kitchen had a fair amount of amenities for the out-of-towner. Go shopping at Commissary and stock up. Being a resident, I brought many supplies from home. I recommend: paper towels, ziploc bags, disposable tupperware, ice . . . (I can't remember if it had a bottle or can opener). The great thing these cabins have is WIFI. Yep, as of three months ago, they all have WIFI. There's also an in-room safe. It's small and our keypad was finicky and not all of the digits worked, so fiddle with it and pick a code that works.

The beach is great and an excellent location to take your kids boogie boarding. There's a little inlet where we took our toddler to play. Is it the "Best Beach Ever?" No. But the sand is soft, the waves are good for some simple recreation, and it's essentially private. But don't let that fool you. The local military overwhelm this beach like no other and the "public" part of the beach is open on weekends when the Marines aren't doing their exercises.

Speaking of locals: Our first night was awkward and irritating. A local family had their entire ohana at the adjoining cabin -- well above the 16 person daytime limit. Hawaiian and techo music was blaring, the pop up canopy with lots of chairs, food, people and cars. They woke us with their music at 1:30 a.m. and again at 5:30 a.m. when they decided to pack up their cars. Admittedly, this put a sour taste in our mouth, but we were stuck with our reservation for at least another night (you're required to give 24 hours notice if changing your check out time) we decided to make the most of it.

Our next night was quiet and wonderful. We bbq'd on the provided grill and then roasted marshmallows on the remaining coals. Fires are prohibited on Hawaiian beaches, and I'm assuming also at the cabins since there's no fire ring. We sat by our lantern and talked and the kids ran around and played.

We often went into town for food. We like Serg's in Waimanalo, Cinnamon's in Kailua, and Boston North End pizza. They give military $5 off an entire pie.

Some other review also said this was the nicest military accommodations on the island. Not true. If you don't mind not being on the beach, stay at the Pearl Harbor TLF. Super nice and only $65/night. Or, better yet, stay at the Cottages on the Marine base and get 180* views of Kaneohe bay with a super comfortable bed, full kitchen, a/c and for $125/night.

This facility is managed by Kadena. I have no clue why, but that makes it hard, in my opinion, for the commander to really stay abreast about the facility. Yes, there are bugs, as evidenced by the centipede we brought home with us and caught a day later after he hid from us. Yikes. Keep your stuff off the floor.

I will be staying again with adjusted expectations and with a front row cabin.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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8  Thank crazywaffle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bellows Air Force Station

Address: 220 Tinker Rd, Hotel is for Military personnel ONLY, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1903
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Waimanalo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Waimanalo
Price Range: £5 - £26 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 188
Also Known As:
Bellows Air Force Station Hotel Waimanalo
Bellows Air Force Station Waimanalo, Hawaii

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