The story begins when I was doing my research because I was going to have to spend 3 months in Honolulu, and was looking into long term stay options as I didn’t want to do the usual hotel thing. I had looked into Oakwood and all of their properties, but was turned off by their requirement that I sign a 30 day lease. When I balked, they told me that the only extended-stay place I would find that would be like an apartment, but rent for less than 30 days would be a condo-tel. I started my search for what a condo-tel was, and found the Executive Center.
I then came to this site to get the real deal on this hotel . I was alarmed by the extreme polarization in the reviews. I didn't know if to believe the good reviews, wondering if they were planted by hotel staff, or the bad reviews which might be people who had an agenda. Whatever your reason for coming here to research this hotel, you're looking to have your expectation set.
First thing you should understand (and this should help put some of the other reviews in perspective) is that the building is a mixed use building. This means that there are offices, apartments, and hotel rooms all in the same building. Also known by industry folks as a "condo-tel" Some people buy a unit, and use it for their office. Some people buy condos and live in them, and some bought condos that they turned over to the hotel (Resort Quest) to manage. Remember - each room (unit) is owned by an individual owner, whereas all rooms in a regular hotel are owned by the same owner! This explains why some rooms are good, some are great and others are spectacular. It's up to each owner to decide how much to invest in their unit. RQ sets the standards, and if the owner doesn't comply, their unit gets dropped from the roster, but it's still up to the owner.
That said - I've had 3 stays over 3 months. Some highlights, and lowlights:
- The hotel is downtown, and downtown dries up after 6pm. All of the folks downtown seem to be pretty much in government, banking, or students are one of the numerous schools downtown, so they disappear early.
- There is a Longs Drugstore next door to the hotel entrance. Huge selection that almost doubles it as a mini grocery store. It does close early (6pm) as another person stated.
- Subway, McDonalds directly across the street, and Jack In The Box 1 block away. All close fairly early though (I think 6ish also)
- Safeway grocery store, and 24 hour Longs Drugs are 4 blocks away. Easy walk.
- Aloha Tower and Marketplace are also 4 blocks away. There, you'll find a Gordon Biersch Brewery, a Hooters, and a few other restaurants. Decent eats, I was there alot!
- The Bus (the local transit system) stops at the entrance to the hotel. Just about every route that goes anywhere you'll think to go stops there, and can get you just about anywhere you're headed in 20'ish minutes. I did get bad instructions from folks at the front desk on 2 occasions about which bus to take, though. Easy enough to double check with the bus driver when in doubt.
- Continental breakfast on the 40th floor is nice. Someone else said that they run out of food and don't replenesh. I didn't experience that in my 3 months there. I went late every morning to avoid the crowd, and there was always still food left. Juice and coffee are plentiful. Good views, and computer with internet access is up there also.
- Each time I went home (for between 4 and 11 days) I was able to leave my luggage with them so that I wouldn't have to pay bag fees to the airlines to take my bags home. It was nice to be able to travel light for my trips home.
- Parking - yes, it is in the parking garage next door to the hotel. There is no valet, but you do get in and out privs. Parking is assigned, so to avoid having to go back to move your car after checking in, call the hotel on your way from the airport, and have them give you your space number.
Bellman - Nope - no bellman. Remember - this is an office building with some "managed" condos! If you park your car, and go check in, they have a luggage cart so you can haul your stuff in - quite easy! Or, if you call the desk on your arrival, they'll come out and help you, but no one is stationed outside full time.
Apartment. All of the furniture in the units I was in were current, up to date. Decent beds. Clean! Kitchens and baths are like others said - some are dated. Tile countertops instead of granite. Dated cabinets. Tile and tub colors are dated. Desk was nice. High speed internet was speedy. Washer and dryer in the unit also nice. Has a full size fridge, stove, and microwave. Someone said that the microwave was on a cart. Remember what I said about individual owners! To each owner, his own! My unit did not have a cart. And come one - really - you're not buying the unit, you're just there to have somewhere to put your stuff and sleep!
Bugs - someone mentioned that there are supersized roaches
in Hawaii. They weren't lying! I saw a 6" centipede at one of my customer's offices! Literally! Good part - no bugs IN the hotel - not in 3 months I was there!
Restaurant - yes, there is one in the hotel. The usual sports-bar type food and drinks. Pretty good, actually! Burgers are awesome.
Chinatown - 4 block walk. And definately an experience.
Waikiki - it's not. If you want the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, you should stay down there. I was here to work, and I don't like crowds. Perfect for me! None of the Waikiki traffic, endless thumping music from cars, nightclubs and bars, and still nice views of the water and mountains. You can get there on the bus in 20 mins though! Don't drive down there if you can help it. If you want the action of Waikiki, stay here, go to the action, then
come back here for some peace!
Airport - close. And way closer than Waikiki - cheaper cab
ride if you don’t rent a car.
Management - cares. The GM of the hotel addresses each and
every post on here. Since he posted his name and email address, I took the time to call him and ask him about all of the negative feedback on here before my first stay, and he took the time to set my expectation as I'm doing here for you. Once my expectation was set, everything was smooth sailing. How many hotel GM's do that!?!?!?! I asked him to back up his claims, and
he emailed me pictures of the room I was booked in, and
guaranteed in writing that if the room was unacceptable when i checked in, that I could cancel my reservation and check back out and get a full refund. I'll bet he'll do it for you too.
Sketchy - I saw someone said that about the neighborhood.
I'm from Atlanta. All downtowns get "sketchy" after the
people leave. If you mean that it gets very quiet, and there's noone around, then you're right. But I never felt unsafe, and I walked to Safeway every night to pick up frozen dinners.
Room jacuzzi - dated color, but the hotel's jacuzzi on the 11th floor is much bigger, more powerful, and gives views of the open sky.
All in all, an excellent experience. I’ll be staying there again on my next project with the same customer next month.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The only all-suite hotel located in the heart of downtown Honolulu's financial district, near government offices, business and dining. With complimentary continental breakfast, free daily newspaper and business center, this property is fully equipped with all the amenities for the business traveler. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aston Honolulu
- Executive Centre Hotel Hawaii
- Resortquest Honolulu
- Aston At The Executive Centre Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu