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“Not Recommended”
Review of White Sands Hotel

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White Sands Hotel
Ranked #71 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
USA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Not Recommended”
Reviewed 10 April 2009

The hotel is decent - we didn't expect anything more for the price we paid. The staff was friendly and the location is convenient to the city and Waikiki beach. We went on to another island and returned home 7 days after we left Celebrity Resort Waikiki. There was a message on my answering machine from Celebrity Resort which said we broke a lamp so they charged $55 to our credit card. I called the hotel, talked to Judy who was no longer friendly after I tried to explain to her that it might be a staff mistake because we didn't break anything. She said the charge is a done deal and I need to call the credit card company to dispute if I don't agree, then asked me to call back if I wanted to talk more because she had another call coming in. I understand that she has probably dealt with more of these phone calls than she'd like but she is in service industry, what happened to customers first? I wish Judy would put herself in my shoes to understand that a) no one likes to be accused of something they didn't do and b) it's okay to stay on the line to listen me (after all, I was the first caller) instead of brushing me off. I DO NOT recommend this hotel because of poor customer service after they got our money.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank ljsolar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ontario
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2009

We stayed at the Celebrity in March for 8 days. We didn't get the room we had hoped for, but upon arrival accomodated us nicely and now we have a new favorite room! The place is very homey and comfortable. Close to everything and has everything you need close at hand. We have been here twice now and hope to come back again.

The staff are wonderful and accomodating and the hotel is kept wonderfully clean. Aaron is a real gem! Used the bbq, the hall computer, pool and laundry facilites. So much nicer than the high rise we stayed at before. We walked everywhere. I pray they don't tear this place down and build a high rise in its place.

God bless all of you may this place continue to thrive as it is.

Miriam- Toronto Canada

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank myhavaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chisago City, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2009

As usual, our stay at the Celebrity was wonderful. Nice pool and hot tub. Very clean and attentive cheerful staff.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank trixi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
saskatoon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 February 2009

We stayed at the Celebrity from January 26th - Feb 16/2009
This hotel is perfect. It is very old but well kept. There are always people walking around picking up falling leaves and cleaning the pool.
There is no other place that I would stay in Waikiki. It is 3 floors max and no elevators to wait for.
All rooms come with a small kitchen that is perfect if you are wanting to save a few buck. There are also 2 gas BBQ's on site (which was awesome). The hot tub is perfect but the pool was a bit cold...never stopped my kids from jumping in.
They also have a computer to use there and coffee down stairs every morning from 7am to 10am. There is a laundry room there that has 2 washers & 2 dryers.
The staff was perfect..I have never been treated so good in all my life...

Would I stay here again...No questions about it....This is the best place to stay in Hawaii.
If you are expecting the Hilton, you will be dissapointed. But if you love beautiful grounds (Back yard feeling) you will love this place..

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank alohaSaskatoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 February 2009

I was a guest at the Celebrity for eight nights(Jan.21 to Jan 28,2009)
My review title includes " at home" and that is what it was like to be a guest at this great 'oasis' type accomodation.
The rooms are spacious,very clean with a great bed,kitchen,sofa and large bathroom.The property itself is very much like an oasis conventiently located to the beach,food and shoping.Minutes of walking to any of these locations.
The staff are exceptional. Friendly,helpful,courteous and extremely accomodatiing. I found it difficult to leave such a friendly atmosphere.
Its a must stay if you are travelling to Honolulu and want to be near the beach. A very safe area.
I highly recommend this exceptional property.

  • Liked — The amazing staff
  • Disliked — No negative comments...it was great
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank George80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auburn, WA
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2009

I stayed there from January 18-25. For me, the pros outweighed the cons. The hotel room was clean and the staff was really helpful for finding places to go out and eat, shop and do activities. By the way, check with them on what discounts the hotel gives for certain stores. You get an 11% discount at Macy's and found out about it after I had been there!

Whenever I go to a hotel, I have to use the pool and hot tub. I found both to be very clean and the hot tub was especially nice at night. Everyone was afraid to swim in the pool since it isn't heated, but I found a way around that. I went in the hot tub for about 15 minutes and then jumped in the pool. It was really refreshing. One of the nights, I did some night swimming. You get used to the water after about a minute.

Another thing that I liked about the hotel was the fact that the kitchenette was well stocked and we were able to go to sam's club and buy some rib eye steaks to make on the grill. You couldn't get a steak that size at a restaurant for the price we got ours at Sams!

One thing that's annoying is that you can only talk for 30 minutes per night long distance in the hotel rooms. If you need to talk longer, one of the staff members will tell you about this little mom&pop store that you can get a 5 dollar calling card from. It's way cheaper than the ones at the ABC stores (which are EVERYWHERE!). With my card, I was able to talk for 17 hours. That made me happy :-). When you walk out of the main entrance of the hotel, take a left and it should be on the left side. You'll walk past a bar and another hotel but it will be on the same block. You can't miss it.

Another downside that annoyed the living cr*p out of me was that the shower head is only about 5 feet from the floor of the shower so even most women will get really frustrated with trying to take a shower in any of the rooms. This might be a deal breaker for some people but I was willing to put up with the inconvenience. Although, I'm 5'9 and I was SO happy to get home and take a "tall person" shower.

Another downside to this place is the location. There is a bar right next to it and I think there are some other bars that are close to the hotel as well. The noise at night can get unbearable if you insist on leaving your window open. This is especially true if your room has a balcony facing the street. And if you don't have a time-share at this hotel, you won't know what room you'll get until you arrive with your luggage. At night, my dad insisted on leaving the window open :-(. At about 2am you'll hear lots of drunkards screaming their head off as they walk down the street. Believe me, you won't miss it. But wait! The noise isn't over yet! At about 6 in the morning, every morning, you'll hear a truck backing in to some hotel and it's the loudest beeping noise you'll ever hear. Believe me, if you're an early riser when you're on vacation, this 6am alarm won't fail you. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP (x6)

The last thing that I'd like to point out is if you're not used to being in a warm climate and you think it might be a nice idea to take an evening walk since the air is warm and breezy, think about what safety precautions you would take in any major city. I was naive about it and decided to take a walk at 10pm in my shorts and t-shirt. It was 75 degrees and the breeze was going. When I was heading back to the hotel, I think I almost got jumped. I was walking down the same street (nohonani street) the the hotel was on and I glanced over and there was a Hawaiian guy across the street from me walking in the same direction as I was going. I glanced over and then he looked at me. Then I glanced again and he was still staring at me. The faster I walked, the faster he walked. Then I started walking across the street because that was where the hotel was and then he starts walking to the middle of the street like he wants to catch up with me. Then I started running to the hotel and I started cursing because it was that time of night where you need to stick your key into a slot to get the main hotel door open.

If you want to go out at night, ask a friend to go with you and keep your cellphone where you can reach it quickly. Also, start getting your room key out about a block before you get to the hotel. I think they close the doors at 9, but sometimes it's earlier than that. If you can, leave your ID and other important cards in the safe an only bring as much cash as you think you'll need. Another thing, the street by the canal is pretty deserted at night and I would stay away from their especially if you insist on walking alone. It sounds like simple advice but everyone overlooks tips like these sometime in their lives.

I hope I didn't scare too many people from staying at this hotel. If you can get over the noise, the low showers, and be very cautious when walking out at night, it's a good place to stay. The hotel is a 10 minute walk from Waikiki beach and it felt really good to get that exercise and not have to drive. Aside from the noise and the scary incident that happened to me that one night, I had a good time. And remember, check with staff if there are any discounts to the stores you'll be going to.

  • Stayed January 2009
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank brinethery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 January 2009

From the outside, it loooks like a cheap budget motel, but we were amazed as we walked through the lobby which opens up into a beautiful courtyard, with a smimming pool, jaccuzi, and waterfalls. You feel like you're in some hidden resort in the middle of the jungle. There is also 2 barbeques for the guests to use free of charge. (most hotels don't have any, or charge you per use.)

The rooms were average, but clean and spacious. We've stayed in other hotels in the area, that were half the size, but cost more. The courtyard view is based on availability, and can't be booked in advance, . They assign the rooms as you check in. If you're lucky, you can get a room facing the pool at no extra charge. If you don't get one, don't be disappointed. You will still enjoy your stay, and the staff are awesome.

We ended up getting a room with a city view, but it's only 10 feet to the pool, and the resort is only 5 minutes to the beach. In my opinion, you shouldn't come to Hawaii, and spend your entire day looking at the other guests in the pool, when you're a block from the beach anyway!

Brian and Aaron at the front desk were the best. Both were so friendly, and they helped us so much. They introduced us all the best restaurants and all of the hot spots to go at night.

They also have a great conceirge that can help you book the best luaus and dinner cruises, and they don't try to rip you offf, or upsell you on the higher ticket activities like some do.

The only disadvantage was the parking. They only have 12 stalls, which are always full, but they have alternate parking right across the street for the same price.

Overall, our stay was with a large grocery store just a block out the back gate. We would highly recommend the resort, and plan on staying again next time were were in town.

  • Liked — All of the staff were the best!
  • Disliked — Parking is limited, but alternate parking is available across the street.
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ScottK1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about White Sands Hotel

Property: White Sands Hotel
Address: 431 Nohonani St., Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-2622 (Formerly Celebrity Resorts Waikiki)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#37 Business Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — White Sands Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This quaint low-rise hotel is your home away from home located just 1 1/2 blocks to Waikiki Beach, less than a block to shopping, dining and the best Waikiki activities. The lovely central courtyard features a swimming pool with sundeck and barbeque grill. All rooms offer lanai/balconies open to city or pool views and most rooms include kitchenette facilities with stove-top, microwave and refrigerator. With our daily convenience fee for all stays White Sands Hotel allows guests to enjoy many hotel services and activities without having to incur miscellaneous charges. These amenities include DVDNow (Unlimited movies & PS3 games), Waikiki Shuttle (Complimentary Waikiki Shuttle Service), Daily Newspaper, In Room Coffee, In Room Safe, and Local & Toll-Free Calls. Come experience quintessential Hawaiian hospitality! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Sands Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu

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