After a particularly harsh winter, we decided we needed to get away and remember what warmth feels like and what green plants with flowers look like! Hawaii became our last minute vacation. We wanted a hotel with a good location, reasonably priced, near the beach, a lanai with a great view, near a bus stop/restaurants/shops and that had amenities like a pool, refrigerator, coffee maker, etc... After searching and narrowing down our choices, The Queen Kapiolani Hotel ticked all the boxes.
Location: The Queen K was the perfect location for us. As many other reviewers have said -- the quiet end of Waikiki. We took TheBus route 20 from the airport ($2.50/person - no big luggage) to the hotel. The bus stop was about 1 minute walk from the hotel (stop was in front of the Starbucks). We loved the one block walk to the beach and especially loved this end of the Waikiki beach scene. About a 15-20 minute walk was a Safeway grocery store (go out of hotel, turn left, walk...past Rainbow Drive-In, Penny's Picks, a whole host of little restaurants). We shopped many times at Safeway for sushi, salad bar, wine, breakfast items, etc... If the load was too big (or we were too tired!), we took the #13 bus back. (Safeway Hint: Sign up for a free "Safeway Club Card" at the service desk - just use your home address - to immediately have access to all of the in-store deals.) We also took the bus to Pearl Harbor (use the bus stop out of hotel, to left and across Kuhio Street), Hanauma Bay (catch bus across the street from Starbucks) and into downtown Honolulu (Chinatown, art museums). We walked all over Waikiki and were always happy to come back to the quiet beauty of the Queen K.
Room: We had room 712. This was a Diamond Head View room. We booked directly on the Aqua web site (look for specials on the site). Also, keep checking back as the rates fluctuated dramatically (we rebooked and saved over $200). The room had a fantastic view of Diamond Head, the ocean, the zoo and the pool. We saw whales (well, their spray) swimming from the lanai. The room had two very comfortable almost queen size beds, table and chairs, nice sized refrigerator, coffee maker, bath amenities (shampoo, lotion, conditioner shower gel), nice towels, a refurbished bathroom, good size lanai with two chairs and table, solid glass window, new air conditioner, in room safe (needs a $50 key deposit that is returned when the key is returned at check out) and a great flat screen tv. It was not a huge room by any stretch of the imagination (and we only had small carry on bags with us), but we did not spend a lot of time in the room, and when we were in the room, we were usually on the lanai. The room was recently updated but still showed some signs of wear. Didn't bother us. And, we both slept incredibly well all 8 nights - no traffic noise, no noise from other rooms, no noise from the zoo animals...just the quiet hum of the air conditioner.
Hotel: We did not use many of the hotel facilities. We thought we would use the pool, but ended up going to the beach a lot instead. The lobby is grand in an "old-school" kind of way and we appreciated that. We did use the travel agent in the lobby to book a car for one day. It was the easiest experience ever. She arranged the car and told us that the shuttle would pick us up the next day in front of the hotel. The shuttle took us to the Alamo rental at Discovery Bay shopping center where we picked up the car and were on our way.
Staff: Delightful. Everyone was incredibly kind and helpful. We had contacted the hotel ahead of time about our room choice and the reservation agent promptly responded with good information. On our last day, we requested and were given a late check out (1pm) and appreciated that very much. We did leave our bags with the bell hop on check out and there was a small fee per bag for storage.
Bottom line: For us, a perfect choice and one that did not break the bank. We knew up front what we were getting and felt that the price was fair. Would recommend a room even higher than floor 7. If we ever get back to Waikiki, we would definitely put the Queen K at the top of the list.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Named after the beloved wife of Hawaii's last reigning King, the historical Queen Kapiolani Hotel is conveniently located one block to Waikiki beach and near the Honolulu Zoo, Kapiolani Park, Waikiki Shell and Waikiki Aquarium. Most upgraded rooms feature views of Diamond Head and/or the ocean and the following FREE amenities: WiFi Internet access throughout the hotel, daily local newspaper, mini-refrigerator and coffeemaker. Additional hotel amenities include meeting and banquet facilities, pool with sun deck and restaurant with panoramic views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Queen Kapiolani Honolulu
- Hotel Queen Kapiolani
- Queen Kapiolani Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu