Overall Score: A
Recommended?: Yes (highly!)
(Note: when I stayed here in 2014, the hotel was called The Holiday Inn Resort Beachcomber in Waikiki.)
The Holiday Inn Express Waikiki is steps away from beautiful Waikiki Beach in Oahu. Located on Kalakaua Avenue, this resort is located in the heart of the tourist district. Location alone gave this hotel big points from me. I booked our lodging here through Costco Travel and stayed here in November of 2014.
Parking at the hotel is done via valet and is not cheap – $35 a day. However, parking anywhere around Waikiki isn’t cheap. There is an escalator outside that takes you up to the lobby/main floor as Macy’s is on the ground floor. There is a small gift and sundries shop, spa, fitness center, business center, and “Magic of Polynesia” nightly show within the hotel. Wifi is free, there is no resort fee++, and all rooms have lanais.(++ see new information below)
Upon check-in, we were upgraded to a slightly larger corner room with a view of the ocean. Nice! The room was pleasantly decorated and spacious. My only issue with the room would have to be our bathroom. The sink and vanity were separate from the toilet and tub/shower. The toilet and tub/shower area was rather small and was only separated from the room with a sliding door. The age of the room could be seen in the bathroom, specifically on the ceiling with water marks and imperfections. I hold hotels to high standards and yet this really didn’t bother me. Every other part of the bathroom was nice. Underneath the vanity was a small refrigerator – a huge plus in my book. A safe is also provided in each room. The rooms were cleaned very well and maid service was great. I was very pleased with their level of service.
The pool area was very inviting with ample chairs and a clean deck. The pool and hot tub got a big thumbs up from my kids! Steps from the pool is the bar. While we visited we had a wonderful bartender named Mason who was extremely nice and helpful. The Jimmy Buffett restaurant** was also located outside near the pool (but still far enough away not to be bothered by pool noise). The food had a very limited menu for me as a vegetarian and was a little too pricey. We only dined here for breakfast once. The food and service were okay, but for the price, we were happier getting an acai bowl and coffee across the street from Island Vintage Coffee.
All members of the staff, even people passing us in the hallways, were courteous. From the valets, to the housekeepers, to the front desk, I was very pleased!
Being able to walk everywhere and be so close to the beach, shopping, and dining was a HUGE plus. At night, we had no issues with traffic and crowd noise. I had read reviews with people complaining about street noise with the hotel being on the main strip. We simply shut our doors to the lanai each night and had no problems.
For the five days we lodged here, we had a very comfortable and pleasing stay. I highly recommend the Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber Resort.
** Upon writing this post, I learned that on February 28, 2016, the Jimmy Buffet Restaurant was closed. The Maui Brewing Company will be taking its place and should be open by December of 2016.
++ I also learned that the hotel will now charge a daily service fee of $20 plus tax for the following items: Waikiki Connection (includes unlimited rides on the Waikiki Connection Trolley); discount booklet; long distance calls to USA mainland; fruit-infused water in the lobby; and a Beachcomber drawstring tote. Seems to me the hotel wants to keep its rates down while adding this frivolous fee.