More about Aqua Island Colony Honolulu
Great views at rock bottom prices!
We got a 'Superior Room' at this hotel (one of the tallest in Hawai'i) for a third of the standard year round price by calling up Hotel Reservations Inc. from the airport - deal or what!!? :-)
This hotel is a five minute walk from the centre of the action down a quiet side street bordering the Ala Wai canal for the best of both worlds.
Our room was way up high on the 15th floor and was a good size with a kitchenette, fridge and decent sized balcony thrown in.
The views to the north were fabulous, being able to look out across to the mountains that abut Honolulu to the north.
A couple of problems about being so high up were the crappy lifts that kept seeming to break down or be really slow and the fact that it was really windy the first time we were in Waikiki so that on a couple of nights the wind was blowing head-on into our windows making an almighty racket that was difficult to sleep through... Probably not unique for Hawai'ian hotels, however there was a large open air swimming pool several floors up where there were also shops and a reasonably priced laundry service.
Hotel rooms at bargain prices!
Picture the scenario:
Arriving in Oahu after an early morning start and stressful check-in in San Francisco, probably the last thing you'd want to do is arrive in Hawai'i without any accommodation booked...
Well, guess what - we didn't!
Why we keep doing this to ourselves I'll never know, well actually it's probably because of stories like the one I am about to tell you... ;-)
Hitting the phones in the airport, we found this intriguing advertisement by Hotel Reservations Inc. offering hotel rooms at the cheapest prices - a kind of clearing house for hotels having difficultly booking their rooms out...
The deal seemed kosher and we duly booked the 'Island Colony Hotel' in Waikiki (see other tip) for around $50 per night as opposed to $150+, which seemed like a real result.
On our second return to Oahu, we used the company again to book the Hawai'i Polo Inn for a similar saving...
Both times we were extremely happy with our accommodation, the shuttle transport and, above all - the price! :-) Unbelieveably cheap prices - we're talking the equivalent of what two people would be paying for a bunk in a dorm in a hostel kind of prices here!
But wait, it gets better!
Not only do you get rock bottom hotel room prices, but you also get about the cheapest shuttle prices from the airport into town by using the firm's shuttle bus...
If I remember correctly, a standard return shuttle ticket was $15, with Reliable Shuttle (924 9292) the round trip from the Airport was only $7... :-)
Not so great!
A friend and I stayed in the Castle Island Colony Hotel in Waikiki from Oct 19 till Nov 2nd, 2005. We paid in advance for the trip which precluded our moving to another hotel. The hotel is in the process of converting to a condo/hotel and while we were there they removed the garbage schute in the whole building. Needless to say, it stank and there were cochroaches everywhere. We moved rooms once to see if that would help but ended up in a worse predicament as the beds in this room were very uncomfortable. I wrote to both the manager of the hotel and the tourism liaison at the governor's office but neither one has had the courtesy to reply to my letters. This was my first trip to Hawaii and other than the Hotel I enjoyed myself immensely. People everywhere were very friendly and extremely helpful when needed.
I, too, was skeptical of the Island Colony due to the numerous negative comments. Our budget was minimal and we wanted to spend more on entertainment, dining etc. and not on the hotel. When we arrived, I was surprised when our driver informed us that the Island Colony was the tallest building in Waikiki and the views were excellent. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the lone front desk agent. There were a few other families waiting to check in, but the wait was less than 15 minutes. We reserved a standard room with the hopes of an upgrade -- which we did receive. We were upgraded to a one bedroom suite - complete with living room area with sofabed and full kitche, along with a seperate bedroom and huge lanai. The view was amazing. Panoramic views of the Ala Wai Canal and Diamond Head as well as a partial ocean view. I couldn't ask for more. There is a standard size pool with jacuzzi as well as a snack shop with all of the necessities. The on-site laundry mat was also very convenient. Security's presence was always felt and housekeeping was efficient. Although we are returning to Waikiki again next month - we will not be staying at the Island Colony - not because of a bad experience. I preferred to stay directly on the beach and opted for the Outrigger Waikiki this time around. Either way, Oahu is a must every year for my family!
I and my 3 grown kids ended up at the Island Colony from a packaged deal I bought. We all decided in advance that it wouldnt matter what the room was like---who would spend a lot of time in it anyway?? Upon arrival at the airport we were met by a woman fom Aloha Tours that helped us get our baggage and take us to the Island Colony. This was also included in our packaged deal. Every one was very friendly. The hotel was very surprising. Better than I expected. The building was very secure. The room was very clean with a great view. I never experienced any problems with bugs etc. We also had a coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator in our room. People at the front desk were friendly and we were within walking distance to the beach, zoo, and International Market place. There was also a little store on the 6th floor which came in handy. The pool was clean and nice. Lots of chairs to lounge on. I would probably stay here again. A good room with a good price.
Just returned on the 19th from Castle Island Colony. We were quite happy with our stay there. After reading a number of reviews prior to going we were a little suprised about why there would be negative comments. We stayed on the 43rd floor and had a great view of the city and canal. The hotel was quiet and the pool area was great. Our lanie was huge compared to a number of other hotels that we had seen. Although the elevator was crowded and a bit slow at peek times, we didn't feel that this was a big problem. The service was fine and the staff at the front were very helpfull. This isn't a high end place but we feel it was great value for the money.
Well located, comfortable & spectacular view
We stayed at The Castle Island Colony on the recommendation of friends who are perennial visitors to Waikiki. Also on their advice, we asked for a high floor with a Diamondhead view. The first night we faced the City, but the desk staff was cheerful about moving us the following day. Floor 43 is just below the penthouse and the view is spectacular (see photos attached). The rooms were clean and in very good condition, especially for an older hotel. We understand that different features are available in different rooms, e.g. half fridge vs. full fridge with freezer; stovetop or larger counter. We think that all rooms have a coffee maker & microwave. TV, of course, & hairdryer included. The 6th floor has an adequate convenience store, laundry facilities, sun tanning loungers, a fine swimming pool and a hot tub, which is large enough for several adults and no small children are allowed. The elevators seemed a bit slow, but we weren't concerned about being late for work or anything like that. When we wanted to go to Waikiki beach itself, we walked to the end of the block, turned and walked half a block more to Dukes Lane/International Market Place (which itself is a full block long)then across Kalakaua Avenue to a beach access between to beachfront hotels. A short and pleasant walk. This hotel is centrally located relative to restaurants, etc. Previously, we've stayed at Outrigger East (now Ohana East) and the Mirimar - both fine hotels - and for the money, we preferred Island Colony.
Great hotel for budget aware travellers...
My Mom and I stayed at the Island Colony for 2 weeks at the beginning of January. We were very worried about what we would get, but we were pleasantly suprised. I called ahead 2 months before and requested a high floor with a nice view, when we arrived into our room we were overwhelemed.....they put us on the 30th floor (the hotel has 44 floor) and we had a fabulous view...also the hotel gave us a kitchennete room...we didn't book it, but that's what we got for free!!! The balconies were fabulous...10 feet X 10 Feet, table chairs and instead of metal bars as the rail, it's just one sheet of glass so there is nothing to obstruct your view of the valcono, ocean and golfcourse. We were also thrilled with the security of the hotel....you need a room key to even get into the lobby where the elevator is. And there is a security guard there 24 hours a day. I read other people's reviews and I was shocked....the staff were extremely nice and helpful, my room was clean, not at all damaged, hot tub and pool were great and there always seemed to be empty loungers around the pool, and a good location. It's a budget hotel you can't expect the Hilton....Yes there are hookers/transvestites who frequent the corner and some of them live in the building, but they don't bother anyone...their working just like everyone else, so if you don't want one then why do you care if they are there. I would defiently recommend this hotel....My Mom and I had a FABULOUS vacation and can't wait to go back!!!
Nice place for the outgoing traveller
We went to Hawaii and actually chose The Castle Island Colony from the rewievs on this internet-site. The hotel is in the middle of price-categorys at our travel-agency and it matched our expectations as such. It is not located directly on Waikiki, as the many much pricy´er hotels, but absolutely within walking distance, and the walk to Waikiki brings you through wonderfull street-markets and past many restaurants, you absolutely HAVE to try. It´s location also have the advantage, that noise from the street is at a minimum, as it is located on a small street with almost no traffic. The rooms are plain, but clean, and have large shady balconys with an exellent view over the vulcanic mountains outside the city. Both the airconditioning and the little cooking area is working and the bathroom is nice. The pool-area is a little squized-in platform, allmost ashamed of being called a pool-area. But who needs a pool, when in walking-distance of Waikiki Beach? The hotel also has a little market-store, a massouse and some other little shops/clinics by the pool area, but they were all closed for the whole duration of our stay - of unknown reasons. The halls, elevators and lobby are all clean, but very simpel and without decorative objects, so if you are going for that grand feeling of luxury, you´re in the wrong place. But everything is, as mentioned, clean and working, and that was good enough for us. The staff was friendly, but not very helpfull. They smile a lot, but when it comes to maps of the city, suggestions for locations to see, or help to use the phone, they aren´t any good. On the base of the building there is an internet-cafe with cheap prices and very helpfull staff, but it is not owned by the hotel, so you can´t be sure that it´s still there. (and other ways for tourists to acess the internet is allmost non-existant in the city). We payed extra for breakfast, only to find that it consists of the staff handing out vouches to a little restaurant, allthough good food, located in the other end of the city. Overall we were satisfied with the standards for the money we paid, but we felt totally riped-off on the breakfast-situation. But the destination is exellent and it was our best vacation ever.
A view north from the Island Colony