Just before my most recent trip to Honolulu, my favorite small hotel, the Kai Aloha, was closing temporarily for vacation, but En Chang of the Kai Aloha reserved a room for me at The Breakers. Mrs. Ethel Nada of The Breakers was gracious enough to honor the original room rate, which I very much appreciated.
The two hotels are adjacent to each other (two little Davids to the new Trump International's Goliath) but have different addresses because the Kai Aloha fronts on Saratoga Avenue and The Breakers faces the other way, onto Beach Walk. I had a pleasant stay there, even though my heart was next door at the Kai Aloha.
I liked my room's private patio on the other side of the shoji screen, the courteous staff, and quirky things like the two reception cats, who are leash-trained, the open-air front desk, and the lending library.
My only major issue (and this was a big one for me) was The Breakers' old-fashioned policy of holding room keys at the front desk: you are asked to turn in your key at the desk when you go off-property and reclaim it when you return. I felt that it really stifled my independence. I am accustomed to stopping at my room briefly between forays -- to drop packages off, make phone calls, change clothes -- and I disliked having to do the key exchange multiple times each day.
Because mine was a special room rate through the Kai Aloha, I have not specified a price.
Unique Quality: There is a swimming pool, as well as a laundry room, and there is free coffee by the poolside.
A throwback to the 1950s and 1960s, the Breakers is a boutique motel/hotel. The two floors of rooms surround a pool area. Most rooms have kitchettes, refrigerators, and microwaves. The second floor rooms have lanais while the ground level floors have separate bedrooms in the back with two twins up front. TiP: Ask for rooms on the makai side as the mauka rooms can get a bit hot as they catch the afternoon sun.
The Breakers is located just a half-block mauka from the Outrigger Reef and the Halekulani hotels and the beach is just beyond. A half-block makai is Waikiki's main drag, Kalakaua Avenue. However the street the Breakers is on, Beachwalk, is mostly devoid of traffic (vehicle and pedestrian) and is pleasantly quiet.
My family has been coming back to the Breakers for over 13 years. I wouldn't stay anywhere else.
Unique Quality: Not posh digs but reminiscent of hotels in Hawaii in the 50s and 60s. Staff is very friendly, helpful, and you'll get a nice surprise when you check out (hint: it's a lei). Free use of beach towels and tatami mats for your beach outings. Great location and great rates for being right in the heart of the action in Waikiki! Save some money by going to the store to get food to store in the fridge and eat for breakfast, lunch, whatever. There is also a newly opened restaurant in the hotel: Sushikoh, which features Japanese food but has other dishes on their breakfast and lunch menus.
Directions: West end of Waikiki east of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
This is one of the very few hotels where the atmosphere is more like a family compared to the anonymous sterile situation at big chain hotels.
Although the Breakers does not offer the kind of super-luxury, it manages very well to be comfortable and inviting. Just pleasant.
The hotel's style is a mix between Hawaiian and Japanese. This is rather exotic in the middle of Waikiki but I think it matches with how Hawaii should be.
It's the right place to be if you'd like to be in Waikiki, i.e. close to the beach, restaurants, shopping and other hotels and still don't want to spend a fortune or stay in an all too predicatable Outrigger or any other chain-hotel..
Rooms are very airy and quite large with sliding doors and usually a pleasant breeze. - No need for an airconditioner although there is of course one. All rooms offer a kitchenette which might be convenient although grocery prices are rather expensive, so I'd say this is more for convenience then to save you money.
Garden suites on the ground floor around the pool offer a separate bedroom and living room.
Before going, check about the situation of the hotel / condo construction down the street.
Unique Quality: In the middle of Waikiki, yet very personal and distinctive.
Directions: 5-10 Minute Walk to Waikiki Beach
2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu
2169 Kalia Rd., Honolulu
2586 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu
223 Saratoga Road, P.O. Box 88435, Honolulu
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Address: 250 Beachwalk, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, United States