Great Views, Location, and I Slept Great!!
When I first arrived at the Aston Waikiki Beachside in March '04 I was stunned at how small the rooms were. BUT, once I gave it a day or so I was really pleased with the hotel. I had an Ocean View room (4th floor) and it was a fabulous view. After a while, I didn't even notice that the room was a little cramped. I loved having a balcony overlooking both the ocean and the busy but exciting street below. It was really fun to sit on the balcony at night and watch the Honolulu Festival parade. I was a little nervous that I might not be able to sleep because of noise from the street, but that wasn't the case at all. I just closed the sliding glass door and I didn't hear a peep. It would be a great choice fr anyone who doesn't need all the fancy amenities! Who spends all that much time in their hotel room in Hawaii anyway??
Nice little hotel, in a great location. The room size was very adequate, the bed comfy as any other I ahve slept in in a hotel. There was a closet large enough to keep the suitcases in and a couple of chairs by the window which gave a partial ocean view. The air worked well, and the room was cleaned extra well before arrival, as we had asked for a non smoking. It started to smell musty after a couple of days, but you can ask housekeeping to deodorise. The only cons were no swimming pool, small elevator. That was it really. Staff was great, location was great.
1. Don't book any activities before you get there. Decide what you want to do ahead of time, and make up a little calendar to guide you, so you don't miss out. When you get there take the flyersa people are giving out. They have great prices.
2. Do book your car rental ahead - go to ---------. We decided against getting it all week, and just did 2 days, not consecutive. Perfect. We returned the car to Thrifty each night before 10 so that we would not have to worry about parking it overnight and returning it early next day. Rent it for the day after you arrive, and a little before you leave and drive around the island. Stop at a Foodland, and buy a cooler for $6.00, plus drinks, cold cuts etc. Then you'll have the use of it for the whole time. (We donated it to the guys at the hotel when we left) Most everything we booked had transportation provided, and that worked out best. I would also get a bus pass next time, just to hop on and off for shopping, downtown activities etc. $20 unlimited.
If you do these things, you will be quite satisfied at the use of your time and money
Great little hotel!
We stayed here for two days before leaving the islands after getting married on Kaua`i in August, 2004. We booked with the Entertainment Card discount, so the price – even with daily parking – was great. I prefer being at the eastern end of Waikiki (where the Beachside is) and it's proximity to the beach itself, right ACROSS THE STREET, is perfect.
The room was small but nice. Upon hearing that we just got married, the desk clerk upgraded us to a full ocean view room and sent up a split of champagne – a very nice touch. Needless to say, the view was spectacular and we enjoyed having a glass of wine on the balcony before heading out to dinner both nights.
Great Staff, Great Location!
As most of the other reviews already mentioned, the staff at this boutique hotel was wonderful. Ricky was always patient and helpful with the many questions we had for him. He also gave us a great deal on upgrading to an ocean view room on the 9th floor (we were supposed to get the windowless room). He and Shane also recommended going through Cheap Tickets to book luaus/tours...as Shane instructed, just look for the lady passing out orange flyers in front of the McDonald's right next door and give Cheap Tickets a call. We booked a luau at Germaine's and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay w/transportation and gear for about $45.
Although the hotel warned us not to use Mr. K/Dr. K as our transportation provider to Hanauma Bay (bad customer service and they were right!), they ended up being the company Cheap Tickets deals with for transportation. I requested 6:45AM pick up and the morning of, when I called Mr. K to confirm, he wanted us to take the 8:30AM departure instead since it would just be my friend and I that he would be taking. I stated that we wanted to go early and that when we booked, we were promised a 6:45 pick up...he said the earliest he could come was 7:10AM. He was 15 minutes late and when we got in the car, didn't even say a word to us. I had to repeat a question two times before he even responded. We also requested for pick up from Hanauma at 12:00 but again, he was not flexible because he wanted the car to be full instead of only 2 passengers. I told him that the hotel was kind enough to give us late checkout until 2:00PM so I just wanted to make sure we got back by that time. He said he could only come back at 12:50PM (he then gave us the option of 10:50AM but that didn't give us much time to snorkel the beautiful bay). We didn't get back to the hotel until 1:40PM or so because the shuttle decided to pick up another pair of passengers at Diamond Head who weren't even there!
Of course, the hotel staff was kind and understanding about our tardiness because they knew that Mr. K's service is not very reliable or punctual. So if you are on a time constraint or appreciate friendly service, I suggest not going through Mr. K.
I would definitely stay at this hotel again...yes the rooms are small but you should be spending most of your time outdoors! Thanks Ricky and Shane for making our first trip memorable!
Great Staff, superb location - will be back !
First time visit to Hawaii - this hotel's location could not be beaten - just cross the road and you are on Waikiki beach and the International Market Place is a few yards down the road. Staff are very friendly and cannot do enough to help. Rooms are spotlessly clean - will definitely stay there again without hesitation.
The Little BeachSide Hotel that Could.......
This was my first time in Hawaii, so when I got there I wanted everything to be nice and smooth. I bought my packaged deal from Pleasant Holidays and I think they did an overall good job with the booking. Check-in was easy. If your trying to look for this hotel make sure ALL YOUR PASSENGERS ARE LOOKING TO THE LEFT to find the entrance to this club, i mean HOTEL. If you blink, you will certainly miss the hotel because I had to drive around 3 times just to find it. I even went to the wrong Aston Hotel chain and they told me I was at the wrong hotel. I felt so touristy. When I finally got to my hotel, the staff was very friendly. When I saw the elevator to go up to our room, I thought at first if it was the food elevator for room service, but turns out that little elevator was the mode of transportation up to our rooms. Just make sure when you go to the elevator, there isn't a crowd with you unless you want to be rubbing up on someone's tanning lotion. When I opened to the door to my room, my eyes widened with such a surprisement. The pictures on the Internet can really decieve you on how big the room can look. The room is really good enough for 2 people, MAX! I had an ocean-view room fortunately so I had a balcony over-looking Waikiki beach. Thank goshers for the balcony. It saved the room. If it wasn't for the view, I would have developed CLAUSTROPHOBIA on the spot! The room service cleaned our room everyday and made it nice and neat. This service is greatly appreciated after a night of drinking on the patio. The hotel also offers its guests free towels and sand mats for beach use, which became very useful. Location was very good too. ABC store to your right, left, back, front, on the beach, everywhere. Everything is walking distance from this hotel so that saved alot of time driving everywhere. Only problem I had with the location of the hotel is getting on the H1 EAST!!! took me about 2 tries to find the shortest path to enther this highway. Other than that, this hotel did it's job. saved me $ and I got a great view of the beach from it. If you stay at this hotel, jus make sure you get an oceanview room, you wouldn't want a view of the senior citizens next door!
"Overview of Waikiki"
We flew in to Honolulu on a Sunday afternoon in mid- September. As soon as we checked in to Hokondo Waikiki Beachside Hotel and Hostel, we had nothing else in mind... what else but the beach!!! The beach was literally only 5-10 minutes walk from where we stayed. It was awesome! But first I need to have a Hawaiian flip-flop (I just have to!!!), so we stopped by the 'famous' ABC store-- they are everywhere in Honolulu. Flip-flop on... then, "Aloooha Waikiki." We couldn't care less that it was already dark at 7 p.m., Waikiki was really like I imagined it. Romantic and nice... the main street was lighted with torches placed on each side of the street.
After a short stroll on Waikiki beach, we went back to the hostel with another quick stop to ABC store for a delicious melon ice cream (I had at least 10 of them when I was there). By 9 p.m. I was exhausted and decided to call it a night.
Next morning, I woke up early and just couldn't wait to go back to Waikiki. I made breakfast in the hostel room which, fortunately, had a stove and fridge so we can save money by cooking our own food.
Waikiki was not packed at all. I guess because we were there just a few days after the September 11 tragedy. The locals told us how usually almost impossible to get a spot on Waikiki beach. When they found out that we are from New York, they always enthusiastically saluted us and thanked us for still coming to Hawaii.
We spent the whole day on the beach playing with the waves. The water was really warm and the waves abounded. They were really great waves too... they were big!!! It was hard to part with the waves for lunch. I just couldn't get enough of them.
There were more to see in Oahu beside Waikiki, of course. We went to downtown Honolulu.... checked out the mall, went to their court house where we learned one or two about Hawaii history (yes, I remember the famous Hawaiian king is Kamehameha. I love mentioning his name!), and we visited the parliament building which is within walking distance from the Iolani palace. Done with the short excursion around Honolulu, we went back to Waikiki to see the sunset and found out that almost every night there's a little hula performance on Waikiki. Wunderbar!
On our third day, we woke up waaaay early to catch sunrise from the top of Diamond Head, a volcanic crater about 10 minutes drive from Waikiki. The book guide said there is an admission fee but when we got there a little after 5:30 a.m there was no one at the booth so we got in for free. The hike at Diamond Head was pretty easy, it was a good exercise. When you get closer to the obeservation deck you went through an old defense fort with lots and lots of steps. Caution: wear sneakers and watch your head! The overview of Honolulu from up there was beautiful.
From Diamond we got a ride back to Waikiki from another tourists (an Israeli father and daughter from Texas). One of the hassles visiting Diamond Head was getting the ride to go there and back since the place was somewhat isolated public transportation was hard to get.
After freshened up a bit, we took a bus to go to Pearl Harbor. It took us almost 2 hours to get there from Waikiki with public transportation. We finally arrived at Pearl Harbor... and that's when our trouble began...
Once we arrived at Pearl Harbor, it turned out there is so many rules not mentioned in any guide books. For men, no short is allowed. For women, no tank top. But those are almost kinda a given and understandable since that is a burial ground of the victims of USS Arizona but when you can not even get into their gift shop to buy t-shirt to cover your tank top, that's a bit weird. Especially when the place is pretty isolated, there's no convenience store within 10-minute walking distance.
Another thing that is not allowed to bring to Pearl Harbor is a bag, even the smallest tote you have. NO BAG, period. I did not aware of the regulation, of course brought a small tote... really, it's small. Just enough to put in my point-and-click camera, passport, and wallet. Still it is forbidden to take it in to the memorial. The securities there refused to search any bag and would not listen to any argument whatsoever. NO BAG, period! Not even a video recorder bag. When we asked if there is a bag check area, they have none. The securities there could not careless what you do with your bag as long as you don't take it with you inside the memorial. One of them even said "I don't know what you wanna do with your bag, but you can not bring it inside.... you can leave it in the parking lot, or the park outside but not pass this entrance." Can you believe the sensitivity of these guards??? Here we are tourists from across the globe who probably only has a chance in a lifetime to go to Hawaii, just asked me to leave my bag (some people their camcorder) in the parking lot unattended. After much arguing, they sent 5 police officers to handle us. Fortunately, the police officers were much better to deal with than the memorial guards. They let us go and apologized for the inconvenience but still nothing but a wallet and camera without bag can be allowed. So, we ended up hiding my bag in a garbage bin! It was really annoying, by the time I was in the memorial I lost all my energy to actually learn the history.
The next morning, we rent a car and went to explore the northern shore of Oahu. We heard that Waimena is a quiet town and a surfers' favorite. So that's where we decided to go. On our way there, we made a stop at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
The Polynesian Cultural Center was really nice. The center was divided into small villages of Polynesian islands. Every half hour they have a cultural exhibition and entertainment. A village would demonstrate their planting of their staple food, a poi root which has a cool purple color. Another village would teach us how to throw spears, and many many more. I love Tonga's entertainment. They taught some male visitors to dance, and it was hillarious. It was just wicked-wicked fun!
After spending a few hours there, we continued our drive to Waimena. The drive was nice, easy, and relaxing. We made a couple stops along the way. Really, it's hard not to love Hawaii. Although, many people would complain it's too touristy but still hard not to fall in love with the islands. The locals were friendly and the panorama was soooo pretty and romantic.
We arrived at Waimena around 8 p.m. It turns out it's considered really late for the small town and we couldn't find an accommodation. So we decided to tour the town a little and just head back to Waikiki.
Aston Waikiki Beachside
Hi, can you please tell me if there is a swimming pool? If there is none, where do we go swimming, besides the beach?
Re: Aston Waikiki Beachside
No pool and across the street from the real beachside hotels. Oh, and there is no swimming on the beach,unless you sand surf, only the ocean.;-)
Re: Aston Waikiki Beachside
LOL, the only thing across the street is the Police Station, the hotels are east of it. The rooms are quite small and makesure you get an ocean front or ocean view as the parking lot behind is not a good view. (50% of the rooms have no view at all)
Re: Aston Waikiki Beachside
Go west, young man. The beach hotels are more west than east. Who cares? No pool. No stay.
Re: Aston Waikiki Beachside
LOL, I'm losing it Larry
Re: Aston Waikiki Beachside
Try to find it, Griff. Can't do without it.;-)
Re: Aston Waikiki Beachside
Unfortunately that Hotel doesn't have a swimming pool and they wouldn't tell me on the phone where to go swimming at another hotel's swimming pool...
But I bet you could find out if they were there and one of their customers.???Maybe ???????????????????