Friday, August 19, 2005

My firm opinions on Waikiki hotels

Based on staying at five different hotels there, I believe

1) If you can afford to stay at a hotel directly on the beach and have a room with a balcony facing the beach, do it.

2) If you cannot afford the balcony facing the beach, do not bother with a hotel directly on the beach. I have been in the Sheraton Waikiki, which is on the beach, and it takes longer to get from a room to the elevator bank than it does for me to get from my room at the Hawaiiana to the ABC store across the street, which is halfway to the beach. And the Hawaiiana is 1/3 the cost of the Sheraton.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village may be worse. It is directly on the beach but it is 22 acres and has over 3,000 rooms. I believe I can get to the beach from the Hawaiiana faster than the large majority of people staying at the HHV.

3) Room quality requirements vary tremendously among people. Beth and I have no standard. The Hawaiiana is worn out, even shabby, and we loved it.

4) We had a small kitchen at the Hawaiiana. This was much handier than I had ever imagined. For example, we ate at the Cheesecake Factory. My meal was so big that I took home most of it in a doggie bag. I was able to heat it up in the microwave and it provided me with two more meals.

5) The swankier hotels seem to have the weakest TV channel selection. The Hawaiiana had the best I have ever had. I was able to watch All My Children at night on the SoapNet channel.

6) Thomas Sowell says (and I would never argue with anything he says) that 4 star hotels are better than 5 stars. He contends that 4 stars are just 5 stars without the attitude. In this vein, the Sheraton Moana Surfrider is better than the Hulekilani.

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