Oahu, Hawaii is one of my favourite places in the world to vacation. When I go to Oahu, I stay in Waikiki or in Laie which is near the North Shore. Last year, I decided to get one of those DNA tests done on myself to see what my DNA ancestry is. Being a quarter Filipino, I was convinced that I must have Spanish blood in light of the 333 year Spanish rule of the Philippines. When the results came back, I was surprised to learn that I had no Spanish blood. Instead, I had 12% Polynesian blood originating from the Guam/Samoa/Tonga area! Now I'm no expert in family trees but I believe this means that one of my grand parents may have Polynesian roots.
It now makes so much sense to me why I always felt at home in Hawaii and why I am always mistaken for being Kama’aina when I'm there. If you want to get your own DNA test done, consider using my referral to 23andMe, they have 2 types of tests that you can do. One simply does the Ancestry and the other a more advanced Health and Ancestry report.
walk to the Ala Moana mall. The Waikiki Marriott guest rooms are in 2 towers located on the north and south ends of the property called the Paoakalani (north), and the Kealohilani (south) towers. The main difference that I've noticed between the two towers is that the Paoakalani tower mainly has city and Diamond Head views, and the Kealohilani tower has ocean views.
On both my stays at this hotel, I was given a room in the Kealohilani tower with ocean views. The room has large patio doors that you can open to get that nice sea breeze and a very spacious balcony with loungers and a small table. In each room, you get the usual amenities that you would expect in a quality hotel like an inroom safe, bathroom amenities, mini fridge, alarm clock, iron
Since the hotel is a little further away from all the craziness of downtown Waikiki, you can sit on the balcony at night and easily hear the surf without all (just some) of the drunken yelling!
Apart from the hotel lobby, the first floor of the hotel also has 2 Starbucks Coffee shops and 2 ABC stores for your snacks, drinks and last minute souvenirs. These are located very close to the elevator banks of either tower of the property which makes it super convenient. There is also an Enterprise Car Rental, a number of souvenir shops, and a Segway of Hawaii tour office. I have never booked a tour with Segway of Hawaii but have seen them all over Waikiki and looks super neat to do. Maybe one day I will do a tour with them with some friends and do a review of it.
The pools, hot tub, exercise room, dvd rental machines, and hotel restaurants are all located on the 2nd floor of the property. I personally didn't spend much time using the pools and hot tub because few times I soaked in the hot tub after a long day playing, I felt that the chlorine levels were too high and irritated my skin too much. I much prefer swimming in the ocean anyways.
One negative to the hotel is the resort fees are higher than some other hotels in the area. If I remember correctly (cuz I chose to block it out of memory) the resort fees total US$27/night. To help make up for the high resort fees, you get quite a bit of freebies which include coupons for alcoholic beverages redeemable at the pool side bar (Moana Terrace I believe?), WiFi, dvd rentals, etc. It doesn't really make up for it but its something I guess. You also have to pay for parking separately which according to their website is US$40/day. I am not sure if you get a cheaper rate if you are a guest at the hotel (I would hope so).
Some notable landmarks that are very close to the hotel is the Honolulu Zoo which is minutes away and the St. Augustine Church which is right across the street, the Rainbow Drive-In is about a 10 minute walk away, and Leonard's Bakery is about a 20 minute walk north. There are 2 GoBiki bike racks that are across the street on Kalakaua Ave which makes it even easier to get to places if you don’t feel like walking.
Overall, I would rate this hotel at an 8.5/10. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone who is vacationing in Oahu and wishes to stay in the Waikiki area. On my next trip to Oahu, I will likely stay at this property again and will update this post if I find anything noteworthy.
If you have stayed at this hotel, tell me what you think of it in the comments section below.
- Mahalo Nui Loa
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