If beach hotel prices and resort fees have kept you from visiting Hawaii, the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu can make Hawaii a more affordable vacation destination.
Located adjacent to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, and a couple of blocks off the beach, the Ala Moana hotel is popular with business travelers attending events at the nearby Hawaii Convention Center or onsite meetings. The room are contemporary and functional, with balconies offering views of the city skyline or peek-a-boo views of ocean and marina/yacht club, but don’t expect the luxury extras that you get at higher end properties.
The swimming pool and sun deck are located on the third floor. The pool is fairly small, but I’ve always been able to find a lounge chair without feeling like I was sandwiched in on top of others. If you want the beach swimming is permitted at Ala Moana Beach Park. It’s just a short walk away, perfectly safe during the day time, but use caution at night as homeless people often sleep overnight in the park.
Rooms have microwaves and refrigerators, which can help with your food budget, and you can hit up the food court at the shopping center for additional budget friendly dining choices. I’m a big fan of Yummy Korean BBQ and most stays involve a trip to the food court for their Kalbi Ribs and spicy edamame. The shopping center has plenty of casual and fine dining restaurants as well; my recommendations would include Goma Tei for ramen and Assaggio for Italian. Of course, Ala Moana Center offers more than food, so if shopping is a part of your travel experience, you’ll find over 300 stores ready to indulge you and it’s a short walk back to your hotel room.
There are food and beverage outlets on the hotel property, including the Plantation Cafe which offers a daily breakfast buffet (good, but overpriced in my opinion), Signature Prime Steak & Seafood on the 36th floor (check out the half price happy hour specialsto accompany a sweeping view), and Rumours Nightclub (I haven’t checked this one out, but have heard the music from the lobby).
There is no additional resort fee, an anomaly in the islands. Wi-fi is free in rooms and common areas. I’ve stayed on a number of different floors and have always has a strong signal.
The front desk is helpful, although frequently short staffed creating frustrating long lines, although the lobby tour desk can help you with quick questions in addition to booking and sightseeing information. Or, since the hotel is home for a variety of domestic and international airline crew, ask a crew member for a recommendation.
If you have the budget and the luxury inclination, you’ll want a beautiful Hawaiian beachfront hotel, but if you want an affordable option that is still comfortable and well located, the Ala Moana Hotel will fit your needs.
The Ala Moana Hotel is located at 410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii. Rates vary widely based on season and convention bookings, current rates start at about $170/night. You can also compare rates and book through Travelocity or Expedia.