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Hawaii for a week - accommodation help


Jan 26, 2011
My Map
We will be staying for a week in Hawaii after an Alaskan cruise next June. I've just cancelled a classic awards flight SFO to Adelaide (we were going to backtrack to SFO from Hawaii as QF classic award flights out of Honolulu have never appeared) but have now bitten the bullet and booked a classic award flight on JQ in business direct from Hon. I figure the minimum 10 hours less flying (Hon-SFO-"back over" to Syd) was worth it, and additionally a very nice $ refund and points.

I wouldn't do a night flight on those JQ seats but a day flight is just dandy.

Which means we now have freed up some $$ to spend on Honolulu accommodation. We will be flying direct to HON from ANC, which is a longish flight anyway.

Where do we stay? I currently have a cancellable booking @ Waikiki Marina Resort. MrP has a bit of a hankering for a Volcano visit as long as I dont lose too much shopping time.

Maybe a better question is - where shouldn't we stay?
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Established Member
Nov 5, 2010
Very much depends on your interests. For most people, somewhere central in Waikiki is ideal. The hotels along the beachfront are my favourites - Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Outrigger Waikiki, Moana Surfrider, Halekulani, Outrigger Reef. Best views - Diamond Head side room at the Sheraton Waikiki. All of these hotels are large, so not the place for a quiet, secluded getaway.

The biggest around is the Hilton Hawaiian Village, but it's a bit remote from the main Waikiki strip. It is adjacent to a lagoon and the pier for the Atlantis submarine (and that's worth it if you've never been in a real submarine - it goes down to about 100 feet below).

There's lots of shopping in Waikiki, and also nearby at Ala Moana Center, and further afield (other side of town) at the Waikele Outlets.

I like to rent a car and drive around the island. Stop for garlic shrimp at Giovanni's shrimp truck on the north shore. If energetic, do the short hike to the top of Diamond Head for great views back across southern Oahu. And you can drive into, and park your car in, the middle of the Diamond Head crater!

For the volcanoes, you'll need to do a day trip to the Big Island. With the current eruption, I'm not sure how close you can get. If you can get there, the caldera and info centre in the Volcanoes National Park is interesting, as is the opportunity to walk over solidified lava.

If you haven't done Pearl Harbor before, it's a must. There's also the Pacific Aviation Museum there, along with the USS Missouri.


Senior Member
Jan 7, 2011
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We've only stayed on the north shore so all my recommendations are for up there.

The big eruption on the big island is officially over too.


Established Member
Jun 7, 2018
I stayed a couple of months ago at the Lotus Honolulu towards Diamond Head. I enjoyed not being in the middle of Waikiki and certainly made the most of the less crowded beaches. It was probably 15 minutes walk to Waikiki, so still accessible and they had a complimentary shuttle to Ala Moana.

It really depends on what you are after.


Aug 5, 2006
My Map
Bumping this as we have just booked our second visit to Hawaii and went through quite a number of options as to what to do accom wise.

For first timers, I think Waikiki is still best. Yep, do the big tourist resort and get your bearings. However, rent a car and get out and explore Oahu. North Shore is a must. Go to other less-crowded beaches and local eating spots in towns and villages outside of Honolulu.

Going back for our second visit, we wanted to explore further and try not to be ‘one of the masses’. We booked a week on Maui - but not in a resort. The prices for the resorts were ridiculous, even though most reviews/reports said a lot a fairly old now and run down (except one or two that on price alone we decided we didn’t really need a marble bathroom for a visit to Hawaii...) Found a great, private BnB (that was still quite expensive) but gave us the freedom to do what we wanted (go to different beaches and local eating places). Booked a car and now we are all set.

We still wanted to spend a few days on Oahu before coming home to visit the outlets and our second-fav beach in the world (so far). We grappled with booking a big resort in Waikiki or going somewhere else around the island.

We've only stayed on the north shore so all my recommendations are for up there.
Spewing I didn’t see this earlier as I did a fair bit of looking and didn’t find what we wanted on the North Shore. Didn’t want Turtle Bay (will visit for golf, but figured if we wanted to stay at a resort, we’ll do Waikiki). Looked at lot of little hotels/motels around the island but nothing really stood out or were comparable in prices to Waikiki. Again, same deal with AirBnB and home stays.

In the end, we asked ourselves what are we actually going to do on Oahu - the Aussie tourist pilgrimage to the outlets and sit around and drink Mai Tais (and a couple of visits to the beach). With that realisation, a resort at Waikiki was probably the best option. Booked the cheapest room at the Royal Hawaiian - we got an absolute bargain - so right in the thick of it. We use a room to sleep and shower, not hang around in, so this will do us nicely.

On our first visit we stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki. Again, did the job, but holey moley it was big. We felt like being part of an ant colony... Probably would stay here again, for the right price, but the Royal Hawaiian deal was just too good to refuse.

Currently looking at a day visit to the Big Island for a helicopter tour of the volcanoes. Our initial thinking is to just book our own flights and rental car and spend our own day on the island with a helicopter tour booked on its own. There are other options inlcluding flight from HNL and guided tours all day, but not sure if it is for us. If anyone has any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, enjoy Hawaii. It really is a great holiday destination. Get outside Waikiki and see it. Just consider whether what you are planning on doing in Hawaii could be done in a similar setting and a lot cheaper on the Gold Coast....

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