Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Stay at the Aqua Palms Hotel in Waikiki

I traveled to Maui and Oahu with an old college surfer friend in late March.  I wanted to test the slo-mo capabilities of my new GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition camera at my favorite surf sites on the island.  In Oahu, I stayed at the Aqua Palms Hotel in Waikiki. 

video

This hotel is located in a nice section of Waikiki, right across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  I booked the room several months early and got a very good rate for Waikiki.  The thing about Oahu is that there are not many hotels that are outside of Waikiki except for very large expensive resorts.  All I want in a hotel room is that it is clean, safe, relatively inexpensive, and easy to get into and out of.  This hotel met all the criteria.  Parking is $20 at the hotel and I never had trouble finding a space.  The wired internet in the room was very fast and reliable.  The room included good working A/C, a mini fridge, and a microwave.  Overall, the hotel is getting a bit old but the management is responsive and responsible, and the rooms are well maintained and clean.

The only complaint I had about my stay (and this is not the fault of the hotel) is that there was construction going on below my room, which was on the "city side" of the hotel rather than the side facing the ocean.  A pile driver and construction noise started at 7AM every day and went on until 5PM.  Luckily I am not sensitive to noise but this would have driven most people crazy. 

The other problem I encountered was that the hotel messed up my reservation and sent me several emails that my stay had been cancelled.  I had to call the hotel about six times over six months to re-confirm and explain the situation (I had booked originally through booking.com but then cancelled that reservation and booked directly; somehow the hotel got confused).  The hotel manager(s) took care of this problem but it did cause some worry.  

My room was on the top  (11th) floor, I was told that the larger rooms had a sofa (I asked for a larger room); there was a bit of wait for the elevators sometimes but not a big problem, and the room was fine.  The top rooms are quieter, especially at night, and the temperature was perfect.  I usually sleep with the room cooled by A/C; here, I just left the balcony doors open and the temperature was just fine.  

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