Ala Moana Hotel Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Close to the Hawaii Convention Center
  • Connected to the Ala Moana Center, a high-end shopping mall
  • Large fitness center with steam room and sauna
  • Pool, though small, has a large, nicely landscaped sundeck
  • Day spa featuring steam room and sauna
  • Thoroughly renovated in 2006 and still feels quite fresh
  • Flat-screen TVs in every room
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel

Cons

  • Small, 246-square-foot standard rooms
  • Beach is ten-minute walk away
  • No room service
  • No balconies in rooms in the Kona Tower
  • Kitchen supplies must be purchased

Bottom Line

A 1,176-room condominium hotel catering primarily to business travelers, the Ala Moana is off the beach, outside of Waikiki, near the convention center, and attached to the Ala Moana Center, a huge upscale mall. Small but clean standard rooms are nicely decorated, and generally less expensive than those at the nearby Ilikai and Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, making it a decent value.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Near the convention center, not the beach, this 1,176-room hotel offers pleasant accomodations for business travelers.

Sundeck at the pool
Sundeck at the pool

Literally connected to the Ala Moana Center, a huge upscale shopping mall, and just a half-mile from the Hawaii Convention Center, the Ala Moana caters to business travelers, serious shoppers, and those looking for an affordable place to stay on a quick stopover. (Flight attendants and pilots are a common sight in the lobby.)

It's not, however, an ideal pick for a beach vacation: While the beach isn't far (0.6 miles to be exact), it isn't close either -- and the hotel's location off a busy four-lane thoroughfare across from a cheap nail place and a check-cashing shop doesn't exactly say tropical fun; nor does the large, fluorescent-lit, fully enclosed lobby.

For more utilitarian stays, it does have a lot going for it. The hotel's two towers were renovated in 2006, and the rooms -- though modest in size -- feel bright and fresh, something you can't say about the nearby, and more expensive, Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki. The 3rd floor features a small but pleasant pool with nice landscaping and plenty of lounge chairs. The adjacent fitness center is large (over 3,000 square feet) and lovely with floor-to-ceiling windows and a steam room.

The rooms are distinctly modest in size. But if saving money or being close to the convention is more important, the Ala Moana is a solid pick for the price.

 Location

In the city, not on the beach, and connected to an upscale shopping mall.

On busy Atkinson Drive just off busy Ala Moana Boulevard, the hotel is convenient to the Hawaii Convention Center, a half-mile away, and connected via a 2nd-floor walkway, to the the high-end shopping mall the Ala Moana Center. It's a convenient location for business travelers, or serious shoppers, but not a scenic one. The hotel is surrounded by characterless high-rises and a smattering of strip clubs and seedy-looking lounges.

The nearest beach is Ala Moana Park, 0.6 miles and about a 7- to 10-minute walk away. The Fort DeRussey section of Waikiki beach is about a mile away.

Honolulu Airport is a 15- to 20-minute drive away.

 Beach

In urban Honolulu, not on the beach. The nearest beach is Ala Moana Park, 0.6 miles away and a 7- to 10-minute walk.

The hotel is located in a fairly urban portion of Honolulu, not Waikiki, but the beach isn't too far.

  • The nearest beach, Ala Moana Park, is 0.6 miles away and far less crowded than Waikiki beach; its calm waters are good for swimming.
  • The Fort DeRussey section of Waikiki Beach is about a mile away and boasts warm, calm, shallow waters.
  • Star Beach Boys stands rent out chairs and umbrellas on Waikiki Beach.
  • More active types can catch (or try to catch) a wave with the aid of Prime Time Sports surf lessons.

 Rooms

Small but nicely decorated, all with sofa beds and flat-screen TVs.

The Kona Tower City+Mountain View
The Kona Tower City+Mountain View

After a 2006 renovation that added up-to-date features like flat-screen TVs and stainless-steel appliances, the rooms are quite nice for the price. (Since Oyster's visit, the hotel has further upgraded its TVs, they are now a larger 37-inches and are no longer mounted on the wall.) The upgrades still feel fresh despite the ubiquitous floral-print, nylon bedspreads. Too bad the cheapest standard room, the Kona Tower City with Mountain View, is a mere 246 square feet. Consider spending a bit more a night for a room in the Waikiki Tower, which offers another 99 square feet and a balcony (none of the rooms in the Kona Tower have balconies).

  • All standard Kona Tower City with Mountain View rooms have a queen bed and a pullout sofa.
  • The queen bed is moderately comfortable with a Serta mattress and 250-threadcount sheets.
  • The pullout sofa mattress is thin (aren't they always) and probably best suited for young backs.
  • 37-inch flat-screen TVs
  • The Sony alarm clocks don't connect to iPods but rather play those shiny discs known as CDs.
  • Bathrooms have nice elements -- curved shower rods and marble countertops -- but generic toiletries (and no conditioner).
  • All rooms have half-refrigerators and Cuisinart coffeemakers, both stylish stainless steel; all rooms also feature Sharp microwaves.
  • Only suites have full kitchenettes, but they don't come fully equipped. Guests must pay a per-stay fee for plates, utensils, cooking instruments, paper towels, dish soap, and the like.

 Features

A decent pool, a nice business center, a great fitness center and lots of events space.

Great fitness center faces the pool
Great fitness center faces the pool
  • The hotel's 3rd floor pool and sundeck has attractive landscaping and plenty of lounge chairs. The pool itself isn't huge, but it has plenty of space for sunning or relaxing in the shade.
  • Located just off the pool deck is the hotel's excellent 3,000-plus-square-foot fitness center, which has dozens of Cardio-Tech cardio machines and weight machines, handsome wood flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, steam room, and sauna.
  • The 24-hour business center in a secluded part of the lobby, houses nearly a dozen computer terminals with credit-card payment stations, a printer, and a copy machine.
  • 5,000 square feet of meeting space
  • Daily fees for self- and valet parking

 Family

A comfortable, utilitarian pick for famillies. No activities or nearby beach, and limited food options, but good sleeping arrangements.

Pullout sofas in Standard Rooms
Pullout sofas in Standard Rooms

While the hotel can't stack up to the pools and activities aplenty at the Waikiki mega resorts, it has some key comforts for the business traveler bringing along the kids.

  • All rooms, including the entry-level standard room, the Kona Tower City with Mountain View, have pullout sofas.
  • Standard rooms have little room for the pullout couches, so to consider paying a bit more (about $30) to stay in the Waikiki Tower, which has bigger rooms.
  • Only the Waikiki Tower offers cribs, which are free. Neither rollaway beds nor connecting rooms are available.
  • One-bedroom suites have a large kitchenette, with microwave, range, dishwasher and half fridge, and a wet bar.
  • Neither Royal Garden Restaurant nor YuZu have children's menus. Plantation Cafe cuts kids ages four to 12 a deal on the breakfast buffet.
  • Plenty of kid-friendly eating options in the Ala Moana Center, a huge upscale mall connected to the hotel.

 Cleanliness

Very clean.

The hotel feels quite clean and fresh, thanks to the thorough housekeeping staff.

 Food

No room service; three decent restaurants

Sushi at Restaurant Tsukasa
Sushi at Restaurant Tsukasa

The hotel features three restaurants, and a fourth is under construction.

  • YuZu serves modern Japanese cuisine, using fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.
  • The hotel's Chinese restaurant, Royal Garden Restaurant, is popular even with non-guests, especially for its dim sum lunch. Two people could load up on dumplings and tea for a good price.
  • Plantation Cafe is open only for breakfast and serves a lackluster breakfast buffet.
  • The hotel nightclub, Rumours, is open Friday and Saturday nights.
  • A fourth restaurant -- a steakhouse from Peter Kim -- is slated to open in spring 2013.
  • Plenty more eating and drinking options in the enormous Ala Moana Center, which is connected to the hotel via an outdoor elevated walkway. Here is a full list.

 Bottom Line

A 1,176-room condominium hotel catering primarily to business travelers, the Ala Moana is off the beach, outside of Waikiki, near the convention center, and attached to the Ala Moana Center, a huge upscale mall. Small but clean standard rooms are nicely decorated, and generally less expensive than those at the nearby Ilikai and Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, making it a decent value.

Things You Should Know About Ala Moana Hotel

Address

  • 410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu, HI, US

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Ala Moana Honolulu
  • Hotel Ala Moana

Room Types

  • Junior Deluxe Suite
  • Kona Tower City/Mountain View
  • Kona Tower Partial Ocean View
  • One Bedroom Mountain View Suite
  • One Bedroom Ocean View Suite
  • Waikiki Tower City/Mountain View
  • Waikiki Tower Ocean View
  • Waikiki Tower Partial Ocean View

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 1176
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Waikiki, Honolulu
Address: 410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu, HI, US
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