Doubletree Alana Hotel Waikiki Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu

Oyster Review Summary

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Pros

  • Large rooms
  • Attentive service
  • Fantastic, modern gym
  • Convenient to beach and convention center
  • Free Wi-Fi in public spaces

Cons

  • Beach is 10-minute walk
  • Small pool
  • Mediocre on-site food

Bottom Line

A solid outpost of the Doubletree chain, located 10 minutes from both the convention center and the beach, this spot on busy Ala Moana doesn't have much local flavor, like the nearby Aqua Palms, or impressive features, like the Hilton Hawaiian Village, but it's a decent choice for business and the rooms were renovated in late 2010.

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 Scene

Located along busy Ala Moana Boulevard and a 10-minute walk to the beach, this business-friendly option is a practical -- if unexciting -- choice.

The lobby
The lobby

Straddling Honolulu's leisure and business districts, the 19-story, 270-room Doubletree Alana is about a 10-minute walk in opposite directions from Waikiki Beach and the massive Hawaii Convention Center, though its landlocked, high-rise surroundings and low-key, Bluetooth-and-laptop-filled lobby tip the scales toward business travelers.

This is the only outpost of Hilton's mid-range, business-friendly brand in Hawaii. Indeed, one feels they could just as easily be in Cleveland or Tulsa as on a tropical island (don't expect a lot of local touches like you'll find at the nearby Aqua Palms). All the brand's trademark touches are here, though: a welcome cookie at check-in, Neutrogena bath products, a 24-hour business center, meeting rooms, and a fantastic, modern gym. The color scheme is inoffensive beige, though green hibiscus print carpets line the hallways (one of the only touches of local flavor). A breezy reading area filled with books and magazines, along with free Wi-Fi, makes the lobby a popular place to hang out.

The Alana was last renovated in 1992, but renovations in late 2010 made it feel modern and clean. The hotel isn't particularly exciting or exotic, but it's well designed and functional. There are certainly far more resorty places to stay, and there are cheaper options closer to the beach, like Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach or the Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio, but for those desiring solid service and business amenities, or who just want to use some HHHonors points without breaking the bank at the nearby Hilton Hawaiian Village, it works.

 Service

Friendly and attentive

The front desk
The front desk

Service here seems a touch more attentive than at the Aqua properties or the Hilton Hawaiian Village, perhaps due to the heavy business clientele.

  • Quick check-ins, with Doubletree's signature chocolate chip cookies; separate line for HHHonors members; express in-room checkout for all guests
  • Housekeeping can be a bit overzealous; they knocked on the door three times the morning of my departure, despite the "Do Not Disturb" sign.
  • Free amenities -- toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving cream, etc. -- are available from the front desk.
  • No concierge, but cheerful front-desk staffers give suggestions and detailed walking directions
  • 24-hour business center
  • Sundry shop in the lobby requires a room key and is self-serve (take items, pay at the front desk).

 Location

On busy Ala Moana Boulevard, across the street from Fort DeRussy Beach Park

Doubletree Alana is located on Ala Moana Boulevard, across the street from Fort DeRussy Beach Park and next door to Cheeseburger Waikiki, as well as a somewhat shabby hostel.

It's a 10-minute walk south of the Hawaii Convention Center via Kalakaua, about 10 minutes from a nice stretch of Waikiki Beach at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and a 20-minute walk from the enormous Ala Moana Shopping Center.

It's also a 20-minute walk from the heart of Waikiki's main drag, Kalakaua Avenue, a touristy, milelong stretch of shops, restaurants, and high-rise hotels that runs along Waikiki Beach on Oahu's southeast coast, with its curious blend of mainland creature comforts and local flavor. On the sidewalks, Japanese tourists intermingle with tanned locals, surfboards under their arms, on their way to the beach to catch a few waves after work. On both sides of the street, high-end retailers -- Tiffany, Cartier, and yes, even an Apple store -- are interspersed with indoor malls and streetside vendors hawking cheap seashell jewelry and T-shirts. Seemingly every mid-market chain restaurant can be found here -- Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Tony Roma's -- along with more than a handful of Starbucks and fast-food joints. And towering above it all: 40-story, thousand-room hotels dotting the landscape like pins in a cushion.

  • Wide variety of shopping, dining, and drinking -- all within walking distance
  • Fort DeRussy Beach Park, a less crowded section of Waikiki Beach, is across the street
  • 10-minute walk south of the Hawaii Convention Center
  • 10-minute walk to a nice stretch of public beach at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
  • 20-minute walk to the huge Ala Moana Shopping Center
  • Cheap and easy to get around Waikiki via "The Bus" ($2.25 per person to go any distance)
  • Honolulu International Airport is a 15-minute, $35 cab ride.

 Beach

Across the street from one of the world's most famous beaches; Fort DeRussy Beach is the closest subsection.

Loosely speaking, the entire 1.5-mile stretch of sand alongside Kalakaua Avenue is known as Waikiki Beach. In reality, it's more like three separate beaches, the borders of which vary depending on whom you ask. The Doubletree is across the street from the Fort DeRussy section, which is far less crowded than its more famous neighbor to the southeast, Queen's Beach. The water is shallow, warm, and calm, making Fort DeRussy a decent place to swim, especially for kids. The hotel is also just a 10-minute walk from the public Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, another great spot for kids.

  • Public beaches
  • Fort DeRussy ocean bottom is rocky, unlike neighboring Queen's Beach; daily lifeguards on duty.
  • Free towels, provided by the hotel
  • Umbrellas and lounge chairs must be rented from one of the many Star Beach Boys stands; chairs are $5 an hour, $20 a day; for two chairs and an umbrella, it's $10 an hour, $50 a day.
  • Water sports equipment, like surfboards and boogie boards, available for rental at Star Beach Boys stands

 Rooms

Clean, modern and larger than some competing properties

An Ocean View Room
An Ocean View Room

A 2010 renovation changed the Doubletree Alana's 315 rooms that weren't particularly exciting (beige walls, small showers) or stylish (old TVs, generic floral-print bedspreads). A fresh coat of paint, more modern bedding and flat screen TVs updated the once drab place. Rooms are extremely clean, and standards start at a decent 339 square feet. Though a few nearby hotels in this price category -- like the Ilikai and Hawaii Prince -- offer equally large rooms and superior views, the Doubletree's rooms are modern with solid amenities, serviced by an efficient staff. Ocean View rooms are a bit larger than standards -- 373 square feet -- with a marble entryway and a wet bar.

  • Comfortable, custom-designed, plush-top bed with 300-thread-count sheets -- one of Waikiki's softest
  • All rooms have a balcony with two chairs and a small table.
  • Baths offer nice Neutrogena products -- including extras like facewash and SPF45 moisturizer; showers have both standard head and removable nozzle; water pressure is strong.
  • Renovation in 2010 gave all rooms walk-in glass showers with oversized "rain" showerheads
  • Hard-wired Internet (a steep $9.95 per day), large desk, and complimentary in-room safe
  • Many rooms have wet bars; all have coffeemakers and assorted coffees and teas.
  • Electronics are on par with nearby hotels: 37 to 42-inch flat screen TVs; pay-per-view movies, HBO, Nintendo video games, and on-demand programming available.
  • Snazzy bedside radio includes nature sounds and an iPod dock.
  • There are two designated smoking floors.
  • Ocean View rooms 1521, 1621, 1721 and 1821 have two balconies and cost no more than other Ocean View rooms; the last has stellar views.

 Features

A solid line-up of features

The gym
The gym

Because the Doubletree caters to business travelers, it's no surprise that its best features are the gym and meeting rooms. But look elsewhere if you're a pool person; this one's of little use beyond a quick dip to cool off.

  • Heated outdoor pool above the lobby is pleasantly landscaped, but overlooks the street and parking garage, and can be noisy from traffic below.
  • Fantastic, 24-hour gym decked out with modern Precor cardio equipment and up-to-date machines
  • 4,000 square feet of meeting space in an adjacent building accessed by a walkway on the 3rd floor
  • Small, 24-hour business center next to the front desk with computers, printers, and a fax machine
  • Free Wi-Fi in all public areas, including the lobby and pool deck -- faster than in-room wired at $9.95 per day

 Family

OK for families, though it's business-oriented

The pool
The pool

There's not a lot in the way of family-friendly amenities at the Doubletree, which is primarily geared to business travelers.

  • An inconvenient walk across the street to Fort DeRussy Beach or a 10-minute walk down a busy street to the beach at the Hilton Hawaiian Village -- though both are less crowded than the center of Waikiki
  • As is the norm in Waikiki, cribs are free, rollaways come with a charge ($40 per night)
  • So-so pool that's good enough for young kids, but not too exciting for others
  • TVs offer Nintendo games and movies on demand.

 Cleanliness

Clean, with a few minor issues

The lobby
The lobby

The rooms are clean and bright (the hotel underwent a renovation in mid 2011). A few housekeeping issues marred a perfect performance, however.

  • Room service trays sit in the hallway for longer than they should.
  • Crumbs and a forgotten room key were lodged in one of the cushions of a lobby chair.
  • Minor scuffs on the walls and rusty furniture on the balcony

 Food

A mediocre, overpriced restaurant; many options nearby

A local chain restaurant next door to the hotel
A local chain restaurant next door to the hotel

The hotel serves two meals a day, but just barely. With so many options in the area, don't stick around here for the average, too-expensive-for-what-it-is fare.

 Bottom Line

A solid outpost of the Doubletree chain, located 10 minutes from both the convention center and the beach, this spot on busy Ala Moana doesn't have much local flavor, like the nearby Aqua Palms, or impressive features, like the Hilton Hawaiian Village, but it's a decent choice for business and the rooms were renovated in late 2010.

Things You Should Know About Doubletree Alana Hotel Waikiki

Address

  • 1956 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hotel is Also (or Was Formerly) Known As

  • Doubletree Honolulu

Room Types

  • City/Mountain View Guestroom With Balcony
  • City View Suite With Balcony
  • Guestroom With Balcony
  • King Bed Penthouse Suite With Large Deck
  • Oceanview Guestroom With Balcony
  • Ocean View Suite With Balcony
  • Penthouse Suite with Balcony
  • Suite City/Mountain View
  • Two Queens Kitchenette With Balcony

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 317
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Waikiki, Honolulu
Address: 1956 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96815
(See Map)
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