Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Dated, but with authentic Hawaiian character
Friendly staff and a style purposefully steeped in a kind of 1970s Hawaiian kitsch pervade this 17-story hotel. The lobby is decorated with native koa wood and features original artwork depicting scenes from Hawaiian mythology. Families and large groups making use of some of the largest rooms in Waikiki fill this a pink-trimmed throwback, which still holds on to the laid-back island atmosphere that many other nearby hotels have lost.
Overlooks nearby Ala Wai Canal, two blocks from Waikiki beach
The Ilima sits on a quiet residential block surrounded by condos, right near the canal. It’s easy walking distance to the beach and all central Waikiki attractions. The touristy Kalakaua Avenue -- a busy stretch of shops, restaurants, and high-rise hotels -- is only two blocks away. Diamond Head, Ala Wai golf course, and the Honolulu Zoo are all short drives (15 minutes or less) with Honolulu International Airport just a 20 to 25-minute cab ride away.
Large, with full kitchens and private balconies
The Ilima’s biggest selling point is the size of its rooms, which range from 530 to 1,500 square feet. Even the smallest studio room has a full kitchenette, including an oven, microwave, and full-sized fridge. Rooms on the eastern side of the building have views overlooking the canal with the mountains in the distance. All have 32-inch TVs, pull-out sofa beds, and free Wi-Fi; some have jetted tubs. Wear can be noticeable, especially on carpets, but rooms are generally well cleaned. Book far ahead, as they fill up fast.
Free parking, two rooftop sun decks, and a small sauna
The free parking is a major perk, but spots are limited which is a factor during high tourist season. The pool and sauna are both small, but the two sundecks provide plenty of lounge space (guests can also lounge on their private room balconies). There is a convenient guest laundry room (coin operated), but the tiny fitness room consists only of a single treadmill and stationary bike. The business center is a single computer on a desk, though the three meeting rooms available are functional.
This family-owned, condo-style hotel caters to large groups on a budget, and its huge (though dated) rooms with complete kitchens are ideal for longer stays. It’s walking distance to the beach and shopping, but you have to go through a residential block that feels isolated, especially at night. The free parking and authentic Hawaiian charm are upsides, but those looking for a larger pool who don’t need all the space the Ilima provides might consider the nearby Ohana Waikiki West or the Aqua Waikiki Pearl.