Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Large, 837-room hotel with solid kid-friendly attractions, but its rooms -- and the hotel itself -- feel a little tired
Despite its kid-friendly amenities -- including a three-story, 280,000-gallon aquarium -- and a decent pool and Jacuzzi, Pacific Beach Hotel doesn't quite hit the bar set by some of the other Waikiki giants. Its deeply faded, high-backed Alice in Wonderland-type couches in the lobby, outdated tropical bedspreads in the rooms, and endless souvenir shops on the ground floor, make this hotel feel dowdy and dated.
One of the only notable advantages Pacific Beach has over its competition is that 24 of its 837 rooms are distinctly eco-minded, meaning that the hotel uses recycled or biodegradable soaps and cleaning products, minimizes waste, and limits energy consumption. It's not much, but considering that "green" in Waikiki typically means little more than offering separate bins for garbage and recyclables (as they do at the Moana Surfrider) these small steps are impressive.
So while Pacific Beach is fine for couples or families trying to be more conscious of their carbon footprint, the newly renovated Aston Waikiki Beach, also located across from the kid-friendliest (and most calm) section of , has a much more buzzing vibe and a greater share of rooms that overlook the ocean. Other hotels to consider are the Marriott Waikiki, as well as the newly renovated Sheraton Waikiki, which is located in the heart of the action on and has a huge pool surrounded by boulders.
Prompt service, but you'll have to ask for it
Pacific Beach is mostly a check-in and checkout kind of place. There are porters at the entrance to help with bags, and requests for extra towels are filled quickly, but calling the front desk can be a hassle -- sometimes it'll ring and ring and ring. ...
Located just off Waikiki Beachacross from the kid-friendliest section of
Pacific Beach Hotel is located on 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 midmarket 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 like the Hyatt and Princess Kaiulani dotting the landscape pins in a cushion., a touristy milelong stretch of shops, restaurants, and high-rise hotels that runs along Oahu's southeast coast. On the sidewalks, Japanese tourists intermingle with tanned locals, surfboards under their arms, on their way to the
Across the street from the kid-friendliest section of Waikiki Beach
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. Pacific Beach Hotel is located a block from thesection, known to some as "the wall," for the 50-yard that juts out from the sand at the corner of Kapahulu Avenue. (The kids who jump off the pier are known affectionately as "wall rats.")
is broader and far less crowded than its more famous neighbor to the northwest, Queen's Beach. The water's shallow and warm, and because the wall creates an artificial cove of sorts, it's also calm, making Kuhio the best place for kids to swim, according to the lifeguards there. On the other hand, the ocean bottom is a bit rocky, so tread gingerly.
Excluding the large flat-screen, "basic," or even "motel-ish," might be the best ways to describe a standard room at the Pacific Beach. The hotel replaced the rooms' TVs and carpets in 2008 and 2009, and the bedspreads were expected to be fully replaced by the end of 2009, but some of them still linger. The look is still a crazy-patterned-carpet-madly-clashing-with-equally-crazy-patterned-bedspreads kind of thing. Updates in 2011 improved this kitchy aesthetic, with new carpets, fresh coats of paint and nicer bedspreads in 300 rooms.
Select rooms are designed to minimize their enviornmental impact.
Located in the, the hotel has transformed 24 of its 837 rooms into what the hotel dubs "experimental green rooms." Despite their well-placed efforts, the hotel hasn't been accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council -- though that's eventually their goal -- and shouldn't be considered a fully eco-friendly hotel yet, but they're taking small steps in a much greener direction.
Green rooms include:
Kid-friendly, but not as snazzy as the Aston Waikiki Beach
Located across the street from Kuhio, the calmest, kid-friendliest section of Aston Waikiki Beach or Marriott Waikiki is a solid family option. But Pacific Beach's amenities aren't nearly as nice (or buzzing) as its neighbors., Pacific Beach, like the
Clean overall, but it's an aging property
The hotel hasn't been fully renovated in at least seven years, though light renovations to the rooms have been ongoing for the past two years -- new carpets, TVs, and (by 2010). But despite these efforts, the walls in the shower are yellowing a bit and the lobby might smell a little damp.
The hotel has one restaurant, aquarium with more than 70 different species of marine life is the real draw to Oceanarium -- but there's plenty of grub to eat close by, including at the Wolfgang Puck and a Starbucks at the nearby Aston Waikiki Beach, and the delicious Sansei Sushi at the equally close Marriott Waikiki., and one café, . (Note: Neptune's Garden, a restaurant that's still mentioned on the hotel's website is no longer open). Overall, the food is OK -- the three-story, 280,000-gallon
The 837-room Pacific Beach is located across from the kid-friendliest section of rooms, a pool, Jacuzzi, buffet restaurant with a three-story fish tank and 24 eco-minded rooms. But the hotel lacks the atmosphere and enhanced amenities of the newly renovated Aston Waikiki Beach or Sheraton Waikiki., and goes beyond the basics -- clean