Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Renovated in 2011, spaces are clean and comfortable with solid value amenities.
The Queen Kapiolani consists of 315 rooms and suites spanning 19 floors. The more attractive entrance is on Kapahulu Avenue, directly across from the Honolulu Zoo (a not-so-delightful side effect of this hotel's location: rare bird screeches penetrate into the rooms at odd hours). The vehicular entrance and front desk are off narrow Lemon Street, surrounded by dingy hostels and apartment buildings.
The hotel's guest rooms, restaurant, and exterior spaces were renovated in 2011, after Oyster had visited the property. The hotel is much-improved, but has still seen better days. The lobby lacks for natural light (a point exacerbated by its dim brass chandeliers), but the new tiled floors, furniture, and paint have made it appear more cozy than dingy. The room updates have similarly brightened and streamlined the decor, introducing white, gold, and tan textiles to the space, as well as new carpeting, linens, and paint. Furniture has been refurbished but remains the same. The look is classic and comfortable and the vibe is light and airy, with the focus on the views of either Diamond Head or Waikiki Beach.
Guests range from Hawaiian families to European couples to twentysomething groups and backpackers. All come here looking for a good value with solid amenities and feature.
On the quiet eastern edge of Waikiki and a long block from the. The is across the street, and hostels are next door.
On the eastern edge of Waikiki, and specifically on Kapahulu Avenue, a block (and about a two-minute walk) from the Kuhio section of views of Diamond Head. Cheap hostels and apartment buildings neighbor the hotel.. With across the street and no high-rise neighbors, the hotel has fantastic
A long block up Kapahulu is, a touristy, milelong stretch of shops, restaurants, and high-rise hotels that runs along . It offers a 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 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, P.F. Chang'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.
A two-minute stroll to one of the world's most famous beaches;, aka "the wall," 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 Queen Kapiolani is one block from the section, 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 is 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.
Some have fantastic views, though dated furniture remains after renovations.
In 2010 and 2011 rooms were renovated, providing much-needed updates to the musty interiors. New paint, wallpaper, carpeting, and linens are in all rooms, while only some received new furniture during the update. Tones are largely neutral, pulling attention away from the rooms (a wise choice, since they are still not particularly glamorous) and to the gorgeous views that the hotel boasts.
The small swimming pool is on the 3rd floor and offers fantastic views of Diamond Head and the ocean. The tiled pool deck is quite spacious with plenty of lounge chairs, but has little landscaping and is a few feet from a massive power line. The hotel's restaurant, Garden Lanai, is just around the corner, and there's also a vending machine on the pool deck for some quick refreshment.
Low rates, proximity to the beach, and rooms with sleeper sofas
A reasonable but distinctly low-end family option: Rooms are spacious and cheap and the hotel is just a block from the beach and across the street from the Honolulu Zoo. For some families, however, those virtues won't outweigh worn and musty rooms.
Housekeeping does its best, but the building and rooms are in desperate need of an update.
The housekeeping staff is friendly and attentive and, thanks to the renovations in 2011, the hotel is clean. Though some furniture is still somewhat dated, new décor has spruced up the place a great deal.
The on-site restaurant's menu is affordable and varied, if basic.
The on-site Kulana's semi-open-air setting is charming and quaint at dinnertime, offering spectacular views. It used to be a little too basic, but the 2011 renovations brought a complete new look to the space. There's adaily breakfast buffet and sit-down dinner featuring local Hawaiian fare. A happy hour takes place Monday through Friday, and pupu platters are served at the bar in the afternoons and evenings.
The hotel also offers a variety of catering menus for special events and business meetings. And there are many restaurants within blocks on Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues.
The Queen Kapiolani is a great value option two blocks from the beach, on the quiet eastern edge of Waikiki. Some rooms offer superb views and, thanks to refurbishments in 2011, a bright, classic aesthetic. Rooms are decked out in hues of white, gold, and tan, and feature flat-screen TVs and free Wi-FI. The on-site restaurant has seen a similar overhaul, improving its décor and menu. While still not luxurious, the property's updates to rooms, the restaurant, pool, and outdoor areas have elevated it from its slightly sketchy past.