Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls

Location, location, location -- the age-old motto certainly holds true in Oahu's Waikiki, where mega-resorts have tried to edge each other out for the choicest beachfront spots. Yet this budget hotel, with rates that tend to range between $100 and $150 a night, managed to squeeze its way in; the family-friendly Kuhio section of Waikiki Beach is right across the street. Back in the room, guests will find fun tropical decor, flat-screen TVs, and in most cases an ocean view. A free, daily, hot breakfast is another nice perk.

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10 affordable warm-weather getaways to cure the winter blues (2 of 10)

 Location, location, location -- the age-old motto certainly holds true in Oahu's Waikiki, where mega-resorts have tried to edge each other out for the choicest beachfront spots. Yet this budget hotel, with rates that tend to range between $100 and $150 a night, managed to squeeze its way in; the family-friendly Kuhio section of Waikiki Beach is right across the street. Back in the room, guests will find fun tropical decor, flat-screen TVs, and in most cases an ocean view. A free, daily, hot breakfast is another nice perk.
Baby, it's cold outside, and we've been fantasizing lately about some of our favorite sunny getaways. If you're ready to escape your cubicle and fly south for the winter (or at least for a long weekend), take a look at our list of ten drool-worthy island resorts that won't break the bank.
First up, Rockhouse Hotel. The lush, laid-back Rockhouse creates a holistic haven -- gourmet dining, morning yoga, cliffside loungers, a premium spa, no kids under 12, and beautiful eco-appropriate design. But most astounding are the reasonable rates. (The slightly chicer Caves costs about three times more.) Location, location, location -- the age-old motto certainly holds true in Oahu's Waikiki, where mega-resorts have tried to edge each other out for the choicest beachfront spots. Yet this budget hotel, with rates that tend to range between $100 and $150 a night, managed to squeeze its way in; the family-friendly Kuhio section of Waikiki Beach is right across the street. Back in the room, guests will find fun tropical decor, flat-screen TVs, and in most cases an ocean view. A free, daily, hot breakfast is another nice perk. For a massive, hyper-indulgent, all-inclusive mega-resort, the Iberostar Costa Dorada is among the best in Puerto Plata -- great buffets, activities, entertainment, liquor, and service. Sure, there's no gym, and the giant pool can get a little chilly. But to the many guests who come back every year, those are just petty details. It's also cheaper to reach Puerto Plata than La Romana or Punta Cana; flights to the Puerto Plata airport tend to cost less, and the 25-min taxi ride from the airport averages $35. Quality food, oceanfront bungalows, free trapeze lessons, and beachside canopy beds make this 600-room resort an excellent value; the sexy, 80 percent Italian clientele doesn't hurt, either. There are some minor cleanliness issues, like debris in the pool, but the beach has some of the softest sand and clearest water in the D.R. (though there are the occasional coral rocks). Quality food, oceanfront bungalows, free trapeze lessons, and beachside canopy beds make this 600-room resort an excellent value; the sexy, 80 percent Italian clientele doesn't hurt, either. There are some minor cleanliness issues, like debris in the pool, but the beach has some of the softest sand and clearest water in the D.R. (though there are the occasional coral rocks). With just 30 hippy-chic cottages in secluded Treasure Beach, Jake's is a member of Island Outpost, Jamaica's trendiest hotel group. Guests come to unplug -- there's no phone, Internet, or TV in the cottages. The black-sand beaches aren't Jamaica's most impressive, but the Driftwood Spa, on-site painting and yoga classes, and excellent food make this a particular favorite. Located in the Maui town of Kihei, a cluster of budget hotels, shops, and affordable restaurants that's 10 miles from Wailea's pricey resorts, the 265-room Maui Coast is the island's best value. The closest beach is a five-minute walk, and guests will likely want to head into town to dine. But the clean rooms have modern furnishings, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and microwaves. The laundry facilities are free, and a fun poolside bar hosts live music at night. There's no pool, lobby, or dazzling features, but Catcha's quaint cliffside huts come with warm service, open-air showers, breathtaking sunsets, comfortable beds and simple homemade cuisine. You can eat one of the best breakfasts in Jamaica for free until 11 a.m. at Ivan's Bar. Quality food, oceanfront bungalows, free trapeze lessons, and beachside canopy beds make this 600-room resort an excellent value; the sexy, 80 percent Italian clientele doesn't hurt, either. There are some minor cleanliness issues, like debris in the pool, but the beach has some of the softest sand and clearest water in the D.R. (though there are the occasional coral rocks). This 72-room Waikiki boutique offers designer style with sample-sale price tags. Recently renovated rooms fashioned by San Francisco designer Jiun Ho are some of the most stylish on the island, yet you can usually get them for less than $150. The hotel is lacking in amenities, but it offers a number of handy discounts for services ranging from rental cars to gym passes to museum tickets.
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