Oceanfront location across the street from Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach
Air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs, video game systems, and balconies
Big, ocean-view pool surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas
Tiki bar-inspired restaurant has ocean views and happy hour specials
Simple gym with cardio equipment and a resistance machine
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
Rooms show their age and could use an update
Some ocean-view rooms only have limited ocean views
Mandatory resort fee (common in Waikiki), though features are few
Noise from other rooms and hotel's bar can be an issue
No on-site laundry facilities
No free breakfast
Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel is a three-pearl ocean-view property across the street from Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach. It’s 645 air-conditioned rooms have surf-inspired interiors with flat-screen TVs, video game systems, mini-fridges, and balconies (most with ocean or partial-ocean views). However, the style is tired and noise can be an issue. The outdoor pool also has ocean views and is surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas, though it's small. Happy hour specials, live music, and Aston’s lively tiki-inspired restaurant all receive mostly positive reviews from previous guests. Hotel freebies include DVD and video game rentals, beach chairs, and daily newspapers. For an oceanfront stay with fresher rooms, a bigger pool, and free daily fitness classes (as opposed to the Aston's small fitness center), it’s worth checking out Park Shore Waikiki instead.
Family-packed mid-range option with touches of Hawaiian surfer style and a lively vibe
Aston Waikiki Beach opened in 1990 and the breezy property is probably Waikiki Beach's most surf-inspired hotel. Surfboards are everywhere: a wall of mounted surfboards spell out the hotel name, a surfboard sign directs guests to the check-in desk, and guest room privacy tabs are mini-surfboards too. Unlike the guest rooms, Aston’s public spaces had been recently renovated as of our late 2017 visit, and are full of colorful couches and armchairs. The high-tech elevators can be confusing though. Their buttons are located in the hallway outside of the elevator and after requesting a floor, direct guests to the proper bank. We saw many confused guests struggling to get a lift. Things can be busy at this hotel, particularly in the tiki-inspired restaurant that draws guests from other hotels as well as those staying on-site and local beachgoers. And while it isn't the fanciest overall package, the property remains well-liked by previous guests and attracts a wide array of travelers, many of whom are families from the U.S. and Japan.
Across from Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach, a three-minute walk from the Honolulu Zoo
This hotel sits at the eastern end of Waikiki, just across the street from Kuhio Beach, making it prime territory for families (there's a protected area for swimming). The Honolulu Zoo is a three-minute walk from the front door, while it's 10 minutes on foot to the Waikiki Aquarium. Diamond Head State Monument, with its fabulous Waikiki and Honolulu views, is a six-minute drive from the hotel, and hikes to the top take around 45 minutes. Downtown Honolulu, Chinatown, and the Hawaiian royal family's former home, Iolani Palace, are a 15- to 20-minute drive (depending on traffic). It's a bit farther to the Pearl Harbor monuments. Hanauma Bay is a 25-minute car ride away and has one of the island’s best beaches (plus stunning snorkeling). The same amount of time behind the wheel also leads to Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse Trail, with its oceanfront lighthouse and seasonal whale watching. Budget up to an hour to reach the surfer beaches of the famous North Shore. The airport is around 25 minutes away by car.
Tired, air-conditioned rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen TVs, and balconies (some with ocean views)
Aston Waikiki’s air-conditioned rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that keep them bright (and often have amazing ocean views). However, they’re long overdue for a refresh. The furniture’s scuffed up, water stains are visible in the bathtubs, and -- in the suites -- sofabeds are often faded and well past their prime. This isn't helped by the bland red and brown palettes found across all categories. Noise from neighboring rooms, the bar downstairs, and slamming hallways doors is also audible. All rooms have a mix of one king or two double beds. USB power stations and iHome iPod docks are conveniently situated on slatted-wood nightstands that flank the beds. Standard features include flat-screen TVs with cable channels, Sony PlayStation 3 game systems, mini-fridges, and Keurig coffeemakers with free pods. Wi-Fi is included in the property’s mandatory resort fee. All rooms also have irons, ironing boards, luggage stands, and safes. Without a doubt balconies are the room’s best feature – most have ocean or partial ocean views. Keep in mind that some advertised ocean views may be limited. Upgraded suites come with amenities like robes, juices, and snacks. Bathrooms feature minimal counter space and really need some TLC. Yellow tile floors are faded to white, sinks are chipped, and the shower walls have water stains streaking from safety bars. Expect Hawaiian Tropic-branded toiletries and hairdryers.
Popular restaurant, pool with ocean views, and simple fitness center, plus free Wi-Fi and DVDs
The hotel's amenities are generally what you’d expect from a mid-range Waikiki hotel, though they aren't numerous considering the nightly resort fee that's charged. The tiki bar-inspired restaurant is easily the most popular feature and has both daily happy hour specials and live music. It was busy during our visit, and is well-liked by previous guests. Otherwise, things here are pretty unremarkable. Lounge chairs and umbrellas surround the ocean-view pool, though the pool itself is quite small given the size of the hotel. The fitness center is basic, but sufficient for a simple workout, with treadmills, elliptical machines, a stationary bike, and a resistance machine. Freebies include a DVD and video game library, newspapers, and beach chairs. Laundry and dry cleaning are available (for a fee), though the hotel doesn't have coin-operated laundry facilities like many other Waikiki properties. A sundry shop sells snacks, drinks, and other essentials, and there's also a clothing boutique on-site. The computer station in the lobby offers free printing and Internet access (for a fee). Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and is included in the resort fee. Only valet parking is offered and it's not included in the nightly fees.
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