Coconut Waikiki HotelWaikiki, Honolulu, Oahu
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Fun design; modern features; great freebies -- it's more boutique than anything else, but also a long walk from the beach
Like Hotel Renew, the Coconut Waikiki (which officially became a member of the Joie De Vivre hotel chain in December 2012) is one of an increasing number of newer, more stylish value hotels that have been seducing guests away from the polyester bed coverlets and busy floral carpets so ubiquitous in Waikiki hotels. All rooms (and the entire hotel) were renovated during the summer of 2008 and feature incredibly comfortable beds and 40- or 42-inch flat-screen TVs.
There are few features -- just a splash-size, kidney-shaped pool and a bright fitness center -- and the beach is a 10- to 15-minute walk away (similar to many budget hotels). To make up for this, the hotel offers some notable perks, such as free, speedy Wi-Fi, free coffee and tea in the lobby, free beach towel rentals, and a gas grill on the patio for guests to use. The hotel no longer offers free breakfast, however.
Given all this, the Coconut Waikiki can be excellent for couples seeking a low-key getaway that's stylishly on par with Hotel Renew -- though the latter has much smaller standard rooms. It's also comparable in room size and amenities to Aqua's Waikiki Pearl (though the latter has no pool, gym, or concierge and noisier rooms).
Personal, though limited, service
It's not hard to find a smile behind the front desk, though the overall services offered are limited and fairly comparable to other budget properties.
A quiet street near Waikiki's northern border; 10-minute walk to the beach
Tucked among other small boutiques, condominium complexes, and older budget properties, the Coconut Waikiki is in the lower-profile northern border section of Waikiki, a good 10-minute walk from the beach and Kalakaua Ave, Hawaii's main drag. Situated alongside the Ala Wai Canal on Lewers Street, the immediate area around the Coconut Waikiki is much quieter and more isolated than hotels on Kuhio Avenue, just a block away. But safety shouldn't be an issue.
- Ala Wai Canal is a great place for a morning run or for watching the canoes during morning practices.
- Nearby Kuhio Avenue offers convenience stores, souvenir shops and Waikiki's only pharmacy.
- Three blocks from Waikiki's main drag, Kalakaua Avenue, a touristy milelong stretch of shops, restaurants, and high-rise hotels
- Four blocks from the outdoor International Marketplace, filled with souvenir stands
- Cheap and easy to get around Waikiki via "The Bus" ($2.25 per person to go any distance)
- Honolulu International Airport is a 20-minute, $35 cab ride.
Three blocks from the heart of the action on one of the world's most famous beaches
The Coconut Waikiki is an easy, and colorful, 10-minute walk, or three blocks, from 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. The Coconut Waikiki is located three blocks from the section called Queen's Beach, which is the part you see on postcards of Waikiki: manicured, palm tree-dotted lawns leading to a sunny white-sand beach. Children splash about in the shallow water near the shore, while surfers and standup paddle-boarders (the rad new thing to do) patrol the outer waters.
To summarize Queen's Beach in one word: packed. Packed with energy, packed with activity, packed -- most significantly -- with people. Towels carpet the sand like blankets at a sold-out concert. Families with small children, honeymooning couples, even locals taking lunch breaks -- they all merge here, sunning, swimming, and sandcastle-building, all the while doing their best not to kick sand in each other's faces.
- Public beach
- Warm, shallow water -- a decent place to swim, especially for kids
- Sandy, not rocky, ocean bottom -- unlike neighboring Fort DeRussy to the west and Kuhio (aka "the wall") to the east
- Lifeguards monitor the beach throughout the day
- Free towels, provided by the hotel
- Umbrellas and lounge chairs must be rented from one of the many Star Beach Boys stands
- Water sports equipment, like surfboards and boogie boards, available for rental at Star Beach Boys stands
Exceptionally clean and modern rooms -- all renovated in 2008
Rooms exude the same easy-spirited modern feel as the lobby, a kind of Ikea-does-Art-Deco look. Standards rooms are fairly spacious, beds are notably more comfortable than at some other budget hotels, and the location on the Ala Wai Canal means they're often quieter. Rooms are comparable in size to those at the Aqua Waikiki Pearl, though the latter's are a bit noisier.
- Standard rooms are 400 square feet and have either two double beds or one king size -- much larger than both Hotel Renew's 280-square-foot standard or the Courtyard Waikiki's 320-square-foot room.
- Suites are funky, with details like a spacious private sundeck or a sky light above a giant soaking tub.
- Comfortable beds have Simmons Felicity pillow-tops
- Large, 40- or 42-inch Samsung flat-screen TVs come with cable -- including HBO -- and pay-per-view rentals (about $14 each)
- Microwaves and coffeemakers with free Kona coffee; some rooms have mini-fridges
- Clean baths with a full bathtub
- Most rooms have small, furnished balconies
- Free in-room Wi-Fi; free safe
A decent number of amenities for the price -- and they're all brand new
Everything is still sparkling at the Coconut Waikiki, a big step up from most other similarly priced Waikiki hotels. Plus, you get more amenities than usual.
- Small "splash" pool (not big enough for real swimming) with tiled pool deck and lounge chairs
- Bright, updated, though small, fitness center with just a few cardio machines and weights
- Free business center in lobby with two PCs
- Free Wi-Fi in rooms and lobby
- Free Thursday evening cocotini cocktail reception with appetizers and Nintendo Wii
A good, but not great, family choice
For a fairly mellow, budget-minded family with kids who can entertain themselves, the Coconut Waikiki is not a bad choice given the large rooms and inexpensive rates. But the lack of kid-focused activities and the 10-minute hike to the beach are drawbacks.
- Small pool (up to 6 feet deep)
- No organized activities; not much for kids to do on-site
- At least a 10-minute walk to the beach -- or longer, with young children
- Suites include full-size pullout sofa beds.
- Rollaway beds require an additional nightly fee, but cribs are free (on a first come, first served basis).
Renovated in 2008, the Coconut Waikiki still looks new.
No restaurant, but plenty of nearby options
Tons of eateries -- from casual to upscale -- are within walking distance.
- Plenty of chain eateries on Kuhio Avenue, a block away
- Upscale and chain eateries are three blocks away on Kalakaua Avenue.
- Each room has a microwave; some have mini-fridges
- Guests can use the gas grill on the pool deck; grilling utensils available at the front desk
- Convenience stores and supermarkets within two blocks
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Things You Should Know About Coconut Waikiki Hotel
Address450 Lewers Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815-2436, United States
Also Known As
- Aqua Coconut Plaza
- City View Room
- Coconut Waikiki Executive Suite
- Coconut Waikiki Two Bedroom Suite
- Mountain View Room
- Oversized Room