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Hotel Renew 3.5

Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • One-minute walk to Kuhio Beach and three minutes to the zoo 
  • Modern rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and sleek bathrooms
  • Some rooms have views of the ocean
  • Free breakfasts includes hard-boiled eggs, pastries, and smoothie bar
  • On-site bar has happy hour specials (but limited hours)
  • Free beach gear includes towels, chairs, and sand toys 
  • Dog-friendly property with dedicated pet-friendly rooms 
  • Menu of essential oils available for custom room scents
  • Free admission to Honolulu Museum of Art and Bishop Museum
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel 

Cons

  • Mandatory amenity fee charged, but hotel has few amenities available  
  • No pool or restaurant
  • Rooms lack balconies
  • Hotel's urban vibe doesn’t feel quote-unquote Hawaiian (a plus for some)
  • Parking isn't included in amenity fee

Bottom Line

Hotel Renew is a three-pearl hotel that's a half-block from Waikiki’s golden beach. Its 72 air-conditioned rooms have contemporary, gray-toned interiors plus features like flat-screen TVs, Sony Playstation 3s, and Keurig coffeemakers. They’re a sophisticated, sleek option in a city of tropical style. Unfortunately, a mandatory amenity fee is still charged, despite limited amenities. There’s no pool or restaurant, but the beach is a minute away and restaurants are just as close. There is a bar, though. Hotel freebies include a surprisingly satisfying continental breakfast, DVD and video game library, and beach gear. Wi-Fi is also included in the amenity fee, though parking costs extra. For a beachier stay with bright, modern rooms, a decent-sized pool, and an on-site surf shop, it’s worth checking out Park Shore Waikiki instead. 

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Scene

Sleek, modern hotel without the tropical vibe common in most Waikiki beach properties 

Hotel Renew has been around since the 1970s and in 2009 became a sleek, modern property that feels more New York City than Waikiki. There’s surprisingly little to remind guests they’re steps from a gorgeous beach and Oahu’s lush, mountainous landscapes. The gray and dark wood-accented lobby has low-slung gray couches, a wall of polished river stones, and a spindly black tree stump carved into a fountain with goldfish fish swimming in its bowl. Overall, the property’s decor has a sophisticated vibe -- a rarity among Waikiki Beach’s mostly tropically-inspired hotels -- especially at its price point. A nice plus are the scented towels and tasty fruit punch non-alcoholic cocktails guests receive upon arrival. Another uniquely relaxing feature is a menu of essential oils available to give rooms a custom scent. Hotel guests run the gamut, but without a pool or any outdoor space, it’s a perfect spot for unfussy business travelers and couples.  

Location

One-minute walk from Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach, near restaurants, bars, and the zoo

Map of Hotel Renew

This hotel's setting is one of its strongest suits, as it's located at Waikiki’s southern end, a block from Kuhio Beach. Within a three-minute walk from the hotel are bars and restaurants serving Japanese, steaks, subs, burgers, and empanadas. Honolulu Zoo, nestled in the lush Kapiolani Regional Park, is also a three-minute stroll from the hotel. Diamond Head State Monument -- a huge oceanfront crater with hiking trails and fabulous Waikiki and Honolulu views -- takes nine minutes to reach by car. It’s an additional 45-minute uphill hike to reach the crater top’s breathtaking vista. The Waikiki Aquarium is a 10-minute walk (or five-minute drive) from the hotel. Central Honolulu -- where you'll find Iolani Palace -- takes 20 minutes to reach in a car. Punchbowl Crater, an impeccably maintained military cemetery situated in the bowl of a formerly active volcano, is a 20-minute drive away. City views there are gorgeous. For even more history, the Pearl Harbor memorials are within a 25-minute drive. Big-wave surfing happens along Oahu’s north shore, which is around an hour car ride from the hotel. Honolulu International Airport is 20 to 25 minutes from the hotel by car, depending on traffic. 

Rooms

Sleek rooms with flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and C.O. Bigelow toiletries 

Hotel Renew’s air-conditioned rooms have minimalist interiors with a black, gray, and white palette and city or ocean views. Walls are mostly blank save for a sepia-toned surfing photo and sleek wall sconces that cast hourglass beams of light. Beds are a mix of one king or doubles flanked by Corian-topped night stands and small buttoned panels that control the room's lights. Rather than use curtains, guest rooms have black-and-white Japanese-style sliding panels. Furniture includes lounge chairs, a conveniently placed dresser that doubles as a luggage stand or seat, and built-in desks. The latter feel slightly cluttered with amenities, including 32-inch flat-screen TVs with cable channels, Sony Playstation 3s, and Keurig coffeemakers with free coffee pods. Rooms also have iHome iPod dock alarm clocks, mini-fridges, laptop-size safes, and bottled water available for purchase. Unfortunately, there are no balconies. Bathrooms aren’t huge, but their efficient design and clean lines provide swish efficiency. Expect square sinks and pass-through shelves that separate vanities from toilets. Bathrooms are accented with tiling and include shower/tub combos, hairdryers, and robes. The C.O. Bigelow branded toiletries are an upmarket perk in what's otherwise a simple property. Cribs are available for a fee. Local and toll-free calls and Wi-Fi are included in the property’s mandatory amenity fee. 

Features

Free continental breakfast includes smoothie bar; lounge with happy-hour specials; and DVD-lending library

Hotel Renew’s features are limited, but a mandatory amenity fee is still charged with all stays. Even so, the hotel stands out with its free continental breakfast that includes fresh fruit, pastries, cereal, hard-boiled eggs, juice, and smoothie bar. There’s also free 24-hour coffee and tea service in the lobby. The bar has limited hours, but serves inexpensive drinks and happy-hour specials. In the lobby, there’s a DVD and video game vending machine (guests receive a card to borrow) and a small book-lending library. Board games like Clue, Monopoly, and chess are also available. There’s a laptop computer with free printing. Another plus is the free beach gear that includes towels, chairs, and beach toys. Free newspapers are available in the lobby. Valet parking is available for a fee. All stays also include free admission to the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Bishop Museum. Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and included in the mandatory amenity fee. 

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Things You Should Know About Hotel Renew

Address

129 Paoakalani Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815-3708, United States

Phone

(808) 687-7700

Also Known As

  • Hotel Renew by Aston
  • Ocean Tower Hotel
  • Renew Hotel Honolulu

Room Types

  • City View Room
  • Deluxe Ocean View Room
  • Premier Ocean View Room

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