When it comes to hotels in Oahu, it’s hard to find a refuge that hasn’t already been discovered by the teeming hordes. But after sleeping at more than 50 Oahu hotels, Oyster reporters have come across a good handful of under-appreciated hideaways.
On paper, Hotel Renew might look like a standard-issue budget property that's generally short on amenities. Indeed, it lacks a pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurants. But this charming, 72-room boutique has some of the most stylish rooms on the island, and some unexpected perks like a free (albeit simple) continental breakfasts, free Wi-Fi, and free beach chairs, bamboo beach mats, and boogie boards.
Ke Iki's 11 private bungalows are located on a beautiful, uncrowded North Shore beach down the road from the quaint surfer town Haleiwa, a world away from the Waikiki's 1000-plus-room mega-resorts. For a laid-back, do-it-yourself vacation -- you'll probably be cooking in the full kitchen, making your own bed, and barbecuing -- this is a great, under-the-radar pick, as long as you don't mind the lack of air-conditioning and amenities.
The Park Shore is more than it seems. Sure, it's a slightly dated budget hotel, but it manages to compensate with superb views of the beach and Diamond Head volcanic crater, and its location -- on the eastern edge of Waikiki -- means that you're away from the noise but still close to the stunning Kuhio section of Waikiki Beach, the park, the zoo, and great restaurants.
Originally the swanky W Waikiki, The Lotus at Diamond Head has held on to the same chic W decor, but dropped the W's exorbitant rates. And because the hotel consists of only 50 guest rooms (which were renovated in 2012), and is located well outside the central Waikiki action, guests can enjoy a laid-back experience that won't be disrupted by constant crowds.
For many, the Best Western brand connotes utilitarian, business-like rooms. But don't let the name fool you -- the reality is that this Best Western is a cute, boutique-y property with generous, 400-square-foot standard rooms, stylish, colorful decor and excellent, pillow-top beds. Great freebies like a free breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, and free Thursday evening cocktails make the hotel an even better deal.