It’s back to business time! After spending [a short] 5 days in Hawaii and promising Kevin that I would “disconnect” to fully enjoy our extended weekend together, I’m finally home from a wonderful trip (and back to consistent blogging too)! We truly did have an amazing first time in Hawaii visiting the islands of Oahu and Kauai, and I look forward to sharing the details of the trip on the blog over the next few days.
When we first arrived in Honolulu after an ~11-hour direct flight from JFK, we hopped in a metered taxi to Waikiki Beach (about 20-30 minutes away depending on traffic). Our taxi ride ended up costing $40 in the end, but we learned upon arrival that many hotels and car rental services in Waikiki offer a fixed-rate taxi service to and from Waikiki – HNL for $25-$29 (I’ll be sure to touch upon that in my trip report).
We spent our first two nights in Waikiki at the new Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, which opened roughly 6 months ago in December of 2011. The Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach is located just two short blocks away from the beach (literally a 2 minute walk), and there is an ABC Store adjacent to the hotel, which is great for stocking up on bottled water, snacks, wine (why pay $10+ a glass when you can buy two full bottles for $10?), sunscreens, etc.
The average nightly room rate is about $294 during peak summer months, but I was able to book this property at a very good rate of $119 per night back in February using Hyatt’s best rate guarantee (related post). We enjoyed everything about this hotel; our room was incredibly spacious, new, and lively, and the staff was very friendly and helpful with local food recommendations.
Another great thing about the hotel was the free in-room wifi, 24-hour fitness room access, and an impressive free breakfast spread. Breakfast begins at 6:30 am and consists of a variety of hot breakfast sandwiches, fresh fruit, fresh juices, an array of cereals/oatmeals, and even some Asian miso/rice/congee options. We knew breakfast at the hotel was going to be worthwhile when we saw a swarm of guests starting to line up as early as 6:10 am, and boy it was a madhouse by opening time.
Another great thing that I just learned about Hyatt Places’ in general is that there is no early departure fee. This policy especially came in handy for us because we had to drastically shorten our Hawaii trip, and we would have lost our $119 rate if we had made any changes to the reservation online or over the phone prior to check in. Luckily we were able to inform the hotel at check in that we would be staying 2 nights instead of the 3 I originally reserved, and my $119 rate was secured.
If you’re heading to Waikiki anytime soon, I highly recommend you consider the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. Sure, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki is nearby and offers ocean views, but this little gem is less expensive, newer, and totally a wonderful place to stay right in the heart of Waikiki!