Oyster Takes Honolulu Hotel Reviews To New Level


Oyster’s Oahu reviews have gone live. I went back to have an in-depth look by reading reviews of properties I have visited out of the 49 hotels currently featured.

In addition to presenting positive attributes of each property, they also weren’t afraid to say and show what concerned them.  For example, soiled furniture at Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, dirty window crevices at Park Shore and the ghost town feeling of Ilikai.

The reviews were written by a group of professional journalists who stayed at each property.  Their honesty is a refreshing change from sites like TripAdvisor.

My verdict:  Oyster nailed the pro’s and con’s.  It’s a great example of technology used well to help consumers with their travel planning.  This review coming from someone not that easy to please.  Kudos to Oyster for a great start.

What I liked:

  • In-depth, detailed, honest reviews.
  • Appropriate ratings.
  • Well thought out and well written by journalists.
  • Photography that captures the entire guest experience.
  • Comments accepted if you have a Facebook account.

What I’d like to see in the future:

  • More hotel reviews with outer-island properties featured too.  This will come in time.
  • Less fish eye photography.  Some of the photos just need to be simple, using a standard lens.
  • Site performance needs to improve.  In part this appears due to the size of photos.  Many can’t be loaded small, and I didn’t necessarily need to see them all large.  Loading was slow even with my 10MB/s broadband connection.
  • Analysis of quality vs. price is needed.

Final Thoughts:

Their average nightly room rate is calculated over the next 30 days.

It’s an average of the lowest priced room.  If you’re looking at pricing in the future, the costs will no doubt be higher.  For example, when I checked the Kahala Resort in October, the average room price (not suite) was $656 instead of the $425 shown on Oyster.

Not all user’s will have a Facebook account.

I appreciate that Oyster is trying to ensure that comments are authentic.  Having people provide their Facebook account before commenting is one way to achieve this.  I hope they can offer an alternative for those not on Facebook too.


  1. Gemma Hale (5 years ago)

    I recently stayed at Park Shore (my 3rd stay there) and I still think it is a terrific bargain and love the staff and location BUT the elevator carpeting was disgusting – don’t know why Aqua has notupgraded it yet also lobby furniture is looking a little used but we had an Ocean View Suite for less than $158 Canadian per night and the room was in good (not pristine) condition and everything worked – so for the price and location it is a super spot to stary.

  2. Elie Seidman (5 years ago)

    Thank you for the critique. We will definitely work on improving performance for W Coast and HI users. It should be pretty good for people on the West Coast but for those of you in HI, it’s being served off of our servers here in NYC and it’s a long trip. We will improve that soon.

    We will also be adding Maui and Kauai coverage in early October and look for our value analysis (price vs quality) soon – it’s a great idea and we fully agree that it’s needed on the site.

    I’ll take a look at the use of fisheye lenses – it’s a lens that has a role but I agree with you that it should not be overused.