nsider’s Review: Prince Waikiki Hotel Surprises With Comfort, Value

Insider’s Review: Prince Waikiki Hotel Surprises With Comfort, Value

Beat of Hawaii travels to Honolulu frequently from Kauai. And that isn’t unusual for neighbor island residents like us, who work and have things to attend to in Honolulu. BOH editors have stayed at most of the Waikiki hotels over the years, and after continual searching, we recently both settled on one place we like to hang our hats in Honolulu. That led to this review of the Prince Waikiki Hotel.

As a reminder, Beat of Hawaii always fully pays its own way, whether for hotels or air travel. The hotel is totally unaware of this article.

Prince Waikiki Hotel

The Prince Waikiki Hotel completed a $55 million renovation in 2017.

Opened in 1990 as the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club, Prince Waikiki has undergone a significant evolution with the last renovation. All rooms are oceanfront or ocean view. There are twin towers, each with 33 floors: Ala Moana and Diamond Head. In addition to being connected by the lobby, the towers are connected at Level 5, which has an outdoor swimming pool. Another fun highlight is the glass elevators that give guests beautiful mountain and city views on the way up to your oceanfront room.

The hotel’s commitment to local culture extends to its vibrant art scene. The lobby is adorned with a dramatic wood-slatted sculpture representing a nearby estuary and a copper ceiling installation that recalls the schools of fish that once thrived here. This emphasis on art is not just decorative but a narrative of the land’s history and its transformation.

Why BOH likes Prince Waikiki Hotel.

Location: We tend to pick hotels at either end of the Waikiki strip, both of which are less congested. Prince Waikiki Hotel is located on the Ala Moana side after you cross over the Ala Wai Canal to Waikiki. It’s only a short 10-minute walk to Ala Moana Beach Park in one direction or 5-minutes to Kahanamoku Beach in the other direction that fronts the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The last beach is a very easy walk along the picturesque Ala Wai Boat harbor/marina.

Views: No matter which room we choose, there is always an great view above the ocean. The higher the floor, the higher the price. We have usually stayed somewhere between floors 20-25. All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that open. During the sunniest part of the day, there are electric window shades you can activate to reduce the sunlight if needed. Sunset views are typically fabulous.

Cost: The price point is towards affordable, at least for Hawaii. Sometimes, we have found great deals on Costco Travel, and the hotel site features deals, including discounts on resort fees. We have seen rates under $300 nightly. Resort fees can be as low as $21 nightly (regular price is $42). Parking is extra and there is both valet parking and self parking.

Honolulu Coffee Company: Located in the ground floor lobby with lots of seating, this is a great place to hang out during the day or that first cup of qualify coffee in the morning. Pastries have always been good, and the coffee is too. It’s a hit and occasional long lines testify to that.

Buffet at 100 Sails Restaurant: Open for breakfast and dinner. There are many choices to choose from. We especially liked the sushi salmon skin rolls made in front of customers. You can see their menus online. The restaurant is okay, but not a standout.

In terms of dining options, the hotel also has a Japanese restaurant called Katsumidori, their only location outside Japan, with a vast sushi menu that promises freshness and innovation. It’s always busy but we have yet to try. There is also room service.

Prince Waikiki Hotel Pool

Amenities: There’s an outdoor infinity swimming pool on Level 5 that is accessible from both towers with picturesque views. This infinity pool deck also includes a jacuzzi, cabanas, lots of seating areas, and a gym with free weights and machines. There are water filtration dispensers throughout the hotel, and guests are provided with two reusable aluminum containers. We don’t regularly golf, but if you do, there’s access (for a fee) to their 27-hole championship Hawaii Prince Golf Club with preferred tee times.

Service: Check-in and check-out are easy and the staff is pleasant and helpful. Good housekeeping too. They previously did turn-down service, which is no longer the case. Hotel has been very flexible with both check-in time and check-out times. On a side note, there is good wi-fi and each room has a mini fridge and coffee maker (not great coffee).

Our Pros and Cons of the Prince Waikiki Hotel.

If you want a hotel with a beach in front, this is definitely not for you. As we said it takes about 10 minutes to walk over to the wonderful, iconic Ala Moana Beach Park. With that said, all of the ocean views are unobstructed. You are looking directly out to the Pacific with no buildings in front of you. Unfortunately, none of the rooms have a balcony.

We give higher ratings to the Ala Moana Tower than Diamond Head Tower. The Ala Moana Tower is closer to the entrance and front desk. It feels more like a part of the hotel. BOH editors have stayed in both towers and noticed that the rooms in the Diamond Head Tower seemed smaller. That was especially noted noticeable in the bathrooms. We also like the spacious feeling of the Ala Moana Tower as you step off the elevator. No matter where you stay, we’ve never encountered any issue with noise.

The swimming pool and 24-hour fitness center/gym on Level 5 are nicely done. Having said that, the one jacuzzi spa seems far too small for a hotel of this size. On a recent trip, it was always crowded, and neither of us ever never went in. Other times that has not been the case. We have also encountered problems with the temperature of the hot tub being far too low. There are, however, lots of places to lounge around the pool and seating areas that have tables.

Prince Waikiki Hotel

Room Interiors balance modern with local tradition.

The floor-to-ceiling windows make every room feel large and spacious. The interiors are decorated with large drawings of indigenous blossoms. Rugs mimic the soft sands of Hawaii’s beaches, while bathrooms are stocked with products from Malie Organics. The lovely bathrooms are marble and feature a tub, separate shower, and separate toilet with a Toto seat (just give it a try). The beds are comfortable, and the ambiance is soothing.

Details: Prince Waikiki Hotel is located at 100 Holomoana Street in Honolulu. We are calling this a Jeff’s Pick, which is a category on our website for places we can highly recommend.

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5 thoughts on “Insider’s Review: Prince Waikiki Hotel Surprises With Comfort, Value”

  1. Beat of Hawaii, thank you (mahalo) for the “As a reminder, Beat of Hawaii always fully pays its own way, whether for hotels or air travel. The hotel is totally unaware of this article” approach to your reviews.

  2. I stayed at this hotel several times when it was affordable. Nice views but no balcony. Unfortunately like most hotels the prices have increased so much that Airbnb rooms make far more sense. The whole Island has become out of reach in regards to prices for most travelers.

  3. Thank you from the heart for your honest coverage of Hawai’i happenings. It is so refreshing to read your columns.

  4. Aloha, I stayed at the hotel a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The Japanese restaurant is very good especially the sushi. Will return

  5. I would love to hear your thoughts about the Romer House Waikiki when it opens. We are looking for a hotel in Honolulu to stay before taking a flight to Australia. The Halepuna is also a favorite of ours.

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