During our Hawaii trip this past February, we decided to fly to Oahu and spend nine glorious days at the Prince Waikiki Hotel. If you’ve read my previous blog post about traveling to Hawaii during COVID, then you probably already know that a small group of us decided to “work from home” for a week in Hawaii. Since we were planning on staying nine days, we wanted to stay somewhere that was comfortable for all four of us. We also wanted a place that wasn’t going to break the bank. I’ve previously stayed at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, the Alohilani Resort, the Marriott Waikiki, and the Sheraton Waikiki before, but all were too expensive for nine days and I figured I should try someplace new.
Over the past years, I’ve seen the Prince Waikiki come up multiple times in my searches, but never wanted to book there because its location was kind of far from Waikiki Beach. The hotel also was located near the marina so that meant that it wasn’t beachfront. After weeks of researching what felt like almost every single hotel, we decided to pick the Prince Waikiki based on price and amenities.
HOW DID WE BOOK THE PRINCE WAIKIKI HOTEL
We booked the Prince Waikiki Hotel on Costco’s Travel Website. If you didn’t know, Costco has an amazing travel website for all its members. I’ve consistently used it over the years to find cheaper rental cars, but this was my first time using it to book a hotel stay. I usually would book directly with the hotel, but Costco came in hundreds of dollars cheaper. By booking through Costco, the mandatory resort fee was waived which can cost almost an extra $40 per night. Since the resort fee was waived, that allowed us to park our car there for free. Anyone that has been to Hawaii would know that paying for parking is another additional expense that could range from $30-$40/night. We also bundled our hotel stay with the car rental which saved us about $200 on that alone. Overall, we probably saved about $500 by booking through Costco.
REVIEW OF THE PRINCE WAIKIKI HOTEL
// LOCATION //
The hotel is situated right in front of the marina on the west side of Waikiki Beach. Although it’s not as convenient as a beachfront hotel, you can still get to Kahanamoku or Ala Moana Beach within ten minutes of walking. If you want to walk to Waikiki Beach though, it’ll take roughly 25 minutes. My group and I decided to walk everywhere most days since the walk is always nice and there’s plenty of things to look at. With that being said, walking did tire us out and made us contemplate taking an Uber more than once. I think the biggest benefit that Prince Waikiki has in terms of location is its close proximity to Ala Mona Center/Mall. Within ten minutes of walking, you could be shopping and eating at one of the biggest luxury shopping centers in Hawaii.
// ROOM //
Since we were spending nine days there, we decided to spend a little bit more and upgrade to an Ocean Front Premier room. We were on the 29th floor and had amazing views of the ocean and the sunsets. I appreciated that the room was clean and modern and had enough space for four adults to sprawl out. Even though this hotel doesn’t have balconies (and I wished they did), they do have windows that slide open giving you that indoor/outdoor feeling. The windows were probably our favorite part of the room. It brought in so much light and fresh air that we had it open most of the time we were in there. The bathroom had a separate area for the bathtub, shower, and toilet which I thought was rare. The room also had your typical amenities like a mini-refrigerator, a tea kettle, a coffee maker, and a desk area where you can work. Overall, a super spacious room by Hawaii standards.
// FOOD //
We tried to eat at the hotel multiple times, but with Honolulu being such a mecca of Hawaiian food, we always ate outside the hotel. The two restaurants that were open while we were there were 100 Sails and Katsumidori Sushi Tokyo. If we had a couple more days, we would have for sure ate at both places. A friend that’s a native local highly recommended the prime rib buffet at 100 Sails. Also, the fish from Katsumidori is supposedly ordered fresh every day and comes directly from Tokyo. Hopefully, we get a chance to check both places out the next time we’re there.
// POOL //
The real selling point of this hotel was the pictures of their pool. Even though we probably could have stayed somewhere closer to the beach for the same amount of money, we wanted a place that had an amazing pool and areas where we can sit and work. There are two pools: an infinity (adults) pool and a bigger pool for families. There is a small jacuzzi which was limited to four people at a time when we went due to COVID. The pools themselves never felt crowded when we went, but maybe because they were both pretty cold. The pools aren’t heated so it was a little hard to get in and out of. Also, not sure if it’s because we went in February, but it was awfully windy at the pool.
// SERVICE //
The service was average for your typical hotel stay. They were only cleaning rooms every third day due to COVID so our room only got cleaned twice. The front desk will schedule a time for the housekeepers to come, but both times they were off the scheduled time. The first time the housekeepers were 1.5 hours early and the second time didn’t even come until we had to ask twice. The hotel wasn’t that busy so you don’t get the hustle and bustle you usually see in Hawaii, but maybe that’s a benefit if you’re looking for a quieter hotel.
// COVID //
All COVID precautions are in place. When you check-in, they will double-check if your Safe Travels account has been updated to say that you were “screened” and “exempt.” You are required to wear a face mask around the hotel and they will check your temperature at the pool. Other than that, there’s nothing else really different in regards to COVID procedures you would see elsewhere.
For our first time staying at the Prince Waikiki Hotel, I really liked it a lot. I was afraid that we were going to get bored of staying at the same hotel for nine nights, but it went by very quickly. We didn’t even get to go to the pool as much since we were always out of the hotel. For the price that we got, this is probably the best deal for a luxury hotel in Waikiki. There are other hotels out there that are cheaper and have better locations, but those rooms are usually smaller or outdated. Overall, if you’re looking for a modern, adult, and up-to-date hotel, I totally recommend this place. If you are looking for something more kid-friendly, this might not be the best place since it’s far from the beach and there aren’t any activities on-site like there would be at the Hilton Hawaiian Village or Hyatt Regency Waikiki.