The newest lifestyle boutique hotel in Waikiki may come with a price (though there is no resort fee), but it is worth every penny. Offering stiff competition to other hotels in Hawaii, the Vive Hotel Waikiki is located a mere two blocks from the popular Waikiki Beach. I practically walked down there in my swimwear.
My husband and I also planned to explore the Honolulu area and the Historic Waikiki Trail by foot. So Vive Hotel Waikiki was the best find amongst all the hotels in Hawaii. You can easily access public bus transportation from the hotel and get around Waikiki and Honolulu. There is no real need for a car. Besides, the parking fee is $30 daily plus taxes.
The rooms can definitely be a bit on the small side for those traveling with giant suitcases and a lot of luggage. But it was ideal for a light traveler like me! Compact, modern and comfortable.
Like most hotels in Hawaii, Vive Hotel Waikiki offers a continental buffet breakfast that includes plain bread, raisin bread, muffins, croissants, cinnamon rolls, cut fruits, tea, coffee and juice. The tea and coffee machines are available throughout the day.
Vive Hotel Waikiki also offers Wifi, guest computers, beach access, beach towels, mats and boogie boards. The latter came in handy when we went surfing at Waikiki Beach. In addition, there is also a Courtesy Room available if a guest has a late plane to catch. For a fee, this room is available for an hour so that guests can freshen up before traveling. How many hotels in Hawaii do you think offer that?
Located at the end of Nawiliwili Bay, this plantation style hotel in Kauai has been family run for over 100 years. There are no resort fees or parking fees, which is a plus for travelers who hate hotels in Hawaii with extra charges.
The rooms reflect island decor while retaining modern amenities. We stayed in the Lanai Queen Room. It was spacious, clean and gave off a cozy, vintage feel. I felt like I had stepped back in the 1950s. With the tea, coffee and juice machine available throughout the day, guests can sip on their drinks while enjoying panoramic views of the Haupa Mountains and the Nawiliwili Bay.
Unlike the other hotels in Hawaii where we stayed, the breakfast in Kauai Inn Lihue is very disappointing for vegetarians. Aside from the beverages, there’s just bread and cut fruits. There are no nearby places to eat, so either bring along snacks with you or fuel up with bread and fruits.
Located in central Maui, the Maui Seaside Hotel has certain perks that make it stand out from other hotels in Hawaii.
- It offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the Kahului airport.
- It’s a decent budget hotel and there is no resort fee.
- There is a parking fee, but it’s just $5 per day.
- The rooms are simple but ideal for budget travelers.
The Maui Seaside Hotel partners with Tante’s Island Cuisine to offer free breakfast vouchers for its guests. The restaurant is located at the entrance of the hotel and opens at 7am. The breakfast options are (and they are delicious as well as filling):
A) Healthy Choice
Mini bowl of Oatmeal, Assorted Fruit Cup, Granola, Yoghurt
B) Pancake Griddle
Two Buttermilk Pancakes topped with Ham and Cheese Omelet
C) Locals Breakfast
2 Large Eggs
Choice of Link Sausage, Honey Ham, Port Sausage or Bacon
Choice of Steamed Rice or Home Fries
Choice of Toast: White or Wheat
For a drink, you can choose between tea, coffee or POG juice (passion fruit, orange, guava). I strongly recommend their POG juice. Even though POG juice is common throughout Hawaii, I was addicted to the one at the Maui Seaside Hotel. I just couldn’t stop drinking it. It was so so good! If I ever came back to Maui, I would pick this place over other hotels in Hawaii just for the POG juice.
Searching for hotels in Hawaii is probably everyone’s idea of an ideal winter getaway. But instead of looking at the typical, more expensive hotels in Hawaii, it’s a better idea to opt for bed and breakfasts. While we were traveling Big Island, my husband and I decided to stay at The Kimos’ Ohanas. This place was my favorite from the 4 hotels.
Owners Jim and Jim (yes they have the same name) have created a mini paradise on two acres of tropical gardens. Set against the backdrop of the Puna rainforest, this bed and breakfast on Big Island is a far cry from the standardized hotels in Hawaii. Guests are surrounded with fauna such as antheriums, hisbiscus, orchids, palms, citrus and banana trees, which successfully transform the grounds into a lush and inviting retreat.
We stayed in the Orchid Room which has a shared bathroom. Normally, I am not a fan of these. But the bedroom, living room and bathroom had tasteful island decor, and were so clean and immaculate that I would definitely stay here again. The picture below is that of the private lanai (sitting room) that was attached to our bedroom. It was wonderful to sip on hot coffee here early morning while admiring the gardens.
Note: Other rooms include the Palm Room, the Garden Suite and the Pacific Suite.
Unlike most hotels in Hawaii, the premises of The Kimos’ Ohanas are built to encourage interactions between guests. The common area is a place of relaxation as well as friendly banter. There are crosswords, puzzles, books and games available. In addition, guests are treated to complimentary beach towels, rain ponchos and snorkel gear. Very cool!
The owners have around 5 to 7 adopted cats that are super-friendly, which is a great plus for animal-lovers. This makes The Kimos’ Ohanas stand out from most hotels in Hawaii.
The bed and breakfast also incorporates sustainable practices into its infrastructure, another way The Kimos’ Ohanas is different from other hotels in Hawaii.
- They utilize and harvest rainwater.
- The roofs have solar panels.
- There is composting for the entire household and gardening.
Breakfast is fresh, full of flavor and completely homemade. The food is grown organically on the property, or purchased at local farmer markets and natural food stores. The owners are cognizant of different eating habits, religious requirements and adhere to high standards (cross contamination, sanitization, etc.). They even cooked special pancakes for me as I was vegetarian! I know other hotels in Hawaii won’t be so accommodating and warm-hearted.
Our breakfast spread included cut fruits, pancakes, egg omelets, freshly squeezed juices and the Jims’ signature home prepared jams. Guests dine at a communal table with the owners. Good food combined with great conversation makes for a wonderful start to the day.
I highly recommend The Kimos’ Ohanas to anyone visiting Big Island. The Jims are friendly, homely and caring to guests and the environment alike. My husband and I had a great time and would return here in a heartbeat.