Are Waikiki hotels too expensive? TravelAge West asked its
readers that question in a recent survey, and 63 percent answered
yes. As island tourism officials work to dispel that perception,
Waikiki’s budget accommodations are brushing off the welcome mat in
hopes of new business.
A year-end report from the hotel consultants at Hospitality
Advisors puts Waikiki’s 2006 average daily room rate at $155, a $16
increase over the 2005 rate. Hospitality Advisors president Joseph
Toy explained that Waikiki’s overall increase in room rates
corresponds to improvements in the product and high demand.
“Sorely needed renovations are under way for all hotel classes,”
he said, “but there is plenty of inventory at economy hotels.”
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau senior vice president of
marketing Jay Talwar concurred.
“There has been a lot of focus on new and upgraded properties,
and those owners need to charge more,” he said. “But if you walk
off the beach a block or two, you’ll see a big range of properties
and rates. The budget rooms aren’t going to disappear.”
Agents researching low Waikiki room rates for their clients
should consider the overall value of the experience, said Oahu
Visitors Bureau travel industry sales director Stacey Alford.
“On the surface, yes, Waikiki’s hotels are commanding higher
prices, but it’s relative to a far higher caliber of product,” she
Count Aqua Hotels and Resorts among the companies catering to
clients seeking value at low prices. Its Aqua Lite brand properties
are situated off the beach, but within walking distance. Aqua
Continental’s nightly rack rates are $115 until Aug. 31, and come
with free Wi-Fi access in the lobby, mini-refrigerator,
coffeemaker, safe and use of a fitness center. Two blocks from the
beach, the Aqua Coconut Plaza’s rates start at $135 with the same
amenities and daily continental breakfast.
A look at March rates at Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel, two blocks
from the beach, turned up $105 per night for a standard room,
including daily continental breakfast. For visits from April 1-June
30, the Marine Surf Waikiki Hotel is listing a $125 rate for a
studio with a full kitchen, sleeping up to four people. When
clients require no frills, even lower rates can be found at hostels
like the Beachside, where $25 per night gets them a shared room and
light breakfast, a half block from the beach.
Aqua Hotels and Resorts
Marine Surf Waikiki Hotel
Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel