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Traveling On A Budget In Oahu? Here's Where To Stay

Where: Waikiki [map], Oahu , Hawaii, United States
February 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM | by | ()

It's getting more and more expensive to visit Oahu, and, for once, it has nothing to do with the cost of coladas or airline tickets. This time, it's actually the hotel industry that's pumping up prices by turning budget-friendly accommodations into luxury lodging. Grr.

Now, don't think this is malicious -- there's a lot of good work being done -- but the fact is that budget-friendly hotels are disappearing. Smith Travel Research reports the number of budget rooms on Oahu and Waikiki has decreased by 10% over the last ten years.

In 2006, Oahu had 33 budget properties but by the end of last year there were only 27 (less than 700 budget hotel rooms in total). Because of the high cost associated with building new on Waikiki, developers are deciding to renovate older buildings, turning them into newer, nicer, and pricier properties.

Despite that trend, you can still find a cheap hotel on Oahu. For our purposes, we consider anything under $200/night in Waikiki during high season a "budget property." Here's a sampling of some of the options we found, based on guest feedback as well as our own. Keep in mind it's currently the high season in Hawaii, meaning you can get even lower prices (and less crowds) if you visit in the late spring or summer...

Royal Grove Hotel: The place is sold out until the beginning of May, which makes sense considering the rates are around $70 a night—a steal in downtown Waikiki, and only a block from the beach. It's rated #1 on TripAdvisor for Waikiki hotels (#25 in Honolulu), with guests loving its proximity to the beach, in-room kitchenettes, and affordable prices.

Ewa Hotel: Aqua Hotels took over this puppy last year, and based on what previous guests have said, there's been nothing but improvements made. Starting at $129/night this time of year, the hotel also offers promotions and car/airline packages. It's a short walk from Kuhio Beach Park.

Breakers Hotel: Located a half block from the beach and decked out with modest American, Hawaiian, and Japanese decor, the Breakers has been doing its thing since it opened in 1964 (most guests will tell you that while the place might be outdated, it still maintains its comfort and cleanliness). Surrounded by properties such as Trump International, Wyndham at Waikiki, and the Embassy Suites, the Breakers is in good company in between Diamond Head and Honolulu. Rates start at $140/night for double occupancy.

Ilima Hotel: The farthest hotel from the beach on this list, it's still only a ten-minute walk. Kitchenettes and two-bedroom suites entice families, and lanais provide city views of Waikiki and Honolulu (see photo above). The rooftop sun decks will also get you a peek at the green mountains in the distance. Rates starting at $150 a night in March.

White Sands Hotel: An in-room kitchenette with stove top and refrigerator is, as we've seen above, an important amenity for budget travelers, as is the ability to walk to the beach, bars, and restaurants. With rates starting at $179 a night, the White Sands offers all those opportunities and still qualifies as a budget property in our book. Insider tip: The third floor and above have the best views from the balconies, so ask for a room on a higher floor.

Photos: [Ewa Hotel; PDFCast; Ilima Hotel]

Archived Comments:

Other affordable hotels in Waikiki


The list is good, however for those people with really tight budget here few others hotels usually under $100 per night.

Continental Surf
Ohana Maile Sky Court
Ambassador Hotel


My Own List of Cheap Places to Stay

I made my own list of ideas for budget traveling in Hawaii, from $180/night to free.

<a href="http://www.thehawaiiplan.com/where-can-i-find-a-cheap-place-to-stay-in-hawaii/">http://www.thehawaiiplan.com/where-can-i-find-a-cheap-place-to-stay-in-hawaii/</a>