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When we think of visiting Hawaii, it is usually beaches and palm trees that come to mind, not crowds and concrete. But anyone who has visited the south side of Oahu knows that it is extremely different from the rest of the Hawaiian Islands in terms of its development. While any fool can surmise what we mean from the photo above, we decided to dig a little deeper and take a look at the numbers as it relates to the hotel scene.
Using the most recent numbers from the 2012 report, the Hawaiian Islands have 144 traditional hotels with a total of 43,151 rooms (not including B&Bs or hostels). The breakdown across the islands shows that Oahu has the most with 68 hotels and 26,186 rooms; Hawaii Island has 32 hotels with 6,785 rooms; Maui has 26 with 7,172 rooms; 15 and 2,660 for Kauai; and Lanai has 3 hotels with 348 rooms. According to the report, Molokai had no properties that qualified as a hotel.
The total number of units for the state of Hawaii, including hotels, B&Bs, hostels, rental condos and apartments, timeshares, and other rentable inventory is 74,650. Of that total, Oahu has 35,126 units; Maui has 19,659; Hawaii Island has 10,794; Kauai has 8,289; Molokai has 429; and Lanai has 353. This means that in terms of places to stay in Hawaii, Oahu and Maui harbor about 73% of them with 47% and 26%, respectively.
A few years ago, Hawaii was hit with a tsunami that caused damage to hotels on both sides of the island, mostly in the lobby and the lower levels where the water rushed in and ripped through.
We're happy to report that the unlucky hotels have since renovated, which we suppose is one (and perhaps the only) benefit of having your entire first floor wiped out by a wave of water - an excuse to spruce things up.
We visited two hotels on opposite sides of the island, the Hilo Hawaiian and King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, which were both affected by the tsunami and have since redone their lobbies and parts of their property. Although there is a risk that comes along with the ocean-front location, it also rewards with rockin' killer views.