Hotel Renew By Aston
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Renew By Aston Honolulu
Spirit of Aloha
My December trip to Oahu was a little getaway for me from the everyday hustle and bustle at home. Being that I was alone and wanted to spend more on shopping and visiting attractions, I decided to go with a valued hotel. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the staff immediately. I was truly amazed at their professionalism and spirit of aloha. I automatically felt right at home! Throughout the stay, I was always greeted with a smile and the girls in the morning even greeted me by my name! I was stunned on the day of checkout that they remembered my room number, too! Now that's not the kind of service I expected from a small property. Whenever I inquired about directions to somewhere, the staff were so efficient in assisting me. They always went out of their way to print out maps and directions to make sure I didn't get lost. The condition of the room was a bit tired but the hotel is currently undergoing renovations. I was fortunate enough to be shown their newly renovated models. Wow! What an awesome transformation! You have to see it to believe it! In addition to the beautiful rooms, they have the greatest staff on board--from the front desk manager & housekeeping manager to the front desk personnels and housekeepers. I definitely recommend this place! Oh..and I forgot to mention, it took me roughly 2 minutes to walk to the beach. How great was that! The hotel provides beach towels, boogie boards, and beach mats.
Loud, Poor Service
We walked into this hotel after a problem with our original hotel. We had walked around Waikiki for several hours before finding this hotel which had one room left. After about 10 hours of travel, we had walked around Waikiki looking for a new place to stay and found this. The lobby was very nice but the room was not. However, it did not have a cockroach infestation, like our original hotel, so we thought it would be a decent place to sleep. We were wrong. First of all, make sure that if you book this hotel you do not have a corner room, the noise from the street is never ending. The worst thing is that we were woken up very early to what seemed to be drilling in the room next to ours. It continued for hours. Not joking the pictures were turning sideways and almost falling off of the walls. After no sleep whatsoever, we went down to speak with someone about all of the trouble with the noise. We got absolutely no apology and were told that yes they have no control over when their contractors start remodeling (even at 7 am!). The manager said, "Most people get up really early because of the time change." and "Well, you got a few hours of sleep." When we asked if there was anything he could do, like discount our rate, etc, he said, "Sorry, you paid at check-in, there is nothing I can do." Terrible customer service, we will never be back to this hotel or any of it's partner Aqua hotels.
Pleasantly surprised, great deal for a modestly nice hotel close to the beach!
I needed a hotel for four nights for a solo trip to Oahu, where I would be exploring the island and taking pictures. Nothing romantic or special needed, just something clean and basic and convenient...but CHEAP.
I worried ahead of time that this place would be a dump, but I was pleasantly surprised - the Ocean Tower easily met my expectations and more. The staff were friendly and helpful. Let's not kid ourselves, though - this is not a luxury hotel; there are few services and not even a pool. The hotel needs serious renovation beyond the nice lobby and renovations have just started (a few floors at a time - you'd never know unless your elevator stopped there). The current rooms are dumpy and dated (paint damage on walls, peeling wallpaper, etc.) but clean. The hallways are painted a tacky bright green. Still, the rooms are not unwelcoming, and I got a king non-smoking room which truly was non-smoking (no hint of smoke) with a balcony (you can barely see the ocean if you turn your head, mostly a view of other buildings). Some of the rooms have balconies (the 01 rooms) but no real ocean views; good-sized balconies, too. I had a "moderate" (budget) room reservation but the hotel wasn't full so I presume that's why I got a balcony room. Don't expect one. The king room I had was small but manageable (having the balcony is worth a little less room inside!). There's a combination desk/vanity (with a mirror) apart from the small bathroom. There's also a good-sized closet.
I liked the fact that the hotel has only 72 rooms, 8 rooms per floor. There are huge hotels around the Ocean Tower with hundreds of rooms each! The two elevators were prompt and had no trouble handling 72 rooms. And I find service tends to be more personal at a smaller hotel, when it's more likely that the front desk person will remember you.
The shower (with a tub) had surprisingly good water pressure and hot water. (Reviews of other cheaper Waikiki hotels complain about this.) Some might fret about the old-fashioned separate hot and cold water controls for the tub water; others may find it a throwback to an earlier era.
I used the free wireless internet from my room every day with my laptop (it worked fairly well but was occasionally very slow - but at least it was free!). The hotel otherwise has no public computer to use, no way to print your boarding passes for a return trip, etc. There's also a free safe in the room - very convenient. There's also a little fridge which I did not use. I was bad and ate the cheap pastries they offered for breakfast every morning, but there are plenty of nearby breakfast options.
My biggest worry about the place was the thin walls. The first hour after I checked in, the guy in the next room started yelling about something and it sounded like he was next to me - that sure startled me! I was tempted to change rooms but I never heard the guy again - maybe he checked out or was kicked out. If you are unlucky to get a noisy neighbor, you will hear the noise. Also, note that this is Waikiki and you are going to hear "street noise" - buses, music playing late into the night at the neighborhood resort bar, etc. Fortunately, the hotel has a good, "white noise" air conditioner that blocks out much of the noise and cools quite well too. I slept fine all four nights here. The king bed was quite comfortable also.
The location, though, is the biggest perk of this hotel. Being one block from the beach in Waikiki can't be beat. You can even snorkel here very easily - not as good as the spectacular Hanauma Bay, but still very good, lots of beautiful fish; if you have no time to do Hanauma Bay, just buy cheap snorkel gear at the ABC store across the street from the hotel and go for it. There are tons of restaurants around and even a Starbucks on the same block - the hotel does not have coffee makers in the rooms.
Parking: currently $15/night and limited to first-come, first serve. However, the Waikiki Banyon hotel about 2 blocks away has a self-park public lot for only $8 for 24 hours with full in-out privileges, and this is what I did. A tad inconvenient but I never had trouble finding a spot in their parking structure. You can stop briefly by the hotel to load/unload your lugged when you arrive/depart. Call the hotel directly before you arrive to confirm the parking options.
A rare gem hidden in Waikiki
My family and I recently stayed at the Aqua Ocean Tower. After about a week of moving from hotel to hotel around Waikiki, we were immediately impressed by the level of quality and service at the Aqua Ocean Tower hotel.
The front desk and house keeping staff were very warm and friendly and definitely went way out of their way to help accommodate our family and make our stay more comfortable.
The recently renovated lobby was very clean and comfortable. The rooms were clean and spacious.
The location was very convenient too. About 1 block from the beach and all the shopping and dining areas of Waikiki only a short stroll away.
Free wireless internet service, local telephone calls, continental breakfast and other amenities made this hotel a great value.
I have stayed at many so called budget hotels in Waikiki, and I can honestly say that I feel that I got the most for my money at the Aqua Ocean Tower hotel. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to friends or family when they come to Hawaii to visit!
My girlfriend and i booked not knowing what to expect... for the price we were thinking it was just like a travelodge... it was so much more; although the room was older (the building is under renovation right now) it was very clean. the half a block walk to the beach was an amenity on its own... when you could be paying 4 times as much for the marriot next door, why not just stay in a cheaper, more personal hotel? the service was exceptional, and the staff was very friendly... i highly recommend this hotel.
Well kept secret in Waikiki
This well kept secret has excellent and friendly service with reasonably priced rooms. The absence of a restaurant and bar in the hotel is barely noticed as numerous restaurants and bars are only steps from your room. I would put this hotel up against any on the beach with service and cleanliness. The hotel is updating all the rooms, which are slightly dated, to reflect an Asian influence. This includes projection TV and steam shower. I can't wait!
We just returned from a 6-night stay at the Ocean Tower and we loved it. Great location- less than a block from the beach. We knew it was an older hotel with rooms that needeed some updating, but the rooms were fine. Very clean and with comfortable beds. Our room (906) had a terrific view of the ocean and it had a balcony with a view of Diamond Head. It was probably the best room in the hotel.
The hotel staff is great! Very, very nice and helpful.
The free breakfast is coffee, juice, and sweet rolls. The coffee was available starting at 6 am and the rest was available 7:30 - 9:30. Breakfast is adequate. Again, the staff are always there to help. We were given some juice at noon as we checked out.
This hotel is a great value. It may not be a 4 or 5 star hotel, but it is more than acceptable and a real bargain for the money.
The managment has big plans to upgrade the rooms. We were shown two rooms which have just been remodeled and they are awesome (an oriental-type design with plenty of high-end amenities). Look for the remodeling to take 12-18 months to complete. They plan to remodel 2 floors at a time. When the remodel is done, this will be an excellent hotel.
As a smaller hotel with only 9 floors, it offers a more intimate atmosphere and there are no long waits for the elevators.
We highly recommend this hotel!
Average budget hotel in Honolulu with good service
I really had trouble deciding whether to give this place 2 stars or 3. I chose 3 because the room was clean, there were no bugs, and the service was great. However, 3 stars means this is average for a BUDGET hotel in Honolulu. The rooms facing away from the beach have a view of other buildings and there's no reason to look out the windows. The rooms facing the ocean have a lovely view with palm trees and the beach, but cost $30 more per night. None of the rooms has a balcony, which is nice when in Hawaii, to enjoy th sunset. The hotel has free wireless internet on each floor, but you have to bring your laptop. They have a free continental breakfast from 730am to 930am daily, but it's just cheap icky-sweet pastries, coffee, and canned juices. I only went for the breakfast on my first day since there was nothing even remotely healthy to eat. Free daily paper, including Sunday, in the lobby too. This hotel has a lot of free stuff that others charge for in Honolulu, including in-room safe and local phone calls. You are only 1.5 blocks from the beach here. I booked my room through discounthotelshawaii.com and only paid $64 per night plus tax. I was shocked to see the same rooms at almost $100 on Expedia. If I had paid that much, I would have started looking for a better deal after the first night, because it just isn't worth that much. I was willing to stay for the price I paid though. The wallpaper was peeling in places, the fixtures were cheap in the bathroom. There was a mini fridge, but no microwave. I guess I would stay there again, but I would look at other places first. If I couldn't get a better deal elsewhere, I would stay here again. The staff was always friendly and the maid service excellent. It's just that the place is kind of old, and it's difficult to make something old look clean sometimes.
Good location, tired hotel.
The best thing about this hotel is the location. In a side street 50 metres from the main Waikiki strip and close to everything in Waikiki. The hotel is only 9 floors high and is situated between two very large hotels so not much privacy if you care to leave the curtains open, but that was not a great concern. It had that rundown seaside town feeling of decreptitude. Definitely a fabulous view from the room - pity the windows were so small and no balcony. You could at least open the window and hang out. This is a budget hotel, although we paid $150 AUD per night. The furnishings and fittings were tired and old. Wallpaper peeling off the walls in the bathroom, the usual poorly ventilated no window bathroom. Room was small, thankfully we had booked 2 queen beds to ensure more room, but you did need to sidle around the beds to get around. Yellow net curtains at the windows didn't really do it for me, and the beds and pillows were hard. Perhaps this is good value for Hawaii, but not for me. At least their was a refrigerator in the room for a change, although no coffee or tea making facilities. Definitely time for a major refurbishment here - they are doing it on the cheap. We found out on our last day about the free coffee and pastries in the foyer for breakfast - no one bothered to advise us of that on check in. It didn't really bother us as most of these "free" breakfasts are just sugary pastries and fake fruit juice - nothing fresh or real about them.
Best value, awesome vacation!!
We have surfed Tripadvisor a LOT looking for properties with 'okay' traveller reviews, but when we booked our last-minute trip to Honolulu, we went to this property with the knowledge that it had changed management/ownership and had no reviews (and the old ones were awful). For the price and the location, we decided on a leap of faith and booked in from April 24 to May 1st (and having seen MANY 'like-priced' properties during my stay, I got the best deal possible).
We got our baggage and went to the shuttle/cab area, only to find that at 11pm on a Sunday, chances of getting something weren't good (pushier people would have no trouble battling the throngs but we were too tired to fight). Finally got a Roberts shuttle around 11:30pm ($14 for a round-trip ticket from and back to the airport). Super-friendly & helpful drivers (the Kenyan guy we had on the way back was a HOOT, he really made our last few moments in Honolulu fun).
When we arrived around midnight the check-in was super-fast and the gal at the desk was very helpful and in good spirits (exactly what you want when you've gotten through 14 hours of travelling).
Our first impression of the room (802) was not too good (stained carpet, tile & bathtub; some peeling paint, etc.) but the bedding & bathroom were clean, it was a larger room w/2 double beds (I am grateful now that we didn't get a single king bed as we requested as we later got a chance to see the room and it was smaller), and it was a non-smoking room that actually didn't smell of smoke! YAHOO!! The beds/pillows were super-comfy, and we slept like babies all week. I never saw even one bug in our room all week, NOT ONE. When our tv wouldn't work, the security guard was there to help within 5 minutes. The tv had many local/cable channels (the local newsanchors cracked us up each morning), and the small refrigerator worked like a charm. There was also a hair dryer in the room, as well as an iron & ironing board. Lots of closet space & drawers. Our room faced Lemon Street/Paoakalani Ave., so all we had was a view of other buildings, which was fine since we didn't spend too much time in it (if we hung out the window to the right we could see Diamond Head!LOL). We were never bothered by street noise being on a higher floor. Coffee is available around 6am in the lobby (free) along with the daily paper (free), and continental breakfast of YUMMY pastries and juices is available from 8-10am (also included in room price). There is luggage storage (free) if you need to check out well-before your flight as we did (check out is noon, our flight was midnight...the front desk manager was even kind enough to give us a room to shower in after our day on the beach). Have I mentioned that the staff at this hotel is AWESOME?? ;) And Tina, the housekeeper, always had our room impeccably clean and was always ready with a cheery 'Aloha' each morning (and she even hugged me tight when I tipped her at the end of our stay).
The hotel is right behind a bigger hotel, a half-block from a beautiful stretch of beach (Kuhio Beach...east part of Waikiki). There is a breakwater here that makes swimming in the ocean perfect for small children/families (and we found out snorkelling in this area we called 'the bathtub' the last day we were there that there are TONS of fish near the wall, even some that we didn't see at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve-Hanauma is also a MUST!!). To play in the waves all you have to do is walk down past the breakwater. With the recent rain/sewage spill trouble that this area has had this year, we never had any trouble with infections or illness (even with open blisters and cuts). The sand is soft and gets gloriously warm. We HIGHLY recommend buying a seagrass beach mat for a buck or two at any ABC store (shake and go, doesn't stay wet; way better than lying on a towel).
There are almost an infinite number of options for food at this end of Waikiki, all price ranges. Our 'best of' picks would be Cheeseburger in Paradise on the beach for breakfast (Mac Nut pancakes are to DIE FOR), Jackie's Kitchen in Ala Moana Mall for lunch (mmmmmm, portobello mushroom sandwiches....drooooool; and CHEAP...tell Mike, the manager, that you're sorry about his Red Wings being beaten by the Oilers LOL), and for supper if you like seafood, the all-you-can-eat buffet at Todai (west end of Wakiki) is unbelievable (we had to go twice)!
We rented a car and drove 'round the island, stopping at all of the amazing beaches on the North Shore (a LOT of fun with the bigger surf, white sand, and completely deserted during the week, even in full sunshine!!). But from the location of the hotel, a bus to any destination is a half-block away. $2.00 w/ a 2 hour transfer period. Lots of money-friendly options instead of going for expensive tours or the dreaded time-share spiel. The Honolulu Zoo, Kapi'olani Park are right beside the hotel. Diamond Head, as we found out, is an approximately 3-hour walk from the hotel to the observation deck at the top (the walk back, blessedly, is downhill). Taking the bus to Diamond Head would cut off about 2 hours!LOL The sunset from the beach in front of the hotel is nothing short of breathtaking.
I think that covers it. I would stay here again without thinking twice (and will). Best value for my buck, the best location and the best staff.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Renew By Aston Honolulu
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