May 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
Anyone traveling to Honolulu and looking for somewhere to stay in the Waikiki Beach area should consider Hotel Renew. When I began searching for a hotel to stay in, I turned to my trusty resource Tripadvisor. Hotel Renew was the #2 rated hotel in Waikiki, and the #1 rated hotel just seemed too far away from the beach (about 4 blocks). Given that the rate was reasonable (and the military was paying–thank you Uncle Sam!), we booked it.
When you walk into Hotel Renew, no matter how bright, loud, hot, or crowded it is outside (and it is often all of these things at once in Waikiki), you instantly feel calm. The entire hotel is decorated in shades of gray and white, with very sleek, modern furnishings. It is nice and cool inside (love the air conditioning), and you are greeted with a cold glass of pineapple juice and icy towels. There is a small bar downstairs that opens at 5:30 pm. The bartenders are usually very friendly, with good restaurant suggestions, and there is a flat screen television mounted on the wall to watch. The bar wasn’t very crowded whenever we went there (1-2 other patrons at the most), and the drinks were pricey (as everywhere in Waikiki) but delicious.
There are 2 elevators to take you to your room, and one of my complaints is that there are no stairs. There is an emergency staircase, but I discovered the hard way that this only leads to an alarmed exit. So there is no choice but to take the elevator, even if you want to get a little exercise.
The room was a dream. Just like the hotel lobby, decorated in white, gray, and black, with very contemporary finishings. Black tile entry way, black burber carpet, soft white linens, and really good lighting. The bathroom was also very modern with beautiful fixtures, but the shower door wouldn’t stay shut (maybe it was haunted). I especially liked the square sink with a faucet in the corner as opposed to the middle. The desk is extremely large, with a cabinet, a mini-fridge built in, and a drawer to keep clutter and receipts (which you should save from the ABC Store, because you can get a free gift if you turn them in on your last day…I got an adorable hula girl coffee mug).
I spent a lot of time in the hotel, because the beach was too crowded and it was just so relaxing. If I had to do it over again, I would have looked for a hotel with a kitchenette, even though I loved the Hotel Renew. After 2 + weeks here, eating at a restaurant 2-3 times a day just really started to wear us out (we felt like this just after a few days). I haven’t weighed myself, but I am guessing I’ve put on 10 lbs. Ugh. The location in Waikiki was nice because there was so many different amenities, restaurants, and bars in easy walking distance, but I am so over the touristy location. If we didn’t have to be in Honolulu to be close to Camp Smith for Bryan, we would DEFINITELY have found a resort or hotel on the North Shore, or maybe even a rental house with a kitchen.
But all in all, if you HAVE to stay in Waikiki, and you aren’t going to be here for longer than week (which in my opinion requires a kitchen so you can cook healthy meals), then absolutely stay at the Hotel Renew. It is calm, reasonably priced, and really does what it says–renews you.
*There was also a morning breakfast. Fruit, coffee, juice, muffins, toast, croissants. Not exactly paleo, so Bryan never ate it. I did…and usually had more croissants than I should have.
**Bryan would disagree with some of my review. He would have preferred a hotel more “in the action” closer to the restaurants. I disagree–we were at most a 10 min walk from the busiest part of Waikiki, and I didn’t mind the “distance,” if you can even call it that.