This report on HNL will be a little shorter than the last one since we know HNL real well having just moved from there a year ago. This meant less touristy things and more spending time with old friends and seeing what had changed about Honolulu. I had made reservations at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which is always nice, but crowded. To try something different, I got a good deal on the Hilton Grand Vacations Club and had high hopes for something a little more upscale that past stays at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We were disappointed that they directed us to the Kalia Tower which we had stayed at previously on a “regular” visit. For those of you familiar with the property, the Kalia Tower is the one on the corner of Kalia and Ena. The room was nice, but not special. My advice is to avoid the Hilton Grand Vacations Club and just book a regular Hilton room.
Our first night was on a Sunday which gave us a pretty good rate, but all the rates shot up dramatically for our Monday night stay. I saved $60 by moving half a block down the street to Hilton’s Doubletree property. Yes, it is a pain to move after only one night, but to me $60 was worth it.
Now let me let you in on one of my Waikiki secrets. You know how everything is so expensive in the restaurants in Waikiki? I’ll tell you where to get a great informal meal. Go to the Food Pantry marketplace on Kuhio Street. Inside you will find the best deal on a good chopped steak and/ or chicken meal with two scoops of rice. My wife says she likes the steak here better than Outback. Ok, maybe that’s not a hard bar to get over. For $10.99 for the full combo, you can’t beat that in Waikiki!
Last note is to show you a coming attraction. They are building a Ritz-Carlton on Kuhio about a block down from teh Courtyard. The Ritz is the highest level of the Marriott chain and should be a pretty fancy place to stay on points when it is complete. In engineering terms they are “just out of the ground” which means it will probably be 24 months before it opens. Look for it when it opens and they usually have some pretty good deals in order to get new customers in.