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Hotel Check: Holiday Inn Express Waikiki Honolulu, Hawaii

Published: 16/08/2017 - Filed under: Home » News » Home » Tried & Tested »

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Holiday Inn Express Honolulu Facade

Hotel Check: Holiday Inn Express Waikiki Honolulu, Hawaii

HOW MANY ROOMS? 596 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Just three blocks from Waikiki Beach (and four blocks from the convention center), this 44-floor, panoramic hotel is earning accolades for its mix of business and pleasure amenities. The pool deck is a great place to relax underneath a cabana where wireless Internet signals run nonstop.

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $135

CONTACT, Holiday Inn Express Waikiki, 2058 Kuhio Avenue, Honolulu, HI, 96815, tel+ 808-947-2828,

VERDICT Honolulu’s newest high-rise hotel is surprising travelers with how many amenities can be packed into one tall, narrow tower. And while the price point may be low, the views in most rooms are as entertaining as some of the pricier beachfront properties.

Holiday Inn Express Honolulu Ocean View

BACKGROUND This is a hotel conversion, and most guests here arrived on Asian tour group packages. These days, the IHG affiliation has the rooms balanced between business travelers during the week and leisure guests almost constantly. This demonstrates the balance that the Holiday Inn Express amenity roster can offer in a business and leisure environment like Hawaii’s capital.

WHERE IS IT? The hotel is four blocks from the convention center and three blocks from Waikiki Beach and some of the best luxury shopping in town. This means that travelers can intermingle their intentions between work in the financial area of town or the convention center and relaxing on the beach or exercising their credit card.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The open-air lobby is warm for most non-islanders, but ceiling fans work their magic (this is the standard for many island hotels). The staff is the gem here; it’s as if they know that as a new hotel they are the magic in the mix. Expect on-the-spot breakfast service (your dirty plates will be gone before you know it) and housekeeping folks that reveal how proud they are of the room makeovers. A daily $20 service charge is in line with what most other hotels on this beach charge for the various recreational perks.

Holiday Inn Express Honolulu lobby

ROOM FACILITIES The hotel maximized existing room space by doing away with desks and making use of the brand’s brilliant ergonomic, adjustable work station that rolls up to the bed. It allows travelers to work while in bed or rotate it over to the comfy armchair and use it while enjoying the views of Waikiki Beach from many rooms. Tucked away in the corner are Keurig coffeemakers, refrigerators, safes, and full-length mirrors. Bedside perks here are examples of Holiday Inn Express’ newest room refresh. This includes numerous power outlets (both international electrical plugs and USB ports) and storage space with device-charging stereos. Other perks include microwaves and free wireless Internet. Housekeeping is perfect, almost majestic. I really loved the flowers left each day; one almost forgets this hotel does not cost an arm and a leg!

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Dining relies solely on the Express Start breakfast, which is showing off some of its newest perks here. This property is showing off some of the newest perks in the lineup including new egg white omelets, whole wheat English muffins, and Chobani yogurt. If you combine that just right, it is exactly what some of the big brands will charge $30 for; and Holiday Inn Express throws in oatmeal, cold cereal, fresh fruit, cheese omelets, and a make-your-own-syrupy-pancake machine.

Holiday Inn Express Breakfast

Lunch and dinner is handled by the downtown neighborhood’s numerous eateries including Michael Mina’s new The Street. It is an upscale food court with everything from steaming bowls of ramen to poke made to order. Ask at reception for a map and dining recommendations; there are so many within walking distance.

Holiday Inn Express rent a bike

If walking is not your speed, rent a bike and explore Honolulu. 

LEISURE FACILITIES The outdoor swimming pool is surrounded in cabanas offering shade from the sun, and views of Waikiki are still available through the towers from here. Families love this spot; kids want to frolic anywhere so why pay big bucks for beachfront when they can do the same thing here. There is plenty of sunshine, and the 24-hour fitness center sees its fair share of takers thanks to the international mix of guests that stay here. It’s too bad there is not a spa, but the creative concierge team in the lobby has plenty of recommendations. The hotel offers free yoga classes on the sky deck.

Holiday Inn Express Skydeck

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES This hotel does offer convertible space; this means it can swap meeting space for breakfast room additions and vice versa. The Holiday Inn Express Honolulu can be one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to the meetings and convention venues. With 4,700 square feet of flexible space with nearly 1,500 square feet of outdoor seating, and a spacious fifth floor Sky Deck, it can attract a lot of groups. After breakfast is completed, the same interior space can be used for meetings (plus al fresco space). No matter what, all guests enjoy free wireless Internet throughout the hotel and via the Internet printer-equipped business center in the lobby. Stay at any Holiday Inn Express between now and Sept. 30 to earn double points for weekday stays and triple points for stays during the weekend. The minimum stay for this promotion is three nights, and registration is required.

By Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey is a regular contributor to Business Traveler across all print, digital, web and social channels.  He travels more than 400,000 miles a year criss-crossing the globe to report on hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and all things travel.

You can find more from Ramsey at, on Twitter - @dailytraveltips and Instagram - @dailytraveltips

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