Budget

Hotel Review: Queen Kapiolani Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii

If you plan to stay in the heart of Waikiki, Honolulu, but don’t want to burn your whole month’s salary on it then Queen Kapiolani Hotel is a fantastic budget friendly alternative to expensive resorts in the area; and just as beautiful and relaxing!

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior

Location

Address: 150 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Queen Kapiolani Hotel is located in Waikiki, the heart of Honolulu which is full of shops and eateries. It is just one block away from Waikiki Beach where you’ll find people of all ages sunbathing, playing beach sports and just relaxing altogether. The location of this hotel is perfect because it’s just far enough from all the tourist crowds of Kalakaua Avenue, but still close enough to enjoy all the restaurants and nightlife .

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors

Arrival and Check-In at the Hotel

Check in – 3 pm | Check out – 11 am

Uber from the airport to the hotel costs around $17 to $20 and the airport has a designated area for Uber passenger pick up; between door 7 and 8. Make sure to request your Uber only after you reach the pick up area since it’s easily a 5-7 minute walk from Arrivals because some drivers tend to get impatient and cancel your request if you take too much time.

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If your flight is landing in the morning, before the hotel check-in time, always remember to inform the hotel in advance to see if early check-in is possible. Since, we were arriving around 9 am and had informed them of our early arrival, we were able to get our room by 12 pm. This was perfect for us because we wanted to get some breakfast anyway.

The hotel has a concierge on the left side of the entrance where you can store your luggage till your room gets ready.

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors
Just hanging loose!

The lobby area is beautifully decorated with many colorful couches laid out all over; the perfect place for you to hang out. This area also has many cute little shops selling unique souvenirs and treats. Get yourself a dole whip from one of the hotel shops while you wait for your room to get ready!

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors dole whip
Pineapple Dole Whip
honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors
It’s always Aloha in Hawaii

Inside the Hotel Room

With 315 rooms in several categories – diamond head view, ocean view, city view, studios, penthouses and suites; the hotel offers something to suit everyone’s needs. But, the option that offers the most value for money is their Diamond Head View room.

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors room bed king
Very comfortable King bed in our room

We booked the Diamond Head View room for 4 nights and it was perfect! Since the hotel is one block away from the beach, booking an Ocean View room will only get you partial views of the ocean, mostly blocked by buildings; whereas Diamond Head view rooms not only give you unobstructed views of the beautiful Diamond Head State Monument, but also overlooks the hotel’s happening pool area. This creates a lively atmosphere throughout the day, which is perfect if you want to just sit and chill in your balcony.

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors pool diamond head bar
Amazing view from our room!

The room is very well appointed and functional. It is furnished with a large and comfortable king size bed and a small sitting area by the window to have a peek at the beautiful outdoors.

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Our room’s private bathroom

They offer strong complimentary WiFi in all rooms, which was our savior as we needed to catch up on some work even during our vacation days.

Their balconies are huge and provisioned with good quality patio furniture, and it was just the best thing for us. Being early risers and sunrise lovers, we love watching the break of dawn while sipping some coffee, and the huge balcony with such amazing views turned out to be perfect for us!

Amenities

  • Daily Housekeeping
  • Outdoor pool
  • Refrigerator
  • Huge balcony with patio furniture
  • Free WiFi
  • Proximity to Waikiki Beach
  • In room safe
  • Air conditioning
  • Very friendly staff
  • 24/7 Concierge and bag storage
  • Great restaurant & bar – The Deck
  • Amazing cafe for some delicious kona coffee – Knots Coffee Roasters
  • Early check-in available upon request

Restaurants at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel

Queen Kapiolani Hotel has two great restaurants to choose from, well actually I wouldn’t categorize either of them as restaurants really. One is a casual cafe located on the first floor of the hotel – The Knots Coffee Roasters. It offers some delectable bakery items for you to try. A coffee shop by day and a happening bar by night, it is an amazing place even if you simply want to grab a beer, relax and have some good conversation with friends and family.

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors knots coffee roasters
Perfect place to chill

Oh and their coffee cups with pink lids are super cute!

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors knots coffee roasters
Aren’t they just so cute!

The other, called The Deck, is more like a restro-bar and is located on the second floor right by the pool. Not only does it offer some scrumptious food options such as the Pitaya Papaya Boat and Fresh Seared Ahi Sandwich for breakfast, Ahi Poke for lunch, and Oven Baked Whole Branzino Wrapped in Hawaiian Ti Leaf for dinner (simply finger-licking!), it also has an amazing ambience which is sure to take your Hawaiian vacation to the next level.

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors ahi poke
When in Hawaii, you must try fresh poke!

Just sit by the pool with a glass of Mai Tai and enjoy some local music or indulge in some delicious food; this restaurant has the perfect ambience be it day or night!

Oh, and while you’re relaxing your time away at the pool, do yourself a favor and get some bubbles, will you? Illikoi and guava mimosas are our favorites, but choose from any of their four flavors, they’re really good!

Recreation

Okay okay we understand, you’re in Hawaii, you don’t want us to talk about gyms or working out. But, just listen to us for once. Their gym was so well equipped that we have to mention it here!

Now you see, we’re the kind who like to get at least a short workout done even during our vacation. So the first thing we actually check out after checking in to a hotel is its gym. We’ve seen all kinds of gyms, tiny hole-in-the-wall gyms, lavish high-tech gyms, gyms with no equipment, gyms with much too many equipment, but Queen Kapiolani’s gym is simply perfect. It has just the right amount of good quality equipment. It is spacious enough so that you can easily do all your bodyweight exercises but not too spacious that the gym just seems barren. We truly enjoyed our short workout sessions at their gym.

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani exterior lobby interiors gym workout vacation fit couple
You can tell by our faces how much we enjoyed our gym sessions

Additional Things to Note

  • Honolulu is no less than any other big city, hence parking is definitely a problem. Most hotels charge exorbitant fees for nightly parking (close to $35 per night) and street parking is expensive in most places as well. There are free parking spots available throughout Waikiki, but they obviously get very crowded and you need to reach there early in the morning to get a spot. But what if there was a free parking area really close to your hotel? Well, if you stay at Queen Kapiolani Hotel, then you’re in luck! There is 24-hour free parking available on Monsarrat Ave (exact address can be found here), and it is just a 5 minute walk from the hotel. No need to rush to secure your spot anymore, huh?
  • Diamond Head State Monument, one of the main attractions of Honolulu, is at a very convenient location from the hotel. In fact, many major attractions can be reached just on foot.

Final Thoughts

All in all we had a really enjoyable stay at Queen Kapiolani Hotel and we’d go back and stay there in a second. What we enjoyed the most was watching the sunrise from its huge balcony, the happening vibe at the pool area and of course its close proximity to Waikiki beach. The only negative that we can think of is that they don’t have a microwave and a coffee maker in the room. Now, this might not be a negative for you if you’re not much of a coffee drinker, but we LOVE our coffee, so it was somewhat inconvenient for us. But hey you’re in Hawaii, might as well have a Mai Tai instead of your morning coffee, right?

(While you’re planning your next vacation to Hawaii, make sure to check out our amazing article about Top Things To Do in Honolulu.)

honolulu waikiki hawaii hotel review queen kapiolani mai tai bar beach sunglasses couple
While we wait for our Mai Tais, it’s time for you to book your vacation at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel
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53 replies »

  1. Just goes to show you don’t have to pay a fortune to stay in a great hotel or resort. This place looks beautiful and those room views of Diamond Head! I will pin this for the future. I want to go back to Hawaii!

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  2. Just goes to show you don’t have to spend a fortune to stay at an awesome hotel or resort. I’m pinning this because we want to go back to Hawaii in the future!

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  3. The Queen Kapiolani does look like a great value option, especially as they offer King Beds in the less expensive room types as well. I’m used to seeing basic doubles in those, which I find too small! The pool looks gorgeous too.

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  4. Wow what an amazing hotel. Believe me, if I ever go to Honolulu one day, I will certainly look for this place.

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  5. This looks like a great hotel and a budget-friendly price! I always like knowing about all the amenities a hotel has to offer before I book, and this post was really helpful -thanks!

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  6. This is a very detailed review and you convinced me to stay there. The amenities are cool and the room looks comfortable and cozy at the same time.

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  7. This looks like a great hotel – I love the view to Diamond Head over the pool area. Last time I went to Waikiki I stayed in a hostel that had bed bugs so this would be infinitely better! I agree about the coffee maker though – always good to have one in the room – sometimes the hotel will give you one for a charge though.

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  8. Your overviews of this hotel are so thorough and they give so much good information.I will def have to add this to my list when I visit Hawaii.

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  9. This looks like a wonderful hotel to stay during a vacation. Hawaii, looks absolutely beautiful and I would love to visit there. The only thing is that don’t have a coffeemaker, I am a coffee addict. However, the hotel is so great I could definitely overlook that. It looks like y’all had an amazing time.

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  10. OMG! I’ve been in this hotel 2 years ago! I have a lot of good memories. I’m glad that finally the hotel have excellent review !

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  11. Such a wonderful hotel to take a wonderful stay and relax. It’s so really nice ambiance to spend with family and loved ones during an Hawaii trip.

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  12. It looks like such a nice hotel! Not to mention the spectacular pool view! I was curious about the rate. Just picked a random date this summer and it was under $160. Great find!

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  13. Hawaii is definitely on the travel wish list! Would love to visit there. The Queen Kapiolani Hotel looks like a great place to stay. Especially being so close to Waikiki Beach. I love the view from the pool. Good to know there are good options for food at the restaurant.

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  14. The property looks absolutely beautiful and looks like you guys had a lovely stay. I also loved the decor of your room!

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  15. This looks beautiful! The view and the decor. It’s so great to read reviews on hotels, it helps so much when trip planning. Hopefully I can make it to Hawaii soon 🙂

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  16. The hotel looks so inviting you really wouldn’t have to leave the premises if you didn’t want to and you could still have an amazing time. I love the way you could just sit at or in the pool and gaze up at the mountains too. That is just breathtaking!

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  17. The hotel looks really wonderful. The picture of the outdoor pool with hills in the background is just stunning.

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  18. I love that you completely wrote all the important information about this Hotel. i must say that your review is well thought and honest. Anyway, the room looks really spacious and super clean. Moreover, I would definitely love to drench myself in the pool while enjoying the amazing view that it has to offer. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

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  19. I love Hawaiian hotels – they are always so colorful and fun. The Queen Kapiolani seems to be just like that – full of vibrant colors and positive vibes – makes a stay perfect, I assume.

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