We were ending our stay in Hawaii with a week on the island of Oahu. We used our airmiles to book a stay at the Aqua Palms & Spa Hotel. There are many Aqua hotels in in the Waikiki area, we like the particular location of this one. It was at the far end of the Waikiki area, across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. This location is out of the main Waikiki hustle and bustle. It is much quieter, yet only blocks away from the beach, main attractions and restaurants in the area.
The staff at the hotel were very friendly and extremely helpful in giving us the information we needed to get to various places, attractions and food options. They would always let us know if an expensive local bus was available to get us to where we wanted to go.
It has a pool which isn’t anything spectacular, but you’re in Hawaii. Do you really need to spend time at a pool? There is free wireless in the lobby, our room had it as well. Complimentary tea and coffee is available 24 hours in the lobby as well. Our room has a small fridge, sink and microwave. The rate includes daily continental breakfast which had various pastries, fruit and juice.
Getting to your hotel in Waikiki is very easy. Most hotels are on the shuttle bus route. After getting your luggage you just head outside to the lanes for the shuttle buses. Pick up one of the phones to call for one if it is not already sitting there.
The hotel has a few different options for rooms. We choose to pay a few dollars more to get a city and Diamond Head view from our room. Our balcony was a great place to sit and enjoy our morning tea while we watched people scurry around on the sidewalks below us and stared at Diamond Head in the distance.
We rented a car for 4 out of the 7 days of our stay. We found this to be just right for us. There are enough things to keep you busy on foot around the Waikiki area for several days. We opted to take a shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel and spend our first 3 days exploring the area by foot. We then took an expensive local bus back to the airport to pick up our car rental. We drove the car back to the airport a few hours before our flight was scheduled to leave the island. This all worked out very well.
Our car rental had to be done through the airport location because it was booked online through hotwire.com. This would be the second time we have used this site. It was the cheapest price we could find. We paid $17.95 a day for an autmatic economy car with air conditioning. We used them for our stay on the Big Island as well. On the Big Island we got Budget, and on Oahu we got Avis. On both occasions everything went of with out a hitch. We would definitely used them again. You don’t get to know what car company you are getting until you pay, but it is guaranteed to be one of the major ones like Budget, Avis, etc.
The Aqua Palms is located across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We ended up spending a lot of time at the Hilton. There are is a lot of activity and free things to do at the Hilton. We enjoyed strolling through the large shopping village. We found it had some unique things to offer that we did not see while shopping other areas of Waikiki. There are some stores that are only for the rich, but there are also a lot of reasonably priced ones with great souvenirs.
Just strolling through the hotel itself is an experience. The lounge and lobby areas are stunning and the grounds are full of tropical gardens, waterfalls and wildlife. There are several types of exotic birds, fish, turtles and even penguins to view.
Every Friday night the Hilton puts on a show of Hawaiian dancing and fireworks. The fireworks can be viewed from the beach front at 7:30/8:00pm, winter/summer. You can buy tickets to get poolside seats for the dancing, but we got a pretty good view for free by just standing in the public accessible area just outside the pool.