Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Last week we covered the uber-5-star Kahala Resort, located a 15-minute drive (but worlds away) from Waikiki.  This, the second in our series of Hawaii hotels, will present the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel (AWBH), pictured above, which we’d booked for a travel group we organized for Waikiki.  It served our purposes extremely well, and we came to understand, first-hand, why the hotel has a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor.  It’s very well managed, and that was something that, as a travel advisor and event planner, I was thankful for every day.

The really special thing about the AWBH is its location and its outstanding views!  As one man in the group said, “When I can be directly across the street from the beach and have this kind of view, why do I need to keep spending $500 a night in Waikiki?  I’m going to come back here!”

What kind of view was he talking about?  Here’s the Diamond Head side:

Diamond Head, as seen from the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

In the interest of full disclosure, I did frame the photo to cut out most of the ugly roof of the next hotel.  Obviously, the lower floors would have part of the good view obstructed.

If I pan to the right from the same room:

Diamond Head and ocean views from room #2522 of the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

If I pan further right still:
Beach and ocean views from the balcony of room #2522 at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Keep in mind, room #2522 at the AWBH is only a “partial ocean-view room.”  By way of comparison, at The Kahala, which I reviewed last week, this was the view from a partial ocean-view room (which goes for $660/night):

Partial ocean view from room #906 at The Kahala

The Kahala is a fabulous resort, and I would recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to go there should do so.  But I must give credit where it is due.  The AWBH is a moderately-priced hotel, and the views—even from a partial ocean-view room—are amazing! 

Here’s what it looks like from a junior suite, room #2527, on the other side of the hotel (still not an ocean-front room):

View toward Waikiki from junior suite #2527 at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

View from the balcony of junior suite #2527 at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Couldn’t you stare at that water forever?

So, wonderful as it was to look out and see Diamond Head, the next time we think we’ll book a junior suite on the other side of the hotel.  Another advantage to the Waikiki side is that our balcony on the Diamond Head side was very narrow—just the depth of a small side chair (which I could barely move from the room onto the balcony).  The Waikiki side had standard-depth balconies, and the junior suite we saw had two of them!  Either way, I suggest booking through a travel agent who’ll go to bat for you to get a high floor, as that will make a big difference in your view.

One of the nice features at the AWBH was their “Breakfast on the Beach.”

"Breakfast on the Beach" at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

One of these bags was waiting in our room (a second was available on request), and each morning we filled it up at the poolside continental breakfast buffet.  The selection was plenteous, but for those who really wanted an omelet, they were available on a cooked-to-order basis for a very reasonable charge.

Want to try a purple-poi-filled goodie for breakfast at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel?

“Breakfast on the Beach,” er, around the pool at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

I suppose some people took their bags to the beach, but we joined the many others who preferred to sit around the pool and enjoy the live music and hula dancing.

Hula dancer, poolside at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

One morning, Elvis even joined us!

“Elvis” at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

What’s the catch? you ask.  Free breakfast, great location (on the quieter end, relatively speaking, of Waikiki Beach), fantastic views—and yet, it’s moderately priced. 

Hmm, the d├ęcor is, well...

Room #2522 at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

I don’t quite get the bold red and white action in the bedding (which appears nowhere else in the room or bathroom)—combined with yellow walls (bright yellow in the bathroom), gold draperies, and black-and-brown sort of tiki-patterned carpeting.  The overall effect of the sleeping room, especially, was somewhat dark and dingy-looking—other than the bed (which certainly wasn’t!). 

Bathroom of guest room #2522 at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

The shower curtain picked up some yellow with its palm-tree print (another theme that’s repeated nowhere else). 

I think once the hotel invests some money into updating the guest rooms with some lighter, fresher colors, we could see the room rates take quite a hike.  So if you prefer a bargain, go before they do it!  And in the meantime, no problem: don’t focus on the room, just look at the view!


  1. Great photos and descriptions. Makes me want to get on a plane, especially since it's about 100 here in the Central Valley again!

  2. Thanks, Laura! It's been hot here too. Hawaii, while warm, has those wonderful island breezes that we seem to be lacking here. -- Vicki Scheck