Rating for Convenience NOT for Luxury
I stayed in the Best Western in Honolulu for just about a month while my family and I were in transition from Massachusetts to Hawaii. I looked online at a lot of Honolulu hotels prior to our move. I wanted to stay someplace nice but not too expensive. (I didn't want to put my family of 3 women in Waikiki. I would have declared bankruptcy within a week.) The hotel is very busy and mostly caters to military in transition while they are waiting to find housing. There are also a lot of business travelers that stay there because of how close the airport is in relation to the hotel.
The Best Western on Nimitz Highway in Honolulu is a five (if that) minute ride to the airport. It is 10 to 20 minutes to downtown Honolulu (maybe more, depending on traffic) and about 30 minutes to downtown Waikiki and all the tourist traps in that area.
Being so close to theairport has its huge disadvantages, though. Highway 92 and H1 both run east to west through the island and, while it is nice to be close to the freeway, it makes for some loud traffic noise around the entire hotel. You can’t even make a phone call if you’re standing in the front or even the pool area. Even conversations in person can be difficult. When the doors open in the lobby then its noisy in there too.
***I recommend that you ask for a room on the non-freeway side.***
There’s a restaurant inside the hotel called the Plaza Café. They serve breakfast and dinner on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Tuesday thru Thursday breakfast and dinner are served in the sister Honolulu hotel about a block away. There is a shuttle. There is currently no lunch service at either hotel but there are lots of nearby options (many within walking distance) that the front desk can direct you too and give recommendations on.
The food is decent in both restaurants but nothing to die for. Pretty vanilla, actually. On Friday nights the Plaza Café does an “all you can eat crab leg” buffet with some other stuff. It’s expensive at $30 per person. The "other stuff" is some fish, beef, salad, mashed potatoes, corn and deserts.
The rooms were your typical Best Western rooms; clean and large enough.Credit: Ken MuiseThe staff (front desk, managers, and bell hops) were all very helpful and friendly. The housekeeping staff were particularly good at their job and friendly.
My biggest issue with the hotel are the elevators. There are only two and there is not a separate service elevator for the staff so that the housecleaning staff needs to use them for carts and laundry service. The wait can be excruciating. This has been typical of my stays in Best Westerns as the one I stayed at on Miami Beach had the same exact issue.
There is a decent pool in the middle of the property with sun chairs and palm trees. The pool is opened 9 a.m. to dusk.
There is an older section of the property that has rooms that are circa 1970-ish, that do allow for pets to accompany their owners, which is big for the military in transition. There is a one-time fee for the pet rooms paid when you check in.
One thing that the Best Western has that you won’t get with all Honolulu Hotels is their very own garage for parking. The parking spaces are small so if you rent then you should ask for a compact. That being said, the garage attached the hotel is bonus. Parking is not free.
Final Analysis for this Honolulu Hotel:
The Best Western on Nimitz Highway is NOT a Waikiki Hotel. It’s not even one of the nicer Honolulu Hotels. If you can convince your family that you’re paying a little less to not stay at a “vacation hotel” but still be in close proximity to Waikiki then you’re good to go. What the Best Western in Honolulu lacks in luxury, however, it more than makes up for in convenience and friendliness of the staff. Most likely, though, you’re not staying there for the location. You’re staying there for the decent (in respect to other Honolul Hotels and the ones in Waikiki) price and proximity to the airport.
Special Note: I do want to thank the staff and owners of the Best Western for taking care of military men, women, and families.
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(price as of Feb 15, 2014)
See Honolulu Airport and the Best Western Proximity
3253 North Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI 96819, USA