Trying to decide which Waikiki hotel to stay at? The Queen Kapiolani Hotel is a fun and affordable hotel on Oahu. It's located on the edge of Waikiki and was renovated in 2018. Here are the pros and cons from our recent stay at the hotel!
Where Is Queen Kapiolani Hotel?
Queen Kapiolani Hotel is located in Waikiki, on the island of Oahu.
It's located at the edge of Waikiki and easily walkable to pretty much anything you need in Waikiki. The hotel is just a five minute walk (or less!) to the beach.
The hotel address is: 150 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815.
If you're coming from Honolulu International Airport, it is about a 30 minute drive.
I like this hotel location because you can walk to all the Waikiki stuff AND walk to everything along Monsarrat Avenue. Monsarrat Avenue has many good food spots like da Cove Health Bar, Pioneer Saloon, Diamond Head Market & Grill, and Hawaii Sushi.
You're also a short walk from the great, iconic eats along Kapahulu Avenue like Ono Seafood, Leonard’s Bakery, and Tonkatsu Tamafuji.
P.S. Check here for our Best Restaurants in Waikiki list.
Who Is Queen Kapiolani Hotel Ideal For?
My husband and I recently did a staycation at the hotel and this post is based on our personal visit. Even locals love to vacation in Hawaii! That is how wonderful our island is ^_^
We wanted a weekend "away" (even though we were just a short drive from home). It was thrilling to take a small break and do something different from our day to day.
It's also neat to see our island from another perspective! We returned home in brighter moods for sure.
The hotel would be especially great for:
- Those looking for a relatively affordable vacation or staycation in Hawaii.
- Those who want to be within walking distance to everything in Waikiki, but not in the center core of Waikiki. Note: being on the edge of Waikiki has both pros and cons. Some people prefer staying in the center of Waikiki because they can feel like they are in the heart of it all. Others like staying at the edge of Waikiki because it is quieter and more relaxing.
- Those with families and/or young children.
- Those on group vacation with friends/family and looking to accommodate different budgets and different room size needs.
- Those looking for a fun, unique, and retro hotel vibe in Waikiki.
This hotel is not:
- A fancy or luxurious hotel.
- A quiet hotel.
What Makes Queen Kapiolani Hotel Special
There are a broad range of hotel options in Waikiki and they can get super expensive. This is why we are always excited to discover a relatively affordable hotel that's still nice and convenient.
The Queen Kapiolani has a hip, trendy, and retro vibe. It was originally built in 1967 and named in honor of the actual Queen Kapiolani herself. Growing up we didn't actually hear too much about this hotel except that it was one of the older Waikiki hotels near the zoo.
The hotel was later sold and purchased. In 2018, the new owners did an impressive $35 million dollar renovation.
And all of a sudden, it seemed like everyone was talking about the Queen Kapiolani Hotel. So we had to check it out for ourselves ^_^
Like many Hawaii hotels, Queen Kapiolani fully embraces the indoor/outdoor lifestyle of Hawaii. Everything is open air, and wonderfully breezy on nice days. The hotel is filled with local art and decor, both in the room themselves and the common areas. It feels comfortable and inviting.
Rooms At Queen Kapiolani Hotel
The hotel has 9 different types of rooms. We booked a "Ocean View Balcony" room which gave a slight view of the ocean, and a nice look at Diamond Head. It cost a little more than a city view room and was worth the price difference.
If you're only here for a short holiday, being able to see the ocean and mountains changes the whole mood and experience of the stay.
Our room was on a higher floor so it wasn't too noisy, but I heard that it can get noisy if you're on a lower floor. Try to get a higher floor if possible.
The hotel came with a cute balcony area where we drank our morning *coffee and ate dessert the night before. So neat to feel like we were on vacation in Hawaii heheh.
*One thing we missed was having a coffee maker in the room. They don't give this option, so you need to go the downstairs cafe for coffee.
Our room came with two queen beds. We used the other bed to put clothes, shopping, etc on. The rooms are on the smaller side but fairly sized for Waikiki.
The hotel has an older feel to it and is simple. Not luxurious but it is clean and comfortable which is most important. It's definitely not new (and if it were new, you'd be paying a much higher price).
Bathroom had cute amenities include...
...their own branded toiletries. So cute!
Dining At Queen Kapiolani Hotel
The hotel has two main dining options:
The Deck is the main restaurant. It's an open air restaurant located on the third floor terrace, right next to the pool. It gets busy on evenings and weekends with both tourists and locals. It's a fun spot.
The restaurant has a super good view of Diamond Head. There's a 2-4pm Happy Hour. Check their website for special events like the summer music session. Live music, dinner, and drinks!
The menu is American, but features many local dishes. I recommend ordering local dishes, you are in Hawaii after all! Look out for the loco moco, beef curry rice, poke bowls, and haupia french toast on the breakfast, lunch, and brunch menu.
Knots Coffee Roasters
Knots Coffee Roasters is a cafe and takeout coffee spot. It's located on the ground floor of the hotel and positioned so that it invites both hotel guests and other people just passing by to walk in. It's open air, with plenty of seating and a fun cafe menu.
They have Plantation Iced Tea which you should try at least once while in Hawaii. They even serve Coffee Jelly drinks (though my favorite coffee jelly drink is still at La Palme D'or in Ala Moana Center).
The mornings are bustling and you'll see families with children, people working on laptops, morning meetings, and others coming by to pick up coffee. We came down to get morning coffee and then took it back up to our room. You can also order takeout breakfast/lunch items prepared by Deck.
Tip: People seem to love the basque cheesecake from Deck, and you can order a whole cheesecake from Deck via the cafe (need to pre order here). I'm going to do that next time we have to bring over dessert for family dinner!
Tips and FAQ
The hotel offers valet parking for $50 (plus tax) per night. There is no self-park option.
But you want to know a secret? The Honolulu Zoo is right across the street from the hotel. And they have a large parking lot for just $1.50 an hour. It's metered parking with a four hour limit.
I'd recommend checking the "Offers" page of the hotel website before booking. There's often several types of promotion/specials available.
We booked our stay using one of their "Flash Sale" promotions.
Yes there is a fun pool area with lots of loungers! It's right next to the Deck restaurant so hopefully you don't mind diners watching you. It gets busy throughout the day. I like it best during the early morning or very late afternoon/early evening when it's less hot and sunny.
The lobby of the hotel features three other stores:
- Aloha Whip - where you can buy Dole Whip! No need to drive all the way to the North Shore. Definitely make sure to do this ^_^
- Hans Hedemann Surf - surf clothing and gear shop.
- Greenroom Gallery - art gallery and clothing shop with a focus on local artists.
The hotel is pet friendly. See here for more information.
Queen Kapiolani Hotel: Info
- Queen Kapiolani Hotel | 150 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 | 808-922-1941 | QueenKapiolani.com
Monday 12th of December 2022
What you didn't show and must be mentioned is the 180 degree view of Diamond Head across Kapiolani Park. Our room had a full view of the iconic Waikiki land mark and not another hotel in sight. We stayed at the Moana a while ago ---a lovely hotel on the beach---but the view was mostly the wall of the hotel next door--only a sliver of ocean and beach could be seen.
Wednesday 13th of July 2022
That zoo parking info is seriously the best insider tip!
Wednesday 13th of July 2022
Hahah yes! That one definitely comes in handy :) - Kathy