Livin' Cheap in Aloha-land
These current Hawaii hotel deals on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island (how does 7 nights for $199 sound?) may make you never want to return to the Mainland
Although Hawaii tourism has been on a slightly downward slope in the past decade, you would never know it by the prices some hotels charge for their rooms. Families have lamented the fact that the 50th State is being priced out of their reach, and with rising costs of airfares and goods and service in the islands, some budget travelers now bypass Hawaii altogether. But worry not! We've rounded up a gaggle of current room deals that make Aloha-land happily affordable.
Let's first look at one statewide promotion. Ohana is a hotel brand that is well-known to Hawaii tourists -- there are 45 Ohana hotels in the entire Pacific, and the decent, clean, and convenient chain (similar to Holiday Inn) is found on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. Right now, their SimpleSaver program offers promotional rates from $69 to $119 depending on the hotel and room grade, and that price includes a Fun is Fundamental program where each room gets a scratch-and-win card for instant prizes, and if you stay for five nights you also get a free catamaran cruise thrown in as well (a $30 value). Call 800/462-6262 or surf to ohanahotels.com.
Home away from home Oahu
The Aston Honolulu Prince Hotel in Honolulu is a 10-story hotel near the world-famous International Marketplace, and just a short stroll away from golden Waikiki Beach. The establishment comes with laundry facilities, a sports bar, and a barber/beauty shop (to help get the sand out of your hair). Parking (a luxury in cramped Waikiki) is available at $9 per day -- a local bargain. And families rejoice! Children under 18 years old stay free if they occupy existing bedding (rollaways and cribs are available upon request at additional charge). And did we mention the price? Until the end of August, Discover Wholesale Travel (866/215-4625, discoverwholesaletravel.com) is offering seven nights at the hotel for just $199! Call now -- this promo could be booked up by the time you get to it.
Another Oahu deal is at The Hawaii Prince, the only hotel in Waikiki with its own golf course. Designed by golf legends Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, the Hawaii Prince Golf Club provides 27 holes of championship play, with over 270 acres with magnificent views of the picturesque Waianae mountains. The unique nine-hole layouts create a variety of playing experience for all skill levels. Right now (though the end of November) you can golf your brains out with unlimited tee times (with cart) and three nights' oceanfront marina room for $583 per person based on double occupancy. That's great when considering that double rooms usually go for $310 a night themselves. This deal is available through Apple Vacations (applevacations.com), which is bookable through travel agents.
On to Maui
Sun Trips (800-SunTrips, suntrips.com) is one of the largest packagers to the islands, and now offers a $599 air/hotel package until the end of the month, staying at the three-star Maui Islander. You get five nights there, and you can add a rental car for $150 for five nights as well. You have to book by Aug 30, for the departure dates of Sept 11 to 15, 25-29, and Oct 2-6. A catch: Sun Trips only offers this deals from Oakland, CA, so you need to get yourself there.
Big savings, big island
On the Big Island, home to the popular Volcanoes National Park, you'll find two large, decent hotels on the Kona Coast on the western side of the island: King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel (800/367-6060, konabeachhotel.com) and the Royal Kona Resort (800/222-5642, royalkona.com). They are two old standards on the island that have been there for a few decades, but are still quite decent.
The former is located right in front of the finish line of the famous annual Ironman International Triathalon, and fronts the only sandy beach in the area, as well as an authentic oceanfront Hawaiian temple. The 460-room hotel also features three restaurants, tennis courts, swimming pool with a whirlpool spa and sauna, a Hawaiian activity center, beauty salon and the only air-conditioned shopping mall in Kona! Their "Paradise on Wheels" package for $148 gets you a mountain-view hotel room, compact rental car, breakfast for two, 10 percent dining discount for parties up to 10 at any of the hotel restaurants, free local telephone calls, free hotel parking, and free tennis court usage. (Normal room rates alone are about $135.)
The 452-room Royal Kona Resort was once a Hilton, and you can't mistake the hotel's distinct ski-jump profile. The property has recently refurbished its rooms, and all have balconies, most with some sort of ocean view. There's a natural salt-water swimming lagoon and sandy sunning area, a split-level freshwater pool, four tennis courts, the Lotus Center Massage and Spa, on-property shops, wedding services, affordable open-air, oceanfront dining and entertainment at the Windjammer Lounge and Tropics Café, and Kona's oceanfront Lava, Legends & Legacies Luau. Royal Kona offers a similar "Hawaii Bound Package" for $129 a night, which gives you a room, a full-American breakfast and an economy rental car.
So what are you waiting for? Hop on a jet airliner and frolic your days away in Aloha-land for less.