All hotels are in Waikiki. Rooms have air-conditioning, private baths, and TVs.
Aqua Kuhio Village
2463 Kuhio Ave., 866/406-2782 or 808/791-7171, aquaresorts.com
A very recently renovated "condotel" three and a half blocks from the beach. Some rooms have partial ocean views. Sister property Aqua Bamboo (2425 Kuhio Ave., 866/406-2782 or 808/922-7777) is just down the street. Doubles (at either property) from $99.
ResortQuest Coconut Plaza Hotel
450 Lewers St., 800/922-7866 or 808/923-8828, resortquesthawaii.com
Most rooms at this boutique hotel have balconies, and all but the standard doubles have kitchenettes. Light sleepers should ask for a mountain view facing away from Ala Wai Boulevard. There's a small pool with a sundeck; the beach is four blocks away. Doubles from $79 (book on the hotel's website).
250 Beach Walk, 800/426-0494 or 808/923-3181, breakers-hawaii.com
A perfectly preserved 1950s relic half a block from the beach. Some rooms have Japanese-style-sliding shoji screens that hide tiny kitchens and spacious closets. The back lanais of a few face the Urasenke Tea House, providing a view of traditional tea ceremonies. There's a small pool. Doubles from $99.
260 Beach Walk, 800/367-5122 or 808/923-3811, hawaiianahotelatwaikiki.com
Another vintage hotel, slightly larger than its neighbor The Breakers. A social clientele hangs around the two small pools, which are surrounded by lava-rock walls and tropical plants. Rooms are nothing special, but all have kitchenettes. Doubles from $105.
Queen Kapiolani Hotel
150 Kapahulu Ave., 800/367-2317 or 808/922-4671, queenkapiolani.com
The 315 rooms have standard hotel decor; there's a big pool, plus a restaurant and lounge. The cheapest rates ($72) go three months in advance. Spring for a deluxe ocean-view room (from $105)-they're bigger, and the best ones have views of both Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. A special room-and-rental-car package can be as low as $79 a day.
Royal Grove Hotel
151 Uluniu Ave., 808/923-7691, royalgrovehotel.com
This hot-pink hotel is Honolulu's best budget bet. Rooms are vast and sunny, with kitchenettes and full-size fridges. The setting feels like something out of Beach Blanket Bingo, with a small courtyard pool and surfboards hanging in the lobby. Doubles from $45 without A/C; from $62 with A/C.
SPLURGE ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel
2570 Kalakaua Ave., 800/877-7666, resortquesthawaii.com
Rooms in the main tower have bright aloha prints and lanais overlooking Kuhio Beach, which is across the street. Breakfast is included-borrow a cooler and chairs and eat it picnic-style on the beach. On the second floor, Tiki's Grill & Bar offers live Hawaiian music daily in the mornings. Doubles from $141 (if you book on the hotel's website).
SPLURGE Waikiki Parc Hotel
2233 Helumoa Rd., 800/422-0450 or 808/921-7272, waikikiparc.com
The best reasons to stay here: location and service. It's 100 yards from the beach-many rooms have spectacular views-and across the street from Honolulu's premier hotel, the Halekulani. They're owned by the same folks, so the operation is flawless. Rooms have the spare, retro vibe common in Waikiki; what makes them memorable are the floor-to-ceiling shuttered windows. Eighth-floor pool and small exercise room. Doubles from $160, including breakfast.
The ubiquitous ABC Stores may have everything Waikiki visitors need, but venture downtown for the best deals. Foodland (Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 808/949-5044) is the most accessible alternative to the priced-for-tourists Food Pantry grocery store in Waikiki. Wal-Mart, across from Ala Moana Shopping Center, is the place to go for goggles, flippers, boogie boards, beach towels, and coolers (700 Keeaumoku St., 808/955-8441). Keep in mind: Nothing is cheap in Hawaii; prices will be considerably higher on than the mainland. True bargain hunters can stock up upon arrival at Costco, halfway between the airport and Waikiki, just off the N. Nimitz Highway (525 Alakawa St., 808/526-6103, membership required).
Budget Travel Real Deals
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