If you didn’t know that the Grand Naniola was a DoubleTree hotel, you’d think you stepped into a luxury 5-star resort. The oceanfront hotel, which just underwent a $30 million renovation, is a dream come true at an affordable price. There’s 358 rooms and 20 suites. Depending on the time of year, you can get a room for as low as $148 a night, which is a steal in Hawaii! Step outside your room or into the lobby for stunning oceanside views of Hilo Bay and Mauna Kea. The location is very convenient, with Hilo Airport being just two miles away. The Hilo Farmers Market, Rainbow Falls, lava flows of Kalapana, are all nearby activities worth checking out.
One of the best parts of the new renovation is the Grand Naniloa’s hula theme. The hotel features and curates rotating exhibits that highlight aspects of Hilo’s history and Hawaiian culture. Kim Taylor Reece, who is one of the most famous hula photographers in the world, is the artistic curator for the Grand Naniloa. He has provided $4-million worth of his own hula art displayed throughout the hotel. The local design, which was done extremely tastefully, respectfully centers on hula. Local hula dancers frequently practice their routines on property.
The on-site restaurant, Hula Hulas, is also very delicious. It serves local foods, wine, beer, and cocktails. Every Thursday, the hotel also does a Bartender Spotlight Thirstday where they let a bartender create a new, unique drink that they offer to guests. There’s complimentary 9-hole golf course, an outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center, and a swim gear rental place. Don’t forget to grab Double Tree’s signature baked walnut chocolate chip cookie you get upon arrival.
93 Banyan Dr, Hilo, HI 96720 (808) 969-3333, https://www.grandnaniloahilo.com
The DoubleTree by Hilton Alana-Waikiki Beach, Oahu (Waikiki)
The DoubleTree by Hilton Alana-Waikiki Beach is conveniently located in the heart of Waikiki, just steps away from all the main action. It’s only a mile away from the famous Ala Moana Shopping Center, a must stop on any visitors list! The full service boutique hotel is 19 stories high with 317 well-appointed guest rooms, including 46 suites. Depending on the time of year and room type, you can get a room for as long as $154 a night. The location is so central that it’s possible to go carless your entire stay on Oahu. Easily call a Lyft or Uber to get from place to place. One problem typical with Waikiki hotels is how noisy and crowded they are because they are location in the main hustle and bustle of where all the action is, but The DoubleTree by Hilton Alana-Waikiki Beach manages to be relaxing and quiet due to the fact it is slightly off the main path from the crowds. Even at other higher end luxury Waikiki hotels, lines for the check-in desk are long, but there’s barely ever a wait at DoubleTree. Enjoy views of Diamond Head and Downtown Waikiki.
You’ll check-in to a Double Tree’s famous warm chocolate chip cookie. There’s a breakfast buffet at the hotel’s Trees Restaurant & Bar with local foods like Guava bread from a local bakery and fresh Passionfruit, Orange, Guava juice. There’s even an omelette station and other local favorites.
There’s also the Hiking Hawaii Cafe, which offers healthy cuisine and outdoor hiking adventures located at the hotel’s entrance. The café eaturing local, organic products and gluten-free options with most made from scratch like acai bowls and local kombucha and smoothies. The cafe also has a number of hiking adventure tours they offer to show visitors a more unique side of Oahu.
1956 HI-92, Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 941-7275, website.
Hampton Inn & Suites Oahu/Kapolei
For those who don’t like to be near the touristy area of Waikiki, Hampton Inn & Suites Oahu/Kapolei is located in the much quieter side of town near Ko Olina. It’s located conveniently within the Ka Makana Alii Shopping Center so parking is free. Hotels in Waikiki have expensive parking fees and you save on that at Hampton Inn.
The hotel is only a few steps away from hip stores, restaurants, and a movie theatre. The Hampton is no-frills, clean, and modern. They have complimentary breakfast or On the Run Breakfast Bag the hotel provides for visitors on the go. Ko Olina Beach, Pearl Harbor, and the University of Hawaii West Oahu are just some of the nearby attractions. The Honolulu International Airport is 15 miles away. Everything is clean and new. There is an exercise room, a small pool, fitness center, and Hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the lobby 24/7. Depending on the room and date of stay, there have been deals as low as $153 a night.
91-5431 Kapolei Pkwy, Kapolei, HI 96707, (808) 628-4900, website.