The first thing you need to know about Oahu hotels is that many of them have similar names. “The Waikiki Beach” hotel isn’t descriptive enough. You need to know the whole name. We were almost dropped off at the wrong hotel until I was able to qualify by using the entire name.
The Waikiki Grand Hotel by Castle is located across from the Honolulu Zoo and less than a block from the Kuhio and Queen’s Beaches. If it’s the beach you’ve come to see, there are few better locations and possibly none that offer such a great price. Just put on your flip flops, walk to the light, cross the street, and you’re there.
While the balcony we had faced the city, we used it and enjoyed it a lot. Mornings for breakfast with fresh fruit in the fridge and coffee in the 4-cup maker, the balcony made for a nice place to sit and eat while breathing in the warmth and fresh air. Evenings after the sun went down, it was a nice place for dinner or a snack, and with the buildings lit up, it was pretty to look at.
For the budget conscious, the combination of cooking amenities, utensils and dishware made it a lot easier to be okay with our food choices. The ABC Store located at the corner of our building offered several tasty items that only needed to be opened and eaten or microwaved.
The staff at the hotel is friendly and fun. They seem to enjoy their jobs and do their best to make sure guests have a good visit. The front desk staff is top notch.
There is a small lending library on site, so if you need a book for your beach trip, you can find one on their shelves for no cost! My wife and I found four books between us! We only read two, though.
For people who are light sleepers, be sure to bring earplugs. The birds in the morning can raise a ruckus and the slat windows do nothing to block out any vehicle noise.
The hotel charges a cleaning fee, so if you’re not booking directly, you may get a surprise at the amount. (It’s not $95 like Hotels.com said.) In fact, it was over $15 a night, and I got a lower price because of the number of nights we were staying. Apparently, this is a common practice in Hawaii. The cleaning staff comes in about once every three days, which is nice because you rarely have to worry about whether or not you can sleep in.
Every hotel has a concierge desk. Use it and avoid scams and bad deals that may be found on the street. At Waikiki Grand Hotel by Castle,Clayton was the most helpful for our budget and our time there. Overall, I was super-happy with the location and service at the hotel.