Military Finance Report: Hale Koa Review

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hale Koa Review

My wife and I recently spent our 10-year wedding anniversary in Hawaii, the first week of June 2013, and we stayed at the Hale Koa on the island of Oahu.  For the price, exclusivity, and location, I believe the Hale Koa is an excellent choice and would recommend it to anyone in the military.  Here's a list of the pros and cons.

Pros:
Price - Based off our research, the Hale Koa was $100 cheaper than nearby hotels in the Waikiki area.  We booked 6 months in advance and I don't know if that affected the price the of hotel rooms.  The surf was really low in June, so the prices may rise in Aug - Nov when the infamous surf hits the North Shore.

Exclusivity - The hotel serves the military only, including their guests and dependents.  There is an AAFES Base Exchange in the hotel, a small gym, an adult pool, a kid pool and direct access to the beach.  They have a "briefing" in the morning and offer discounts to their Luau which is also exclusive to military members and the show ends with military support.  The Luau wasn't that expensive with the discount and the food, drink and the show was well worth the money.

Location - The location is perfect.  It's in the heart of Waikiki, and only a 30-min drive to Hickam AFB (it's technically a joint base now).  Plus, downtown Waikiki, with its expensive stores and great dining, is less than a 1/2 mile walk away.  During the one week we stayed, we drove around the entire island and saw all the stuff we wanted to.

Cons:
Parking - The parking structure is across a busy street so if you purchase a rental car, you will have to walk to your car by taking a long awkward staircase leading to the outdoor lobby area.  You also have to pay $7 a day to park across a busy street.

Modern amenities - The hotel rooms don't have Wi-Fi.  There is free Wi-Fi available in the kids pool area and the lobby but not in the rooms.  They have wired internet available for free though.  The room comes with a small fridge but no microwave.  There is a community microwave available on each floor.  But if you like to have some food in your hotel room to save on eating out expenses, you'll have to eat small microwaveable items or small fridge items.

Airport shuttle service - Hale Koa was one of the only hotels not to offer a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel (and vice versa).  The taxi ride can cost up to $40 each way.  This may be due to OPSEC of having a easily identifiable shuttle carrying only military members though.

All things totaled, my wife and I highly recommend the Hale Koa to military members wanting to explore Oahu and Hawaii. 

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