An ocean view suite in the heart of Waikiki, without the price tag

An ocean view suite in the heart of Waikiki, without the price tag

There may be a lot of room inventory on Hawaii’s most visited island of Oahu, but that doesn’t mean finding family-style accommodations in Waikiki (that will also fit your clients’ budgets) is always an easy task. A fluctuating Canadian dollar and many hotels running at high occupancy year-round, can make it especially hard to find suite accommodations for families at a price that isn’t considered luxury — especially during high season. At least this is what I began to think while searching for accommodations for my recent family trip to Waikiki. That is, until I discovered the Aqua Pacific Monarch, with its great location, reasonable rates and ocean view suites with full kitchens.

When my family and I arrived at Aqua Pacific Monarch, before mid-day, it was exciting to see the groups of surfers making their way down Kuhio Avenue to Waikiki beach, boards in-hand. Even more exciting was the hotel’s local vibe, not easy to pull off when positioned right behind one of Waikiki’s large resort properties in the heart of tourist nation on the Waikiki Beach Walk. Part of the reason for Aqua Pacific Monarch’s local-Hawaii vibe is that its lobby is connected to local hotspot, Musubi Café Iyasume, known for serving a delicious Japanese snack called musubis. These little hand-crafted gems are made of rice and nori, and contain various fillings, including spicy chicken, salmon and the Hawaiian favourite, Spam. You’ll see tourists and locals alike, all packed into this restaurant to grab their musubis to eat in, take to the beach, or up to their rooms. The hotel has also kept its local-Hawaii feel throughout the lobby décor, lending an intimate, tropical atmosphere to what can sometimes feel like a very crowded, big-box destination.

Aston Aqua Hospitality

Aston Aqua Hospitality

We booked a one-bedroom, Partial Ocean View suite with kitchen at the Aqua Pacific Monarch. The room was bright, spacious, and airy with wrap-around windows (and rates starting at $188 per night). We were so close to the beach that my 15-month-old could easily walk all the way from our hotel (if we let him!) and there was lots of room in our suite for him to run around and play while we made use of the full kitchen. Add in daily trips to the serene, rooftop pool, with panoramic views of the ocean and any family will feel like they’re in true Hawaii mode.

On a tour of the hotel I also had the opportunity to see Aqua Pacific Monarch’s Full Ocean View suites with kitchen as well as their Studio Kitchenette units, all with modern furniture and offering a clean and comfortable feel for Waikiki visitors.

As part of the Aston Aqua Hospitality brand, Aqua Pacific Monarch also offers its guests a host of added amenities, including shuttle service to Ala Moana for shopping; unlimited DVD and PS3 rentals; Aqua beach towels and chairs and a weekly manager’s reception with cocktails to enjoy (all included in the hotel’s hospitality fee of $15/night). Be sure to check with the front desk for other specials available through the hotel (our family gained discounted access to the local aquarium as one bonus).

Another great tip for your clients staying at Aqua Pacific Monarch? Suggest they check out Island Grocery Service (islandgroceryservice.com). Guests of the hotel can get in touch with this service with their grocery order and arrive to their room with all groceries stocked and ready go to start their vacation.

For more information on Aqua Pacific Monarch and other Aqua-Aston Hospitality properties visit aqua-aston.com.