The month of January saw more visitors to the Hawaiian Islands than any year previously and Oahu received the lion’s share of that growth with an 8.2% increase in visitor arrivals.
Of course it’s a destination that can handle that kind of growth, with hotel rooms galore and always more being added. That gives agents a challenge though when trying to find the perfect spot for Waikiki bound clients.
On my last visit to Oahu I checked out Aqua-Aston Hospitality property, Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites. Now running under the Aqua Hotels & Resorts brand, the Ilikai offers travellers condominium, luxury style accommodation without the price tag – at a location that can’t be beat.
The Ilikai is an iconic property with a 50-year history that includes being the first oceanfront luxury high-rise hotel in Hawaii. The 30-story building was designed by John Graham (architect of Seattle’s Space Needle) and features a rooftop restaurant with panoramic ocean views as well as its famous glass elevator.
But despite the air of luxury this property affords, what stood out to me during my stay is that, running under the Aqua Hotels and Resorts brand, the Ilikai is a good choice for families who want that luxury feel at a more affordable rate. Many of its rooms are condominium style and feature full kitchens, while the location, set near family-friendly Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is perfect for lazy days near the ocean with a chance for little ones to splash and play.
During my stay, I booked in to one of the Ilikai’s newly renovated Luxury Suites. Located on the upper floors of the hotel, these 500 square foot studies have been decked out in modern style fixtures as well as brand-new appliances in their full kitchens.
Adding even more wow-factor to each room is a 120-square foot private balcony, that features a city/mountain view or grand-sweeping views of Waikiki beach. I had the opportunity to experience both views while on property and each has its own special features – but if your clients want a VIP seat for the weekly Waikiki fireworks show, booking them into an Ocean View Luxury Suite will give them just that.
The Luxury Suites at Ilikai are also ideal for business travellers. My days on Oahu were jam-packed with meetings and it was everything I needed to end my day in sleek, modern-style accommodations with all the comforts of home. Luxury Ocean View Suites at Ilikai start at US$260 per night while the Luxury Sunset Ocean View suites start from $296.
Although many clients may want to stay closer to the centre of Waikiki, the Ilikai’s location may be a preferable option for some. Flanked by Hilton Hawaiian Village and The Modern Honolulu, with the Waikiki Marina at its feet, I enjoyed the Ilikai’s little pocket of Waikiki with its own set of local restaurants (including on-property Cinnamon’s and Sarento’s and coffee shop Aroma Caffé).
There’s a Waikiki Shuttle pick-up directly in front of the hotel to take clients to the Ala Moana Center, that’s included with the daily $15 resort fee. Also included in this fee are beach towels (one per guest), beach chairs, WiFi, unlimited movie and PS3 game rentals, a Macy’s shopping discount and local and toll-free calls.
Also coming soon to the resort is a brand new pool and sun-deck area, currently under construction, that is sure to be a hit. Visit Ilikaihotel.com for more.