I was looking for budget accommodations for a quick trip to Honolulu, and this hotel came up as a package option on Expedia. “Budget” doesn’t have to be synonymous with dirty or dumpy, but that’s pretty much how I’d have to sum up the White Sands Hotel.
When we arrived, I discovered that the parking lot consisted of about 8 parking spaces. There was no parking garage. Even with my small economy car, it was tough to maneuver through this tight parking lot. This task was made even more difficult by someone’s long truck that was parked by the exit and hampered one’s ability to get through the tight turn. For this, you pay an extra $20 per day.
We accessed our rooms by walking down a hallway with filthy carpets. It wasn’t a comforting first impression.
Our “suite” came with two twin beds, a Hollywood-style daybed that doubles as a sofa, and a tiny kitchen. The beds must have had the cheapest mattresses the hotel could obtain, perched on wobbly metal frames. There was one small pillow on each bed. The scratchy blankets made me think longingly of my former Army barracks in basic training – the Army beds and blankets were more comfortable. My daughter pulled the blankets off one of the beds and slept on the daybed, as it had a slightly better mattress.
The bathroom was none too clean – the floor could have used a good mopping with some strong cleaning fluid. The shower was about 30” by 30” in size.
The kitchen consists of a microwave, a half-size refrigerator, a sink, and two burners. It’s very tiny, but was adequate for preparing breakfast cereal and light meals. I would have appreciated it if the kitchen had been stocked with some salt and pepper. The first night I was there, I poured some unused lemonade down the sink and didn’t notice that the sink stopper kept it from draining out of the sink. When I returned at the end of our first full day in Oahu, I noticed that the lemonade was still in the sink; the maids hadn’t drained it or cleaned it. As an experiment, I deliberately left it there the second day. It didn’t get cleaned then, either.
There is a safe in the closet, which seemed like a good idea for security purposes, but you have to go to the lobby and obtain a key for $2/day for the privilege of using it. Better hotels have safes with combination locks that you can set yourself, and they don’t charge you for their use.
The lanai “view” was non-existent, and there are no sheer curtains. It’s either reveal yourself to the world or have your room plunged into darkness by the drapes.
The HVAC unit appeared to have a thermostat, but the A/C ran constantly, despite the setting.
The wireless internet seemed to work adequately.
The only reason that I ranked this hotel two stars is because one star is the minimum on TripAdvisor, and I’ve stayed at two other motels in my lifetime that have been worse. Since the locks and deadbolts worked, I didn’t feel overly worried about my safety, and at least the maids had made an attempt to clean the unit before our arrival. And the air conditioning worked, so we didn’t roast. I have to admit that the hotel was surprisingly un-noisy for its location in a busy urban section of Waikiki. If all you want is a place to crash, this might be OK, but I think there must be better budget options out there.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC