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“Unrenovated vs renovated...we did both!”

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Bellows Air Force Station
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 September 2011

First night we got an unrenovated cabin (all they had). We have four kids and lets just say that it was not what we were looking for. It was extremely small, very old and on the sea wall instead of the beach. The phone lines and TV cable were visible on the cinder block walls, the "living room" ceiling fan did not work and the paint was peeling from all the walls. In addition the windows were rotting out and ants were pouring in from the outside. In fact when my son went to pull his sheets out in the second "bedroom" (which was separated from the living room by an old partition) his bed was full of ants. Finally the kitchen was extremely small (but we would not cook in there because of the ants).

Luckly we got a renovated cabin for the next 5 nights. It was wonderful! The entire cabin was clean and updated. The bathroom had glass bricks in the shower (very modern), the walls were textured sheetrock instead of cinderblock, the windows were new and not rotting out, the kitchen had newer appliances and cabinets and there was a real second bedroom. In addition we were right on the beach....all my kids had to do was walk out and we could watch them swim in the ocean from our cabin (and Bellows has the most beautiful beach in Oahu). We rented boogie boards from the base and the kids (and I) had a blast. We cooked most of our meals in the cabin and had no problems with little critters (although we made sure all dishes were clean and the trash was taken out prior to bed).

There is no air conditioning but you really do not need it. We had no pest problems except for a very few aforementioned ants and one very small centipede we killed in the shower.

I will try to post pictures in the near future. Bellows is a great place with disc golf, tennis, bikes you can rent, mini-golf, paintball and the most beautiful beach you can imagine. SPEND THE EXTRA 20 DOLLARS FOR A RENOVATED CABIN!!!! We could not do more than 1 night in the unrenovated cabin but the renovated was perfect!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank gozur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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151 - 157 of 172 reviews

Reviewed 23 July 2011

As soon as I checked into my cabin, sat out on the lanai and cracked open a cold beer. The stresses of the of the world seen to just disappear. The sound of the ocean and the cool breeze blowing in, just set the mood. The cabins are fully equipped with all the necessities. A very nice place ot getaway from the hustle of Waikiki. This place is a hidden gem on the windward side of Oahu. Our entire group had a relaxing time and could not wait for next visit to Bellows. The beach is perfect for smaller children and even the kid in all of us- I had a blast bodyboarding!!! The staff was very friendly and efficient. Thank you for the Aloha.

Room Tip: Bellows is very busy during the summer months, so be flexible on what accomodations are avaialbe.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank mjmboogie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2011

Stayed here from July 7th-14th and it is a great place. Everyone we came into contact with was helpful and pleasant. We were in the cabins and they were adequate. You will get ants so put away food. Fans will keep you cool and they clean everyday and bring new bath towels too. Very close to the beach and walking back and forth is done easily. Take advantage of the snack bar in turtle cove. Great food and it is cheap. Many activities to do and we did the snorkeling. Guide was friendly and helped answer all of our questions.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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1  Thank Walt61588
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2011

Make reservations as far out as possible. Ask for a renovated cabin with beach front. Do your grocery shopping at Hickam or Kanehoe Bay Marine Base before you check in. Must have items are coffee filters, charcoal, lighter fluid, bottle water.
Kudo's to Front Desk Ms. Natalie due to the room card key programmer inoperative from a lightning storm before our arrival. She was the friendliest, most helpful and courteous person at the front desk, can't say the same about a Ms. Debbie (reservations) when we approached her about making some adjustments to the bill for us due to that we did not have a room key for 3 days. She was extremely unfriendly and walked away from a conversation related to this issue.
The people that clean the rooms are very friendly, and go out of their way to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Also the people working at the Shoppette are very nice and personable.
Watch out for Roaches and Centerpides, and the birds that are not scared of humans, and have definitley been feed human food! Numerous family friendly activities to do on Bellows.
Some of the people and families that stay here are not respectful of your privacy in and around the cottages! Be aware!
There is no A/C, but there is always a breeze so it's comfortable with the windows open.
The beach is just steps away and it's quiet here. Not all the hussle and bussle you have down at Waikiki!!!! Nice place to stay for rest and relaxation!

Room Tip: Ask for renovated beach front cottage ;-)
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank g2ggilbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2011

I spent the last two nights at a Bellows "Camper Cottage", which is a one-room space with a set of bunks and a double/queen bed. The mattress is there, you bring your own bedding. The only electricity is an overhead light in the room and one on the front deck. There is NO electrical outlet for charging your laptop, etc.
There was lots of sand in the room on arrival. The sole camper's sink in the middle of the camper cottages was remarkably dirty and the faucet didn't' work. You have to go to the back and use the shut-off valve to turn on the water. By 3 PM (check-in time), ALL toilet tissue was used up in the ladies rest room stalls.
The windows have mildew and filth, see pics.
I LOVE Bellows Air Force Station--been going there for 25 years, but this stay was the pits. I was given a 25% discount as a result of my discontent, but I think it wasn't an adequate compensation. A free night, or a voucher for a return visit would have gone a long way.

Room Tip: Um, try a different camp ground.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kitcat22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2010

We had two cabins. The beach is unmatched - beautiful, clean, sparsly populated. Our cabins were "unrenovated". Had no problem with the cabins, beds, personnel, etc. Due to the expected number of "critters" we chose to do all of our cooking and eating outside.

Our group had two children, ages 8 and 10. Both have respiratory allergies. Our concern was in the centipede population. After reading several of the reviews on this site, we Googled Hawaiian centipedes. The information and photos are just plain scary. As it turned out we saw and killed three centipedes inside of our cabin. Each time they were on their way in or out of the bedroom where our youngsters were sleeping. It is true that stepping on them does not work. Neither does bug spray. We wound up following advice from the WEB and cut each one up into 4 pieces and flushed them away.

Paradise does have its price. We recommend this facility to anyone who does not mind going into it with eyes open. We did not learn of the centipede issue until several days before our family members were to arrive from the mainland. Thus we chose to move forward and take our chances. A great time was had by all.

Yes, the cabins are not the Hilton. But we are military - so we have seen worse. It is definitely worth the price. Rents are VERY reasonable for Oahu and deals are to be had if you book tours and attractions through Turtle Cove. A shoppette located within walking distance is well stocked with most anything you may need - including charcoal. The restaurant is small, friendly and very informal. There is a driving range, miniature golf course and lots of equipment (boogie boards etc) for rent.

Mahalo for reading this review!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank paramus1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2010

Bellows is very reasonably price and offers the best beach. If you’re all about saving your cash getting out and experiencing the beach and the many different things the island s to offer, Bellow is the place for you. This is not a five star hotel and the cabins are a little run down but are not inhabitable (they are old, but clean), you get what you pay for. There is little flexibility upon check-in as to what cabin you may get, some are closer to the beach than others; but regardless of what beach front cabin you get it takes only seconds to get to the beach. The interior of the cabins are close to rustic with some amenities (fridg, microwave, stove/oven, coffee pot and TV), but for the price the cabins are roomy and provide the essentials for any stay.

The check in staff was considerate and efficient. They were thoughtful in their explanations, which was refreshing after a lost luggage experience with Hawaiian Airlines. The staff at Turtle Cove were helpful and polite and rental equipment list and rates was extensive and reasonable.

The location is 10-15 outside of Waikiki and thus if you wanted more than what Turtle Cove and the Shop had to offer, you had to drive to get it. You will need a rental car. Stop at the Costco which is on your way to Bellows from the Airport and stock up.

If you want to indulge in an adult beverage you can’t do so on the beach or at least that’s what the directory of guest services book says and if you are smoker you have to adventure 50 feet from your cabin or any other facility to light up. If you have children you may be able to request a cabin by the play structure, however if you would like to enjoy a setting that does not include the play structure, see if you can request a cabin away from it.

Bellows is a good bang for your buck.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank owenscj_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bellows Air Force Station

Address: 220 Tinker Rd, Hotel is for Military personnel ONLY, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1903
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Waimanalo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Waimanalo
Price Range: $9 - $44 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 188
Also Known As:
Bellows Air Force Station Hotel Waimanalo
Bellows Air Force Station Waimanalo, Hawaii

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