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“Hawaiian Vacation made EASY and very affordable!”

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The Polynesian Residences
Ranked #80 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Upstate NY
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“Hawaiian Vacation made EASY and very affordable!”
Reviewed 18 January 2012

We stayed for one week - the 7 nite minimum, and paid $570 including taxes for the entire week. One can easily pay that much per night in Waikiki and so we were very happy with every aspect of Polynesian Plaza, from the Aloha Welcome, to the VERY affordable rates, to the fully equipped accommodations! The location is perfect, very safe area, bustling with activity, and just a block from the Beach, and Fort DeRussey Park ( where you will find grassy areas, palm trees, beautiful beach, and best of all picnic tables and grills for a beachside barbecue. Easy walk to this park even carrying picnic supplies.) While it is a slightly longer walk to the more activity filled Kuhio Beach park (where you can rent long boards, or a ride on an Outrigger Canoe) , it's still only 10-15 minutes easy walk down the 'main' street of Kalakaua Avenue. Our studio room (316) overlooked the very pretty pool and palm lined courtyard, with a lanai and plastic patio furniture. The studio was very completely equipped with flat screen tv, table and chairs, comfy sitting chair, dresser, and kitchen. The kitchen consisted of a cooktop range, and microwave (no oven) so plan accordingly. Small apartment sized fridge and toaster, coffee maker. Every item was handy including dish towels, mixing bowls, can openers, pots and pans, dishes, cups and mugs, spatulas, and even salad tongs that we were able to take to the park to use for our barbecue. There was a drink pitcher for making lemonade, and even a whisk, so no complaints in the kitchen equipment department. Iron, Ironing board (who uses those when in Hawaii, though??) and hair dryer. Two beach towels, and a few towels (note: only two bath towels for the whole week) but, with the coin laundry just down the hall, that wasn't an issue. We did clean the room ourselves at the end of our stay (NO maid service) and you DO need to have your own cleaning supplies, but, we bought some laundry detergent as 'soap' and used that for everything including the dishes, and it worked just fine! There is a garbage bin at the end of the hall, so it's easy to just bag your garbage and drop it there daily on your way out to see Hawaii. There are several grocery stores within walking distance, which we walked to, and hopped the BUS on the way back when carrying bags. We made most meals in the room and it was easy and convenient - saved a ton of money and also time -- there is so much to do on Oahu, you'll not want to spend every meal waiting in line for breakfast or dinner. It was not only affordable, but, time-saving to eat in the room or on the lanai, and instead splurge on a few expensive drinks at the elegant Hale Kulani resort, just a 5 minute walk away. The Bus is amazingly convenient all around the island, and just steps outside the door. We took the bus to hike Diamond Head as well as to Haunama Bay for amazing snorkeling, and out to dinner at a local restaurant called Ono Hawaiian foods on Kapahulu avenue (local not to be missed, yum!) Be sure to ask for a transfer ticket when you step on the bus no matter where you are going, and you will basically be riding 'round-trip' for only $2.50/person as the transfer can be used on your return. Officially, this is within a two hour time window, but, when we hiked Diamond Head, and exceeded the two hour window, it was still no problem to use the transfer. The Pool at Polynesian Plaza is on the cool side and during our stay hovered around 74 degrees. On a hot day, this is very refreshing and we used the pool many times. We were happy to see that they also have boogie boards, beach chairs, and even a few sand toys stored near the pool that can be used by tenants to take to the beach! We were very grateful for the beach chairs, which made going to the public beach much more enjoyable and no need to 'rent' a beach lounger. The 'office' is only open 9-5 weekdays, so if you are the type that needs a lot of 'service' from hotel staff, you'll need to re-think staying here, but, we found it to be not a problem at all. Honolulu is easily navigable, and everything you need is at your doorstep, with two ABC stores (of course) within a 2 minute walk. They stock everything from tanning lotion to water and liquor and beer. There is a fun little Tiki Bar / Dive Bar in the alley around the corner from Polynesian Plaza, and beers are just $3 and Mai Tai's and Margarita's just $5 - again a big savings in what can be an expensive destination city. With the most minor planning, staying at Polynesian Plaza will save you literally hundreds of dollars on your stay in Waikiki! The room was very clean, and as stated fully equipped. It's certainly nothing 'fancy' and there is lots of evidence of years of wear and tear - in the bathroom tiles, fading paint, etc... but, this is minor and with the value for the money, if you are looking for a clean, safe and friendly place to 'live' while in Waikiki, you'll be very happy here. Be aware that some rooms overlook the pool and 'back' of the property, and others overlook the street. It seemed the most of the 'street' properties were for longer-term residents, though this is just observation, and not a set policy. You will most definitely want to explore the island beyond Honolulu, the scenery and laid back island life is not to be missed. To do this, there is a daily (or more) car ental just a two-minute walk down the street (on Beachwalk). We rented and older Geo Tracker, top down, for just $50 for the day, and spend just $13 in gas to drive the entire island, stopping at Pipeline on the Northshore as well as Waimea Bay Beach Park, the Dole Plantation, and Byodo-In temple Valley of the Temples. The only caveat with the car rental is that if you keep it beyond their 5 pm closing time, you are responsible for finding parking overnight (can't return it to the rental lot). This seemed a bit dismaying at first, but, we found two public parking lots just a few blocks away for only $15 for the overnight rate, so it was simple and inexpensive. Overall, this property is just great - literally next door to the Hard Rock Cafe, and Trump Towers - not a bad neighborhood! Two caveats - hold on to your sets of keys - a lock-out will cost you $50 if you lose your keys, so not the same as simply getting a new one at your typical hotel, and probably not very convenient were that to happen at night when the office is closed. Our only issue with the room, is that the "King" bed is actually two twin mattresses on a King frame if you choose to have the room configured that way. While the mattress is comfortable, it is not particularly conducive to sleeping 'together' snuggled up as there is a bit of a 'crack' that one or the other always seemed to fall into!! It's a bit of trick to 'bridge' this gap in the two mattresses. This isn't terrible, and with all the other wonderful things about Polynesian Plaza, certainly worth the minor inconvenience. The bed IS comfortable, but, just something to be aware of going in..... We would love to come back, and recommend this property without hesitation!

Room Tip: Ask about how your bed will be configured! Ask whether you'll be poolside, or streetside..
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
39 Thank rainydayghost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
California
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2012

It seemed like I had stepped back in time to the 1960's Hawaii I knew from the Gidgit movies. I timed it just right to make then annual holiday party. It was a warm fragrant night around the pool with wonderful food at the potluck dinner. There were two excellent women musicians strolling the crowd playing your favorite Hawaiian or holiday song and teaching the Hula.
The location could not be better, you step out the front door and you are in a modern teaming city, Hawaii style. This room has to be the best price for miles around. I felt safe and welcome. Don't expect anything fancy.

Room Tip: choose a pool view room
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
9 Thank belovedparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2012

Ok, so there are a million choices in Waikiki but I am so pleased that I booked here for Christmas week. The location is ideal, the room was large and comfortable. The price was fantastic. I cannot wait to return! Thanks to Tina for making our stay a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the back!
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
British Columbia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2011

The location is excellent. The beach is close, the buses stop nearby, and the manager is wonderful. The rooms are well equipped (except for a phone and internet) The rooms at the back of the building overlooking the somewhat cold pool are probably the quietest. The higher floors get more sun and are more private. There is noise at night from nearby restaurants so we slept with the patio door closed and the A/C on. The building is clean but our room was old and worn. Other than a colorful bedspread it was very bare and very plain. The cupboards, sink, closet, carpet and other fixtures are decades old and while functional are just not very attractive. If decor is important you might want to look elsewhere. You have to clean the room yourself before you leave or pay $55 extra. This includes doing the towels and sheets. We spent a few hours on this and it used up most of our last morning. Internet was not included in the price but we found an neighbouring unlocked network accessible from our room so check before you pay extra.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
17 Thank rivername
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2011

I have been vacationing from Ontario, Canada, at the "Polynesian Plaza" Waikiki, since 1977. The manager "Rachel" and I have been exchanging Christmas Cards every year since. ( would you believe she still looks as young and beautiful as I first remembered, must be the Hawaiian air I say! ) Rachel has been the manager all those years, so this is a sign of a good business! Having many hotels to choose from, I indeed have always returned, when Hawaii Calls, to the " Polynesian". A perfect location, steps away from all the designer stores and art galleries, eateries, convenience stores, lei stands, and Waikiki Beach! You will feel like you are actually living in Hawaii, because the studio apartment units are wonderfully equipt with everything you may have at home. The kitchenettes are a bonus, fridge, microwave, hotplates, dishes, so no need for expensive room service breakfasts! "Eggs and Things" restaurant steps away as well. This hotel is quiet, there are banana trees and swaying palms right outside your private balconies , overlooking a kidney shaped pool,and sundeck, all very clean and well maintained. Privacy and security are assured, it is peaceful and friendly. From my lania I could see the most beautiful coloured birds, with songs from the islands. I am almost afraid to admit, at the "Polynesian Plaza", the Price is so good, I really (selfishly) don't want to advertise:) I would be dissappointed to miss out on My suite! There are shuttles and taxis from the Airport that are affordable and plentiful. "To The Beach" Aloha! The staff at Polynesian Plaza is very helpful and conversational. They will help you pronounce Hawaiian words, assist you with reservations and suggest the best tours and sights and luaos, and will make your get away comfortable and beautiful. I should mention, since I have visited Hawaii throughout the years, I can not help but notice, Rachel loves to decorate! I have seen changes every so often, in colour sheme and new drapes, feature wallpapers, lamps,and slip covers. Oh, and flatscreen tv's. Lately she has opted for the white and cream linen looks. Picture orchids and natural tone on tone, blush and soft prints, a spa feeling clean and uncluttered. The bathrooms are big, with a full length closet to hang clothes, dressing area, separate cupboards to store your luggage, there is even an ironing board and iron, and plenty of hangers. Extra sheets and towels, you really don't need to bring much. The location is very upscale with Trump just down the street, and tropical flowers and water features everywhere. You can walk to all the major hotels the Moana or Royal Hawaiian and Hilton Hawaiian Village. A local bus stop, will take you all the way to Hanauma Bay for snorkelling, for a couple dollars. You can walk a few blocks to the Honolulu Zoo and Kapulani Park, Queens Surf, so scenic and so close to the Polynesian Plaza. A beautiful outdoor Shopping Mall and Beach at Ala Moana Shopping Plaza, a short hop as well. All and all, I wish each contemplating traveller who reads my post here, that I have nothing bad to say at all about this location.Streets of tiki torches, and a lilt of Hawaiian hula floating musically in the air. Your private Studio apartment awaits. All with a view. It kind of feels like a cottage or your second home, it does not have a starched feeling of a busy and expensive five star, nor the high prices. Kind of refreshing not having to tip everyone who holds a door for you, or simply smiles at you! It's all just people, kind of like yourself, enjoying Hawaii for a few months or a couple weeks.A well deserved, and dreamed of for years, Holiday! You can join in for a morning coffee with the other guests, or as I , just kind of remain on your own, doing your own thing. I did bring a guest along from Canada, on a couple occasions, it was just perfect. I was proud and happy in showing off the place :) I can't wait to go back and am so grateful to have found The Polynesian! A home away from home ( as the Canadian snow is now pelliting off my window up here in the North) Rachel, I need to win the lottery so I can live in Hawaii all year round, BUT in the mean time, I am happy there is somewhere that I know, where it is affordable, and beautiful and HAWAII ! thank you ( you can't ever retire ok) Aloha * ^^^^^ JB

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
18 Thank Jim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2011

Ideal for longer term rentals, this is an older hotel reminescent of the old plantation hotels. Located across from the Waikiki post office it is only two blocks from the beach and on the main strip of Kalakaua with all the restaurants, boutiques and shops. It is very clean and well kept and for solo women travellers it offers really good security. The Polynesian plaza is possibly the best deal in Waikiki offering good size studios with kitchenette and lanai. The hotel has it's own garden and pool. I loved that it was so close to the beach and for local color backed onto the friendliest little Tiki bar, and if you sail it is minutes to the marina. No maid service but a friendly and efficient staff.
I've stayed two months and enjoyed every minute!

Room Tip: Higher up and garden side!
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled solo
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
24 Thank traveltoonsbymp t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2011

My husband and I were here for the first time back in the '90's and last year March we were staying at another hotel and decided to check it out to see if it still existed and we were so thrilled to see it again and now just spent the whole month of April here! It is an older property and older decor and rooms, but, we found it to be exactly what we wanted. Tina and Rachel, who manage the property are wonderful people and are there for you in every way (even in situations when you make stupid decisions outside of the hotel!) and we also loved getting to know the other people who come to this hotel for months at a time. Very good value for your money. We actually would prefer NOT to write a review because we don't want it to become so popular that we are not able to get in!!! We can't wait to be back again next year for another month or so. There is a cozy courtyard with a great pool and you are close to everything in Waikiki. Great little "home away from home" place!

Room Tip: Just give them a call or e-mail!
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank BillandGrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Polynesian Residences

Property: The Polynesian Residences
Address: 2131 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-2346 (Formerly Polynesian Plaza)
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Polynesian Residences 2.5*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Location, location, location! The Polynesian Residences is situated on Kalakaua Avenue and Beach Walk, the focal point of Waikiki, just one block to world-famous beaches. Our all-new renovated rooms feature comfortable, air-conditioned studios and suites with FREE WiFi internet access, private lanai balconies and fully-equipped kitchenettes with 2-burner stovetops (most), microwaves, and mini-refrigerators. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Polynesian Plaza Honolulu
The Polynesian Residences Honolulu, Hawaii

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