“ 2417 Prince Edward Street / Honolulu / Hawaii / 96815 / USA „
Bed price (per night) from: 25.00 USD/ 15.00 GBP
Single Room (per night): 58.00 USD/ 35.00 GBP
As with most budget hostels facilities were basic, but suited to the needs of individuals and small groups who ask little more than somewhere to dump their bags and lay their heads at night. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, TV and communal areas were clean and tidy and during my stay guests appeared to respect each others property and space. Water in the showers was thankfully always hot and the beds were comfortable. I stayed in a dorm of 6 beds, though less than half were taken up consistently during my time there, ensuring a little extra space which did come in handy.
There was internet access, charged at $1 per 10 mins, however at the time this was limited to just one computer that was often in use. This meant grabbing the chance to log on when you happened upon a free period, otherwise, waiting for those ahead to finish (not what you really want to be doing on a warm Hawaii day). An internet café would serve just as well and there were plenty near by.
The Hostel really couldn't have been in a better location, a few minutes walk from Waikiki Beach, a beach side surf school and a local ABC store just around the corner (think Spar/or WH Smiths with added souvenirs and hiked prices). Away from the main road, traffic was minimal, making the area safe for children and ensuring a quiet night. On the seafront and City Centre (less than a mile away) were typical American chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks etc, but there were also plenty of independent restaurants and café's - though most of them pricey, which should be noted as the is 100% self catering.
In keeping with policy on the island of Oahu there is no smoking anywhere on the premises and there is also no consumption of alcohol permitted. You are also expected to keep at least 20ft from the doorway if you do nip out for a smoke, so don't expect any convenient ash trays. You'll find that designated smoking areas are few and far between in Waikiki and the authorities can be very strict on the matter, and also on the matter of outdoor drinking.
The staff were friendly and informative, able to answer most of the questions I put to them, and there always someone available when sought. They had excellent local knowledge and recommendations they made for places to visit did not disappoint. The Hostel itself promoted various tours, nature walks and attractions, and hired out snorkel equipment and body boards for a small deposit. The Free of Charge 'All Island Tour' was particularly excellent, taking up a full day, visiting the Rain Forest, Pineapple Fields, East Coast Beaches and the famous North Shore; where turtle spotting and a fantastic sunset made this one of the highlights of my trip.
There is a shuttle bus to and from the airport at a cost of $9.00 or $15 return and takes aprox half an hour, traffic depending. The hostel will arrange for a bus to pick you up in advance which is very helpful. On the way there though, I was able to jump on the Waikiki hotel bus free of charge. It takes some time as it visits plenty of other hotels en route, but gives you a decent view of the area and helped me get my baring and spot places of interest to visit later.
My only major complaint was that the hostel does not allow stays for more than 7 nights, meaning that I was forced to split my 10 night stay between this and it's sister hostel HI Honolulu. This meant packing up and leaving the area, something that I wasn't keen on to begin with and was all the more disappointed with when the second hostel failed to live up to the high standards of the first (see my review of HI Honolulu for more details).
All in all though, I'd highly recommend this Hostel for those people interested in a no frills holiday, especially individual travelers or those island hopping, and is a great way to shave a few dollars of what would otherwise be an expensive trip. Larger parties would certainly need to heed the no alcohol policy to ensure it was acceptable for all - this definitely wouldn't be the type of accommodation suited to those who are looking to party on site, though having said that there certainly was by no means a prudish attitude and the clientele was still mostly young (under 30).