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Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express Waikiki

Originally published in Travel Age West

When entering the breezy, open-air lobby of the new Holiday Inn Express Waikiki, clients can’t help but feel enveloped by the proverbial aloha spirit. With a waterfall, a koi pond, plenty of light and comfortable seating, the laid-back lobby emits a relaxed vibe, and modern decor invites travelers to soak in the casually understated Hawaiian ambiance. Ideal for those seeking a centrally located, budget-friendly option, Holiday Inn Express Waikiki is an easy three-block walk from iconic Waikiki Beach and steps away from major shops, bars and restaurants.

Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express Waikiki

Opened in July after undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation, the high-rise property is the largest Holiday Inn Express in the Americas and the third InterContinental Hotels Group property in Hawaii. Formerly Maile Sky Court, the newly refurbished 44-story hotel features 596 overhauled rooms with a contemporary design and state-of-the-art amenities. 

Standard rooms are cozy yet light-filled, as generously proportioned windows offer island views stretching from the mountains to the ocean. Ranging in size from 190 to 245 square feet (with eight suites available at nearly 400 square feet), all rooms are air-conditioned and include flat-screen high-definition televisions, Keurig coffeemakers, minifridges and microwaves. Featuring the brand’s new “design solution,” which was created to provide a comfortable and productive living space, the rooms include multifunctional seating, noise-reducing headboards and rolling and adjustable desks. Bathrooms have backlit mirrors and extra counter space. Tech-savvy travelers will appreciate the free, fast Wi-Fi access available throughout the property and ample, easily accessible electrical outlets and USB charging ports in guestrooms. 

Designed to draw guests outside of their rooms and into the tropical sunshine, Holiday Inn Express Waikiki boasts a spacious fifth-floor sky deck that features an outdoor pool and jet spa surrounded by an abundance of lounge chairs and five private cabanas. For clients seeking other activities, a nine-hole miniature golf course and games such as giant chess, shuffleboard and foosball are certain to keep them busy. In addition, the property features a 24-hour fitness center and, in the lobby, a variety of seating configurations such as community tables with charging stations. 

A hallmark of the Holiday Inn Express brand is its complimentary breakfast bar, with a range of hot and cold selections, yogurt, English muffins, oatmeal, fruit and a pancake-making machine. The breakfast room is expansive and bustling, with indoor and outdoor patio seating for more than 200 people. On average, about 750 guests enjoy breakfast every morning — the largest number within the Holiday Inn Express brand. 

Actor and comedian Robb Riggle, the company’s creative director and spokesperson, was recently on-site to celebrate the Waikiki hotel’s opening.

“I think this hotel is really special for a lot of reasons,” Riggle said. “The location is fantastic. It’s newly renovated, which is wonderful, because you have really modern facilities, like the great pool deck and minigolf for adults and kids. Then there’s the free breakfast. It’s the biggest breakfast bar I’ve ever seen in any Holiday Inn Express location.” 

Additionally, Holiday Inn Express Waikiki includes an array of value-added benefits, such as a concierge to assist guests with booking island activities, a coin-operated laundry room, a small convenience store adjacent to the front desk and free, filtered water available in the lobby. 

“At Holiday Inn Express, we are focused on offering more where it matters, and this location in Waikiki is no exception,” said Jennifer Gribble, vice president of Holiday Inn Express. “We recognize the need to appeal to both business and leisure travelers in all elements of the guest experience.”

Not only are we close to local businesses, but we are just three blocks from Waikiki Beach, and we know that our Express Start breakfast bar is a great option,” she added. “Our new design solution is fully implemented in this hotel and offers more options to stay connected while on the road. When all the elements of Holiday Inn Express Waikiki are combined, it is clear why this hotel is a preferred option for travelers visiting Oahu.”

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Holiday Inn Express Waikiki

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