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Hawaii: why I will always love the Shoreline hotel!

If you’re looking for a cheap hotel in Hawaii and you don’t mind being one block back from Waikiki beach, read on!

There are several reasons to love the Shoreline Hotel

One is the excellent price for its location (opening rate of $159 per room), two is the retro designer look, and three is the staff. In this post, the latter changed our entire holiday!

Shoreline Hotel Waikiki

How do you find hotel staff like this?

Rommel, the guy at the front desk who checked us in, deserves a medal. I’m thinking one of those big McDonald’s Employee of the Month medallions to hang around his neck and a photo in the lobby. Not that they have photos in the lobby. They’re way too cool for that.

The Shoreline has tea and coffee on tap and a blackboard with the weather and surf conditions written daily in the lobby. They also have a groovy lounge that looks like a chic beach house. The kind of furniture you’d stick in your retro kiwi bach if you had pots of money but didn’t want to go all poncy and posh.

Shoreline Waikiki lobby
The lobby lounge

You see Rommel saved the day for us. I am travelling with my husband and parents and we’d left mum and dad in their happy place at the Ala Moana shopping center with 290 shops and a great floor of restaurants on the top.

The plan was to meet later for happy hour and discuss our dinner options (which I’ll get to in a minute).

Suddenly there is a knock on the door and mum is standing there distraught. Dad has lost his wallet. He’s downstairs talking to Rommel and explaining that he had every credit card and all his cash in it. Not an insubstantial amount, I might heart-stoppingly add. He thought he’d left it in the taxi and realised just as he watched it drive away.

Long story short (I know I am way too verbose on this blog), phone calls ensued because dad had remembered the driver’s name although not the company as they’d just jumped in a random taxi at the mall (another reason to use Uber). BUT dispatch tracked him down. He’d had no other fare yet but alas the wallet was not there.

I went outside to check the roadside. Rommel had already done that. Dad phones the last store he was in just in case. Then knock, knock. Who’s there? Rommel. He had come racing up as our phone was engaged to say WAIT! Don’t cancel your cards, a couple is standing at reception and they have found your wallet!

They’d picked it up on the road and had been roaming around looking for a guy with high blood pressure. After much hallelujah’s and a generous tip that dad forced into the man’s unwilling palm, my inheritance was returned. There’s a moral in there somewhere. Or a parable.

Location, location:

Shoreline Hotel Waikiki map
Kalakaua is the main road. The navel of Waikiki. You’re half a block away.

Contrary to the name, The Shoreline Hotel, Waikiki is not actually on the shoreline.

In fact you can only see a slither of Waikiki Beach from some rooms. But that’s why it’s such a great price and that’s why Aussies and Kiwis are heading here in their droves.

It’s a block back from Kalakaua Ave, the main drag that runs behind the beach front hotels which are edged in shops and restaurants.

It used to be called Seaside Hotel (tell that to your taxi driver) on Seaside Ave (another irony). A bonus is it’s way quieter than the heaving throng down on the actual shoreline and while you may not appreciate looking into the run down balconies of the apartment block in front, once inside your room, this is my honest pick for those who want a stylish hotel without the stylish price tag.

Shoreline Hotel Waikiki bedroom
The crisp new bedrooms

Where to eat in Waikiki:

Duke's Waikiki
The Barefoot Bar at Duke’s

With the entire beach front as your oyster, it’s very hard to choose where to eat along Waikiki Beach.

My advice would be to pick the ambience or cuisine you’re after and then grab a local guide. Or ask Rommel.

We did the latter and ended up at Duke’s Waikiki on the beach in front of the Outrigger Waikiki. There was a half hour wait for an outside table. Just enough time to get a drink with a pineapple wedged onto the rim of the glass and we were seated.

It’s well priced for its location too. I had delicious fish tacos ($13.95), dad had ribs and huge waffle-cut fries ($14.95), mum went for the baked fish and my husband had steak – although he got a better one the next night upstairs at Chuck’s Steakhouse where we all ordered prime rib for $32 each and I couldn’t finish it.

>> You might like to read my post on 5 awesome Oahu beaches!

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!