***This is part 3 of my “Hawaii Six-O” trip report detailing a recent trip to Oahu, Hawaii to celebrate my parents’ 60th birthdays and retirements***
1. The Club Lounge at SJC
2. Alaska Airlines Economy San Jose to Honolulu + Review of Alaska Beyond
3. Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
4. Eating Our Way Through Honolulu
5. Alaska Airlines First Class Honolulu to San Jose
It had been over a decade since my last visit to Honolulu, so I had to jog my memory with quite a bit of research on where to stay. While I’ve written about my distrust of TripAdvisor, I admittedly turned to them for help, along with Yelp and Flyertalk.
As a proud hotel free agent, my search for lodging encompassed the usual chain hotel suspects, along with some boutique hotels, and even properties on Airbnb. My main criteria were size (ideally would have all 6 of us in one place as opposed to separate rooms), a location near the beach, and condo-style amenities such as a full kitchen and laundry. In the end, it was a pretty easy decision to stay at the Trump Waikiki which checked all the boxes on my list.
After landing at HNL, we picked up the rental cars and began the 30-minute drive to the hotel. Along the way, we made a pit-stop at Costco to pick up supplies. It was smooth sailing until the last half mile when we hit the insanely dense Waikiki traffic, which literally took over 30 minutes to get through.
We finally arrived at the hotel and were greeted with a warm Hawaiian welcome. The bellmen helped us unload our luggage and the trunk full of food and drinks, and another team member came by to give us shell necklaces and welcome drinks.
There was a dedicated elevator bank that takes you to the hotel lobby on the 6th floor where we completed the check-in process. Even though it was 2pm, our room still wasn’t ready so we hung around the lobby for the next 15 minutes. There was a festive Christmas tree setup where the staff were taking pictures for guests and printing the on the spot. Also, hot apple cider and cookies were available.
The swimming pool and jacuzzi were also located on the 6th floor, and we stopped outside to take a look. This area is pretty small to begin with, and with the hotel at full capacity, it was extremely crowded throughout the duration of our stay. For the most part we didn’t mind since we preferred swimming in the ocean, but we did stop by once to use the hot tub only to find it packed to the brim with small children.
Once our room was ready, we headed up to the 31st floor where our 2 bedroom + den, 3 bathroom suite was located. After entering, we all naturally gravitated toward the room’s two balconies to admire the gorgeous beach views.
As advertised, there was a full kitchen which had literally everything that we needed. I had specifically booked a place with a kitchen so we wouldn’t have to constantly eat out, and we put it to good use by eating more than half of our meals in the room. There was a large refrigerator with two freezers, wine refrigerator, microwave, oven, and induction stove-top.
The kitchen was stocked with utensils, knives, and dishware and even had things like a toaster, juicer, coffee maker, rice cooker, and shell crackers which came in handy for our homemade seafood feast.
There was complimentary water provided and restocked daily.
In the middle of the living room was a large 6-seat dining table, along with a seating area with sofa, chairs, and TV. The sofa also converted into a bed which was done each night as part of turndown service.
Waiting for us were a bunch of gifts, starting with a beautiful fresh flower arrangement.
But more importantly, stuff we could eat, including a box of Honolulu Cookie Company shortbread cookies. These were so good that we later on stocked up at the store around the corner from the hotel.
And a fruit cake, which had probably been made several years ago.
Our suite included a den which was already converted into a bed and was left that way for the duration of our stay.
Near the entrance of the suite was the guest bathroom, which had a combo washer and dryer.
The 1st bedroom featured a queen bed, en-suite bathroom, and its own balcony.
The master was absolutely humongous, and featured a king bed and large walk-in closet. Unfortunately, no balcony access was available from this room.
The master bathroom had a double vanity along with a larger soaking tub.
No question as to what hotel we were staying at, as all of the toilletries were Trump-branded. There was a wide array available in addition to the standard ones, including bath salts, body butter, mouthwash, and dental and shaving kits.
Overall, we were extremely pleased with our suite, and at roughly 1,600 square ft. it was plenty of room for our family of 6. However, that meant that 2 people were essentially sleeping in the living room together, albeit at opposite ends, which may not work if you need more privacy.
But where the Trump really shined was the service which was absolutely top-notch. Every single interaction we had with the staff was pleasant, and they got all the little things right. Everything from the cookies and pictures in the lobby, the responsive bellmen and valet staff, the housekeeping staff which did a fantastic job cleaning our room from top to bottom, and the concierge which made sure we never left for the beach without a beach bag which contained towels, fruit, water, and sunscreen.
I’d say that the only minor drawback of the hotel is the location. While the hotel is extremely close to all of the shopping near Waikiki Beach Walk, it is across the street from the beach and a 5-minute walk to get there. If having beach-front property is a must for you, then that could be a deal breaker, but it wasn’t really an issue for us.