image: courtesy of Queen Kapiolani Hotel
Is it possible for an Oahu hotel to receive rave reviews (4.5 stars on TripAdvisor) yet remain underrated? That would be the recently renovated Queen Kapiolani Hotel on Kapahulu, found just after Kalakaua Avenue bends toward the Honolulu Zoo. Of course, we’re not here to review the fantastic yet budget-friendly resort (or did we just do that?) as instead we’re here to provide visitors with insight into how to best get from Honolulu International Airport to the property. Let’s get to it.
Best Way to Get to the Queen Kapiolani Hotel from Honolulu International Airport and What Else You Need to Know
1. Take a Private, Direct, and Flat Rate Shuttle
The hotel is located at the very end of the main strip at 150 Kapahulu Avenue. This is a very telling fact because when you take a typical shared Waikiki Beach shuttle it’s pretty much the last stop on the gauntlet of visitor drop-offs. That can add an extra 30 minutes to your commute from HNL, as you have to sit not-so-patiently while other arrivals get off at their respective hotels. Lucky them, they may actually make it to the ABC Store for necessities before closing time. Long story short, you’ll want to skip the shared shuttle option entirely or risk losing valuable time in paradise.
The distance from HNL also increases what you’ll pay in common taxis, not that the antiquated form of Honolulu transportation is an option anymore. Uber isn’t much of an alternative either when you consider that the pickup zone is further from baggage claim than direct shuttles, and the fact that an UberXL (more expensive) is often required for parties with significant luggage. Those are just two of a few valid reasons why you should save Uber (and Lyft) for after you’ve checked into your hotel, for your daily jaunts around the south shore.
Instead a private, direct, and flat rate shuttle is unequivocally your best bet for getting from Honolulu Airport to the Queen Kapiolani Hotel. Honolulu Airport Transfer will pick you up just outside of baggage claim and swiftly yet comfortably take you and your party from I-H1-E to Kapahulu, whereas some other less efficient services will take you on the more cumbersome HI-92 E. We drop you off right at the beautiful open-air lobby where check-in awaits and unload your bags for you. All of this comes at a flat-rate of just $35. It simply doesn’t get better.
2. What Early Arrivals Need to Know
We’ve provided a guide for what to do when you arrive at HNL early and need to kill time before your allowed check-in time. The guide still applies in this case too. However, this is one Waikiki Beach hotel that you can hang around while waiting, without feeling the need to leave the property.
For one, the expansive open lobby is modern, colorful, yet completely unpretentious so you won’t feel as if you’re intruding on current guests or staff as you relax in one of the sofas or comfy seats. The lobby area also boasts communal workstations with plug-ins should you need to get some work or correspondence done. There is also Knots Coffee Roasters cafe in the lobby area, with more seating than practically any other coffee shop in Waikiki. The first level space also houses the Greenroom Art Gallery (and store) in addition to the Hans Hedemann Surf School and Shop, along with Aloha Whip, a cute nook that sells refreshing world-famous Dole Whip among other treats. Upstairs on the 3rd floor you’ll find a real oasis on The Deck, a massive outdoor (partially covered) restaurant and bar that connects to the hotel’s lounge and pool area, offering not only handcrafted cocktails and delicious fare, but an unmatched view of Diamond Head for those who want a head start on their photographic journey of Oahu. Last but not least there’s the second floor where you can explore classic portraits, posters, photographs, and memorabilia from the Waikiki (and ali’i) of old. The 2nd level also has one of the best fitness centers of all Waikiki hotels, in case you want to squeeze in a workout before the dining and libations begin.
Simply put, if you arrive at HNL early you’ve got nothing to be worried about when it comes to biding time at Queen Kapiolani Hotel. The earlier you get here, the better. Schedule your ride today to make that happen. CALL TOLL-FREE at 1-800-929-1219 to book.