The Equus Hotel

, Honolulu, United States
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The Equus Hotel

, Honolulu
2 star

Rooms: 72

1696 Ala Moana Boulevard - Honolulu - Hawaii - 96815 - United States Hotel Website | | 808 949 0061
604 Traveller

Reviews - The Equus Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of The Equus Hotel

Good value and service

from idyllbob
We stayed four nights beginning March 27, 2007 and had a wonderful time. Most of the "complaints" you read are true- stairs to get to lobby, slow elevator service, difficult to spot the entrance if you are unfamiliar with Waikiki, the microwave is off the lobby, not in the room, and the shower is quite small.

That being said, the rooms are large, nicely remodeled, and have everything except the microwave that you would expect in a mid-scale establishment. The staff is top-notch; knowlegable and friendly! We stayed on the fourth floor, and utilized the stairs whenever not carrying luggage to avoid the slow (very slow) elevator. It was a short, pleasant wlak to the heart of Waikiki (restaurants on Kuhio, shopping on Kalakaua) and about a 20 minute stroll to the Aqaurium. Only about a 10 minute walk to Ala Moana Beach/Park, which is a nice alternative to the crowded beach at Waikiki, we only rented a car on days we were traveling to the Aloha Stadium Swapmeet and Polynesian Cultural Center.

Housekeeping was very good, and unlike other hotels in this price range, they gave us coffee everyday without a $2-3 charge. I am a "bargain" shopper when it comes to hotels in Waikiki, and this was a supirior value to the Ohana properties I usually book at. We spent our last two nights at the Royal Hawaiian (using SPG points) and preferred the facilities and staff at the Equus. Off-peak, I would pay up to about $120 a night for this property, but got this trip for just $80 on Expedia.

TIPS: Rent a car from the Enterprise on Kalakaua about three blocks from this hotel only on the days you really need a car, returning to the enterprise lot at night and save the hassle and expense of parking. Online a base car runs $33 with taxes, and you can book it from the computer in the Equus lobby for .15 a minute. Don't miss the swapmeet at Aloha Stadium (15 miles away) on Weds, Sat & Sun, or the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North side of the Island (40 miles +/-) and their great Luau dinner!

Great room, great price

from imso808
Lots of unfair reviews of the Equus. My husband and I stayed there for a romantic weekend getaway and absolutely loved it. Our newly renovated room was small (think cozy and romantic) but clean, safe, and quiet. I did not get to meet the famous Linnelle, but the staff I did encounter were helpful and friendly. Probably the only complaint I have about this hotel is the parking. I would advise you to call ahead for specifics because it was confusing for me, and I'm a local! This is not a 5-star hotel. Have some real expectations, and you'll like the Equus too. I'll definitely be back sooner than later.

Physically challenged beware!

from jascomin
Warning to the disabled! You must climb about 2 flights of stairs to reach the front desk. Front desk and some rooms are on the 2nd floor with rooms going up to the 10th floor. There is only one elevator which goes from the 2nd floor upwards. Today, the elevator got stuck - which meant I was stuck on the 6th floor and I had a tour departure to meet in 15 minutes.

I chose this hotel due to the price, its location and the fact it was a strictly no smoking hotel. I must walk with a cane and travel with a respirator. It was a very difficult climb up those stairs daily to the point that I reduced a lot of the activities I would have done.

Another point I must state - when I booked my reservation, I was not told that there is a substantial daily parking charge.

Furthermore, in route to Hawaii, we were stranded overnight in Chicago. The airline we were flying contacted them to let them know we would not be arriving that night and a supposed Equus hotel manager said we would likely not be charged for that first night which had been guaranteed with a credit card. Upon arriving, I found out that I was still charged for the unused night, and no one knew who the person was with the name given, nor when the manager (with a different name) of the hotel would be back. If we had known then when the airline called, we would have been reimbursed by the airline at that time. This I feel is grossly unfair on the part of the hotel.

Overall, the staff is fabulous. The room I would describe as shabby-chic. Fresh paint, granite counter tops, fabulous new plasma tv and remote controlled air conditioner, rooms refurbished with new linens and Hawaiian shutters - except they forgot to do the furniture which is chipped and bashed.
Management Response from hawaiipolo
Our apologies to this guest for the discomfort caused by our entry stairs.Yes, it is one flight of stairs up from the hotel entry to the lobby and elevator landing.This cannot be changed nor remmedied for a variety of reasons.I wish the guest had mentioned this problem during their stay as we also operate the adjacent Aqua Marina Hotel and would have moved the guest to that property (which does not have stairs)had we been aware of their discomfort.
Regarding parking:all hotels in Waikiki (and most major urban areas) do charge for parking.This is only fair in that many guests do not require parking.If the parking was included in the room rate, then all guests, whether they needed parking or not, would in effect be subsidizing the parking fees of those who did use parking.That there is a parking fee is posted on all our literature and on our web site(along with all the internt booking sites I have checked).
I am not sure what happened with the guests concern over the charge for their first night -that they missed due to an airline delay.The credit card was charged for that first night when the reservation was confirmed. However I am pretty certain that the guest was credited for that unused night on his folio during his stay, so that when they checked out , the charge would have only been for the nights stayed ( as is our policy when we are notified by guests of a late arrival due to travel delays).
I note that our guest did give The Equus High Marks for service, cleanliness, business services,room quality,location and front desk and was kind enough to acknowledge the sprirt of aloha and service provided by our staff. Mahalo!

Fabulous time at the Equus

from Touhuni
My husband and I booked to stay at the Equus through ---. We stayed there for 7 nights from 14 March 2007 to 21 March 2007 and we enjoyed every minute of our stay. The staff were very friendly, resourceful and extremely helpful. We didn't have a street directory so we asked them for direction. First up was for the quickest way to the Airport. The direction was very clear and effective that we got there in 20 minutes. On Friday 16 March, we asked for the direction to La'ie as we booked to tour the Polynesian Cultural Centre. We followed the instructions and we got there in 50 minutes. We were happy to pay $15 per night parking fee as this was well publicised beforehand in ---. This is quite reasonable in comparison to parking in Sydney City where we pay the same amount or more for a 3 hours parking except perhaps for the Casino where we pay $10 for the whole night. The room was very clean and what we saw on --- was exactly what we received when we got there. The maids cleaned our room on a daily basis. We love the location 'cause it's only a short walk to the Ala Moana Shopping Centre. For Swimming, we walked across from Ala Moana Shopping Centre to Magic Island where they have a beautiful beach for swimming, not to mention the beautiful Ala Moana Park. If you head towards the other direction to Waikiki, ABC stores is at the corner and McDonalds is immediately on the opposite side of the street. If you'd like a swim along that side, just walk across from McDonalds towards the Ilikai Hotel and walk along the jetty until you come to another beautiful beach where they have all the surfers heading out for the big waves while you swim at the lagoon. At the next Corner is Wailana Coffee Lounge (and Karaoke Bar) which opens 24 hours. Across the Street from the Wailana is the Todai Japanese Seafood Buffet that serves scrumptuous food at a reasonable price.
The hotel has a small pool and I enjoyed my swim there with a very peaceful surrounding. It was great also to be able to phone to any local number free of charge. I guess my only complaint was walking up the steps from the street to the lobby, but then this gave me a good exercise. Overall we had a fabulous time at the Equus and we would stay there again if we go back to Hawaii.

Just about OK

from munna82
We arrived at around 10:30 pm on March 16th. First of all we had to circle the block a couple of times trying to figure out how to enter the hotel. It turns out you have to park your car in the adjacent Aqua Marina hotel. The entrance is a set of stairs directly from the footpath. There was this guy at the reception who had the most disinterested look on his face. We had a reservation for a King room, instead he gave us a queen, which he did not even mention. We found it out when we actually went to the room. No apology, no acknowledgment, nothing whatsoever. He was more interested in swiping my credit card for the car I had bought. The speed of the free wireless internet connection makes you feel like you are in a third world country. Even dial-up is better than the speeds u get here. The room itself is pretty well renovated as seen from the pictures of the previous reviewers. It is comfortable and has everything needed. The bathroom is very small, and our shower curtain was not long enough at the bottom which led to the bathroom being flooded whenever someone took a bath. I will never go back to this place.

A work in progress

from bc399
Stayed for four nights. What the other reviewers said is basically true--what used to be a motel-type building stuck between two larger buildings next to a busy road is being upgraded to a 'boutique' hotel. Basically, the interior and exterior are two different stories: the entrance is a just a staircase off the street, and there's virtually no lobby to speak of; the reception is located in the elevator hall. But once you get inside the room (one of the renovated ones, that is), everything is there; you could almost believe you're in a four-star hotel. Comfy bed, flat-screen TV, granite counter-top, empty fridge, nice clean bathroom, complete set of toiletries, nice strong shower; the in-room wireless internet was 'free' but flaky; if you use the internet station downstairs it costs you 15 cents a minute. Parking is 15 dollars a day (although you could wing it and park overnight in the nearby streets, e.g. along the canal). Free morning call at 8:45am every weekday courtesy of drilling and hammering. As for view--what you see is just the building next door or busy Ala Moana Blvd. Location--it's more like a 15-20 minute walk to central Waikiki, or you could take the $2 shopping shuttles. In summary, if you could get a good price for the room and don't care about the setting, this place might work for you. But wait till the construction is over.

Only got 1/2 of what was published.

from kimonio
We stayed for 11 nights at the Aqua Equus from February 6 to February 17, 2007. We decided to stay here as it was advertised as a value-for-money, newly-renovated hotel. I booked our accommodation through Expedia Australia which looked to be the best value for the accommodation. Prior to booking the accommodation, I also emailed (--)to confirm that all rooms had been renovated as previous posts below recommended that I get a renovated room. I received a response from "Amanda" from Aqua's Central Reservation to confirm that all rooms had been renovated. Also, as per previous posts, I requested for a room on high level.

Now here is our story...We got a room on Level 9 - and it's a 10-storey building. We DID NOT get a renovated room - or at least I say this because it looked NOTHING like the pictures. The carpet was old and water-stained, the furniture was dilapidated and TV was not an LCD flat screen. We did not have a microwave in the room unlike the published Aquakit thing-a-ma-jig, rather there was a communal microwave on the ground floor behind reception.

On our first day - extremely tired from the 10.5 hour from Sydney, we were kept awake by drilling. The staff would yell and scream down the hallway and even up and down the floors. Even when the "Do Not Disturb" sign was at our door, the housekeeping staff would still try and enter the room - the only thing that maintained our privacy was the door chain. The noisy staff carried on pretty much throughout the first week.

Then on the second week, they seemed to have disappeared. Didn't hear a peep. Didn't even see them. But our room still got fixed - sometimes.

We found that if we left the room after noon, chances are our room would not get fixed/cleaned. We liked the Waikiki nightlife, so we slept in on most days. So all-in-all within our 11 night stay, our room was probably attended to about 6 times. We never got the chance to have the complimentary breakfast either- but I saw it briefly one morning and it didn't look like something worth peeling myself out of bed for.

The well published Linelle was friendly, but so were other younger guys (sorry I didn't get their names). But there were these two older gentlemen- One had a slick ponytail and one had greasy curls. Could someone teach these guys how to smile? They had a "don't you dare talk to me" aura and trigger-happy deathstares. If you don't like your job, quit and stop ruining our vacation! ;o)

We are a young couple working in the IT industry. The internet in our room was reliable and we enjoyed the cable TV. We loved the location as it was 100m to Ala Moana and an easy 10 minute walk one-way to Waikiki. We were packing down food like it was going out of fashion and since we would take about 2 round trips to Waikiki daily (for afternoon beach and for dinners), the walks helped us keep the weight down. The food was also cheaper at Ala Moana so we would lunch there and dinner at Waikiki. We would walk back to the hotel after 11:30 nightly (since all shops at Waikiki closed at 11:00pm but we would have Cold Stone Creamery on the way home) and we never had any issues in terms of safety.

Would I recommend it? Well, I think there is a negative wherever you stay, unless you're willing to pay through the nose. This is a reasonable budget accommodation and perhaps we would stay here again as the location, free internet and cable suited us. I guess I just feel duped by some of what they published and we never got - well mainly the fact that all the rooms had been renovated. We definately would not recommend it to our parents as they would probably feel like they're staying in a motel along a major highway, and I would NOT recommend it to young families as it is right at a main road and it may be tricky getting in and out with kids and the steep flight of stairs from the street to the front door. But if you just want a room that is closer to a nice mall and the Hilton Beach than a famous, over-crowded beach (Waikiki), and you don't mind the street noise - all on a budget - well then this may just be the hotel for you.

Wonderfully renovated

from greddygirl83
We arrived to find The Equus conveniently located next to EVERYTHING that's happening. Linelle at the front desk was warm and welcoming. She had many suggests for how we might want to start off our first evening in Oahu. Linelle is actually one of the Equus' selling points. Her cordial nature makes you feel like the Equus could be your home away from home. We enjoyed her service very much.
The room was eloquently renovated and looked EXACTLY like the advertised photos online (at the hotel's website.) Need I say more??? I would recommend it highly. However, as with any of the downtown hotels, prepare yourself for the typical traffic related noises.
The furnishings were very nice and warm and the true granite tops throughout and plasma TV were classy additions. Something noteworthy that you wont catch in the online pictures is the atmospheric recessed lighting throughout. It's the perfect finishing touch to nicely decorated room ... give the Equus a's a great place to stay that's easy on the pocketbook.

Michael G

staying again and again and again

from hofdad
First time in Hawaii and was at the Hawaii Polo Inn in the midst of their renovations. Amazing to see all the work going on and the fact that the staff was so pleasant and everyone so easy going during all this was wonderfull. The renovated rooms were like pictures from a magazine......beautiful attention to detail etc. A very knowledgable staff and such aloha spirit. Hotel is close to shopping and beach and parks.......with staff always ready to help with directions and suggestions. I definitely will be staying with the Aqua Equus anytime I go to Oahu and have recommended it to others that I know are going there. Can't beat the price and the comfort and the true Hawaiian spirit!

Hawaiian Hospitality

from EquusHappy!!
The Equus, formerly the Hawaii Polo Inn is a newly renovated, warm Hawaiian hospitality, getaway for us. We enjoyed the Equus and it's friendly staff. Linelle greeted us each morning at breakfast with her warm Hawaiian smile.. Everyday the Equus offers coffee, tea, juice, pastries and fresh fruit for its guests' all at no extra charge. At check-in we were greeted by friendly and helpful local staff that checked us in with ease and remembered us by name. This time we were given Hawaiian bottles of water at check in. It was a wonderful surprise and very appreciated.

Our room was very warm and cozy. It has free wireless, free phone calls and our room came with a coffeemaker and a nice refrigerator with a nice size freezer compartment for our nightly pints of haagen dazs ice cream. The furniture and design of the rooms were very well appointed. We were treated like guests staying at a 5 star hotel. The Equus is the place to be for your money!! Beds were very comfortable.

You can't beat the location. Only 2 blocks from Ala Moana Shopping Center and 2 blocks from the closest beach. We didn't have to rent a car. Parking is only $15 per day . Our friends across the street paid $25 per nite for parking.

The Equus is only steps away from fabulous restraunts. Visit the Shanhai Bistro only a block away, our favorite. The best Happy hour!!

The Equus will be our home away from home and we look forward to returning soon.

The Kona Crew

Top Local Tips for Honolulu

Sunny Side If the weather forcast calls for a rainy day in Waikiki, head over to the west side of the island to it's farest point to Yokohama Beach. The west side recieves a lot less rainfall and it is an absolutely beautiful beach.

Hanaumo Bay Loved Hanaumo Bay! Went there twice. Other Tripadvisor posts suggested going on Wednesdays as it is closed on Tuesdays, so I went their on the 2 Wednesdays of our stay. Grab a disposable underwater camera from KMart and load up on the film as the fish are AMAZING. I like fish - don't care about coral so if you like fish and don't care about colourful coral, then this is the place. I have scuba dived on the Great Barrier Reef and the fish are not as friendly or as colourful as Hanaumo Bay. (But the fish in the Great Barrier Reef are bigger but not a friendly or colourful)

Dining Experience If you live towards the Honolulu end of Waikiki, we found the Todai Japanese Seafood Buffet much better at dinner than lunch time. It serves a huge variety of delicious food including desserts. Lunch is still all right but it has a more limited menu. We found the Wailana Coffee lounge very reasonable yet delicious especially their sirloin steak (served with unlimited helping to the salad bar). However, they only serve brewed coffee (bottomless) so iif you expect cappucinos, lattes and the like, they do not serve these. It's a great place to wind down after a long hectic day.


Other names for The Equus Hotel

  • equus an aqua boutique hotel
  • Address: 1696 Ala Moana Boulevard - Honolulu - Hawaii - 96815 - United States
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