Historical Traveller Reviews of Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel
Super-Friendly, Clean Offbeach Hotel
from A TripAdvisor Member
I read the reviews on this web site. For those who did not like this hotel, they probably usually stay in a high dollar hotels. Our purpose in Hawaii was to have fun and spend the least amount of time in our room as possible. As such, this hotel was perfect. I had read the reviews about calling ahead for room specifics and it was well worth the effort. This hotel is very accommodating. Yes, the carpet in the halls may be in need of replacement and the walls may be in need of painting but a clean shower and clean sheets with no bugs is what we needed and what we got. The bar is awesome! Did not visit the pool. I would take friends there to stay. Our stay was 4/8/04+.
enjoyed our stay very much
from A TripAdvisor Member
Had a great stay at the villa sands from 1-9th April, really enjoyed it. I thought it was very good value booked a flight-hotel deal with expedia from ny 450 dollars. service was friendly, rooms clean and spacious and it's only a few minutes to the beach. lovely to have a balcony looking towards the mountains. all in all - would definitely recommend this place. seemed a complete bargain compaired to the hotels in new york!
Wish I would have known more
from A TripAdvisor Member
A word of advise if you are thinking about staying here and booking with expedia : don't.I thought this place was going to be quite nice and friendly from the reviews I read before making the reservation, but from the moment of check in we were in for a bumpy ride. I e-mailed to confirm the free internet/breakfast/parking/local call deal prior to us arriving there for our honeymoon. I also asked if it was available - an upgrade (i was hoping for a corner suite that everyone had previously reviewed). I got an email back saying they would do their best to get us an upgraded room - but since i was booking through expedia - it was partially out of their hands. Well since they did not tell me that the other offers did not apply to me i assumed it must be ok. Well i get there and they wanted to charge me for a week of parking right away - i very politely told them that i was under the impression that it was included and very shortly i was told that "not for expedia customers". I told them i e-mailed about it - and the girl at the front went to the back to talk to the manager - came back - went back to the back - came back again - and asked me for the e-mail printed off. I did not bring it of course because I thought i wouldnt need it - iemailed the reservation manager directly.The girl then grugenly said "well then i guess we have to honour it" gave me a slip - i aplogized for not printing the paper and we were on our way. We parked in the - yes very small and awkard - lot. Went up to our room in the shambled of an elevator they had - down the hall of torn/warped carpet and banged up walls - to our room to find that our safe was not complementary as told as well.My husband went down to talk to the hotel staff - because i was tired of dealing with them by now - taking 20 minutes to check in. When he comes back they informed me that they found the e-mail and in no where in the e-mail is word of the free specials - we need to pay for everything that was supposed to be included.So i hesitenely went back down stairs to chat with them. I absolutely hate having to stir the pot - but here i went. After talking to the girl at the desk and the manager i realized that they were purposely not understanding what i was saying. I repeated myself 5 times - showing the parts of the e-mail that said these things - and they just said "you booked with expedia - those are not expedia deals". They didn't even answer my questions on why - just saying over and over "you booked with expedia" and also saying "so you are demanding these things? you cant have them". I was getting quite upset at this point. They informed us we got an upgrade to a superior room already - thats a bonus og 15 dollars a night - which basically included a twin bed in the room - so they were not going to do anything else. My husband asked for a comprromise - for us to meet half way. They pretended they didnt understand that and just said "would it make you happy if we comp;d your safe". By this point we just took it and left to our rooms.I was quite frusturated by this - but i decided it wouldnt ruin my trip. The rest of the time there was pretty uneventful except for the crews and constructions on the outside of the building with a lot of noise. Oh also our air conditioner worked half the time and was reset to subzero by the maid daily (talk about top quality service). The shower head fell down on our heads every time we showered (i should of asked for another room but i was not ready to deal with management again.the sheets were dirty when we arrive with other peoples hair and crumbs in it. The sheet smelled old old - like the room wasnt used in ages - saved for special expedia customers.The pillows are super thin - you need at least 2 of them to sleep.the drywall was falling down, water stain on the ceiling of the room, tiles had a lot of mould in them, and tiny rooms.The breakfast was powder juice, coffee ( i didnt try) and powdered/plain donuts. Cheap with flies buzzing and landing all over it.nope - dont recommend it - even to a buget traveler. I have stayed 4 times in waikiki - the ohana waikiki surf and ohana west were MILES above this hotel and not to mention closer (barely) to the beach. Miramar is a nice hotel too - but i didnt feel like spending that much money (110 US a night)Hope this helps!
from A TripAdvisor Member
I did a lot of homework before booking at the Waikiki Sand Villa. A lot of it had to do with reading the reviews. Sadly, it wasn't enough. I even called the hotel directly and they had very little information.
Well, I too booked thru Expedia...great rate it's true. But the room is so small that it's hard to even get our baby stroller in and the parking is the worst possible. Every day for 6 nights we had to double park and leave our key at the front desk. The parking lot is sooo small that you see lots of car scrapes on the walls. The rooms really need a makeover and the sheets and towels are so old they should be thrown away. We weren't told about the free daily breakfast so we never tried it. The internet access is located int he Bar which is super smoky and stinky...1/2 the time the computers were "down" which was a real bummer. We were depending on them to use for directions, etc. On their website they say if you stay 4 or more nights you can get a Aloha Dining card...however, when I asked for it the girl said it's only if you book thru the hotel website...otherwise it doesn't matter if you stay a month. I'd say the best think about the hotel is if you buy a drink at the Bar and ask, they'll give you 2 tickets to the Honolulu zoo. (It's advertised on the hotel tv channel, not advertised in the bar.) Never again.
ll stay there again.
from A TripAdvisor Member
We were visiting family on Oahu and so we stayed at the Sands Villa twice. The first time was great, we had a corner room facing the mountains and a view of the ocean. The room was just lovely and probably was just refurbished. The free breakfast is nothing to write home about but we liked the room and the pool. So we decided to stay there again the next time we visited the island. YUCK!! What a totally different experience!! We got a room facing the other hotel with the noisy, smoky bar below us. The room was horrible - musty, old, decrepit, just plain terrible. I asked the front desk person why this time our room was so awful (It was like staying at a totally different hotel!!!) compared to the first time we stayed there. He just shrugged and I asked if it had to do with how we booked the room. The first time we booked through the hotel's website and then the next time since it was $10 per night cheaper we booked through Expedia. He said yeah that's why. He wasn't going to give us another room. I'm not sure if I want to stay there again if we get those crappy rooms again. Too bad they treat repeat customers so shabbily. They may not get our business again.
reviewers must have been somewhere else
I am sitting in the in the internet room, and just reread the reviews of this hotel; where were they, not here. hotel is in desperate need of a cleaning and refurbishing, and it would be nice to add ac to the rooms... I complained about the heat, and was told someone would repair... luckily it's cool at nigfht, so sleeping with the sliding door open at least makes the room bearable.. found the hotel not worth the discounted $55 rate, especially compared to the Ohana hotels here which are comparably priced but clean and nice.. I would not recommend anyone expcept those looking to saty as cheaply as they can to book here.... find somewhere else.....
Really good value
I am writing this from our hotel room where my family and I are still currently on our 3rd day here and will be checking out 5 days from now.
Tripadvisor played a big part in our decision to stay here. I booked the Deluxe room on the internet. So far - we love it - it is great value. We are on the westside 9th floor and we have a great view of the northern waikiki mountains, canal and golf course. I can imagine the north-side corner rooms to have a great view. The lanai is fairly large and we have breakfast there every morning. The interior looks a bit worn but not too bad. We havent tried the free breakfast. The internet high-speed works great and the staff are friendly. If I have any bad experiences from now til we check out, I will write about it here again.
a solid value
As you may be able to see from my profile, I'm currently living in Hawaii attending UH. I can tell you from personal experience that the Sand Villa is a real value. I've personally stayed there twice, and my parents (who aer VERY picky) stayed there for 10 nights and LOVED it!
Here is the rundown:
1) Free parking--will save you money! As others have mentioned, the parking garage is VERY small and not for the faint of heart. A bit annoying, but a money saver.
2) Good location--Block and a half from the international marketplace, and 3 or 4 blocks from the beach.
3) FREE internet! HOok up in the room, or use the computers in the lobby *bar*
4) Great happy hour specials--cheap drinks and food, albeit amongst some *ahem* interesting clientele! IT's fun though!
5) Of course, low prices
Anyway, the drawbacks are, as you know by now, the small parking garage, the TERRIBLE breakfasts, the cold pool, occasionally noisy clientele, and the very old buildiong which looks rundown in places, and the smokey bar downstair (a problem for my ashmatic mom...but cool for me and my dad who caught lots of football games there!)
A BIG tip: request a corner room, preferably one with a "1" at the end--801, 901, etc. Those are "mauka" or mountain rooms--closer to the mountains and facing the stream. THey are UNQUESTIONABLY better than the rooms on the other side of the hotel, and are a good 10 degrees cooler. Seriously request one. Enjoy your stay in Hawaii!!
this place grows on you
from A TripAdvisor Member
--As an avid review reader, I poured over things people said before I booked on the Sand Villa (Jan 10-15th) web site . I have stayed at my range of hotels from bare bones Motel 6 in Carlsbad, CA to the Kea Lani in Maui. For the price this hotel delivers. You get free parking which is otherwise about $8 per day. You also get some coupon book if you book 4 days. The book has good deals on food if you are two people or more bec there is a lot of 2 for 1's. Anyway, my expectations weren't high, I knew the carpet was worn, etc. but I wanted the free high speed in the room and a nice pool. The pool is nice, not heated so it was cold in January. There was sun on the deck from at least 10am - 4pm. There is a hot tub too. Breakfast was convenience style packaged powered donuts. A definite miss. There were toasting bread one day and had jam. The parking garage is under the hotel and is made for small cars with good turning radiuses. I did see mini-vans down there but there are pillars to dodge and I needed to do 8 point turns to get my mid-size chevy breeze out sometimes. The lot fills at night and you have to double park and leave your keys at the desk. Other than that the parking was a plus in that area of town. It took me 7 minutes to walk to the beach and that includes getting stopped at two stop lights. Very easy walk. I was never a beach person but since the pool was so cold I ventured out and got a $3.00 raft that the store inflated and enjoyed the ocean. It was warm, the sand was great. --The first room I got (a corner) seemed ok, it was clean. Upon further inspection, the shower head was mounted in a way that did not allow you to move it so it shot straight down. Then the air conditioning did not work. The pillows were a bit flat but lets face it - it is not a a five star. At first I chalked it up the "you get what you pay for" but the second day it was just too hot in the room. I got another room on the 10th floor and it was so much better! Great shower, good air, it even looked newer. I was told that my new floor was a no smoking floor. The hallway carpet is more worn on all floors than the carpet in the rooms - who cares, you don't live in the hallway. The hotel was redeemed. Lesson - if you don't like your room change it right away, call ahead and ask the hotel to check the room for a good working shower, clean smells, and air conditioning. Really, call, that is what the front desk told me to do for my next visit. Have some check your room. I had no trouble with the noise but given it is on a busy corner people who have noise issues may want a room away from the street or up high.-- While I was there, for the benefit of my posting back to this list, I asked to see one of the Pualeilani Studios. They were much bigger with a kitchenette and table, sofa, and a bigger bathroom. If you need the space it is nice. A fridge would be great. There are no elevators so it might not be fun on the higher floors if you don't like the hike. The hotel also has a hospitality room which I check out. It is great if you arrive early or have a late flight. There are two full bathrooms, with towels, etc if you want to take a shower, there are couches, a big tv, internet access, it seemed like the size of two hotel rooms - great if you need a place to hang or change. There are washers and dryers (for a small fee) if you need to wash clothes. The laundry room seemed clean and acceptable when I peeked in. I did not eat at the hotel but there were clusters of Sand Villa groupies enjoying the food. There is a pool table, bar, and computers in the lobby to use. The bar has a big screen TV and people were hanging out there too. I had a corner room which was looking at the canal and it was very pretty. - The hotel staff was helpful but I didn't learn anyone's name. They responded to my requests. I even had to e-mail after I left bec I forgot my receipt and they mailed me one right away. There is an activity desk but I didn't use it. I am going back in February because buy the time my fourth day came I knew my way around, had a better room, a place to park, high speed internet in my room that just worked when I plugged my network cable in (they have some at the desk). My cell phone even worked better in Honolulu than in the Bay Area. For the price it meets all my needs.
A nice place
Our stay in Sand Villa is plesant. The best thing we loved is its free hi-speed internet - it makes life so much easier. We booked through a travel agency since this is our first time to Hawaii. I guess we paid a little more than average but we were happy about its location and the staff were really nice. Many customers come from Japan and they have a small Japanese eatery in the lobby. I also love the pool. The only thing I dislike is the place is a little worn and old, especially the carpet and some bed clothing.
Top Local Tips for Honolulu
Tanaka of Tokyo
It is in the Kings Shops downtown Waikiki off Kuhio. It is upstairs. This is an AMAZING place in the Benihana tradition - but less expensive and more friendly. Ask that your rice be "stir fried" so that you can see him chop and cook it before your eyes. Otherwise, you will just get steamed rice and be so jealous of your tablemates! This is the best meal I have had in ages.
ALOHA STADIUM SWAP MEET
Do NOT miss this!! It's open 6am - 3pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and they sell everything under the sun! GREAT prices and huge selection--it is TOO fun!
We only discovered the buses at the end of our holiday but for $2 you can get return trips to all over the island - next time we go we will be using these alot more and not relying on taxis.