Travel Tuesday Top 10 Hotels to Stretch Your Points in Hawaii

by on April 24, 2012 · 16 comments

in Hilton, Hyatt, IHG Rewards, Starwood, Top 10, Wyndham

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For today’s Travel Tuesday Top 10 List series, we’ve rounded up a list of the top 10 budget hotel options to use your points in Hawaii.

Though Hawaii is filled with gorgeous luxury resorts including the St. Regis Princeville on Kauai and the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui, Hawaii is such a dynamic, easy-to-navigate destination where you don’t have to stay at a 5-star property to take advantage of all the islands have to offer.

Plus, once you’re there, you can profit from both Starwood and Marriott’s “fifth night free” policies on award stays, meaning if you spend four consecutive award nights at a property, you get the fifth night free—effectively giving you a 20% bonus. That’s how some of these properties–a few of which are on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of paying cash for reservations–ended up on our list. Hey, there are worse things than having to spend an extra day in Hawaii!

As always, feel free to share your thoughts and whether I missed any good ones (also chime in with future lists you’d like to see us do).

1) Courtyard Waikiki
: The rooms at this Marriott property come with island-chic décor in soft, tropical colors, pillow-top mattresses on the beds, complimentary high-speed internet, flatscreen TV’s, and most feature wet bars, kitchenettes and private lanais or balconies. There is an Italian restaurant onsite, though the hotel is near the Waikiki Beach Walk with restaurants such as Nobu, Duke’s, California Pizza Kitchen, and more, plus tons of shops and boutiques. There’s also a small spa and fitness center, as well as an outdoor pool for family fun. Rates at the Courtyard Waikiki start at $149 per night in May, though this is a Category 5 property requiring between 20,000-25,000 Marriott Rewards points per night. So a five-night stay would cost you between 80,000-100,000 points with the fifth-night-free discount.

A bright oceanview room at the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber.

2) Holiday Inn Resort-Waikiki Beachcomber:  This 23-story hotel is a short walk from Waikiki Beach has 496 cheerfully bright guest rooms and 5 suites with flat-screen televisions, mini fridges and complimentary high-speed WiFi standard. The restaurants of the Waikiki Beach Walk including Roy’s and Yard House, are nearby, as are the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium, making this a great choice for families.  Rates start at $179 a night in May, but free night redemptions start at 25,000 Priority Club Rewards points, or a points and money option of either 20,000 points and $40 or 15,000 points and $60.

Rooms at the new Hyatt Place Waikiki have Hyatt Grand Beds and sleeper sofas.

3) Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach: Hyatt Place is one of Hyatt’s more budget-friendly brands, though you wouldn’t know it to look at this 426-room, two-tower behemoth in Waikiki. It’s a few minutes’ walk from the beach as well as to Waikiki Beach Walk, Kapiolani Park and near the Honolulu Zoo. A stay includes complimentary hotel-wide WiFi, complimentary breakfast with hot and cold options, and access to the StayFit gym. Rooms, many of which have ocean views, also have outdoor balconies, free high-speed DSL internet access, 32-inch flatscreen HDTV’s, Hyatt Grand Beds, sofa sleepers, work desk with the signature Hyatt Plug Panel, mini fridges and granite bathrooms. The hotel also has a Bakery Café for meals on the go. Though rooms are going for $254 in May, because this is just a Category 3 Hyatt, you can snag one for 12,000 points a night—a real steal.


The Ramada Waikiki is 16,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night.

4) Ramada Plaza Waikiki: Rooms at this Waikiki tower have been recently refreshed and come equipped with free high-speed internet access, 37-inch TV’s, mini-fridges and coffee makers. The hotel also has a small fitness center and a private sundeck and outdoor pool. Rates here in May start at $140 a night, and 16,000 Wyndham Rewards points.

5) Hilton Waikiki Beach: This central Honolulu hotel has recently renovated its rooms, which now include décor with rare wood accents and vibrant tropical colors, Hilton Serenity Beds with Serta Suite Dreams Mattresses and Pacific Coast down duvets, 42-inch plasma HDTV’s with multimedia systems, and high-speed internet (for a fee), as well as marble and stone bathrooms and Crabtree & Evelyn bath amenities. MAC 24-7 serves modern American cuisine, Hang 10 Pool bar is for casual lunches and early dinners, while guests can grab a cocktail in the stylish lobby bar. Rooms regularly go for upwards of $220, but you can use 40,000 HHonors points or 20,000 HHonors points +$70 with Hilton’s Points & Money Rewards since this is a Category 6 hotel. So using the Points & Money option, you could spend a week here for 140,000 HHonors points and $490.


6) Days Inn Maui Oceanfront: Again, we’re going for budget here, so this Wyndham property will definitely not break your points bank, ringing up at either $129 or 16,000 points a night in May. Is it super cheap? No, but it’s not bad either, and remember, kids 17 and under stay for free with an adult, so there’s some real savings to be had here. You also get perks thrown in such as free WiFi throughout and beds with memory foam mattresses, as well as kitchenettes with microwaves and refrigerators plus guest laundry facilities and barbeque grills. The beach is easy access, and the full-service concierge is happy to suggest opportunities such as snorkeling at the nearby beach and trips to Haleakala National Park.

The Bistro will be the Kahului Courtyard's restaurant when the hotel opens in June.

7) Kahului Airport Courtyard: This is a brand new property scheduled to open in June 2012 with 128 rooms and 10 suites, all of which will have both regular beds and sofa beds, so you can economize by squeezing the whole family into a room. It will be a Category 4 Marriott resort requiring 20,000 points (15,000 Point Savers) for a free night. It’s a great home base to explore the beaches of Wailea and Haleakala National Park and the old fishing village of Lahaina. The onsite restaurant, The Bistro, will serve healthy all-day dining options and the resort will also feature a pool deck.


8 ) The Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach: This Marriott property is in Kapaa on the Kauai’s east side. It was recently renovated to the tune of $13 million, and now there’s a fire pit by the pool, rooms have all been redone with native elements like koa wood. Though construction is done, apparently some recent guests still had no WiFi and said breakfast was subpar for the moment, but hopefully the hotel is on top of that. There are 309 rooms total and they look spacious and pretty standard for Courtyard product.  65% of them have ocean views and private lanais. The hotel has a market, a casual breakfast restaurant, and another open-air restaurant overlooking the pool that’s open for lunch and dinner and serves pupu platters. There’s a mid-size outdoor pool, and the property fronts Makaiwa Beach, which is safe for swimming, and there is also a full-service Pua Day Spa onsite. Rates start at $170 in May, or Category 5 redemption options of 20,000-25,000 points per night with the fifth night free.

Hawaii, The Big Island

9) Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel: This newly renovated hotel has 452 guest rooms and suites, and is situated on the Kailua-Kona coast near the Big Island’s airport. Guest rooms are equipped with high-speed internet, flatscreen TV’s, large desks with multiple outlets, in-room refrigerators, and larger room categories come with sofabeds for extra guests. There are two restaurants onsite including Honu’s on the Beach for casual all-day dining, lunch and dinner at the Billfish Poolside Bar & Grille, and the hotel puts on the Island Breeze Luau in the evenings. Finally, there’s a fitness center, a pool deck, and water sports activities are available through Kona Boys at the small adjacent beach. Rates here start at about $139 a night in May, but Marriott Rewards members can snag a room for 20,000 points (15,000 PointSavers) since this is a Category 4 property.

The Sheraton Keauhou is just 10,000 Starpoints.

10) Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa: Situated on 22 acres near Kailua-Kona, south of the airport, this resort has 519 rooms including 14 suites all featuring the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed, 37-inch flatscreen TV’s, and small refrigerators. Rooms start at 420 square feet and go all the way up to 1,500 square feet. The resort has a Manta Ray Water Slide and Pool, a children’s beach area for safe swimming with the little ones, whirlpools, the Ho’ola Spa, and a 24 hour fitness center. The hotel’s main restaurant, Kai serves fresh seafood and there is also a pool bar, coffee shop, and another casual restaurant on site. Guests can arrange to golf on the surrounding Kona Country Club’s two 18-hole courses (the Ocean Course and the Ali’I Mountain Course), or up near Hualalai at the Makalei Golf Club. Rates in May start at $139. This is a SPG Category 4 property requiring 10,000 Starpoints for a free night redemption, or 4,000 Starpoints + $60 in Cash & Points. So a five-night stay here would be 20,000 Starpoints and $300, or 40,000 Starpoints taking advantage of the fifth-night free redemption.

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  • Angelina Aucello

    Great post. Brian. I am headed to Hawaii in June. Question about the Courtyard Marriott that’s opening in June in Maui: Do they allow access/shuttle to the beach?

  • n/a

    Regarding SPG’s fifth night free offer: Is this only available on award stays where I pay the full points price for those first four nights, or can a fifth night also be had for free on cash/points redemption for the first four nights?
    I almost solely do cash-points redemptions, and have never seen a fifth night free being offered on the site during my booking process.

  • thepointsguy

    Not available with cash and points unfortunately

  • Betsy Wuebker

    We did the Beachcomber Priority Points +$40 deal in January on an overnight stop in Honolulu before heading to Maui and Kauai. They treated us like royalty with a complimentary ocean view upgrade and welcome gift. Really nice experience, and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again. You look over the Royal Hawaiian to the beach and ocean on the higher floors. Convenient to everything.

  • Latimer

    darn – when did waikiki go up to a cat 5?

  • Jill Harrison

    Oy. We just got back from the Big Island this weekend, and now you’re making me want to go back. :)

  • immiLawyer

    Don’t forget about the Outrigger properties.

  • Jim

    Great review, I would add on the Big Island Marriotts Waikoloa beach resort it’s a cat 5 and worth 25000 points per night.

  • karen

    this is not really near a nice beach-the harbor where the cruise ships dock is nearby. I checked their website and they mention shuttle service from OGG, but there is no mention of beaches.

  • Allison Marino

    i stayed at the days inn on maui in the fall of 2010, and while basic, it was a good value. it is in kihei, which has significantly more budget friendly dining options then the kapalua-lahaina-kaanapali area. we got an $89 dollar rate. you cant beat that for an oceanfront property. plus it was easier access to the hana highway and upcountry sights. and no silly resort fee!

  • Vlad

    I just came back (a week ago) from the Big Island where we stayed at the Sheraton using Cash & Points. (Were also at the Westin Princeville in Kauai for a week before that, also Cash & Points.) Sheraton was a good deal. Nice hotel, undergoing reconstruction. They upgraded us to partial ocean view (I’m only SPG Preferred Plus) after I expressed concern about noise at checkin. The hotel was half empty. Decent service, although some at the front desk seemed rather new and more interested in chatting on the phone than helping guests. My kids loved the 200ft pool slide! Food is a bit pricy. Also, $20/day resort fee (but free WiFi).

  • Trev

    You post on 8 ) The Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach – - – - you list it on MAUI and it is on KAUAI

  • Giddy For Points

    I’m going to Oahu in a few weeks and I can’t wait! This post is getting me excited about going and I know I can go again with all these options!

  • Giddy For Points

    Oh I also forgot to mention that you can use Groupon to get great deals on activities while you are down there :)

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