Starwood’s Sheraton Waikiki hotel is a sprawling complex of guest rooms and restaurants, encompassing an impressive range of both shopping and leisure activities as well as business facilities, all in an ocean-side setting in the heart of Waikiki’s busy tourist area.
Favoured by convention-goers and holiday-makers alike, we put the Sheraton Waikiki through its paces as both a popular meetings and events venue, as well as a beach resort playground for unwinding in after business is taken care of.
Location & Impressions
The boomerang-shaped Sheraton Waikiki sits in the middle of the Waikiki beach stretch, with the Hyatt Regency to its South and the Hilton Beach Resort to its North.
While one end of the hotel sits directly on the beach, the other end touches Kalakua avenue, offering plenty of dining and shopping options.
The Sheraton Waikiki is located conveniently just steps away from the new Galleria and International Marketplace, while the Hawaii Convention Centre is a pleasant 15 – 20 minute walk away, or a 5 minute cab ride.
Honolulu International Airport is approximately 45 minutes drive from the Sheraton Waikiki, and when you first arrive you begin to appreciate the sheer scale of the Sheraton - housing 1,636 guest rooms and suites, with 80% of rooms featuring an ocean-front view, this is not exactly a boutique property.
Staff at this hotel are friendly and courteous, but with a property of this size it’s difficult for the service to not feel impersonal.
Rooms at the Sheraton Waikiki are offered up in a number of different configurations, with City View, Mountain View and Ocean View rooms making up the bulk of the inventory of smaller rooms.
Most rooms feature a king-size bed, working desk and Wi-Fi, a television and safe. Taking advantage of the location, most rooms also offer small curved balconies, while larger suites offer up sitting areas and dining tables.
The rooms themselves are clean and functional, but not exactly spectacular – modest furnishings and décor mean that you’ll want to spend most of your time outside of your room. The compact bathrooms have all the amenities you’d require, but are basic at best with most rooms featuring a combined shower / bathtub.
It’s highly recommended to opt for a room on the higher levels – not only are the views spectacular over the ocean, but they’re also much quieter than the lower levels. As a popular tourist hotel, noise can be an issue, especially late at night.
It’s also worth noting that all rooms are dinged with a ‘resort charge’ of $34.55 per day, which covers internet access, unlimited local / international calls, and a range of other amenities.
Most rooms at the Sheraton feature a small working desk and chair combo, which is adequate for taking care of daily tasks but not for a long work session. The Wi-Fi is fast enough when only one device is connected, but trying to connect multiple devices brings the speed down.
Business services at the Sheraton Waikiki are extensive (this is, after all, an incredibly popular convention and meetings venue), and there’s even a fully-fledged Xerox Document centre, offering up copying, printing, design and layout services. There are also cell phone and office equipment rentals, as well as packaging, shipping and fax services.
The Sheraton Waikiki offers up 16 different meeting spaces, with capacitiy for up to 3,700 guests and everything in between for smaller events and meetings.
While you’ll have the basic amenities you need to get some work done, keep in mind that this property is much more geared towards leisure travellers - the lobby and other public areas can be quite crowded and noisy, so getting in and out quickly can sometimes be difficult.
Waikiki has no shortage of dining options, ranging from casual eateries to upscale fine dining restaurants.
Within the Sheraton Waikiki, there is a range of dining options:
- Kai Market, styled as a farm-to-table buffet for breakfast and dinner
- Rumfire, a bar/lounge restaurant offering up cocktails and street foods from around the world
- The Edge of Waikiki, a breezy, open air restaurant taking full advantage of the Pacific ocean views
- Hapas Pizza, a casual pizzeria with Hawaiian influences
There’s also no need to stay confined to the Sheraton property – Starwood is offering guests a ‘Stay at One, Dine at All’ program that means you can charge hotel restaurant meals at any of the four Starwood Waikiki properties to your hotel room. The program includes the Sheraton Waikiki, the Moana Surfrider, The Royal Hawaiian and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.
If you’re after something even more indulgent we can recommend La Mer at the Halekulani Hotel, one of Honolulu’s most lauded French restaurants.
When it comes to relaxing, this is where the Sheraton Waikiki truly excels. There’s an incredible range of activities on offer, including a fitness centre with guided classes as well as a number of cultural activities.
That being said, it’s hard to look past the Sheraton’s two pools, right on the beachfront. With infinity edges, it seems like the pools stretch out all the way to the horizon, and makes for a truly relaxing ocean-side swim.
There’s also a great range of poolside food and beverages, and the staff are more than happy to offer surfing lessons and stand-up paddle board classes, as well as outrigger canoe rides and in-depth knowledge of the Hawaiian surf culture.
Although its rooms are a little unimpressive, the Sheraton Waikiki offers up a plethora of activities to keep you occupied during your stay. As a business hotel, it’s functional and not lacking in amenities, however you shouldn’t expect the polish and attention to detail that mainland U.S. or Asian hotels tend to offer.
If you have a meeting or event in Waikiki and you’re not planning on spending a lot of time in your room, the Sheraton Waikiki is a good choice – otherwise we’d look towards something like the Trump International in Waikiki, which has a much more business-focused feel.