Luxuriate at this Waikiki beach resort for less than $200 a night


By Steve Bell

Photo credit: DVIDS

Imagine watching a tropical sunset from the balcony of your beach-side hotel room. Then imagine getting that room for a fraction of what guests at the hotel next door are paying.

It’s possible at the Hale Koa Hotel , an Armed Forces Recreation Center, located right on the beach in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Destination: paradise

Photo credit: DVIDS

The Hale Koa, Hawaiian for “House of the Warrior”, is located on the grounds of Fort DeRussy, a large parcel of “undesirable” beach-side land purchased by the US Army in 1906. It sits on the beach next to the many other hotels catering to Hawaii’s civilian tourists.

US military members and other qualified individuals will find rates that are about half what the other Waikiki beach-side hotels charge. The Hale Koa’s rates are based upon room type and rank so that lower ranking individuals can better afford stays.

The Hale Koa has 817 rooms in a wide range of types, everything from parking lot views to full oceanfront views. Prices range from the earlier mentioned $91 for a junior enlisted standard room to $289 per night for an official travel deluxe oceanfront room. Comparable rooms at the Outrigger Reef which is next door run from $279 to $519 per night!

Hawaiian Luaus, Shows, and More

On Mondays and Thursdays, Hawaiian tradition comes alive as the Hale Koa puts on a Hawaiian Luau.  Complete with native delicacies and local entertainment, this evening of fun shouldn’t be missed. Other entertainment options include a Magic in Paradise dinner show featuring a buffet meal and a twice weekly comedy show.

Besides these shows there are a wide variety of activities available to fill your days:

  • Friday night fireworks
  • Garden tours
  • Free concerts
  • Local arts and crafts for sale
  • Hula lessons
  •  Tennis
  • Aqua aerobics
  •  Tour and travel desk which has a wide range of island excursions available

Dining options

Photo credit: DVIDS

The Hale Koa offers a wide range of dining options right on the property:

Bibas opens for dinner late afternoons and offers continental favorites and a mix of island and ethnic blends. Steaks, pastas, local fish including mahi mahi, and kalua pork are but a few of the offerings.

The Koko Cake offers a breakfast buffet, a large lunchtime salad bar, weekend dinner buffets, and regular lunch and dinner menus with a wide range of items.

There are five fast foodoptions, which offer items from beverages, soft serve ice cream, and Starbucks coffee to snacks, hamburgers, fries, and hot dogs.

If you are in the mood for an adult beverage, the Hale Koa offers three bars. My favorite is the Barefoot Bar, located right next to the beach and pool area. Sip on Hawaii’s best mai-tai while watching the sunset over the Pacific.

Other amenities

You’ll also find that the Hale Koa has a full-service spa available for your enjoyment. Imagine starting your day in paradise with a relaxing full body massage. Just make sure you reserve your treatment well ahead of time as the spa is very busy!

If you are up for a workout in paradise, check out The Point Fitness Center. A wide variety of state-of-the-art fitness equipment, weight machines, and cardiovascular equipment is available as well as a sauna and steam room.

Waikiki outside your door

Photo credit: DVIDS, Christine Cabalo

While you could spend your entire vacation without leaving the Hale Koa, downtown Waikiki with all of its dining, shopping, and entertainment options is just a short walk away.

You can spend hours exploring the International Marketplace. (I have!) It is several blocks worth of shopping featuring local merchants and interesting food stands tucked away among banyan trees.

Explore island life at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Grill your own fresh fish and steaks at the Shore Bird Restaurant and Beach Bar,  just a short walk down the beach from the Hale Koa. This was always a must do for the Air Force crews I flew with.

Named after famous surfer, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku,  the father of international surfing, Dukes is just a little further down the beach. They have excellent food in a cozy island setting.

And later on, check out the nightlife at Moose McGillycuddys.

All of these options are all within a 10- to 15-minute walk of the Hale Koa.

Military-owned and operated

The Armed Forces Recreation Centers are Joint Service facilities which are operated by Army MWR for the purpose of providing affordable Rest & Recreation facilities for US military members. Besides the Hale Koa there are three other AFRCs worldwide: Dragon Hill Lodge in Korea, Edelweiss Resort and Lodge in Germany, and the Shades of Green Resort  at Walt Disney World.

All of these resorts are full service hotels, offering not only low cost rooms in fantastic settings, but also great dining and entertainment options. The AFVCs all operate solely on internally generated funds; no taxpayer money is required for upkeep or operations.

Paradise is waiting

If your military family is ready for a Hawaiian vacation, the Hale Koa Hotel is the way to go. It is a first-class resort right in the middle of all the action and the prices can’t be beat!

49 Comments

  1. We are retired USAF and celebrating 55 yrs marriage. Daughter and husband accompanying us. Are there rooms with 2 king beds or suites of 2 rooms with one king in each room?
    How far ahead do we need to book for Oceanview rooms?
    Pay Grade is E 7. Does the room price include the cost of 4 people?

    1. Hello Charlotte,

      Congratulations on 55 years of marriage. That is fabulous! I can’t answer your questions with complete accuracy, but I bet you can find the answers to most of your questions here, http://www.halekoa.com/. Or you can call the Hale Koa at (808) 955-0555.

      I hope this helps. Have a fabulous trip! You are going to love the Hale Koa.

      Danya

    1. Hello Robert,

      That is a good question. That is your credit card for the exchange, correct? I don’t have the answer to that. My hunch is that you will be able to use it in their exchange (they have one on property), but not in the hotel. Give them a call. I am sure they can answer your question, CONUS 1-800-367-6027 or 808-955-0555. I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!
      Danya

    2. We have a Star Card and it can be used on any military installation. You can use it in the hotel in the restaurant and to pay your hotel bill. You cannot use it other wise such as at Red Lobster or ABC Store, etc.

  2. I’m planning my vacation. Can I book 3 rooms for my weeks stay? All the people that will be staying in the rooms are dep. family members.

    1. Hey Keith,

      Great question. Unfortunately, I do not have the answer for you. You can call the Hale Koa directly at CONUS 1-800-367-6027 or 808-955-0555.

      I hope this helps,

      Danya

    2. If you go to the Hale Koa website and under eligibility you will get your answer. Read the whole answer. I do believe you can reserve 2 additional rooms but I may be wrong so check out the website.

    1. Great question Pam,

      Does anyone out there know which tower is the best? View? Remodeled rooms?

      Thanks!
      Danya

    2. We have stayed there every year and the Ilima Tower and get an Ocean View. Beautiful! It is the remodeled tower also. We were there in Oct and they said they were starting to remodel the other tower. We have never had a bad room in this tower and the view of the ocean can’t be beat for the price of the room.

  3. Coming for a repeat visit to the Hale Koa with family. Need a stroller and a scooter. Can you tell me where in the vicinity we can rent these?

  4. Hi, guess 0-5 is “other” category — I am a retired Army 0-5 and would like reservations sometime in Sep- Oct.
    Reservations would be for one (me). Never got to go there when my husband a retired 0-5 was living but he loved his 4 year assignment there after Vietnam– figure its about time I see the Fort and Hawaii.
    Please tell me what the rate s are approximately (would like a water view but dont need any upgraded place except maybe a handicap bath/shower).

    thanks

    1. Hello Nick,

      The Hale Koa is not an all inclusive resort. There are plenty of restaurants there with good prices.

      Danya

    1. Hello Randy,
      I just spent time at the Hale Koa in August. We rented a car which was great and not expensive at all. There is a parking garage right across the street from the resort. It is about 20 minutes from the airport. There are many taxis and they also have Uber.
      I hope this helps.
      Have a great trip!
      Danya

  5. It is really a nice and helpful piece of info. I
    am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Could my dad, age 92, WW2 Navy veteran, qualify for hotel rooms there?
    Thank you for your response.
    Brenda Dannewitz

  7. I have a reservation that I was hoping to change. I have called their phone number 9 times in 2 days. No human will ever answer. So frustrating.

    1SG(R) Phil Taves

  8. I was wondering if there would be room available or the 12 june to 17 june 2017 2 adults.
    thanks SFC retired Virgilin Carithers

  9. My husband & I stayed at the Hale Koa last Sept for my Bday ,, We had the Most Amazing week ever, everyone there is so friendly & helpful, I am looking to surprise my husband this Sept for his 60 th Bday,, Can’t wait . Looking forward to this Sept😍…..

  10. What are the rates for retired 90 year old E-9
    And are wheel chairs available. for use while staying in hawaii

  11. I would like to vacation in Hawaii for Christmas 2017 and would like to know the availability and rates for the period December 21 thru December 30. It will be for me and wife only, I am retired Army, I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks.

  12. I’m retire USCG MST1 can you give a price from June 15 to June22 2017 ocean front will make the reservation as soon as you give a price would like some pamphlets to my home 2741 waller ferry rd Lenoir City Tn thank you

  13. I,m retired airforce senior master sargent can you give me a price an availability any time for a stay of 6 days in october of 2017 Thank you!

  14. Hello a retired army and my wife and brother and sister in-law are coming to Hawaii in Nov. My brother and sister in-law are not military can they stay in your hotel with us.

  15. I would like to get a quote for an active duty US Army COL. 2 adults 3 kids for early July for 8 days 7 nights.

  16. What time of the year is the hotel and surrounding areas the best time for a disabled vet with walking limits to visit and enjoy?
    I was stationed at Pearl for a year or so then at Army hospital for few months but that was in 1965 and 1966, so I am sure things have changed a lot and this info. Would be helpful in planning a week trip there!!

  17. Is the retired military person required to accompany the dependent spouse and her guests when staying at the Hale Koa?

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