Hi there! I haven’t stayed in any hotels here (except for during our wedding), but I can tell you that one of my friends really enjoyed the Waikiki Parc Hotel. She got this fantastic rate (not sure how…I think she just used one of the travel sites online and scored a good deal; right time, right place). The hotel is a sister property to the Halekulani which is hands down my FAVORITE hotel. It’s not what you’d call affordable, though. But the Parc is cute (it’s very boutique-y), altho’ the room she had was a tad bit tiny (but it *was* intended as a single), and maybe *too* mod for some peoples’ taste. It’s not beachfront, but you can see the ocean from some rooms, and the beach is quite close. (It’s home to Nobu’s Waikiki location, if that sort of thing floats your boat, tho’ personally I think we have better, less expensive Japanese restaurants in town.)
We blocked off rooms in the Sheraton Waikiki, which our guests gave mixed reviews on. Some people got renovated rooms, and some people didn’t. Gee, guess who had a better time? All in all, I think they were pretty satisfied. We stayed ourselves in the Royal Hawaiian next door, but if you’re looking for "affordable," that’s not it either. (It’s also closing June – Dec for renovations.)
The Ilikai is, in my opinion, "old fashioned." It was VERY hot back in the day (my parents had their reception there, and it was apparently, totally the cool place for that sort of thing), but you don’t hear much about it these days. I just went there for dinner last month, and it was quiet…which some people *do* like. Lots of people in the restaurant remarking about how they missed Don Ho. Our table was the youngest by about 2-3 decades. Like I said, it’s not necessarily a *bad* thing.
The HHV will definitely be a more family, busy resort. They’re huuuuge. The Hyatt is a nice hotel, but just so you know: it’s not *beachfront* — it’s across the (very busy) street from the beach. It’s not far, but if you want to hear the sound of the surf lapping at the shore below…not gonna happen there. (Actually, I don’t know that you can in a lot of hotels unless they have a lanai…windows don’t open in a lot of ’em!)
Oh, one more option: some friends of a friend threw a surprise birthday party at the Outrigger Regency — it’s a condotel, so they’re condos, not a full-on hotel. I *think* it’s the exact same place some other friends stayed when they came, and there’s been a huge renovation in the in-between years. It’s cute and boutique-y now, but it’s not beachfront. You have to shlep a few blocks, but nothing’s really that far in Waikiki. I think it’s a mile end-to-end, and less than that the ocean-to-mountain direction.