Travel Agent recently put the folks at Aqua-Aston Hospitality on the spot by asking representatives we met with to pick out the company’s most attractive Hawaiian hotels for Millennials vacationing in the Aloha State.
And here’s what we found.
In no particular order, here are Aqua-Aston Hospitality’s five best hotels (out of roughly 50 Hawaiian properties) to pitch to Millennials, according to Elizabeth Churchill, chief revenue officer for the company.
The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club
The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club is Waikiki’s latest boutique property, offering 112 bungalows and guest suites. From private lanais (balconies) in the guest rooms, travelers have a great Instagram-worthy view of the hand-painted illustration at the bottom of the Swim Club pool that spells, "Wish you were here.”
The property offers a rotating calendar of insider programming for Millennials from DJ sessions to yoga and meditation in the penthouse to lei making classes. Last month, in fact, the hotel teamed up with the James Beard nominated chef Ed Kenney, who is the man behind the onsite restaurant Mahina & Sun’s, to curate a farm tour excursion, "Aloha Aina," where clients can get their hands dirty learning about organic farming at two West Oahu community-based, non-profit farms, Kahumana Farms and Ma'o Organic Farms.
The Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites
Situated on the Ala Wai Wacht Marina at the edge of Waikiki, the Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites is an oceanfront hotel recognized worldwide from the opening credits of "Hawaii Five-0." Following a $14 million renovation, the hotel now offers luxury condo suites on its top floors, transforming floors 22 through 25 into luxury studios and two bedroom suites. Every Friday night, guests can enjoy the best view of the fireworks over downtown Waikiki from their own balconies.
In addition, the second floor pool deck was renovated so travelers can choose to relax poolside or at Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon and Beach. Guests can choose from other amenities, such as the Ilikai Massage Spa or enjoying a meal rooftop at Sarento’s for sweeping views of Waikiki paired with delicious Mediterranean fare.
Volcano House is the only hotel located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and caters to travelers with a sense of adventure. Featuring spacious guest rooms of rustic island design, the historic property is located on the rim of the continuously erupting Kilauea Volcano with spectacular “close-up” views from the hotel’s large picture windows. Guests can feast upon locally-sourced dishes – fresh fish, line-caught from the waters off the Island of Hawaii, beef raised on the grasslands of Kuahiwi Ranch, wild mushrooms and sweet potatoes grown on the Hamakua Coast – at The Rim restaurant while gazing upon the caldera.
Kauai Shores Hotel
The quirky, retro-inspired Kauai Shores Hotel on the Coconut Coast of Kauai is home to the only “toes in the sand” restaurant in Kauai, Lava Lava Beach Club. Diners can enjoy sipping cocktails and savoring local flair right on the beach. Specialty cocktails feature local ingredients like coconut vodka, ginger liqueur and Hawaiian pineapple juice, and signature dishes include the famous pineapple fried rice.
The hotel is currently renovating the pool that will feature a cocktail hotline, allowing guests to call the Lava Lava Beach Club and request any cocktails on the restaurant’s menu to be directly delivered to their poolside lounge spot.
Lotus Honolulu Hotel
Located at the foothills of Diamond Head crater, Lotus Honolulu Hotel in Oahu provides a "Personal Fitness and Wellness Concierge." Travelers may request a private workout session, or take sunrise yoga classes on the beach - exclusive to Lotus guests. Guests can also choose to join the staff and fellow guests at the Lotus’s daily wine reception from 4 - 6 p.m. in the lobby.
Located at the foothills of Diamond Head crater, this hotel offers great views of Diamond Head and gives guests the chance to hike Diamond Head as a scenic, daily workout. Travelers also gain access to unlimited beach cruiser use and take their own, self-guided tour around Waikiki, Kapiolani Park or around Diamond Head.
The Lotus also expanded its daily wellness offerings for health-minded guests with a "Morning Wellness Menu," where guests can select from a number of healthy activities to jumpstart their day, including free tai chi classes. During this centuries-old practice, guests can connect their “being” through smooth and fluid motions. Tai Chi is designed to open the joints, strengthen breathing, improve balance and enhance relaxation.