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4842Re: Honolulu apt's/condo's

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  • Cadia
    Mar 25, 2013
      TJ . . .

      If you need quick access to downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, you don't want to stay too far away. Rental cars, gas and parking cost a fortune!

      I always stay in Waikiki and within steps of public transit. Seniors pay only $1 per trip with a Medicare card. I bought a senior card ($10) on my first trip in 2010 (it expires in 2014), then a monthly $5 sticker for unlimited rides. (My stays varied from 12 to 18 days and I got at least $30 worth of bus rides each year.) Oh, and I book airport transfers with Roberts; great service, a rep meets you at the gate and the rates are less than with a hotel package deal.

      In 2010 and 2011, I stayed at Hokele Suites (a Castle Group property) on Lewers Street, about 2 blocks from where DB lived in 1954-55. Not a fancy place, but the staff is very friendly and helpful. I paid about $80/night for a studio suite with full kitchen and dishes. The next year, I upgraded to a 1-bedroom suite at about $107. This was during August and I booked through Expedia, which also got me a reduced airline rate with senior discount. Rates before June might be less; I don't know if Hokele Suites offers a monthly rate.

      You can stock up on food at Foodland, Safeway and Times Supermarket; all are within a 10 minute bus ride (between Waikiki and Honolulu). There's also a Food Pantry a couple of blocks from the hotel, but prices are higher than at supermarkets. For Japanese food (and a lot of other goods), the Don Quijote store is a must! (Be prepared for food to cost much more than in California, wherever you shop!) I also bought snacks and an occasional salad at the ABC Stores and Whaler's General Store.

      I also enjoyed shopping in Chinatown and at various farmers markets.

      Actually, since I was out virtually every night to hear live music (and eat!), I did not do much cooking. So I kept a supply of cereal, pastries, juice, fruit and yogurt on hand for breakfast and snacks. I usually bring 2 boxes of my favorite granola bars with me; this year I'll try to remember to bring my own coffee and filters, too.

      If you search on Expedia, you'll sometimes find condos listed for short-term rental (1 month minimum) but generally with a hefty security deposit. I doubt apartments would be available for less than 6 months.

      By the way, bring your own cell phone; many lower-priced hotels charge for local calls. There's also a fee for internet access in rooms. Condos might or might not include phone or wi-fi.

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