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1777 Ala Moana Blvd, Waikiki
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This resort used to consist of two towers, but only the original 26-story Ilikai Tower remains. The top four floors and the second floor—201 rooms—are part of the hotel managed by Aqua Resorts. The rest are condos, rentals and timeshares and not included in this review and amenities. Also, the front desk can’t help you much if you haven’t rented through Aqua.

Since it’s next to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, a nautical sense permeates the resort with views that can be quite relaxing if you face the harbor. It’s not on Waikiki Beach; expect a 5-minute walk along the shoreline. Rooms renovated in 2014 are clean, white and modern. All rooms now have a full kitchen. Bathrooms are shower-only (no tubs). The hotel’s common areas have filled up since our last visit with many shops and some very popular restaurants.

They have added a new wading pool on the second floor (where the tennis courts used to be). It’s a nicer pool than the lobby deck pool, in our opinion (which is scheduled for renovations at press time), but you certainly can’t do laps in 3 feet of water. It’s more of a place to get wet and relax on the in-pool chairs.

Hawai‘i Five-O fans will appreciate that atop the roof here is where Steve McGarrett stands—looking cool, of course—during the opening theme. (Both the ’70s version and the current version.)

We gave it a Real Gem in past editions, but things need to keep moving in a positive direction before we feel confident about giving it back its old rating. Studios, which they call Jr. Suites (450–500 sq. ft.), are $600–$900, 1/1s (650 sq. ft.) are $725, 2/2s (1,240 sq. ft.) are $950–$1,400. Hope you did much better than these rack rates.