Hostelling International Honolulu, Honolulu

169 Reviews
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Hostelling International Honolulu Reviews


My 2 sons, who is age 17 and 12, will travel with me to Hawaii.

I think the location and the facility is what I am looking for.

Age 48 | TW

in truth one could easily go on & on extolling hawai'i university hostel, i'm certain a jewel in hostellng international's crown. a word re location -- i'm from kaua'i & have spent alot of time on o'ahu, particularly @ UH & in manoa valley. its peace & quiet sensibilities, tolerance, respect for beauty, nature, & learning have made it my favorite o'ahu venue. advantages of the location are readily apparent vis-a-vis the city, beaches, ocean, & mountains w/ their hiking possibilities. though it's well, & mostly intelligently, developed & quite populous, manoa has the feel & mood of a rural area nestled, fortuitously for us all, between mountain & city.

u.s. of a.

HI - Honolulu - Waikiki Hostel is a great option for exploring everything Waikiki has to offer if you are looking for a no-frills hostel.

The Location

The hostel is located on quiet Prince Edward Street in a secure bright blue/green, multi-story apartment building just a block back from Waikiki Beach. It is in a great spot with bars, restaurants, and the beach all within walking distance and if you need to go further afield then most likely the bus you need will stop on one of the two main streets (Kuhio or Kalakaua) running parallel to Prince Edward Street.

Parking is available underneath the hostel in a secure parking lot (there is a per-day cost as well as a key deposit). If coming from the airport, the shuttle companies can drop you off at the door or if you only have a small bag then you can catch a public bus to just around the corner on Kuhio Street.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There is a wide range of room options available at HI - Honolulu - Waikiki Hostel, including dorm rooms and privates. Single-sex dorm rooms all have six beds that are split up into three beds on each side of a shared bathroom and have small lockers in the room. Privates are available in twin, double, and a family room that fits four. We stayed in the twin, which is a very sparse and not-very-inviting room that just has a bunk, complete with thin plastic covered mattress and zebra-print sheets, a bin, and a few hooks on the wall. The room is also connected by a padlocked door to a dorm room, so sound travels from the room next door. The windows are also only made of overlapping glass shutters that you can open and close to let in air, but they never fully close so sound comes in through them too. All privates come with a small en suite bathroom, which -- like the room itself -- could do with some love and some investment in some bathmats, as they just leave an old towel to use instead.

Common Spaces

There is one main common area situated on the first floor, which has a kitchen equipped with stove, microwave, and anything else you need to cook a basic meal. There's also a dining area with a few tables and chairs and a lounge area with a TV and some books to read. It is quite a small space with limited seating, so it doesnt invite much socializing and no one was really talking to each other during our stay. Alcohol is also not permitted in the hostel, which probably has an impact on the lack of vibe. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hostel. There is also snorkels, beach mats, and boogie boards that you can borrow for free during your stay. Laundry facilities are also available.

The owner is mainly the only staff member you see the entire day and it seems like a role he has been put into through obligation and doesn't seem to enjoy it, but he did get us into our room very quickly when we arrived hours before check-in and was helpful with anything we needed.


This hostel is a good option for someone who wants a cheap, no-frills base that is really close to everything you need in Waikiki but you can still get a reasonably good nights sleep, provided you can sleep on the thin mattresses. With a little love, this hostel has the potential to be great but at the moment it is lacking that wow factor.

Twin Private Room Kitchen Private Ensuite Exterior

Perfect for the quiet budget traveler

Great hostel. In residential area and therefore far more quiet than your typical loud-party-no sleep hostel experience.

Somewhat exclusive - max stay is 7 nights.

Age 21 | USA

Excellent location, friendly staff, perfectly clean

I stayed for two nights after walking by and seeing the building. It was fairly empty (3 sharing a 6 bed dorm) and it felt more so because the dorms are more like two rooms that share a bathroom so it was quite private for a dorm! I'd say about half of the people staying there were really friendly and people were up for doing things together. The staff are nice and helpful, too. It was one of the cleanest hostels I've stayed in. It's not new by any means but it doesn't smell, the bathrooms are spotless and the kitchen is kept tidy. The sheets and rooms are clean. I guess there isn't much of an atmosphere if by atmosphere you mean a place to sit around and drink (no alcohol) but if you just want a nice place to sleep and meet people to do things it's great. It's true, the area is quite loud but it's not from people partying it's more the noises of a city. There is no aircon -- just fans. The wifi worked better in my room than in the common areas. I think it's a bit expensive and I didn't like having to pay $5 to store my bags on the day of check out, but everything around Waikiki is expensive so I guess it's acceptable. I'd stay here again, definitely.


Bedbugs! Dirty, rundown, drab, and depressing

This place was beyond dirty and in a state of disrepair. I awoke the first morning covered in bites. Staff were rude though out stay and just didn't seem to care about any guest concerns raised by several people. The place had no character and wasn't a happy place to be. I wouldn't go back nor recommend it. I'm confused about how this place could have such a good rating.

Age 25 | Canada

Clean and quiet

I have been staying at this hostel for many years as I pass through Honolulu. I do not want a party atmosphere, so this place is perfect for me. I travel light, so I usually use The Bus from the airport. I can either then walk to shops or take a bus to them. There is a natural food store and numerous small shops just down the road, so stocking up is no problem. The same family has run the hostel for years and recognizes me when I come. It makes me feel like a family member!


HI - Honolulu, University Hostel is lovely; it's clean and quiet, yet social and easy to meet people, located away from busy Waikiki.

The Location

Although it's set back from the road, the hostel is easy to locate, as its mail box on the sidewalk of Seaview Avenue (off University Avenue) is labelled with 2323A and the HI symbol. There are bus stops within a few minutes' walk of the hostel with fairly frequent buses going downtown, to Ala Moana mall, and to Waikiki. Getting to and from the airport is either expensive or time consuming, involving a shuttle; a taxi; or two buses (changing at Ala Moana mall or Waikiki), which can take as long as ninety minutes. However, since the hostel is in a residential area, it is very quiet and peaceful, and there are some shops and restaurants a short walk away.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are individual female and male blocks. The female block consists of three dorms of no more than eight beds and a bathroom of two basins, two toilets, and two showers. If a male is to enter the block, for example to clean, he will shout out as he enters to alert you. The dorms and bathrooms are cleaned every day and are lovely and clean. There are no locks on the individual doors to the dorms, but a combination lock for the outside block door. This is locked between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., but if you are concerned about your valuables, there are lockers within the blocks, for which you either provide your own padlock or purchase one from the office. The office is open 8 a.m. to noon, and 4 p.m. to midnight, although there is usually a staff member or the owner around during the closed times.

Common Spaces

There is an inside social area with couches, dining table, and computer, which is good for relaxing in and escaping the occasional Hawaiian rain. It can be quite quiet though, so the best area for socialising is the outer area between the dorms and the living room. During summer 2012, they have been renovating this patio area and so space is limited, but it promises to be a very nice area when finished. The kitchen is well equipped (it even has kettles, which are rare in American hostels!) and immaculately clean. There are laundry facilities -- one washer and one dryer.

There is a per-minute charge to use the computer, regardless of whether you use the internet or not, as the computer is new and the owner is still paying it off. However, the Wi-Fi at the hostel is free, and you can use a computer for free in the library of the nearby university (although only for one hour a day and the security guards do keep an eye on you and impose this!). They will store luggage at the hostel for free while you explore the other islands, providing that you stay there at least a night before and after your island hopping.


The atmosphere of the hostel is calm and relaxed, yet friendly and quite social. This is not a party hostel.

Emma C

More reviews...

Hostelling International Honolulu Reviews from the Web

Liked: Really relaxed and quiet but very friendly. Close to the beach and provided many activities.  Disliked: Jamie left no negative feedback.
Jamie Campbell
Liked: Great hostel! Friendly and helpful staff. Larry leads tours during January and February and another volunteer leads tours in the summer. Larry did a great job of bringing us to some popular and some hidden gems around Waikiki. We had the opportunity to go on hikes, bike rides, city tours, snorkeling, boat rides, and much more! Usually you just pay $5 for bus fare for most activities. All the activities allowed me to meet other people from around the world and have fun in Hawaii. You'll enjoy staying here.  Disliked: Some people don't like the no drinking policy, but it's only at the hostel. It keeps away the party people. The street noise was a little loud due to construction the week I stayed at HI Waikiki.
Bruce Brekhus
Liked: location is perfect.  Disliked: the owner isn't friendly.

he is a selfish old man who has a bad-tempered person.

he has a bad attitude with guests and staff says he is owner and he isn't arguable.

he destroyed our travel with this atmosphere.

farzad ganjipour
Liked: Close to Waikiki beach, has a very good kitchen, is quiet, very helpful staff, able to book tours there and comfy beds.  Disliked: Nothing
Anna Beale
Liked: situation  Disliked: Tourisic information could be more accurate
Laurier Mongrain
Liked: location was good. Wifi was good when it wanted to be. A lot of free beach stuff to use. Kitchen is clean. We had no bugs in our room.  Disliked: I wouldn't recommend this hostel for a backpacker as we found it quite expensive. We paid for our room rate which we knew the price off, we then read the extra information and found out we had to pay an extra $3 each a night as we weren't a member. But when we arrived we were then told we had to pay an extra $8 a night!!! for cleaning. We weren't told of this at all and when they say 'cleaning' we though someone will clean our room everyday (as we're paying for it) but no it's for when u check out - I thought that's what every hostel does ?? Too many extras. Wifi was rubbish when we first got there
Customer review
Liked: It is really close to the beach

They lend you beach chairs for free

Good staff

Very clean  Disliked: No social/atmosphere

No group activities

Kitchen social area shuts at 12 midnight

Only one toilet bathroom between 7\8 people and no separate toilet if u need to go when there is someone in the shower

ruth valentine
Liked: Locations is great! It's really really close to the beach. Staff was friendly and helpful. Rooms were nice and clean.  Disliked: You don't have Wifi in the room. So everyone goes to the commonroom to sit there with a smartphone or laptop. It's annoying and everyone is too occupied with the internet to actually get to know each other.
Customer review
Liked: Great team of people, nice kitchen, close to the beach, great price.  Disliked: The mattress was kind of uncomfortable and it's coils were jutting into my back. I also would have like better quality Internet. Other than that the place is great.
Victoria Wallace
Liked: Just a block and a half from Waikiki Beach, close to everything. Reasonably quiet location. Had snorkel gear to borrow and tourist info.  Disliked: Bathrooms were a bit dated, internet didn't always work, but was free. Only one electrical plug to share with three other people in my half of room.
Thomas Tousek
Liked: - Great staff. Friendly all the time and helpful, even become friends with some of them

- 1min walk to waikiki beach

- facility seems old, but is very good and clean

- stay at this hostel, you wont regret it  Disliked: NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cihan-Ahmet Toy
Liked: Location is next to Waikiki beach, close to bus stop with any lines, very friendly staff, they offer 2times a week a tour for free, clean & safe  Disliked: nothing
Customer review
Liked: The place was quite clean given how old the building is, and the staff were quite friendly.  Disliked: The wifi was really slow and sometimes didn't work.
Customer review
Liked: Great location, 5-10 min walk to Waikiki beach.

Clean bathroom.

Security door at the front that you must have a key to.

Staff will help you book a tour.

Beach equipment available to use free of charge.  Disliked: Wifi does not work.

Street noise at night made it difficult to sleep.

No escalator/lift which makes it difficult if you're on the 3rd level with a heavy bag.

Just a fan in the room, would have been a nightmare if it was really hot.

Sarah Grayburn
Liked: Close to Waikiki and Farmers's Market plus Buses.

Fairly efficiently run.  Disliked: Too much noise in the late night and early morning hours, people talking too loud and strange, loud laughter from strange people etc.

Customer review
Liked: They deserve a good reputation.

The facilities are old and in not so good repair, but cleaning is perfect.

The staff cleans the room every day.

There are no bed-bug worried about all over the world now.  Disliked: My internet connection was cut off,and Connection was slow.

Customer review
Liked: Location  Disliked: Stuff was unfriendly, Not helpful at all, it was very loud
Customer review
Liked: I loved the staff and the location.  Disliked: I did not have any concerns.
Edward Kosydar
Liked: people friendly  Disliked: FAN CHIANG left no negative feedback.
Liked: Location, cleanliness and room.  Disliked: Sometimes no Internet connection.
Customer review


2 blocks from Waikiki Beach. Clean & safe!
We have an activities coordinator that specializes in discounted adventure tours:
-Shark cage dive
-Scuba diving
-rental cars
-Surf lessons
-Inter-island tickets

Free to borrow:
-boogie boards
-snorkel gear
-beach mats
-ironing board
-guide books

-towels $1
-coin laundry $1
-laundry soap $.50
-internet 10 minutes $1
-parking for $5 a day

Additional Information:

Each guest must show a government issued photo ID to check-in.

Private Room Rates for 2009
- $58 per night with membership; $64 per night without membership. Private rooms can only be reserved by calling us.

Hostelling International is a non-profit membership based organization, promoting peace through hostelling since 1909. Non-members will be asked to pay a $3 non-membership fee per night upon check-in.

Location and Contact


• Directions By Bus: If you only have one small bag go to the top level of the airport and take bus #19 or #20 for $1.50 (ask for a transfer) to the Ala Moana shopping center transfer to #6 and get off at the corner of Metcalf St. and University Ave. Walk one block north to Seaview Ave, turn left the hostel is on your left.
• Directions By Airport: Car: H-1 east to exit 24B, 3 blocks north on University Avenue. Taxi: $22. Bus: take bus #19 or #20, then transfer to bus #6 or #1B (University or Woodlawn). Don't take the taxis and shuttles that run at the airport. Call:Star Taxi: 942-7827($18) or make a reservations from USA and Canada call 800-671-2999. Super Shuttle 6am-10pm: 841-2928($10/person & $16/2 persons)



Address: 2323A Seaview Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Hostelling International Honolulu is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Hostelling International Honolulu Honolulu
Phone Number: +1 (808) 946-0591
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

+50 Traveller

Quiet Rest


Lockers in Lobby

Lockers in Rooms

Luggage Storage


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Wi-Fi in Rooms

Bike Rental


BBQ Grill

Book Collection/Exchange

Cable TV

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Currency Exchange

Entirely Non-Smoking

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental


Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Genders: Males & Females

Max. Age: All Ages

Checkout: 11:00 (11 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: 7 nights

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 8 AM - Noon & 4 PM - Midnight (08:00-12:00 & 16:00-24:00)

Size: Medium (30-60 beds)


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