Travel Tips: How to Save on Hotel Parking in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, USA
The Waikiki Beach area of Honolulu, Hawaii, USA is a little similar to New York’s Manhattan Island; it’s virtually impossible to find a free parking stall. Hotels and tourist accommodation in the area charge visitors accordingly, with nightly rates of up to $55 USD to park a vehicle. Over a week’s stay, this can add up to $385 USD before taxes and fees. Is there a way around paying these nightly parking fees? Read on to see how we navigated around this unnecessary expense.
This post is one chapter on our trip during the pandemic to Honolulu Oahu, Hawaii, United States. This trip was redeemed through Marriott Bonvoy and further enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA via United Airlines Business Class
- Coronavirus Testing for Travel: Getting Tested for Hawaii
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport, Canada
- United Airlines Business Class: Vancouver – San Francisco
- United Club Lounge San Francisco – “F” Rotunda, USA
- United Airlines First Class: San Francisco – Honolulu
- The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Honolulu, USA
- Tips for Walking Diamond Head, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
- Roy’s Waikiki Restaurant, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, USA
- On the Locals Beach at Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
- Snorkelling at Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
- Circling the East Coast to Waimanalo Bay Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
- How to Save on Hotel Parking in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, USA
- Marakume Udon, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, USA
- The Sheraton Waikiki – Kai Suite, Honolulu, USA
- The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort – Waikiki, Historic Garden Suite, Honolulu, USA
- United Club Lounge Honolulu, USA
- United Airlines First Class: Honolulu – San Francisco
- United Club Lounge San Francisco – “G” International Terminal, USA
- United Club Lounge San Francisco – “E” Concourse, USA
- United Airlines Business Class: San Francisco – Vancouver
Travel Tip: How to Save on Hotel Car Rental Parking in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America.
The Waikiki Beach area of Honolulu is one of the most popular locations to stay at when visiting the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The are is so convenient, you usually don’t need to have a car while you’re staying here as everything is so walkable from your hotel.
The Waikiki Beach area is full of resort hotels, and is almost completely surrounded by water; the Waikiki Beach on the southern side, and the Ala Wai canals on East and North side of the Waikiki Beach area.
This physical building environment consisting of a high density series of hotel and residential towers, combined with a set of urban streets that don’t offer a lot of parking, generally cause guests to park at expensive hotel rates above $55 USD a night. This can add up to over $385 USD a week in parking on a weekly rental, even before taxes and fees are added to your bill.
The only other alternative, is to spend time parking outside of the Waikiki Beach area, and walking twenty minutes back into the Waikiki Beach to get back to their hotel.
However, there is a work around to this problem for the savvy frequent traveller that can save you paying the over $50 a night parking fees with hotels and parking garages.
Renting a Car for the Day (instead of for the week):
While staying in Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, instead of renting a car for a weekly rental, consider taking a bus / taxi / uber to Waikiki Beach from the airport, and renting a car on a “daily when – and – as – needed basis”.
Join the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Loyalty Program:
Frequent travellers can sign up for the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards loyalty program. The Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program is pretty easy to enroll, and it makes rentals much faster as your drivers licence and credit card information is stored on file. This allows an easy check in and out process at the rental car counter, that typically takes less than 10 minutes. If you find yourself renting from a major airport location in the future, you can even select your own car; a terrific feature of their loyalty program.
There are a few rental car agencies in the Waikiki Beach Area. One of our favourites is the Hertz Hyatt Regency HLE Rental Car location in the upper mall and basement of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach.
Pick up your Car:
There is an upstairs lobby reception where most of the processing occurs.
Followed by the car dispensing location in the basement where there is a small administrative office and the keys are kept for the cars.
After the paperwork is complete, you’ll typically be led out to your car in the basement underground garage. You’ll be on your way in minutes,
The Hertz Waikiki Beach HLE edition requires to you to take the car immediately from the rental location after you’ve picked it up. If you aren’t ready to head out on the road for the day, you’ll have to find a local parking spot elsewhere.
Returning the Rental Car After Hours:
I typically made my reservations for a twenty four hour “one day” period to avoid any Hertz IT warnings that the rental office would be closed during my rental.
While the office hours of this particular location are advertised as 8 AM to 5 PM, there is an unpublished and non marketed work around to returning your car after hours.
The Hertz Waikiki Beach offers an after hours drop off on top of the Royal Hawaiian Center mall parking lot on the top floor of the parking garage at 2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States.
If you ask for the “after hours” return when you collect your car, you’ll be provided with an instruction sheet and a map to the Royal Hawaiian Parking Garage. The Royal Hawaiian Parking Garage is located next to the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian by Luxury Collection hotels.
You can return your rental after hours by parking it on the roof of the parking garage, and by leaving the keys in the unattended drop box safe located by the security office.
Returning a Rental Car:
On arrival to the garage, you just need to pull a parking garage ticket, and make your way to the top level. There are several parkade garage entrances, so make sure you select the right one.
On arrival to the top floor, you have to find a marked Hertz Stall. There are about 12 of them. Although on my last visit, there were about 20 hertz rentals cared on the roof. People were also occasionally using unmarked stalls.
We rented several cars during a ten day stay in Waikiki Beach, returning them all after hours without any issues. In doing so, we also got 3 Elite Rental credits that qualified for Hertz President’s Circle status for the year as well.
The garage is open twenty four hours, so you can return your car whenever you’re finished using it. We returned cars between 5:30 PM to 10 PM without any issues.
After you’ve parked your car, you can navigate to return the keys at the elevator bank located next to the security office in the Royal Hawaiian Mall. You’ll have to take an elevator (or stairs) down from floor ten to floor four.
There is a very visible key box situated next to the security office.
Although there was a caution about vandalism on the key box, we didn’t see any issues or persons of concern that would cause us concern with leaving a rental vehicle (or risk of damage) on the roof of this well to do shopping mall.
As always, make sure the key has disappeared into the key box after hours safe, so that someone isn’t enjoying your rental at your expense.
After dropping the keys, you complete the online return form through a scan of the QR code, completing mileage, vehicle licence number and other return information.
As with every rental, I always take a few photos of the condition of the car. I also take a snap of the key fob to make sure I get the car information correct off the identification tag. This makes filling out the on line form a lot easier and more accurate which increases the efficiency in having your car rental account invoice closed in a prompt manner.
In my experience, the Hertz Hyatt Waikiki Beach closed our car rental contract fairly promptly. We would have our final bill in our account usually by 2 PM the next day.
Advantages of this method:
The advantages of this method are that you’re going to save a substantial amount on parking fees. You’re also not going to have to worry about the safety of the car throughout your holiday. Lastly, if you do it right, you’ll also stack a whole bunch of elite rental credits and frequent flier points to your preferred frequent flier program.
Disadvantages of this method:
The disadvantages of this method are that you had to attend the rental car counter on the days you want to be on the road. You’ll have to maintain several reservations (possibly separate reservations) in order to get the rental days that you want. Not having a rental car when you arrive at the Honolulu International Airport means that you have to find alternate transportation between the Airport and Waikiki Beach. There is also the very slim possibility that someone may damage the rental car overnight while it’s parked on the roof of the Royal Hawaiian Mall parkade. If you’re not comfortable with the slim risk that there might be damage by vandals to your rental car, this might not be the best option for you.
My Final Thoughts on Daily Car Rentals in Waikiki Beach:
Getting a daily rental when and as you need it can save you the expense of $50 USD a night in overnight parking fees. While it is a little less convenient, the saving’s can really add up. In our case, we only used a rental car for three days of activities over a ten day stay. Under our circumstances, it was well worth renting on a twenty four hour period and returning the car after hours.