Hale Koa Hotel and Resort

The Hale Koa is a military resort located on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. We cover everything you need to know to have an enjoyable and affordable Hawaiian vacation!
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Hale Koa Hotel and Resort
Table of Contents
  1. Hale Koa Hotel – An Affordable Resort in Paradise
  2. Hale Koa Eligibility
  3. How Much Does It Cost?
  4. Rooms
  5. Hale Koa Restaurants and Bars
  6. Activities
  7. Get Out and About
  8. Getting There

Several years ago, my family and I had an amazing vacation on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. We stayed at the Hale Koa, an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) located in the Waikiki Beach area of Honolulu.

The Hale Koa is one of four Armed Forces Recreation Centers around the world run by the Army. These resorts were built for the military and are exclusively for use by military members, retirees, Department of Defense civilians and authorized guests.

Hale Koa Hotel and Resort

Hale Koa Hotel – An Affordable Resort in Paradise

The Hale Koa resort is located on 72 acres on Waikiki Beach in downtown Honolulu. It boasts a gorgeous beachfront location, so you can walk from your room to the sand in just a few minutes. If you get tired of the mesmerizing brilliant blue water, you can take your pick of four swimming pools. Hungry? There are nine eateries, ranging from fine dining to beach bars. You’ll also find an Exchange; a fitness center; walking and jogging trails, laundry facilities and parking.

A beachfront rental shop makes it easy to snag umbrellas, chairs, snorkel gear, kayaks, and longboards – all at prices to make your wallet smile. 

Hale Koa Resort Map

Hale Koa Eligibility

The Hale Koa is for military members and their families, so there are some eligibility restrictions regarding who can use the resort.

  • Armed Forces and their families, to include active duty, Guard / Reserve and Cadets at the Service Academies. Use your Common Access Card as identification.
  • Other uniformed services, including Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps. Use DD Form 2, PHS 1866-1 or 1866-3 for identification.
  • Military retirees, to include Gray area retirees of the Guard / Reserves. Use DD Form 2, 1173 or 1173-1.
  • Select separated service members: Those with 100% disability rating (use DD Form 1173 or DD Form 2765), those who were involuntarily separated and are eligible for TAMP (use DD Form 2) and personnel separated under the Voluntary Separation Incentive and Special Separation Benefit (use DD Form 2).
  • Former and/or surviving spouses and family members. (ID is DD Form 1173 or 1173-1).
  • Select DoD civilians, foreign military and others who are working on joint military projects or are otherwise authorized. Use DD Form 1173 or 2765.
  • Department of Defense civilians and family members, current and retired. Use DoD or CG ID card, retired ID card or current leave and earnings statement with photo ID.

Eligible members can also sponsor additional rooms for guests.

How Much Does It Cost?

Room rates at the Hale Koa range from $149-$394 per night (current rates valid till Sept. 30, 2022) and are based on two factors: the location of the room in the resort and the member’s rank or status.

As you might expect, the better the view, the more expensive the room. There are five different room levels, including standard, garden view, partial ocean view, ocean view front and deluxe ocean front. My family and I stayed in a garden view room, and the views were beautiful.

The second pricing factor is the visitor’s rank or status. Pricing is based on the highest-ranking occupant of the room. There are four rate bands based on rank or other eligibility factors. They are Level I through Level IV. Room rates are very affordable, especially for the Waikiki area.

Here are the rate bands:

  • Level I: E1 – E-6
  • Level II: E-7 – E-9; WO1 – CW3; O1 – O3; Widows; 100% DAV
  • Level III: CW4 – CW5; O4 – O10; DoD Civilians; Disabled Veterans; Equal Access Act
  • Level IV: Official Travel – All Grades TDY/PCS/TLA; Eligible Foreign Military
Room Rates 2021-2022IIIIIIIV
Standard$149$179$189$195
Garden View$159$199$209$245
Partial Ocean View$179$224$239$285
Ocean View$189$244$259$295
Deluxe Ocean Front$347$347$347$394
Source: Hale Koa website.
Room Rates 2022-2023IIIIIIIV
Standard$165$195$210$210
Garden View$175$210$225$230
Partial Ocean View$200$245$260$265
Ocean View$210$255$270$275
Deluxe Ocean Front$375$375$375$399
Source: Hale Koa website.

You can book rooms up to a year in advance. The Hale Koa fills up fast, so book as soon as you know your travel plans — at least six months in advance to ensure you get your room choice. If the hotel is full during your vacation dates, don’t despair. The reservation staff can help, according to the website. “Check back periodically. We also can help connect you to nearby hotels with special rates available for our guests, based on their availability, too. Remember, even if you stay at a different property, the Hale Koa Hotel’s restaurants and events are still benefits available to you as an eligible guest.”

Rooms

The room we stayed in was on par with what you would expect for military lodging — not  quite as fancy as what you might find in a high-priced resort. But it was the perfect base of operations while we enjoyed all Hawaii has to offer.

The tower we stayed in was built in the 1970s. The rooms are somewhat smaller than you might find in a more recently built hotel (roughly 300 sq. feet), but space was adequate. Our room featured two queen size beds, a bedside table, a small table or desk area with two chairs, a very small closet area and a single sink.

The room had a coffee maker and a fridge, but no microwave. Microwaves are available at one end of each hallway, where there is also an ice machine and a vending machine. The other end of the hallway features a washer and dryer. WiFi is free.

Hale Koa Restaurants and Bars

As mentioned earlier, the Hale Koa features nine restaurants and bars. We enjoyed the buffet at Koko at Kalia. There were a variety of dishes and desserts, including an ice cream bar. The menu changes, so you should plan accordingly. This restaurant is only open for breakfast and dinner. 

Bibas Courtyard Grill is only open for dinner and room service. We ate there once but were less impressed with the food. It was good, but not great. The Bar at Bibas is open throughout the day, and they feature a happy hour. 

The Barefoot Bar is located next to the pool and the beach. It features live music every night. The music, the view, and the cold drinks created the perfect ambiance. The bar is open to the public, as it’s right next to the beach. There’s a 20% military discount on drinks, so be sure to have your military ID when you are there.

Activities

Normally, the Hale Koa offers a number of activities to connect you with the Island spirit, including a luau with fire dancing, hula dancing lessons, as well as magic and comedy shows. Unfortunately, some of these activities are on hold right now due to Covid-19. There’s no official word on when – or if – they will return.

All the pools are open by reservation. Masks are required in the pool area unless you’re actually swimming. Pool capacity is lower than usual because social distancing rules are in effect. To lessen the chance of exposure to illness and give everyone some pool time, visits are limited to 90 minutes. Staff members wipe down all the furniture after each guest leaves, and they spray and flotation devices with an antibacterial after each use.

Get Out and About

Waikiki is great. We loved the beach and were able to go snorkeling and kayaking right in front of the hotel. We saw a variety of fish and even several sea turtles. But Oahu has so much more to offer than just Waikiki Beach and Honolulu. We traveled to Hanauma Bay, Makapu’u Point Lookout, Waikiki Aquarium (free military admission), the North Shore, the central part of Oahu, near Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Airfield, and much more.

Other popular attractions include Pearl Harbor-Hickam, various hiking trails, botanical gardens, and waterfalls, and much, much more. Hawaii Navy Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) runs a website called Great Life Hawaii, where you can learn more about travel and tour opportunities, discounts, and much more. 

Getting There

The Hale Koa doesn’t have an airport shuttle or a shuttle to Joint Base Pearl Habor-Hickam (JBPHH), so you will need to make your own travel arrangements to and from the resort. Taxi service is approximately $35-$45, or you can arrange an airport shuttle (approximately $15 per person). Plan for it to take 20-30 minutes to get to and from the airport.

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. Claudine Simmons says

    Thank you for such an in-depth review. The information is truly helpful. Hope to be there soon with my husband! ??

  2. Ronald D. Ballard says

    I am an Honorably Discharged Viet Nam-Era Vet, from 3 Branches (USAF, USAR, AZ. ANG) with only 10 yrs. total service time. I furthered my Public Service career for another 20 yrs. serving my community as a professional Firefighter/Paramedic and ultimately, Chief Officer for the Department. Additionally, I served for 6 yrs. as a U.S. Selective Service System, Local Board Member. My question for you is this; “Would any of my background qualify me (and my wife) for inclusion to your Resort”? Thank You –

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dave, DoD employees are eligible, but I’m not sure about contractors. Your best bet is to contact the Hale Koa customer service desk. They will be able to assist you and verify your eligibility. Best wishes!

      • Ed GS says

        Hello, I have read all of these positive points about the Hale Koa Hotel, but what about the negatives? I know of too many issues there including the parking garage and the hand of that. Why has no one published the true negative that Military and its families need to know before that settle on stay there? Do you publish negative as well? If so, please, let me know. I have several stories to tell.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Ed, Thank you for sharing your perspective. I can only write from my experiences. Yes, the parking lot is generally crowded and one must cross a busy street to get there. Getting in and out of the parking lot can also be an adventure due to the location. But not everyone who stays at the Hale Koa will have a car or need to worry about the parking lot. The Hale Koa was also undergoing a lot of construction while we were there. But I looked at that as a temporary issue and not something that will impact everyone who visits the Hale Koa. In general, the area surrounding the Hale Koa is a very crowded and busy tourist area. As such, people should expect there to be issues with traffic and parking – but that would be the case whether or not they were staying at the Hale Loa or at one of the nearby commercial hotels. The big difference is the exclusivity and substantially lower prices afforded by the Hale Koa.

  3. michelle Gifford says

    Hello, my husband and I are very interested and excited about coming to there, as this is our dream vacation. However, we are having trouble contacting anyone to get more information. Could you please provide us with a good number to contact someone so we can discuss opening and other information. Thank you for your help

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Michelle,

      This is the Hale Koa contact page.

      The number on the page is correct. However, they often have two-hour wait times to get through (this is an extremely popular destination). I called this week and was on hold for almost two hours. Try calling first thing in the morning when they open (keep in mind the time difference) or try calling on the weekends.

      Best wishes!

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