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 eight 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 reasonable prices.

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, including active duty, Guard, reserves 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, including gray area retirees of the Guard or reserves. Use DD Form 2, 1173 or 1173-1.
  • Select separated service members, including those with a 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 (use 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.
  • DOD civilians and family members, current and retired. Use DOD or CG ID card, retired identification card or a current leave and earnings statement along 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 $165-$399 per night (current rates valid till Sept. 30, 2023) 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 room levels: standard, garden view, partial ocean view, ocean view 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, Rate 1 through Rate IV, based on rank or other eligibility factors. Room rates are affordable, especially for the Waikiki area.

Here are the rate bands:

  • Ratel I: E1–E-6
  • Rate II: E-7–E-9, WO1–CW3, O1–O3, widows, veterans with a 100% disability rating
  • Rate III: CW4–CW5, O4–O10, DOD civilians, veterans with a 0-99% service-connected disability rating, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war, caregivers of disabled veterans
  • Rate IV: Official travel – all grades TDY/PCS/TLA, eligible foreign military
Room Rates
(effective Oct. 1, 2022-Sept. 30, 2023)
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

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 can also help connect you to nearby hotels with special rates available for our guests, based on their availability. 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.”


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. 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-sized beds, a bedside table, a small table or desk area with two chairs, a very small closet area and a single sink.

All rooms have a coffee maker and mini fridge, but no microwave. In the Maile Tower, 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. In the Ilima Tower, you’ll find a microwave on every floor from the fourth floor and above. WiFi is free.

Hale Koa Restaurants and Bars

As mentioned earlier, the Hale Koa features eight restaurants and bars. We enjoyed the breakfast 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.

Bibas Courtyard Grill is only open for lunch and dinner service. We ate there once but were less impressed with the food. It was good, but not great. The Bar at Bibas also offers a take-out option, and they feature a happy hour. 

The Barefoot Bar is located next to the pool and the beach. It features live island 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.


The Hale Koa offers a number of activities to connect you with the island spirit, including a luau with fire dancing, a garden tour every Thursday, hula dancing lessons, and magic and comedy shows.

The main pool includes water slides, splash pads, a kids’ play area, play pirate ship and other family-friendly features. Adults 18 years old and older can relax in the adult infinity pool. You can also rent a cabana, which includes two lounge chairs, two armchairs and a table.

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, the North Shore, the central part of Oahu near Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Airfield, and much more.

Other popular attractions include Pearl Harbor-Hickam, various hiking trails, botanical gardens and waterfalls. 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 and discounts. 

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. Options include taxi, ride share (Uber and Lyft) and the city bus service, or you can arrange an airport shuttle (approximately $30 per person). Plan for it to take 20-30 minutes to get to and from the airport.

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  1. Opie says

    My son in the Air Force, do you have to stay at resort hotel to use the facility, ie swimming pool or beach, my wife and I is staying here for 6 months. The place is the Hale Koa hotel in Waikiki

    • Ryan Guina says

      Opie, my understanding is that the beach is open to the public, but you have to be staying at the Hale Koa to utilize their swimming pools and certain other amenities. You can contact the Hale Koa directly to see which amenities are open to people who are not staying at the Hale Koa.

  2. David J. Stanley, Col, USAF, Ret says

    My wife and I are trying to plan a vacation to Hale Koa next spring. { Mar thru May 2023 } Are there any restrictions on the length of our stay ? Understand the early booking.

    I am a retired USAF 0 – 6 Col. We are both in our 80’s and would like to also know if you have rooms for people that have rails in the bathrooms in the shower, etc. We have young family members on active duty in the USAF in Hawaii.

    Looking forward to returning to Hawaii for 2 / 3 weeks if possible. Thank you for your help…..

    • Brittany Crocker says

      Hey there, please reach out to the Hale Koa directly at (808) 955-0555. We can’t say for sure what the company’s current policies are.

  3. Carol Green says

    My husband and I would like to come to this resort for our sixth wedding anniversary In Dec 2022. I would love to get a price on what it would cost us for a week in the garden view. My husband retired as Sgt. Major (E-9), is is a disable vet.

  4. Claudine Simmons says

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. Janette says

    Hey Ryan, You should take another trip and update us on all of the renovations at the Hale Koa! I’ll write you one in November after we stay for a week!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Janette, Great idea! My family and I were thinking about going back to Hawaii next year, but we haven’t decided yet. I will definitely update the article if we return.

      Have a great time on your trip!

      • Carolyn says

        Is there still a two room limit per reservation ? I’ve tried calling ang on a 1 hour hold ….. stopped trying ???????

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Carolyn, I recommend contacting the Hale Koa customer service desk again. A good time is at their non-peak hours. Remember, HI is several hours behind the mainland time zones, so you can try calling immediately when they open, or wait until later in the evening your time, when many people in the mainland are going to sleep. Best wishes!

  8. Sandra Kern says

    Hi. We are trying to call directly to the Halo Koa but twice we wait for 15-20 minutes and no answer. What is best time to call?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sandra,

      To be honest, I’m not sure. Hawaii is several hours behind the Mainland. Perhaps try calling around 0800 Hawaii time. Or try calling later in the evening their time, when fewer people are likely calling.

      Best wishes.

  9. Jerry P Gonzales, says

    Can you please tell us if the Hale Koa is close to BX/PX facilities and if we can rent a car while in Honolulu? What is the best time to make a hotel reservation? I want to make it very soon though but would we have the ability to ask for a quiet room. I am a light sleeper and tend to hear noises if present such as elevators, ice machines, beverage machines, exits, etc. I have 80% VA disability. Sorry about that! Can we request a refrigerator? Thanks! LTC (Ret Army) Jerry Gonzales of San Antonio, Military City USA

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jerry, There is a small BX on the Hale Koa resort. Yes, you can rent a car while in Honolulu. You would need to contact the Hale Koa with your other questions or concerns. Their customer service is excellent.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  10. Karla McEwen says

    We just returned from the Hale Koa. We were lucky enough to snag a room pretty last minute by calling the resort directly. An online search did not show availability for the night we were there, but when I called, they did have a room. We were only there for one evening but we loved the stay. It isn’t a “luxury resort hotel”, but being a military family, we never stay at “luxury resort hotels”, so this was perfect for us. We were without kids for this trip, but it appeared to have a lot for things for the kids to do. We are already planning a return trip with the kids. If you are island hopping and make it to Hawaii Island (big island) a stay at KMC (Kilauea Military Camp) is a must. We can’t say enough good things about that place.

  11. Dio San Pedro says

    Is there a bus or any kind of public transport from the airport to or close to Hale koa? Last time I was in Hawaii was about 20 years ago and I remember seeing a bus that goes by Waikiki and the same bus also goes to the airport.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dio, I honestly don’t know. I would call the Hale Koa customer service desk for transportation options. They will be able to provide the most accurate information. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  12. Gabrielle Selby says

    What is the drive like from Hale Koa to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickham. I am visiting my husband in October and will be driving to pick him up after work and drop him off in the mornings so that we can be together in the evenings. But, I have heard traffic is horrible. Any advice would help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Gabrielle, Thank you for contacting me. I do not have much experience with doing this drive during rush hour. Me recommendation is to plan your trip to avoid the heaviest periods of traffic. For example, plan to arrive at JBPHH earlier in the morning to avoid morning rush hour, or leaving the base after the evening rush hour has diminished.

      The hotel clerk or someone at the base should be able to give you more specific advice regarding the best times and routes to take. I wish you both the best!

    • David says

      Hi Gabrielle. You need to give yourself a good hour to drive out to Hickam in the morning. Usually can make it there in 30 minutes but one wreck and you’re stuck. For evening, it will take you an hour to get to the base and the same to get back to Hale Koa since you’re fighting departing and arriving tourists both ways. I’ve done this gig several times for work and found it easier to stay on base (especially if you can get a room on the Hickam side which are nicer). Then in the evening travel together downtown. Another option is give him the car and you enjoy Waikiki on foot. MWR also has some great tours you can do while he’s at work. I went kayaking around Chinamans Hat one day for a very reasonable rate and loved it.

    • Rich M says

      This may not help you now, but someone else who is looking for this info might need this. I recommend giving the car to your working spouse and just walk Waikiki instead… But if you have to drive, I’d set aside 35+ mins… The drive is not a quick jaunt during rush hour. First of all, don’t be tricked by GPS into taking Hobron or Ena, or Piikoi to H1. Instead, turn left (west) on Ala Moana Blvd and follow it to Nimitz Hwy and then H1, towards the airport. Traffic outbound can be tricky on Nimitz however, beginning at Bishop. Then you’ll notice that one of your lanes are given to Folks driving inbound towards Waikiki. If you follow Nimitz coursing through an industrial and retail are, it will eventually pop up at an entrance to H1… take that to the Hickam (JBHPH) exit. Now the problem really begins. Entry into the gate can be long between 7-9 AM. I would factor in about 10 more mins the 1st day of the TDY just to be safe. I even do a recon the day before, just to nail down what bldg I need to find. Hickam is an old base and offices are scattered incoherently.
      The way back has a lot more traffic because you will be in the thick of rush hour and in the same direction as everyone who works at Waikiki. Tracking the same path back to Hale Koa, you will almost certainly run into traffic as you exit H1 and enter Nimitz Hwy. This is where I would experiment with the GPS route, since no one will be late. The afternoon drive will be equally painful, so I suggest again that you give the car to them and just enjoy Waikiki by foot. Lewers St is not even 10 mins walk. The Intl Market and Duke’s are about 15-20 mins. Ala Moana Shopping Center may require an Uber, or bus if you are adventurous.

  13. Walli says

    Wow! You just saved us a bunch of money. My husband and I book our flights with points back in September but finding a hotel room has been difficult. A google search led me to this page. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve listened to several of your podcasts already. A new fan here. It’s a shame that more military families don’t know the things you share. Why don’t they get this information out there? So grateful for what you share.

  14. earl t says

    I called on the 4-21-2017 for rates for a e5. Someone stated that I must pay one hundred and 50 for a night for a room. What is my cost?

    • Sarah says

      Anyone can check the rates online at the Hale Koa website. As long as you are eligible you can plug in the dates you would like and it will tell you the rates for the rooms based on the different levels. If your dates aren’t available you can also email them and request to be placed on a wait list. They do fill up quickly when it comes to the holidays. I was waitlisted for almost 7 months before getting our rooms for Christmas this year. Hope this helps.

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