Wheelchair travel: The Aqua Lotus hotel in Waikiki


I was excited to stay on the quiet end of Waikiki that is actually called the “Gold Coast” near Diamond Head. There are a few hotels and some upscale condos that host vacation rentals in this quiet area that’s still within walking distance of Waikiki.

The Aqua Lotus is a boutique hotel with only about fifty rooms. There are a handful of wheelchair accessible rooms and mine was located on the top floor. It had a very large bathroom with a roll-in shower. The lanai was also quite large and accessed via an un-noticable threshold. It was nice to be able to roll out to the lanai and stare at the amazing view of Diamond Head on the left and the ocean on the right.

The staff was very nice and accommodating. I needed to have the mattress topper pad removed from my bed and the front desk clerk was up and helping me within a few minutes after my late check-in. I was always greeted by either the valet or the front desk staff as well. In addition the hotel has morning coffee and evening wine, not to mention complimentary Internet access.

There were two minor drawbacks to this hotel that may discourage you from staying here if you are a wheelchair user. First, if you are in a manual chair and not renting a vehicle, it’s quite a push to the main part of Waikiki. The dining options in the immediate vicinity are limited to some upscale restaurants and a convenience store, so you’ll either want to stock up (there was a mini-fridge) or plan on hauling it for meals. There is a bus stop almost right in front of the hotel, however.

Second, the beds are affixed to the walls so if you require any sort of repositioning of the beds in order to accommodate your transfers you might have some difficulty. I also personally found the beds to be a few inches too low, so I was nervous every morning when getting up that I would be stuck! I ended up not having a problem, however.

Overall, yes, I would stay at the Aqua Lotus hotel again. the view and location were amazing and my time spent there was incredibly relaxing. It is quite possibly one of the more restful hotels in the Waikiki area.

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