Hotel Renew review


At the end of last season we gave up our rented condo and returned to NY. We loved our Kailua home but wanted to start fresh when we came back. This meant that we had to stay in a hotel when we returned. My friend Sarah recommended Hotel Renew, a very affordable boutique hotel in Waikiki.

A quick scan of hotel rates in the area confirmed that Hotel Renew’s nightly rate was exorbitantly less than most…at the very least competitive. We stayed at the hotel just shy of two weeks which, if you’re not on vacation can feel like an eternity. Waikiki’s throngs of tourists and over-the-top vibe can be draining. In contrast Hotel Renew’s low-key polish is an oasis. The hotel staff’s attentiveness is genuine and warm. Wil, one of the valets, was particularly helpful and cheerful which made a difference when coming home from a long day of looking at rentals.

The hotel itself is lovely. You can feel the thoughtfulness in small details–from FACE Stockholm bathroom supplies to the beautiful reflecting fountain in the lobby. The rooms are very clean, well laid out, and quiet. My favorite part was the giant TV that could be angled to face almost any part of the room.


There’s no hotel restaurant, bar, or pool. But Hotel Renew does well with what it has. The continental breakfast is small but satisfying and the lounge serves wine until 9:30 PM. We’ve already recommended the hotel to two sets of friends coming in from NY this month. We’ll recommend it to anyone else that asks.

pros: thoughtful Contemporary design, giant TV, great staff, warm vibe, great location, very clean.
cons: no self parking, decent but at times spotty wi-fi service (no big downloads).

an example of Hotel Renew's clever marketing.
an example of Hotel Renew’s clever marketing.



K got his haircut by Joe Randazzo at J Salon today.  He trimmed my bangs for me since I recently had a haricut.  I like Joe.  He lived in NY for a period of time and there’s a shared sensibility that I really appreciate.  He asked me how I wanted my bangs to look.  I told him and in five minutes, voila.  Done and done.  Bangs make a gigantic difference to my face.  I feel more like myself.

Clean Living


Many years ago, I had a beloved little white top from a store called Language on Mulberry St.  It was a white silky bandeau that fit me perfectly.  I wore it for many fancy occasions.  When it was time,  I brought it to the dry cleaner across the street from my apartment in NY.  It was nothing special, just your average neighborhood dry cleaner.

A few weeks later I was getting ready for a party and brought it out,  still wrapped in the dry cleaner’s plastic.   I put it on…I mean,  I tried to put it on.   After the initial shock I realized it had shrunk to a fraction of it’s original size and would have fit a 5 year old snugly.

Since then I’m more careful.  It’s not so easy here in Hawaii to find things by researching online.  As I’ve mentioned before, the best way to find anything is by word of mouth.

I called my favorite store in town, Aloha Rag, and asked them if they could recommend a good cleaner.  They came back with Hayukosha Royal.

We have to attend a restaurant opening on Saturday so we took our fancy duds to be cleaned today.  Their website says they use a GreenEarth system of dry cleaning– detail oriented and environmentally aware. Best of both worlds.


K’s family is arriving in a couple of weeks.  We agreed we need some help getting the house in order..