Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Travel Tuesday: (Trip) Shopping at Costco, Part 2

I told you we’d booked our three night Waikiki stay using Costco Wholesale, the big box company found throughout the world selling big quantities of products. Costco also has an on-line travel division. 

Buying travel at Costco was something we’d never considered until Waikiki’s soaring hotel prices prompted us to think, not ‘outside the box’ but ‘to the big box’. We bought a  ‘package’ from Costco travel that included three night’s hotel accommodations at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, round-trip transfers and a lei greeting.

I promised that I’d report in. . .so here’s how it went:

Shuttle representatives would meet us at our gate (we’d been instructed to send flight number and arrival time in advance).  Our flight was 40 minutes early, yet there they were, just as promised!

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We’d be greeted with a lei, those fragrant symbols of Hawaii.

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And sure enough we had the traditional draping of the flowers over the neck and the embrace that is part of the aloha welcome.

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Our bags were collected and we were among only six parties to board the special shuttle which resulted in a quick arrival at our hotel, which is literally across the street from the beach.

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We would be in a partial ocean view room. The 645-room hotel, built in 1968, has undergone two renovations since Aston Hotels took over its management in 2001.  Some recent TripAdvisor grumblings  had us a bit nervous about what we might find there.

Our room was compact and the promised in-room WI-FI wasn’t quite yet installed (an equipment delivery delay) but the flat screen television worked well and the two double beds were some of the most comfortable with quality sheets as we’ve had at higher end resorts. The deck wasn’t large, but a chair and its footstool served us well. A complimentary breakfast included fresh fruit, pastries, cereals and yogurt – omelets for an additional price.

We were certainly prepared for the back of the building and leaning off the balcony. Not so!

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We had a straight on view of Waikiki Beach (that’s the Royal Hawaiian Hotel – the ‘pink palace’ in the distance). It was one of the best views we’ve ever had in Waikiki. We’d lucked out and because the hotel was as full as it was we’d actually been put into an ‘ocean view’ room!

How it compared:
Our package price was $614, which included taxes.
Had we purchased the shuttle separately: $48 ($24/p/p)
Lei greeting (we’d have skipped) but its cost: $46 ($23/p/p)
A quick check of the hotel’s web site shows that booking three nights this week would have cost $795 for a partial ocean view and $874 for the ocean view; both inclusive of taxes.

A good deal, we decided.  We won't hesitate to continue travel shopping at Costco.

12 comments:

  1. We often Costco Travel to be quite a bargain. Every once in a while though their rental car prices are more than going to Kayak or direct to the site so we always check those as well- just in case!

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    1. We have used an on-line company, hawaiidiscountcars.com for our car rentals here for several years now as their rates are always better than other places we've looked. I know of others that also recommend the place so you might give it a try on a future trip.

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  2. Hello Jackie and Joel.

    I did not know Costco had a travel department. The Waikiki Beach looks beautiful. It has been many years since I worked in Hawaii and time to return.

    Helen xx

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    1. Helen, Thanks for writing. I can see you painting on any number of the beautiful beaches on O'ahu. It is time for you to return. J. xx

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  3. I usually check Costco for car rental prices but haven't booked any complete travel packages there. I'm glad to hear it was a good, and cost-saving experience.

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    1. We did find a good car deal at discountcarshawaii.com which was better than what we found on the Costco site; guess it is good to always check around.

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  4. I never thought of Costco as a travel purveyor. And they delivered, the best part, eh?

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  5. Good to know Jackie. I had no idea Costco sold travel products too and that looks like a darned nice view from your balcony.

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    1. Probably one of the best views we've ever had in Waikiki, that's for sure!

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  6. I was always reluctant to use Costco's travel before, thinking they really weren't a good deal. But you have convinced me to check them out! (I just discovered your blog/fb page through A Taste of Travel.)

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    1. Hi Karene, Welcome to travelnwrite! Glad you stopped by and commented and hope you'll be a regular visitor. I couldn't find your blog, do you have one? I'd love to pay you a return visit!

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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