The Ilikai Apartments condos for sale are one of the most sought after condotel units in Honolulu. Popular with 2nd home owners and investors, Ilikai condos combine timeless classic appeal, location, and an income opportunity for owners. Commonly referred to as the Ilikai, the condotel is located right at the beginning of Waikiki Beach and across from the Ala Wai Harbor. With ocean views from many of the units, it’s not surprising that this property is so popular. The building is also visually appealing and renovated, which makes purchasing a condo at the Ilikai even more desirable.
The Ilikai was first built in the mid 1960s. Through the years, it has remained an in-demand Honolulu condotel, for owners and visitors. Consisting of over 1,000 units, 2 pools, restaurants, and shops, it has withstood the test of time to become the iconic property that it is today.
The Ilikai is located between Ala Moana Blvd. and the Ala Wai Marina. Residents and guests, depending on the location of the unit, have city views, marina views, or marina/ocean views. Buyers researching Ilikai condos for sale will quickly find that they have a preference based on the views. However, it’s not always the views that sway buyers to choose one side over the other. Some people may love the ocean, but may not want the heat associated with the southern exposure of the ocean/marina front condos. Other buyers, and current Ilikai owners, wouldn’t have it any other way, and absolutely love the ocean views and the sunset views that come with many of the southwest facing residences. All in all, there are options when it comes to condos for sale at the Ilikai. It’s a big building.
With several elevators, getting to each floor is a breeze. With so many condos, owners, and visitors, no one wants to waste time waiting for an elevator. The Ilikai hallways are spacious, bright, and welcoming, which isn’t always the case with some of the condos in Waikiki. The units, however, since they are mostly privately owned, range from completely gutted and renovated, to somewhat still in the original condition. When considering placing one of the units in the Ilikai hotel pool, owners have to find out what the hotel standards are. As most of the condos are being used as vacation rentals, it is safe to say that most of the units have been renovated from their original 1960s designs. Many are considered luxury condos with ocean and lagoon views.
There are studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom condos at the Ilikai. The vast majority of the condos are 1 bedrooms. Important note: The original design of the condos incorporated a sliding wall (Shoji style doors) that separated the living area from the bedroom space. Most of these walls have been removed in the modern designs, making the 1 bedroom units into larger studios, while they are still referred to as 1 bedroom.
Condos for sale at the Ilikai do not come with parking. Guests and owners valet their vehicles. There are a limited number of spots that can be rented on a monthly basis.
Premises & Amenities
The Ilikai premises are beautifully maintained. The entrance is along Ala Wai Blvd, and from the minute residents walk up the Ilikai steps and enter the open air lobby, they are welcomed by a light breeze, plenty of seating, and sweeping views of the large outdoor deck that extends all the way to the back of the building. The deck itself is an outdoor retreat with several waterfalls, plants, seating areas, and trees.
Several different Ilikai shops and businesses are located in the indoor and outdoor areas of the lobby. Residents and guests can stop at the convenience store to pick up sunscreen, get a coffee at the coffee shop, purchase clothing at one of the local stores, or book a wedding photo session with one of the local photographers. One doesn’t have to leave the building for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, as the Ilikai is home to two popular restaurants; Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai, with beautiful harbor views and open air seating, and Sorento’s Waikiki, with 360 degree views of Waikiki from the top of the Ilikai.
The wrap around deck leads to Waikiki Beach and two newly renovated swimming pools situated on the opposite side of the building, facing the Ala Wai Harbor.
When considering purchasing a condo at the Ilikai, don’t forget that the property is a condotel. A condotel allows for a combination of condo ownership with a hotel operation. The Oahu real estate market is full of surprises, turns and twists, and this is just one example of a not so typical condo. Most of the condos at the Ilikai are privately owned. Owners can live in the building, just as in any other fee simple condo building in Honolulu. The difference comes in the “hotel” part. Since the Ilikai is classified as a condotel, this gives the owners the ability to rent out their properties on a daily basis. Unlike most condos in Honolulu that have a minimum of 30 days or 6 month minimum rental restrictions, most condotel rooms can be rented out daily. I say most since every building is a little different.
At the Ilikai, daily rentals are allowed. If an owner decides to place their Ilikai condo for rent, there are three options:
- Self manage
- Contract with a private property management
- Place the unit in the Ilikai hotel pool for the hotel to manage the rentals
The easiest route to renting out an Ilikai condo may be to place the condo in the Ilikai hotel pool. The hotel will take care of all the reservations, cleaning, billing, and advertising. If the owner wants to use the unit at any time during the year, the reservation desk just needs to be notified in advance. Currently, the Ilikai has two rental options for owners. There is a flat income option, and revenue option. What this means is that one option pays the same monthly income to the owner no matter what the monthly rental revenue is. The other option is based on reservations and will fluctuate.
Private management companies may be less expensive in terms of management fees, and may be a good alternative for some. Owners have to make sure that the advertising is done right to attract enough vacationers. Just because the management fee may be less, it doesn’t mean that the overall net will be higher. As with anything, additional research has to be done as each management company will offer a different leasing opportunity to the owners.
Owners who decide to use their Ilikai condos as investment properties, whether they are rented through the hotel or through a private management property, should expect to pay a management fee, cleaning fee, GET, TAT, and Advertising Fees.
Who doesn’t love Waikiki Beach? Whether you’re a fan of beaches or not, it’s hard not to love Waikiki Beach with its golden sand and turquoise waters. Waikiki Beach is right outside of the Ilikai, hence making the Ilikai a popular destination for many visitors. The location is amazing. Enjoy a morning beach adventure with a coffee in hand, or spend the entire day taking in the sand and the sun. It’s a great evening destination as well. Take the beach route on the way to dinner and drinks in other areas of Waikiki.
The Ala Wai Harbor with hundreds of sailboats is right in front of the building as well. It’s a pretty sight, especially from many of the marina-facing condos at the Ilikai. Watch amazing Hawaiian sunsets over the Ala Wai Harbor. Every sunset is different and every one is mesmerizing.
The Ilikai apartment building is a wonderful property for visitors and owners. Despite the number of residences, there are usually only a few condos for sale at the Ilikai at any given time. Ones that do come up for sale often go into escrow within a few days on market. Waikiki real estate is so varied with so many choices, but one fact remains, the Ilikai is an iconic property that has been popular year after year with those seeking to purchase an Ilikai condo, and those who come to visit.
Kinga Mills, RA, RS-75728