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Know Before You Go: Military-Friendly Lodging in Hawaii

by Daniella Horne - September 9th, 2022

Know Before You Go: Military-Friendly Lodging in Hawaii

This is part of our "Know Before You Go" series, which helps military families with PCS orders overseas. Although Hawaii is part of the United States, it is considered an OCONUS move for military orders, which comes with unique housing options.

With every PCS comes a big question: where should we stay while waiting to find a home?

If your orders say Oahu, then congratulations, you will not be disappointed by its beauty. If you are looking for military-friendly lodging on Oahu, then you’ve come to the right place! Finding a great place to stay that approves TLA and caters to military life is important.

First things first, moving to Oahu means you will be given TLA to find lodging. However, you should always make sure that the hotel you want to stay at is TLA-approved. TLA (Temporary Lodging Allowance) helps service members and their families partially pay for expenses when it comes to lodging. TLA is allowed for a maximum of 60 days once you arrive on the island, but you have to show proof that you are actively seeking for a home. 

If you have any questions regarding TLA you can visit the Defense Travel Management Office website for more information. 

Hawaii Lodging Water Crisis 2022

If you are concerned about the current water situation on Hawaii military bases, our current information source with frequent updates is the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Facebook Page. You can also visit the Commander Pacific Fleet- Water Updates Page which has all pertinent information for the new incoming families.

These sites will direct you to information, including where you can go for lodging, updated lab results, town halls, and daily updates, laundry facilities, water distribution should you move into a home that has been affected by the water crisis, and more.

Click here for the DoD's most updated information about the Hawaii contaminated water crisis.

Military-Friendly Lodging in Hawaii

There are many TLA-approved hotels on island, and today we are sharing five hotels to make your PCS-related stay pleasant and fun. Here are our favorite places to stay and the reasons why they are perfect for military members and their families.

Hale Koa Hotel

This is a military-only, ocean-front stay with amazing service and amenities. It is located in Waikiki, which makes it a great place to stay while you get to sightsee the downtown areas and play tourist. This is also why it is why it is loved by many military families.

There are different categories for eligibility rates, such as E1-E6, Veterans, DOD Civilians, or TDY. They have different dining options and offer entertainment at the Luau and Barefoot Bar. The Hale Koa has beach access, pool and splash pad for the kids, a coffee shop, a snack bar, and Exchange.  For more information, visit,

Navy Lodge Hawaii

This is a military-only stay located in Ford Island close to Joint-Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the Navy Exchange, Commissary, and The Pearl Harbor National Memorial. It is very conveniently located, more so when you only have one vehicle for the family to use while waiting on your POV’s arrival.

The Navy Lodge allows pets and has a dog park right across the way and a four-mile walking path to enjoy and watch the sunset. It also offers complimentary breakfast, free wi-fi, a fully equipped kitchen, and you can request rollaway beds or cribs. For more information, visit

Residence Inn by Mariott Kapolei

Why do we love it? They offer extended stay, which is such a plus during a PCS. The hotel offers free breakfast, which many families enjoy-- especially when traveling with younger kids. Rooms include a kitchenette, free wi-fi, and they offer pet-friendly suites.

The Residence Inn also has local food trucks every week, entertainment such as family paint night and karaoke, their sundry convenience store, picnic area, and pool. The hotel is located close to different restaurants, shopping malls, and Wet n’ Wild water park.

Click here for more information.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki

This military-friendly stay offers a Leisure Rate package for military members on PCS orders, TDY, or staycation. They offer a discount of up to 30% off your stay and offer complimentary wi-fi and made-to-order breakfast.

Embassy Suites is located in the heart of Waikiki and is within walking distance to the beach, many shops, and restaurants along Waikiki Beach walk. The area offers many live events and performances, which allows families to enjoy their welcome to the island.

Click here for more information.


The Surfjack hotel is perfect if you want to stay within walking distance of beaches, parks, restaurants, and more. It is military-friendly, and their personal Military Concierge will help you throughout your booking and stay.

The hotel is pet friendly. It also has a restaurant serving a daily menu, a pool, monthly events for the family to enjoy, and more.

For more information on the Military Concierge, visit

For some hotel stays, including military hotels, you can make reservations up to six months in advance. Keep this in mind as your PCS approaches. Be aware that certain reservations such as Airbnb's are not TLA-approved. These types of rentals do not meet criteria established by the Joint Travel Regulations; if you want to receive reimbursement, make sure all stays are TLA-approved. Keep all receipts from your stay for future claims.

We hope this helps you as you start getting everything ready to PCS to Hawaii. Aloha!

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Daniella Horne

Writer and blogger, veteran, military spouse, and mother of two. Currently living in Hawaii. Loves hiking, beach days, crafting, volunteering and spending time with family. Follow her adventures on her blog or check out her Instagram @mommaandsprouts