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Newcomer Information - Lodging

(The following information was obtained from the Graduate Medical Education Office and their responses to new incoming interns and residents concerning there move to Hawai'i. Please review the following to see if your question has been answered before.)

Temporary Lodging Rules in a Nutshell

The Army will help defray your living expenses while you look for or await permanent housing.

You are entitled to be reimbursed for your living expenses until (1) you are offered government housing or (2) you can find permanent housing if government housing is not available. If you do not stay in a military lodging facility your reimbursement for temporary lodging expenses will be limited unless you get a statement of non-availability. The Army lodging facilities at Tripler and Schofield Barracks will issue a statement of non-availability if rooms are not available when you call to book a reserva-tion. You need to get a statement of non-availability from both facilities to be entitled to the maximum daily rate for lodging.

It is also your responsibility to make and secure reservations for temporary lodging. The sooner you book a reservation the better. Have a credit card ready when you book your reservation, otherwise it may not be accepted. And don’t forget to find out what the hotel’s cancellation policy is so that you don’t lose your deposit if you decide to stay elsewhere.

It is also up to you to arrange for transportation to get you to and from your place of duty. The Government will not normally reimburse you for a rental car and if it does the reimbursement is limited. Traffic is very thick during the morning and evening rush hours. Allow extra time for the commute and you won’t arrive late. Visit the TheBus website to read about bus service on Oahu:

There are several hotels that provide adequate accommodations as long as you get a statement of non-availability from Tripler. So you don’t have to stay at Schofield Barracks!

If you do get a certificate of non-availability from Schofield Barracks and stay at a hotel that charges more than the daily maximum rate for lodging, you will have to "eat the difference."

These rules are reviewed and discussed in further detail below.

Temporary Military Lodging and Non-availability Statements

You are not required to stay in temporary military lodging. However, your TLA reim-bursement for lodging may be limited if military lodging is available and you do not accept it.

You must receive a partial statement of non-availability from Tripler Lodging and a full certificate of non-availability from the Inn at Schofield Barracks in order to be entitled to the maximum TLA if you don’t stay in temporary military lodging.

Current Defense Finance and Accounting Service policy as of 26 December 2006: If you stay off-post and there is no non-availability certificate from The Inn at Schofield Barracks, but there is a copy of stamped orders from Tripler Lodging, the lodging will be limited to a maximum of $95/day for single/unaccompanied Soldiers or $135/day for Soldiers with approved dependants staying with them. If rooms are avail-able at Tripler Lodging and you decide to stay elsewhere your reimbursement for lodg-ing will be limited to $52.50/day if you are a single/unaccompanied Soldier. If you are an accompanied Soldier your lodging entitlement will be limited to $52.50/day plus an additional $5/day for each family member.

Note: If you have children the rates will be adjusted accordingly to account for the fact that your family may require multiple rooms.

You don't need a certificate of non-availability if you decide to stay at any of the military lodging facilities listed below.


Tripler Lodging (Tripler Army Medical Center)
Phone: (808) 839-2336
FAX: (808) 433-6905

The Inn at Schofield Barracks (Schofield Barracks)
Phone: Toll free 1-800-490-9638 or (808) 624-9650
FAX: (808) 624-5606
Email: info@innatschofield.com

The Lodge at Kaneohe Bay (Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Bldg #3038)
Phone: (808) 254-2806
FAX: (808) 254-2716
Note: Do not confuse The Lodge at Kaneohe Bay with The Cottages at Kaneohe Bay. The Cottages at Kaneohe Bay are a non-appropriated fund facility with a maximum seven-day stay. The cost is $96/day. You would require a partial statement of non-availability from Tripler Lodging to limit your out-of-pocket expenses if you stay there, not to mention having to move to another lodging facility shortly after your arrival.

Royal Alakai Inn (Hickam Air Force Base)
Phone: (808) 448-5400
Fax: (808) 448-5999
Note: Stays are limited to three (3) days. You may be able to extend your stay day-by-day. Therefore, you may want to consider other accommodations.

Navy Hawai'i Regional Bachelor Housing
Note: The US Navy has a number of facilities on the island that cater primarily to visiting unaccompanied Navy personnel on temporary duty. Therefore, they are not recommended as temporary lodging facilities for permanent party arriving on Oahu.


There may be some advantages to staying in military lodging. For example, Tripler Lodging is located within walking distance of the hospital, which has a dining facility. The Inn at Schofield Barracks, while located about 20 miles from Tripler, provides shut-tle service to and from the hospital as well as airport pickup. And it is within easy walk-ing distance of many activities and facilities. However, traffic can be difficult to nego-tiate at rush hour to and from Schofield Barracks. And it isn’t that convenient if you are looking for permanent housing near Honolulu or on the windward side of the island.

The Lodge at Kaneohe Bay has easy access to the H-3 interstate highway and is about a 30-45 minute commute to Tripler. Traffic only starts becoming congested once you leave the H-3 and approach the hospital. If you are interested in living on the windward side of the island, e.g., Kailua or Kaneohe, the Lodge at Kaneohe Bay is a very convenient location to stay while you search for a place to live. You do not need a statement of non-availability to book a reservation there or have your lodging expenses reimbursed. Standard rooms have 2 queen beds and run $91 per night.

You don’t have to pay any extra for parking at the military lodging facilities.

Important note: Stays at military lodges may be limited to a maximum number of days following your arrival. Inquire about the policy when you check in and plan ahead. You wouldn’t want to be in the middle of an ICU rotation and have to worry about moving to a different lodging facility.

Making Reservations

Your first step in obtaining temporary lodging is to figure out where you would like to stay. If you want to stay at any of the military lodging facilities listed above the next step is to call and book a reservation. You should incur no out of pocket expenses for lodging if you stay at any of these facilities. Contrary to what is in written in your orders, what you may have seen on websites or have been told before, you do not have to call Tripler Lodging or The Inn at Schofield Barracks before you book a reservation at other military lodging on the island. For example, you do not need a certificate of non-availability from Tripler Lodging or The Inn at Schofield Barracks to stay at The Lodge at Kaneohe Bay. Note: When you call to book a reservation tell the clerk that you are incoming active duty on permanent change of station orders.

If you do not want to stay in military lodging your next step would normally be to call Tripler Lodging. That’s because Tripler Lodging has the right of first refusal, i.e., if rooms are available at Tripler Lodging you have to stay there or your daily TLA lodging allowance will be limited to what Tripler Lodging normally charges for its rooms. Currently, Tripler Lodging charges $52.50 a day plus $5 per each additional person. You may still call Tripler Lodging to make a reservation if you wish to stay there.

If you decide not to stay at Tripler Lodging your next step in obtaining temporary housing would normally be to call The Inn at Schofield Barracks. If rooms are available at The Inn at Schofield Barracks and you decide not to stay there your TLA reimbursement for lodging expenses will again be limited. Currently, incoming unaccompanied personnel are limited to $95.00 a day and an incoming accompanied soldier with a spouse and up to two children in the same room is limited to $135.00 per day. So if rooms are available at The Inn at Schofield Barracks and you decide to stay at a hotel in Honolulu such as the Hale Koa, you will have to make up any difference out of your own pocket. The difference in costs may or may not be significant, depending on the size of your family and the number of rooms that you require.

If rooms are not available at The Inn at Schofield Barracks you will be given a full certificate of non-availability and referred to a TLA-approved hotel. Take or fax a copy of your orders to The Inn at Schofield Barracks to obtain your full certificate of non-availability. Note: If you are able to book a reservation at a TLA-hotel that has a room rate at or under the rate charged by The Inn at Schofield Barracks there may be no point calling to obtain a full certificate of non-availability. That’s because you are al-ready covered by the non-availability control number issued by Tripler Lodging. For example, if you want to stay at the Navy Lodge Hawaii on Ford Island and can get a reservation you will pay no out-of-pocket expenses for lodging since that lodge’s rate is under what The Inn at Schofield Barracks charges. Information about the Navy Lodge is listed below under "TLA Hotels."

Warning! Depending on whom you talk to at The Inn at Schofield Barracks you may be told that you will receive no TLA for lodging if rooms are available and you do not stay there. That is not true! The fact is that some of staff of The Inn at Schofield Barracks may be misinformed about TLA entitlement policies.

Second Warning!! Your military orders may indicate that you must contact The Inn at Schofield Barracks to make temporary lodging arrangements. This guidance should be followed within the context of these instructions. You only need to con-tact The Inn at Schofield Barracks to get a certificate of non-availability if you require one or to make reservations if you wish to stay there. You are not required to stay at The Inn at Schofield Barracks if you are willing to absorb any additional lodging costs above your TLA lodging entitlement.

Third Warning!!! The Inn at Schofield Barracks may offer you some assistance in obtaining a reservation locally if no rooms are available. The staff frequently refers individuals to the Hale Koa Hotel. If there are no rooms available at the Hale Koa, the Hale Koa’s staff may subsequently refer you to the Doubletree Alana Waikiki which is just down the street. If you book a room with the Doubletree in Waikiki, you must verify that the room rate you are being charged is not more than the TLA lodging rate you are entitled to. Reason: The Doubletree Alana Waikiki, like most hotels on island, limits the number of rooms that it offers for the TLA reimbursement rate and will charge more when it runs out of these rooms. The Doubletree Alana Waikiki once charged a military medical student who was here on temporary duty (TDY) over $200 a night even though she was referred by the staff at the Hale Koa. The student failed to verify the rate and ended up paying significant funds out of pocket because the daily TDY entitlement for lodging was only $149 at the time. Note: This same advice holds true for any civilian hotel that you stay at, not just the Doubletree Alana Waikiki.

TLA HOTELS

If you decide not to stay in temporary military lodging or it is not available, you must stay at a TLA-approved hotel or you will not receive any reimbursement for lodging. The vast majority of hotels are TLA-approved. We encourage you to call the various TLA hotels on island to ensure that you find a convenient location at minimum expense.

Hotels may only have a limited number of rooms available for the TLA rate. So if you make a reservation at a TLA hotel ensure up front that you will only be charged the TLA rate to avoid any problems. Also, don’t forget to ask about additional fees such as taxes and parking.

Bed and breakfast facilities are not approved TLA hotels so if you stay at one you will not receive TLA reimbursement for lodging. The rationale is that many of these fa-cilities may not meet minimum acceptable standards for accommodations.

Armed Forces recreation centers on island are considered the same as “vacation rentals” and are also not approved TLA hotels. These locations include the beach cot-tages at Bellows Air Force Station Recreation Center, Barbers Point Recreation Area, and Waianae Army Recreation Center.

Family or friends: You will also not receive TLA reimbursement for lodging if you stay with other family or friends. However, you will receive your TLA meal allowance no matter where you stay as long as you have not turned down Government quarters.

These TLA hotels are located in relatively close proximity to Tripler near the airport and away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. Consequently, you may reduce the time that you spend commuting to and from the hospital. Please do not consider our listing to be an endorsement of these particular hotels:

Best Western Plaza Hotel
3253 N. Nimitz Highway
Toll free: 1-800-800-4683 or (808) 372-0661
Fax: (808) 834-7406
Email: les@plazahonolulu.com or info@bestwesternhonolulu.com

Honolulu Airport Hotel
3401 N. Nimitz Highway
Toll free: 1-800-800-3477 or (808) 836-0661
Fax: (808) 833-1738
Email: les@plazahonolulu.com or hahres@plazahonolulu.com


The Navy Lodge Hawaii on historic Ford Island and Pearl Harbor is a new facility and a relatively easy commute to Tripler. It is a TLA-approved lodging facility. It is not classified as military lodging so you will need at least a partial certificate of non-availability from Tripler Lodging to avoid any significant out of pocket lodging expenses if you decide to stay there and can get a reservation.

The daily rate for a standard room with two queen beds is $86. Suites are also available; these are larger rooms with two queen beds and a sofa bed. The charge is $99 per day. Note: The Navy Lodge’s website advertises rooms with kitchenettes. These are only very limited facilities and are not considered adequate kitchen facilities for TLA purposes.

Navy Lodge Hawai'i (Ford Island)
Phone: (808) 440-2290
FAX: (808) 455-7480


Ft. DeRussy Armed Forces Recreation Center is the home of the Hale Koa, or House of the Warrior, an 817 room, world-class resort hotel and favorite rest and recreation destination for our country's military personnel. The room rates range from $142 ($115 single occupancy) to $268 per day depending on the type of room that you occupy, e.g., standard or ocean front.

The Hale Koa Hotel is a TLA-approved hotel. It is not classified as military lodg-ing so you will need at least a partial certificate of non-availability from Tripler Lodging to avoid any significant out of pocket lodging expenses if you decide to stay there and can get a reservation.

The Hale Koa’s website indicates that reservations are limited to 30 days.

Hale Koa Hotel
2055 Kalia Road
Toll free 1-800-367-6027 (CONUS) or (808) 955-0555
Fax: (808) 955-9670
Email: reservations@halekoa.com or information@halekoa.com


Reimbursement for Hale Koa Hotel

Remember, you must receive a partial certificate of non-availability from Trip-ler Lodging and a full certificate of non-availability from The Inn at Schofield Barracks in order to be entitled to the maximum TLA.

If you are accompanied by a family member, you only need a partial certifi-cate of non-availability from Tripler Lodging before making reservations at the Hale Koa Hotel in order to avoid any significant out of pocket expenses for lodging. The standard room rates at the Hale Koa are about $7 more per day than the rate service members are entitled to without a certificate of non-availability from The Inn at Schofield Barracks. This difference increases substantially if you opt for rooms with ocean views. The extra expense may be worth it in terms of ambience and commute time.

Single or unaccompanied service members staying at the Hale Koa with only a partial certificate of non-availability will have to pay slightly more out of pocket, about $20 per day. Again, this difference increases substantially if you opt for rooms with ocean views.

When you call to book a reservation at the Hale Koa please don’t forget to tell the reservation staff that you are PCSing to Hawaii so that you get the best rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
I tried to read through all the information you sent first so hopefully I did not miss the answer to this question. I would like to know if the daily lodging rate for single person of $115.05 includes reimbursement for the taxes and any parking fees if I decided to rent a car.

Response:
I was told by one of the staff at our Finance Office that you do not get separate reimbursement for taxes or parking so it is included in the daily lodging rate that you would receive, so to speak. Remember that you also receive money for meals and incidentals.


Question:
Do we have to also get the SNA (Statement of Non-Availability) from Schofield Inn to get a $139/night room at Airport Hotel or Best Western covered (the sheet says that the Max TLA for lodging is $115/night)?

Response:
If you do not get the SNA from The Inn at Schofield then your TLA is limited to what The Inn charges. In your case, that is $95 because you are single/unaccompanied. (It would be $135 if you were accompanied.) If you get the SNA from The Inn at Schofield you are limited to the maximum TLA for your category, which is $115/night. You would then have to pay the difference. Most hotels, including those near the airport (Best Western Plaza Hotel & Honolulu Airport Hotel) will normally give you the TLA rate if you tell them you are incoming military PCSing to Hawai'i. Single Soldiers staying at the Best Western Plaza or Honolulu Airport Hotel will be charged $114. (So you would only pay $19 out of pocket—so to speak—if you don't have an SNA from The Inn at Schofield.) Contact Les Nashimura @ (808) 372-0587 to get the best rate at the airport hotels.


Question:
Also, it says that TLA stops once government quarters are offered – but I thought we could just choose to live off-post? As of now, I'm hoping to reserve a room at Tripler Lodging to avoid having to spend money renting a car. (Comment: A good idea if rooms are available!)

Response:
You do have the choice to live off-post. But anyone who is accompanied will be offered Government quarters if available. That's so the Government can stop your TLA once you formally refuse them. Remember that you still will be collecting your BAH even when your TLA stops. There is no government quarters available for single/unaccompanied personnel. You may choose to live in single housing at Tripler if you like, though.


Question:
One of the incoming USUHS students just sent me a copy of his Request for Orders (RFO). An RFO is the set of instructions used to publish your official orders. The RFO contained the following special instructions regarding temporary lodging: "All soldiers authorized concurrent travel or requiring temporary lodging need to contact The Inn at Schofield Barracks (1-800-490-9638) to make temporary lodging arrangements."

Response:
I previously identified this issue to our Military Personnel Office. The instructions really should direct Soldiers assigned to Tripler Army Medical Center to contact Tripler Lodging. You only need to contact The Inn at Schofield Barracks within the context of the temporary lodging instructions that we sent previously. Please let us know if we need to send them to you again.

You are not required to stay at The Inn at Schofield and have other options. If you do not get a full statement of non-availability but are able to find lodging at a rate that is equal to or less than the rate charged by The Inn you will not bear any out-of-pocket costs for lodging.

The Inn at Kaneohe Bay and The Navy Lodge at Ford Island are excellent options. And remember, you do not need orders in hand to make reservations for temporary lodging. If you call Tripler Lodging or any other military lodging facility and run into problems inform them that you are incoming to your first permanent duty station. If you continue to get grief please call us.


Question:
I don’t want to stay at Tripler Lodging or The Inn at Schofield Barracks. But when I called there I was told that rooms were available. What can I do?

Response:
You may stay at a TLA approved hotel even if rooms are available at one of the two Army lodging facilities. You would have to pay the difference between the hotel’s room rate and what you would have been charged by Tripler Lodging or The Inn at Schofield Barracks.

Hint: Think about booking a reservation where you prefer to stay before you call Tripler Lodging. If you are told that rooms are available when you call Tripler Lodging simply thank the person who answers the phone for the information and tell them you will call back if you decide to stay there. (It is not necessary to give the Tripler Lodging staff your name when you call to inquire.) Wait a few days and call back to see if Tripler Lodging filled up. If so, ask to be provided with a statement of non-availability. You can try this same strategy with The Inn at Schofield. Don’t forget about factoring in your BAH when you make your decision on where to stay.


Question:
What will my out of pocket lodging expense be if I stay at the Hale Koa Hotel without a statement of non-availability?

Response:
The following table is based on the standard room rates currently posted on the Hale Koa Hotel’s website and does not factor taxes or parking, i.e., it is only a good guess:

No partial statement of non-availability from Tripler Lodging
Daily Room Rates
Tripler Lodging Hale Koa Hotel
Standard Room
Daily Out of Pocket
Lodging Expense
Double Occupancy $57.50 $142.00 $84.50
Single $52.50 $115.00 $62.50
 
Partial statement of non-availability from Tripler Lodging;
No full statement of non-availability from The Inn at Schofield Barracks
Daily Room Rates
The Inn at
Schofield Barracks
Hale Koa Hotel Daily Out of Pocket
Lodging Expense
Double Occupancy $135.00 $142.00 $7.00
Single $95.00 $115.00 $20.00


Question:
Am I correct in my understanding that If I elect to stay at Tripler Lodging, I will still receive the daily meal rate, TLA lodging costs, COLA, and BAH?

Response:
Yes. Remember that your TLA entitlement stops if you decline an offer of government housing but you still get your BAH and COLA. Note: Technically, there is no government housing for unaccompanied Soldiers although you may choose to live at Tripler Housing if you so desire.


Question:
How long would you recommend I reserve the temporary lodging as I have no idea how long it will take me to find a place to live?

Response:
I would go with 30 days or the maximum allowed by the facility if it is classified as military lodging (see the temporary lodging instructions we sent previously) or is located on a military installation, e.g., Navy Lodge Hawaii. If you stay at a hotel in Honolulu you should verify the cancellation/departure policy to ensure there is no penalty if you leave on an earlier date.


Question:
If for example I stay in the military temporary lodging at Tripler would I not receive BAH for that time period compared to staying at a non-military temporary lodging?

Response:
You are entitled to BAH no matter where you stay while you are looking for permanent housing. Note: Do not confuse the Tripler Lodging facility with the government family housing located at Tripler. If you decide to accept permanent, government-provided housing at Tripler (or anywhere else) then you relinquish your BAH as that essentially pays your rent and utilities.


Question:
My understanding is that you receive TLA until you find housing or government housing is available? So how much maximum time do you get before being offered government housing?

Response:
TLA is only authorized for up to 60 days and is issued in 10-day increments. An exception to policy would be required to get TLA extended beyond 60 days. Even if government housing is available you will likely be authorized at least 10 days initially. You technically have 5 days to report to the Army Hawaii Family Housing (AHFH) South Office after you arrive. Here is some additional information from Ms. Irene Lance, Housing Services Office:

Soldiers should report to AHFH South within 5 days. But if holidays interfere with those 5 days, they should report as soon as the holiday is over. Technically, we don't have to pay TLA under the following circumstances:

Soldier does not report into AHFH South in a timely manner (5 days).

Soldier signs a lease or purchase agreement prior to signing into the Command/AHFH South.


Soldiers who fall in the above two categories are usually then required to do an Exception to Policy (ETP) in order to get approval. But, there is no guarantee that their request will be approved.

Housing Services Office personnel will provide you with more detailed infor-mation upon your arrival. We currently plan to have their staff brief you on 5 June. I believe that you get at least 3 days to decide if you want to accept an offer of government housing. We will have to confirm if the information about signing leases or purchasing a home prior to arrival is correct.

The Army Hawaii Family Housing Division will offer families' on-post quarters very quickly if available in order to minimize the amount of TLA the Government has to pay. You will still draw your housing allowance (BAH). In the "old" days, the Army did not pay BAH when soldiers or families were drawing TLA. But that changed a while ago.




This page is maintained by the Department of Family Medicine, ATTN: MCHK-FM, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96859-5000. Phone: (808) 433-6174.