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“Great Place to Ring in the New Year” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815   |  
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4th Night Free/Breakfast
Ranked #21 of 83 Hotels in Honolulu
TorG
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Great Place to Ring in the New Year”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

While we are frequent travellers to Honolulu, we had not stayed at the Royal Hawaiian since before the major renovation in 2009. The first and lasting impression is that they did an excellent job of renovating the common areas and rooms while maintaining the historic character. The historic character is a major draw and it is worth walking around the hotel and having a drink at the (not historic) Mai Tai Bar even if you do not stay here. We stayed in a basic room in the Historic Building and were pleasantly surprised by the size of the bedroom compared to recent stays at the Moana Surfrider, although the bathrooms in both hotels are fairly small. We were also very impressed with the quality of the staff, from the bellhops and chamber maids to the front desk and bartenders, the staff were uniformally courteous, friendly and took care of our needs. As frequent visitors, we have stayed at the Surfrider, Halekulani and now the Royal Hawaiian in the past two years. We have had great stays at the Surfrider, but the Royal Hawaiian is better in nearly all aspects, including location, public spaces, privacy/noise, restaurants/bars and service. The Halekulani is a very different experience. The rooms are generally larger and nicer, and most have better views of the ocean and Diamond Head compared to the Royal Hawaiian. The service is also impeccable, as you would expect at the price point. In some ways, the Halekulani can feel too formal for a beach vacation. While Halekulani has a much larger pool and pool area, it essentially has no beach (although it's a five minute walk to the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian). A final point for travellers with children is that guests at the Royal Hawaiian can use the Sheraton's large pools with slides, etc. which are located next door.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Aloha TorG,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We believe The Royal Hawaiian and the hotel ambassadors epitomizes the elegance and grace unique in the Hawaiian value of ho’okipa. This is the welcoming of guests and strangers alike with complete generosity of Aloha spirit and hospitality. Hearing feedback from guests such as you is one of the many reasons our hotel ambassadors are so proud to be a part of The Royal Hawaiian. We will be sure to share your compliments with our hotel ambassadors.

We look forward to welcoming your ‘ohana back to our beautiful island home.
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2,025 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (501)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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Carmel, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

I have stayed at the Pink resort several times since I was a child and our family vacationed to Hawaii. I was sad as this grand hotel in the heart of Waikiki didn't live up to my memories.
The good is that the Royal Hawaiian is on the beach, great location, old world charm, and private beach area.
The down side is that the service level wasn't as great as I would expect from a 5 star hotel.
Our stay at the Four Season's Maui and Volcano Village Lodge on the big island were of a higher service and quality level.
I still love the colors, feel, flavor, smells, and location of this place. If I were returning to Hawaii, or when I return, I will return. But, I hope the staff starts focusing on the service part of the business.

Room Tip: I like the old world charm of the older builder vs. the high rise.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Aloha PsiWyFun,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review.
Impeccable service and unrivaled accommodations are the foundations of our brand and this iconic property. We are deeply sorry that we were not able to meet your expectations during your recent visit to our resort.

We hope that you will allow us another opportunity to demonstrate our signature hospitality, for which The Royal Hawaiian is known.
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Laguna Beach, CA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013 via mobile

SPG Luxury The Royal Hawaiian Waikiki is NOT. This property is desperately in need of renovation and remodeling. Please do not be fooled as we were by the 'luxury' label and charm that surrounds this classic Waikiki hotel. Wish I had time to go into all of the details but please do not waste your hard earned money or SPF points on this one. Rooms are dark, depressing, dirty and certainly not luxury. Our windows were so dirty in room 265 that you could barely see outside. Air vent above closet door was filthy. And our view from our 'upgraded' room was of a roof full of equipment. Be ware. I have photos but can not find a way to post them.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Aloha,

It is with true regret to learn of the experience you encountered during your visit to The Royal Hawaiian. Refined accommodations are the hallmarks of our brand and this iconic property. We are sorry to hear you did not feel our hotel met your standard.

We value all feedback and have shared your comments with our senior management team.

We hope you will allow us another opportunity to welcome you back to our beautiful island home.
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Schwebsange
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We arrived Tuesday evening around 11:30 PM, 20 minutes waiting to make the Check ‘Inn, only one person available and he was occupied with another guest.

We booked the Luxury Romance package who should include the following: Flowers and Champagne upon arrival ( 1 bottle of champagne per person/per Night, was written in the confirmation). We received only 1 bootle the last night around 6:00 PM, also only at this time the flower arrived. We made 2 times a request one these thinks, but the manager got never the time to spek to us.

Concerning the breakfast, the choice was good, but after ordering we asked to get a little more bread. Answer: this is only possible if you pay, because it’s not included in the pack. For the 2 pieces of toast's we paid around 9$.

Beach-Pool, arrived at the pool around 2PM we tried to find 2 places (chaise longue), around 90% was empty (nobody was there) but towels or other things was laying on it. We asked if something is available and we got as answer that we should go to the beach but there will be a charge of 50$ per chaise-longue.

After 30 minutes we found a chaise-langue and we gave several times a sign to the waiter, but no reaction, so we decided to go our self to the bar to order drinks. The waiter saw us coming back and we got the following comment: I have only to hands and I can not handle all the guests together. I think 40 minutes is enough to find 1 minute to take an order and also there was less as 20 guests around the pool.

Never again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Aloha Claude-Annette,

We regret to learn of the challenges you experienced during your recent visit.
At The Royal Hawaiian we continuously strive to offer exceptional levels of service, which in this case it appears we have failed to deliver.

We would welcome an opportunity to discuss these issues further with you and ask that you direct message us through Tripadvisor.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Let me start by saying this Hotel's location and most of the common areas are pretty nice. The proximity to the beach and shopping, etc is great. I have stayed in many Hotels, including many historic hotels so I recognize the challenge of balancing modern convenience with retaining the feel of a classic luxury hotel can create some challenges, but Starwood fails at this hotel (perhaps they should pay a visit to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for some pointers). I don't believe you can move to "luxury" status without taking care of the basics which by my standards are: Quiet Rooms, with comfortable bed and furnishings, reasonable size bathroom and staff that follows through with what they say they will do. I can say, most mid range hotels (Hampton, etc) out perform this hotel in the basics. The room we had, had the thinnest walls of any I can recall staying at. Even normal conversation level conversations could be easily heard room to room or hall to room. Well insulated rooms perhaps is not as big of a deal in most Hotels, but it is important to recognize, you have almost all guest coming either from Asia or the mainland, so nobody is on the same time zone as HI.....people are up early or staying up late as they adjust. When we asked to be moved at 6am after being up for hrs due to noisy neighbors, we were told we they would call us later to move us.....a call that never occured. We learned to leave the AC Fan running all night to drown out some of the noise. The other thing to be warned about is the Pool / Chair situation. Note the pool is the approx size of a residential pool and the number or chairs is very limited. Of course they have plenty to "rent" on the beach, a bit of an insult when you are already paying for a "luxury" experience. Renting a chair at a "luxury" hotel pool/beach in my opinion would be like being charged for a drink in First Class on an flight.....it just doesn't feel right.

HI is a great place to visit, I just caution you if you elect to chose this hotel We will return to this island, but for sure we will stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Aloha Dave S,

It is with true regret to learn of the experience you encountered during your recent visit to The Royal Hawaiian. Exceptional service and refined accommodations are the hallmarks of our brand and this iconic property, and we strive to deliver consistent service to each guest staying at our hotel. We are sorry to hear you did not feel our hotel met your standard.

I hope you will choose The Royal Hawaiian again in the future, so we may demonstrate our unparalleled level of service and hospitality for which The Royal Hawaiian is known. Mahalo.
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

Rooms were comfortable. big enough, and we had no noise from other rooms. Noise from the beach or other hotel bars is a minor problem and stops at I think 10:30 or 11 pm. However occasionally a bar at a hotel next door plays music during the day that is, literally, unbelievably loud. This is a problem for a few hotels on this strip.

Pool is small; no balls, no inflatable toys etc etc so not so much fun for the kids. But with Waikiki ten metres away I wouldn't be spending too much time swimming in a small pool.

Food seemed good at breakfast but we didn't eat much in the hotel.

Staff were very helpful and always friendly.

Gym is limited with one weights machine that is horribly complicated, some aerobic equipment and free weights are in good condition.

Japanese toilets are always a welcome touch (and I'm not even Japanese)

I would just suggest you spend a bit of time working out exactly where your room will be as there are several towers or wings. We were in the 10-12? story tower facing the beach so had a (tiny) balcony and a panoramic ocean view, the smaller towers may only face out onto the pool. Would probably be worth paying extra for the view.

Room Tip: I would just suggest you spend a bit of time working out exactly where your room will be as there ar...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Aloha FredHayek,

We are so pleased that you had a wonderful visit at The Royal Hawaiian. Our impeccable service and unrivaled accommodations are the foundations of The Royal Hawaiian.

We hope that your experience will be one of your favorite travel stories to share again and again.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Royal Hawaiian.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

I have stayed at the Royal Hawaiian serveral times. Each time I have tried to stay in a different part of the hotel to get a different experience. This last time I stayed in the tower finally. Awesome view but that was it. The room was ok, a typical Westin Hotel, nothing that great. The service of course is great, the location of the hotel you cannot beat. Best of all the Mai Tai's and relaxation of this hotel with its grand history. But for my money stay in the old part of the hotel looking at the Royal Grove or Ocean if you can afford it ortherwise just stay at the Sheraton next door if you stay in the tower whats the difference?

Room Tip: Just my opinion I have stayed at the Royal Hawaiian several times and the character of the old part...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Aloha Jeepsgone,

Mahalo for taking the time to share your experience at The Royal Hawaiian and for your loyalty to The Royal Hawaiian. We are dissappointed to hear that your room was anything less than exceptional. However, we are appreciative of your recognition regarding the exceptional servicese you received from our hotel ambassadors and that you enjoyed the tranquil escape The Coconut Grove offers to many travelers. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Royal Hawaiian again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort

Address: 2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#7 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#9 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#11 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#14 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#17 Family Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 528
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Hawaiian, a Waikiki Beach Hotel, has Abhasa Spa, renowned restaurants, and a pool with a waterslide and cabanas. We have gorgeous indoor and outdoor event space for weddings and meetings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Hotel Honolulu
Royal Hawaiian Honolulu
The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort Hawaii/Honolulu

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