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“Luxury is a bit of a stretch” 3 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 #22 of 82 hotels in Honolulu
Austin
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Luxury is a bit of a stretch”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We stayed here for three nights before heading to Maui. As a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel, we had certain expectations, we were very disappointed.

First the pros:

Location - The RH is in a great location in the center of Waikiki beach. Directly on the beach and with easy access to shopping and restaurants, I can't think of a better spot.

The Property - the grounds are beautiful and very well maintained. The grounds look like what you think Hawaii should look like. Lush, open, beautiful. The lobby is open air and pleasant.

Staff - everyone from the bellman, desk clerks, concierge, and housekeeping were friendly and efficient. As a large hotel, it is is to be ignored and rushed. I felt they were there to help and truly cared, even as they had large groups moving through.

Now the Con's:

Room - After an efficient check in and seeing the beautiful grounds, the room was a major disappointment. Granted I know this is a beach resort and get heavily used, this room was very worn. There was a water leak in the bathroom, shades and upholstery was not the cleanest, and there was mold in the bathroom. This was for a room we paid more for to have a beachfront lanai. The room was way below standard for a luxury collection hotel (why we stayed there) and was very disappointing compared to the rest of the property. Additionally, this was not a heavenly bed, bedding, and pillows. The bedding was scratchy and the bed was hard as a rock.

Fee's/Charges - We knew about the resort fee, $35 per day. I don't like them or agree with them, but like baggage fees, we are stuck with them. I made the incorrect assumption that this would cover resort and beach amenities, wrong. You get internet, two watered down maitais, and self parking. Your fee does NOT include any beach amenities. If you want chairs and an umbrella in the RH space, thats $40 day, if you want a chair closer to the water, thats $50 per day. Do you want to use a boggie board, thats $6 per hour, want snorkel gear or a SUP board, I don't know how much, but you will pay. Essentially we paid $35/day for internet and two watered down drinks (note, the free maitais are different then the regular ones, see what happens you order one and don't tell the bartender you have the coupon for the free on. He dumps it out, tells you the freebie is different, and makes you the free one, all while making a face).

Overall - Luckily we were only here for three days, if it was longer we would have changed hotels. I normally request a different room, but after flying all day and thinking this was not a one off room, we didn't. If you are used to Starwood Hotels such as St Regis, Westin, and W, you will be disappointed. If you do stay here, there are several cheap beach shops and a grocery store with a few blocks of the hotel, go and buy a cheap beach chair, boogie board, and snorkel gear, and leave it when you leave.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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
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Honolulu, Hawaii
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

The most beautiful Hawaiian-style hotel out there. It is the closest you will get to an authentic experience. The architecture is in traditional Hawaiian style and their Hawaiian luau every Monday is SPECTACULAR. The best one I've ever been to bar none. It is so classy and the food and entertainment is just perfect. The service is pretty good at this hotel but it's the beautifully designed and decorated rooms, the amazing setting on the waikiki ocean front, surrounded by beautiful indigenous Hawaiian plants, the luxurious spa, and the great food options that make this place top-notch.

  • Stayed June 2012, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Nashville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Our daughter recommend that we spend our three nights in Oahu at the Royal Hawaiian. Once again she was right. An old classic that has kept it's charm in the middle of Waikiki. Once on the grounds it is quiet and peaceful. No sounds are heard in our room. We chose one of the less expensive rooms, and the view is not great. they offered to change us, but not much better until you spend more money. Resort fee is high, but includes excellent WiFi and free valet parking. Service is quietly excellent. Beachside breakfast was very good and greatly enjoyed! If you enjoy "classics" try this one if it is within your budget.

Room Tip: Garden view rooms look at a lot of roofs.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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New York City, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I agree with another reviewer - you either love or hate Waikiki! Its a busy beach side holiday with large hotels side by side and a long stretch of luxury shopping and restaurants on your doorstep. The Royal Hawaiian stands out amongst the pack given its unique pink style and charm where everything else in Waikiki is a biege highrise. Its beautiful, on the best part of Waikiki beach and ocean view rooms are worth the extra cost. The rooms are a little tired but perfectly comfortable and adequate with large bathrooms and a mini fridge which allow for a few drinks on your balcony as the sun goes down. The main disappointment was the addition "resort fee" on top of the room rate and to use the beach chairs would cost more on top of that! Being a guest of the hotel I would have expected full use of those - even if you had to reserve - but not for $40 per day extra. Only the pool chairs were complimentary. I would probably stay again but would keep my eye out for a deal of some sort or would try to visit a more remote island of Hawaii instead

Room Tip: loved the ocean view room in the tower section of the hotel
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

The Pink Lady is ideally located on Waikiki. Staff was very friendly. You can see Diamond Head from your balcony! Located to shopping area and lots of restaurants! Stunning rooms, very clean and definitely luxurious!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Shanghai, China
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

First of all, Waikiki is a unique place and people either love it or hate it. I happen to be someone who loves it, staying in Waikiki is like staying in the middle of a huge city with all the conveniences of a metropolis but a location that is right on the beach. If you want to stay in Waikiki but you still want to feel like you are at a beach resort then the Royal Hawaiian is a good choice. The hotel doesn't feel crowded like some of the other mega hotels on the beach even though you are in the heart of Waikiki beach. It does have drawbacks of having to pay for beach chairs which were free until about a year ago and having to pay the rip off "resort fee" that is just a mandatory fee which should be included in your room rate if these hotels were honest. Aside from that, it is a very good property, and when you're sitting at the beach bar with a delicious mai tai looking out over the ocean and diamond head it's hard to not enjoy the experience.

The pool is small like most pools in Waikiki, but it still feels exclusive and I never had a problem getting a chair in the late afternoon. The fitness center is small but functional with top notch equipment. We had a room in the tower with an ocean view and it was great. I like the tower because you are guaranteed a balcony and an ocean view but I can also see the appeal of staying in the more historic rooms in the old wing of the hotel, it's like a trip back in time to what was a luxurious hotel for movie stars and royalty in the "good old days". The public areas are all well maintained, the carpets in the long hallway are particularly impressive as well as the row of rocking chairs overlooking the never crowded gardens. All in all the Royal Hawaiian is a good choice for a solid resort stay in Waikiki.

Room Tip: Go for the tower rooms to ensure a balcony and ocean view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

You arrive through a beautiful courtyard shaded by giant Ironwood trees. A plaque at the base of the highest tree describes Mark Twain's impression of the island."No other land could so longingly and so beseechingly haunt me, sleeping and waking,, through half a lifetime.. other things leave me, but it abides.. other things change but it remains the same.
The Doorman greets you dressed in a pink suit with gold epaulettes "Aloha Oe"
Once reistered you will be escorted to the elevator lobby. Opposite is an exquisite wall painting of an ancient map of Oahu that will captivate you. aloha

Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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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:
#9 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#9 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#11 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#13 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#17 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort 5*
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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