This is the second time I’ve stayed at the Royal Hawaiian, but first review I’m writing. My wife and I stayed 8 nights, plenty long enough for an accurate review of the hotel. Starting from the beginning, the front desk staff checked us in quickly and we were off to our room without any problems or guesswork. They appeared to be more confident, knowledgeable and much faster with guests today than during our first stay in late 2011.
We had a room on the 16th floor (1605) in the beach tower. The beach tower is comprised of 17 floors (the 17th floor is mostly suites and a penthouse) however all rooms have a fantastic view of the ocean, beach and Waikiki. The room we had was 350 square feet and had a healthy sized balcony with chairs and table. The room had a king bed, flat screen TV, small fridge that didn’t work too well and a bathroom with tub/shower. The bed and pillows were super comfortable and I felt like I got some great sleep most of the time. The rooms were all updated a few years ago, but seem to be a little rough around the edges. For example, the Air Conditioning is unusually loud and you can hear/feel the loud whistling draft coming from underneath the front door. When you leave your room, make sure to pull the door shut, as we found out that if you don’t, it will not close all the way and could be a bad situation. The furniture was clean, but had some food/drink stains. The adjustable showerhead was loose and kept sliding down the pole it was attached to. It was a minor annoyance, but I had to ask maintenance to fix it a few times…nothing really helped. I would give the room quality an 8/10, but hey you’ll be spending most of the time outside of your room, so this shouldn’t reflect too poorly.
The beach is amazing and has everything for everyone. The hotel has a small round swimming pool, big hot tub and plenty of chairs (free) surrounding the pool to lounge in. The beach bar is very nice and the service is quick, but the drinks can be expensive ($12 USD for a mai tai). If someone is trying to be conscientious with their drink money, you may want to stop at the ABC store to grab drinks instead. There’s a place next to the pool where you can rent SUP, surfboards, etc. The beach is safe and the water is fantastic. You can walk 200-300 feet into the water and it’s only 3-4 feet deep. Very cool if you don’t swim or hate deep water. Oh, we also saw a sea turtle swimming around but kept our distance. It was really cool seeing that turtle swimming around. One immediate drawback is that the beach umbrella and chairs used to be free for RY guests, but now they charge $40 USD for the day or $20 USD for half-day after 2pm. You can also rent beach equipment from other vendors, but the prices are all pretty high ($25-$35 USD for the day).
Wow, TRY is the second oldest hotel in Waikiki and has such an amazing iconic feel. You can sit in the rocking chairs in the hall way and just people watch, feel the warm tropical breeze and totally relax. We spent lots of time just walking around the resort, looking at the history and art, amazed by the huge trees in the courtyard and most of all just relaxing. The property has a few high-end shops close to the front desk, but the real benefit is that the hotel is right next door to the Royal Hawaiian Shopping center where you can buy anything from a shortbread cookie to a Rolex President 18K gold watch. They also have a great food selection over there. Here’s an idea: For breakfast, head over to Island Vintage Coffee and get acai bowl (fruit, honey, banana, granola), island plate (rice, eggs, sausage, fruit) and island latte (hint of coconut). I promise this will not disappoint and it’s super close to the hotel. The restaurant Azure within TRH is nice okay breakfast, but too expensive for lunch/dinner and not really enough choice, so I would pass. We ate at Dukes and Hula Grill (next door) and house without a key (next door on the other side). Also, I’d skip the Italian restaurant Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar…tourist trap and mediocre food.
Rental car and other stuff: If you rent a car from the airport, the daily resort fee ($35 USD) includes valet parking which is nice. If you don’t want to get a car from the airport, there’s one office at the Outrigger Reef, a 10 minute beach walk from TRH. Make sure to drive around the island, it’s about 4-5 hours and a really fun experience to get out of the touristy Waikiki area.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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We are absolutely delighted to learn that you enjoyed your recent stay at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We truly appreciate your very thorough and well-written review; we can see you took quite a bit of time on this and we are very impressed with your attention to detail regarding your experience. We do apologize that you experienced some challenges with the shower in your room and appreciate your noting that our maintenance ambassadors assisted with repair. Again, we truly appreciate the time you took to write this review and we hope to welcome you back to The Royal for another exceptional experience in paradise.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.