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“Pink Palace” 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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Ranked #22 of 82 Hotels in Honolulu
Roberts creek
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Pink Palace”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Over many years of traveling to Hawaii we have often wished we could stay here-and well now that we have finally done it here is the report: this hotel has everything you could want and more!
The service is impeccable, the food is really good etc etc but there are two things about this hotel that stand out and maybe both go together but one is the character-this is not one of your modern smoothies, but a real classic hotel with history. The other is the bar and in case you don't know, this is where -they claim anyways-that Mai-Tai's were invented. The bar at sunset with a Royal Mai Tai in your hand is one of the several things you have to do before you die! Of course you have to wear your Panama hat purchased from the hotel shop but try to stick with the lower priced version unless you really have the $$ to blow on the $20,000 version!!

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, Online Marketing Coordinator at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Gmilne8868,
We are absolutely delighted that you fulfilled your longtime desire to stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. Moreover, we are so pleased to learn that your stay with us was exceptional. We truly appreciate your recommendation for our Mai Tai Bar and we are thrilled that you loved the Royal Mai Tai - in our bias opinion, it is the absolute best. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We look forward to our next opportunity to extend our hospitality to you.
Warmest aloha,
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1,959 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
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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

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.

The room:
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:
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).

The property:
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.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, Online Marketing Coordinator at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Audifanatic,
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.
Warm aloha,
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We have stayed at Pink Palace on 10 or more occasions. We were there in September 2012, and then twice in March this year and then April this year. We had reserved our favourite suite, but on our return trip in April we were told that our room had been occupied by a couple who had decided to stay on for an extra two days. (We had reserved this room in september 2013 and had written confirmation). We were put in a totally unacceptable replacement suite, but also offered a presidential suite which was ridiculous for just the two of us.
There was a very big conference on at the hotel at this time, and frankly the people attending were what i would describe as 2 star guests. Ghetto blasters around the pool, girls singing loudly and dancing. Hardly what I might expect from "A Luxury Collection Hotel"!
It strikes me that the holy dollar for a big conference clearly compromises the regular loyal customer, and we will most likely not stay here again.
Disappointing as the Sheraton & St Regis group remain our hotels of choice worldwide.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, Online Marketing Coordinator at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear Ronnie51_11,
We would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincerest apologies to you in regards to your recent stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian. Our intention is always to exceed our guests' expectations and to our great disappointment we did not deliver this experience to you. We know that our return guests such as yourself have such strong affinities for particular rooms and we are truly very sorry that we were unable to place you in your suite upon arrival. We hope that our various gestures provided some remedy to the frustration you experienced due to the room changes and group guests. We do truly value your longtime loyalty to The Royal Hawaiian and we hope you will allow us another opportunity to extend our hospitality to you again.
Warmest aloha,
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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

I stayed at the Royal Hawaiian for 10 days, in a garden suite. The charm of the hotel permeates from the classic decor and service, but all the rooms have been completely upgraded to meet every need.

Important to many travellers: this is the only hotel with beachfront Waikiki property. It's part-private, but chaises are secured very early in the morning so get there fast. No one seemed to bother with the pool (renting the chaises and tents there were too expensive). Beach service is continual, so no one remains thirsty or hungry.

Management and staff are super friendly and will go out of their way to make sure your stay is the best. (I did have continual problems with the internet in the first room I was given, which resulted in a change of location; they aim to please.)

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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RHCoordinator, Online Marketing Coordinator at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Tanya_C_H,
We are delighted to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We apologize for the challenges you experienced with the Internet connection in your room and we are pleased to inform you that we recently completed a complete wifi Internet upgrade throughout our entire resort with new wifi in every guest room and public area wifi that extends out onto the beach area fronting the resort. We truly appreciate your time and we hope to welcome you back to the "Pink Palace of the Pacific" in the near future/
Warmest aloha,
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Honolulu, Hawaii
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

This lovely old classic hotel has a lot of charm and a commanding location fronting Waikiki Beach. Mai Tai Bar makes a great Mai Tai. The pool has got to be the world's smallest resort pool and only 4 feet deep. Hotel guests go at the break of dawn to reserve one of the few free lounge chairs, only to disappear and not return for hours. Beach Cabanas are $100 for a half day and are not covered in the $36.50 resort fee. Rooms are well appointed with large closets, small bathrooms, fridges, hair dryer, Pink-striped robes, free water, tea & coffeemaker, and small safes for valuables. Great location makes it easy to walk to shopping center, restaurants, and take in the Kalakaua Avenue excitement. Waikiki Beach is a bit crowded and full of swimmers, surfers, paddleboarders, and those looking to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists. Be wary of your valuables while you swim. The hotel has many wonderful shops including a first rate haberdashery with the best Panama hats around. Loved the banana nut muffins and the staff was friendly and helpful throughout. Vintage and antique photos offer a nice sense of history the RHH gardens are among the last green spaces on the beachfront. Only complaint was the quality of the bed. Both of us woke up with sore backs because the mattress is way past its prime. Our room was near the ice maker, but it did not cause any noise problems. Also close to bathers elevator for easy access to beach area. Loved the rocking chairs overlooking the garden. Check in was really nice with refreshing drink and a place to sit while they did the paperwork.

Room Tip: The Jr. Suites are large and spacious. Also Room 557 has lovely little sitting alcove overlooking th...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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, Online Marketing Coordinator at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear TripTalkHawaii,
Thank you very much for your thorough review of your recent stay at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We are delighted to learn that you enjoyed many aspects of our resort and surrounding areas. We apologize that our plunge pool did not meet your expectations and we hope that you had the opportunity to utilize the larger resort pool at Helumoa Playground. We apologize that your felt your bed was anything less than exceptional and have deployed measures to check on the comfort of the bed in room 557. We truly appreciate and value your feedback and we hop to have another opportunity to extend our warm hospitality to you.
Warmest aloha,
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Sydney
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

We sayed at the royal hawaiian for 3 days in June towards the end of our honeymoon. What a beautiful hotel, check in was wonderful and I liked the pedal touches of fresh lei, cocktails and cold towel.. As it was our honeymoon we were given a complimentary upgrade and champagne and when we arrived back to our room there was fresh banana muffins and romantic music. The rooms were beautiful but the toilets were tiny! The breakfast at the hotel was one of the best I have ever had and the in site restaurant azure had fantastic food.

It is in a prime location and everything at your doorstep. The only negatives were the pool is extremely small and the daily resort fee of $36 was expensive for when you get.

  • Stayed June 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
    • 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.
RHCoordinator, Online Marketing Coordinator at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, June 21, 2013
Dear Annersok,
We are honored to have been part of such a special time in your life; thank you for letting us share our warmest aloha with you and your new husband. We are delighted to learn that you enjoyed your time here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. Azure is an outstanding restaurant and we're thrilled that you were able to enjoy this epicurean experience. We look forward to our next opportunity to welcome you to the "Pink Palace of the Pacific."
Warm aloha,
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Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

This property is beyond what I was thinking I would get. The pool is small but never crowded. I had stayed clear of this hotel previously due to the small pool and I was so wrong as it was one of my favourites in Waikiki and right on the beach was fantastic. There were jelly fish in the ocean, so that having a great pool was perfect. Much like the rest of the resort, it has an uncrowded feel. The service was spot on around the pool and in the hotel and restaurants. The restaurant was world class with excellent service and amazing meals.
I loved the old part of the hotel it oozes charm and history and very comfortable. Not just a regular room like most of Hawaii's hotels. I would say best for couple but families did stay and enjoy the hotel.
Do not overlook this hotel the price is worth it.

Room Tip: Go for the old palace wing for some charm.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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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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
#8 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#9 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#11 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#15 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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