WARNING: We paid extra money for a full Ocean View Room at this hotel, but the Hyatt failed to provide what we paid for. Instead, they gave us a Partial Ocean View room, with only the tiniest sliver of water visible from the room itself. We felt cheated by this, and when we raised the matter with the Day Manager, he rudely dismissed our complaint. Only when I played the Media Card did the Hyatt suddenly sit up and take notice. Let me explain:
I am a journalist and media officer for a Coast Guard Flotilla.
My partner andf I bought a special package deal to Hawaii in February. This including 8 nights at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. We are experienced travellers, and we know that 'special package deals' often get you a room at the back of the hotel with no views, or a room wrapped around the elevator shaft. So, to avoid that happening, before leaving home I checked what types of rooms the Hyatt Regency Waikiki offered. The Hyatt said they offered three types of rooms: No-Ocean View room, Partial Ocean View Room, and (full) Ocean View Room. We decided to upgrade to the best view on offer, so I paid the Hyatt extra money for an Ocean View Room.
Now, that should be clear enough. But just to make sure of getting an Ocean View Room, I joined the Hyatt Gold Passport Club, which promised POINTS for every day of my stay, and extra customer service. And before we left home, I contacted the Customer Service staff at the Hyatt Gold Passport Club and asked them to confirm that we really had an OCEAN VIEW ROOM reserved for us at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. They checked my booking and confirmed that we had a reservation in an Ocean View Room.
So, after all that work and extra money, you can imagine my disappointment when I arrived at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and was sent to a room on the 22nd Floor, which looked out mostly onto the high-rise car-park opposite. From my room, I could see a tiny partial sliver of beach and a bit of blue water on the far right-hand edge of the window (see my photo). But that's not an Ocean View!
True, if you went onto the balcony and leaned out, you could see a larger slice of ocean, off to the right ... maybe 20% Ocean View ... but we hadn't paid for a Partial Ocean View Balcony. We'd paid for an OCEAN VIEW ROOM. Clearly, we did NOT have an OCEAN VIEW from our room, and we felt cheated.
I did not complain about this at first, because I had several days work with the US Coast Guard in Honolulu, and also because the staff at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki were so nice. Lili at Reception sent fruit and a Happy Birthday card to our room because we checked in on my birthday. For the same reason, Tom at Reception gave us a card entitling us to a free bottle of champagne (make sure you ask about this. It's not offered automatically!) Kalena at breakfast (in the Shor) went to the trouble of learning my first name, so she could greet me by name every morning (lovely touch). And when the salt-grinder at my table in the poolside 'Swim' Restaurant ground rust into my meal ... forcing me to ask politely for a non-rusty grinder ... the quick and efficient Supervisor Nabil immediately cancelled my bill and provided our meal free. These people and others really made our holiday enjoyable.
But after my Coast Guard work was completed and I had more time to spend in my room, the view (or lack of it) started annoying me. After all, we'd paid quite a bit of extra money to upgrade to an Ocean View Room throughout our stay -- but the Hyatt had failed our trust and failed to give us what we paid for.
So, I eventually decided to accept that I had been cheated by the Hyatt Regency Waikiki's untrustworthy room policy, and to simply write a review which laid out the facts of this disappointing matter.
However, as a journalist, I respect the value of a balanced review. So, before writing anything, I decided to give the Hyatt management an opportunity to respond.
Therefore, I went down to the Hyatt Regency front desk and asked for the Day Manager, The staff summoned a man whose name badge said "Francis".
I politely explained to "Francis" that I had paid extra money to be upgraded to an Ocean View Room, but the room I was given didn't have an Ocean View. Instead, it looked onto the hi-rise car park next door. That was definitely NOT an Ocean View, in anyone's book.
I admitted that I could see a slice of ocean if I stood on the balcony and looked off to the right. But this was only a Partial Ocean View from the balcony, and was not visible from the room itself. So, my room was definitely NOT an Ocean View Room.
Francis checked our room number on his computer, and then bluntly informed me that the room I'd been given WAS listed as an Ocean View Room. I said, "Francis, I invite you to come up and have a look at the room yourself. You can see nothing more than a tiny sliver of beach from the room itself, and only a part of the ocean if you go out on the balcony. So at best it's a partial ocean view BALCONY, and it's absolutely not the OCEAN VIEW ROOM I paid extra money for!"
Francis looked me up and down, then dismissively replied, "That's your opinion!"
And with that, he turned away.
I was a tad annoyed by this snide and discourteous response. So I said: "Thank you, Francis. By the way, just to be fair, I should tell you that I'm a journalist and also a Top Reviewer for TripAdvisor. I came down here to give you a fair chance to respond to my room problem, and now that you've done that, I's just like you to know that I'll be quoting you in my TripAdvisor Review."
I then went back to my room, and sat down to start writing this review.
Within thirty minutes, the phone in my room rang. It was Renee Nakashima, the Hyatt's Senior Sales Manager. She said she's heard I was unsatisfied and wanted to know why. I told her everything I'd just told Francis, adding that the hotel staff are generally excellent, but in my experience the hotel management is cheating its customers by taking extra money for Ocean View Rooms and then failing to deliver the room its customers paid for. As for the management response to complaints ... it speaks for itself. I would be saying so in my TripAdvisor review.
Renee was full of apologies. She said the hotel was having some trouble with room descriptions (obviously) but was trying to fix the problem. Meanwhile, she was going to immediately arrange to move me to a new room on the 38th Floor, with a real ocean view (see my photos) and also give me a Regency Club pass (to their private Club room on the 3rd floor, with a private balcony overlooking the beach - and free food and cheap drinks and free internet), plus she was going to take care of our $20 per day Hotel Tax.
So, for the last two days of our 8-day stay, we had the room we'd paid for, plus some fringe benefits. Sometimes it pays to complain.
I must admit that, after Renee Nakashima's customer-friendly response to my complaint, I was on the verge of not writing this review at all. Renee was so friendly and efficient in her response, so unlike the dismissive Day Manager.
However, after my stay at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, I found that their Hyatt Gold Passport Club had failed to add any points to my m,embership card for staying at the Hyatt. I asked why, and the Customer Service staff said that, since my reservation was booked through a third party (my travel agent), and since the rate paid was a discounted room rate, it was ineligible for any Gold Passport credit points. This reply ignored the fact that I'd paid extra money to upgrade my room rate to an Ocean View Room, and that's just dishonest and mean-spirited.
That final customer-unfriendly Hyatt reply was what convinced me to sit down and write this review. Sorry, Renee, but your management hasn't learnt the old hospitality mantra ~ the customer is always right.
PS: Special note to Ivans, the Hyatt PR Manager: Please don't demean yourself by writing one of your self-serving post-script messages: Thank you for your review ... we are working to fix the problem yadda yadda. Better if the Hyatt Regency management just acted decisively to make its room policy honest and accurate in future. An Ocean View Room should mean a room with an Ocean View. Not some secret category you call a "Front Ocean View" ... and definitely not a Partial Ocean View. Your staff is always friendly. Now try to keep your room policy always honest. Give your customers the rooms they pay for and expect. Until you do that, I'll be staying elsewhere when I return to Waikiki.
Hotel management's room policy is untrustworthy. Paying for an OCEAN VIEW ROOM does NOT necessar...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.