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“You Get What You Pay For” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Grove Hotel

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Royal Grove Hotel
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151 Uluniu Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815 (Waikiki)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #29 of 82 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Colorado
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
180 helpful votes 180 helpful votes
“You Get What You Pay For”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2008

My husband and I, along with his parents, stayed at the Royal Grove May 15-17, 2008 prior to a NCL Pride of America cruise. We had one of the Cat. 2 room for $90 per night. It was one that had a bedroom with a queen bed and a separate room with two twins and a kitchenette.

Check in was fairly easy. The place is very old and really needs a major refurb. I was aware of the bare bones accommodations ahead of time, but was expecting something cleaner and better than what we experienced based on past reviews. I'm usually not this hard on a property in my reviews, but this place does not deserve its high Trip Advisor rating. I would guess it's because of the price and location. It cannot be for the accommodations.

First of all, the pool was being fixed and they were using a jackhammer and some kind of saw late into the night and early in the day. We could hear it in our room very clearly, so that was very annoying. The carpet is in dire need of being replaced (both in the hallways and rooms). When we arrived in the room, the two twins had no pillows on them. We found a couple in the room, but we needed a couple more, as well as some additional towels. I called the front desk to have some delivered and was told to come down and get a key to another room so I could take them out of that room. I was told earlier the hotel was sold out so I guess someone didn't have any pillows or towels that night. The room I went to was even more depressing than our room.

We had only one working air conditioner, which was in the bedroom. It was so hot in both rooms upon arrival that it was almost unbearable. It pretty much stayed that way the entire time we were there. We had to leave the door open between the rooms at night and put the fan in the doorway, but that didn't help much.

We all felt very dirty the whole time we were staying there. We needed ice and I was told it was in the back, so we walked past the pool area down a old, damp, dirty hall. We opened a refrigerator since we thought that was the ice maker. It had spoiled food and it was disgusting. The adjacent restaurant used it. It was so filthy and smelled horrible. We quickly closed the door. I would not eat anything from that restaurant. We finally found the ice machine a bit further down almost in the restaurant, so we felt funny taking it. What an experience.

I called ahead of time to ask if the beds had been replaced recently. I was told they had, but that had to have been untrue. The sheets, blankets and pillows are in dire need of replacement. If you stay here, make sure you bring your own soap, shampoo, etc. since they only provide one small bar of soap. The towels and wash cloths also need to be replaced. The ceiling in the shower had reddish looking matter splattered on it that looked as if someone had died in that room. It really made me ill. I tried to not look up when I showered. The vent in the bathroom had so much mold and dirt clogging it, it was disgusting (see photo). The window air conditioner was also moldy and clogged. There was a refrigerator and a stove, with a few dishes/glasses in the cabinet. You need to purchase dish soap to wash dishes. There was also a ice tray in the freezer, but we didn't use it. The coffee pot was disgusting, so we just didn't use it. There was only one t.v. in the bedroom. The main room with the two twins did not have one, so my father-in-law was not very happy. They didn't sleep well because the room was just too hot. The only bathroom is in the bedroom so they had to move the fan out of the doorway at night and then come into our room.

Parking is another issue. You must park several blocks away and it's $10 per day. This was very inconvenient, especially if you have a disability. Finding a place to park while we were dropping bags off and picking them up was a challenge as well.

We didn't feel very safe there either. What really bothered me was that both of the doors to the hallway were propped all of the way open all night long just inviting people to come in. There are a lot of homeless people in Honolulu. The doors to the rooms have vents in them (see photos) and you can hear everything on the streets and in the halls. Someone had kicked in the lobby door overnight and broke the glass out. There was a very heated argument between two strangers on the street in front of the hotel as we were standing there waiting for my husband to pick us up. One guy said to us "what the [--] are you looking at?" We were just very uncomfortable there.

Our stay at the Royal Grove really made a difference in the enjoyment of our trip, or lack thereof. This place is just depressing. They need to spend some money painting and cleaning up this property, or just demolish it.

Bottom line, if you are on a very, very tight budget, stay here. Otherwise, spend some extra money and stay elsewhere. We could not wait to check out and get to our cruise ship. The only thing this place really has going for it is the location since it's only a couple of blocks from the beach. If you are a young, single person in town to party, surf or whatever, this place is probably for you. You really do get what you pay for.

  • Liked — The location, but the parking is a real pain since it's so far away
  • Disliked — The rooms were just nasty. The Royal Grove is depressing. Stay somewhere else!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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317 reviews from our community

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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
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English first
British Columbia, Canada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2008

We stayed here for 3 nights recently while on vacation, based largely on the glowing reviews on Tripadvisor. Certainly, the Royal Grove is well situated, inexpensive and quite clean. Staff were friendly and helpful. The downstairs sitting area is welcoming and the other guests were pleasant - we encountered mostly younger couples and young families. However, the two rooms I saw could really use some maintenance. In my room, the top of one of the chairs was detached, one of the lampshades was heavily stained, window screens were clogged with dust and the walls were quite scuffed. It seemed like some fairly minor upgrades to this particular room would have made a big difference. It's possible that some of the other rooms are in better shape - I only saw two. Street noise (early morning garbage trucks, etc.) can also be issue, depending on where your room is located. Overall, I am not sure if I'd stay at this particular property again.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2008

We had a great stay at the Royal Grove. Yes, it's worn and dated, but it is also CLEAN, inexpensive, centrally located and friendly. We stayed for 4 days at the beginning of our trip and liked it so much that we came back for 2 more at the end! Our room was everything we could have wanted - it had a nice stocked kitchenette with a refrigerator which we used to cook breakfasts (saving us lots of money). Its location (less than a minute walk to the center of Waikiki beach) allowed us to go surfing every day, walk to shopping and restaurants, or hop The Bus to anywhere. The health food store downstairs (Ruffage) makes killer whole grain turkey sandwiches (for packing on a hike up Diamond Head), and the smoothies shop made us so many yummy taro bobas that we lost count. The room was cleaned daily, we had fresh towels constantly, and the staff was very friendly - holding our bags while we picked up the rental car, lending us beach towels, snorkles, umbrellas etc. The next time we go back, we're going to just stay for a week...

  • Liked — Location, price, friendly staff
  • Disliked — Worn about the edges - but that gives it character
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2008

I visited the Royal Grove on 05/20-05/23; aside from the weather, which was generally overcast with some light drizzle, I had a great time during my stay in no small part due to the Royal Grove. I arrived at the hotel and checked-in at around 3pm; my cousin, with whom I was sharing the room, arrived at around midnight (after his flight was delayed) and had no problems checking into the room after I informed Christy that he'd be arriving later.

The really cool part about the stay (aside from the great price and the proximity to the beach) is the jam session that took place on Tuesday night. The owners (the Fongs) invited some of their friends over to jam to some Hawaiian tunes on some ukuleles, an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, an electric bass guitar, and a set of drums. The music was pretty sweet as was the impromptu hula session given by the (daughter-in-law?).

After the jam session, I had the chance to meet the Fongs, who as it turns out, have owned the Royal Grove for about 40 years now. Although they still own the hotel, the Fongs leave the day-to-day management up to one of their sons, Tim, whom I also had the chance to meet. I'm not sure how Tim does it, but the staff he works with was generally really friendly and helpful. Speaking of which, Christy, one of the ladies behind the counter was a total rockstar of friendliness and helpfulness. She wasn't alone in this; I was able to get directions to a good (and inexpensive) salon for a haircut, directions to a place for good eats nearby, etc. throughout my stay.

All in all, I had a blast during my stay at the Royal Grove and look forward to another stay there.

  • Liked — Great value for the location, service, etc.
  • Disliked — Lack of free wireless internet.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire, UK
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2008

The location cannot be faulted and the price does not reflect the little gem that it is.

The decor is dated, the hotel needs an overhaul but that is also part of its charm. Even the parrot in the reception is a little bonus. Do not expect in room service or concierge (although they will do all they can for you) but do expect a decent sized room that has a fridge and a hotplate.

I didnt have much problem with noise but then again we used to hotel for sleeping in after a full day.

Being central you have all the shops you need in the area including small restaurants and takeaways.

Definately recommended.

  • Liked — Its price! You cant argue there.
  • Disliked — I got exactly what I paid for and more. If I had to nitpick then I would say the single lift was slow.
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2008

This hotel is really in a very good location, very convenient to everywhere. But the room along the street side is very noisy...So if possible avoid stay there. There's a Korean small restaurant next to the hotel, their food are great, very good value and very tasty,

  • Liked — Location and friendly staff
  • Disliked — Rooms in one side (along street) get nosiy, by the passing car, and people talking on the street
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2008

After reading about the Royal Grove on TripAdvisor we thought we would give it a try and it did not disappoint. This hotel is probably one of the few left in Honolulu with genuine character. OK, so it is a bit worn around the edges but the hospitality shown by the staff, the proximity to the beach and most importantly the price more than compensate. We loved it!

  • Liked — Proximity to beach
  • Disliked — Noise from early morning garbage collection in street.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Grove Hotel

Address: 151 Uluniu Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Honolulu
#38 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 120
Also Known As:
Royal Grove Honolulu
Hotel Royal Grove
Royal Grove Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu

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