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“Pink Palace in the Pacific” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Ranked #18 of 83 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
NC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Pink Palace in the Pacific”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

Want to see what Waikiki Beach is all about. Then this property is a MUST. You must also like the color pink - otherwise you could be in trouble. This was my 2nd visit to the RH. This trip I stayed in the Historic Building. The bathroom was rather small and didn't include a tub. Room service was yummy. Wasn't impressed at all with the Spa. However the Lomi Lomi message was worth the visit. They weren't able to give us an extended check out for our room, however they provided us access to a generic suite with a place to shower, use the restroom, watch TV or simply rest while waiting to go to the airport. A very nice gesture since our flight wasn't until 5pm and checkout was at noon.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank R J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Aloha R J,

Thank you for your compliments of The Royal Hawaiian and for your loyalty to The Luxury Collection brand. We hope to welcome you back for a third visit to Waikiki’s luxury destination again very soon.

Mahalo
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (720)
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Dusseldorf
Level Contributor
106 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

We passed wonderful holidays over there, with an absolutely Hawaiian-friendly and competent staff and a beautiful location. Even a 6pm check-out could be managed. All what the hotel publishes as advantages and photos is true: a beach, the old stylish hotel and the fantastic garden, plus the main street, Kalakaua Av, closest.

We got our two-bed suite, unfortunately with only a shower and not any bath tub (pic #1 attached). That a room could have only a shower was published, that suites could have only a shower I did not imagine. The 331 was quiet as maybe most of the rooms in the old building, but my pic #2 may show you the corroded a/c and its wall. Not just luxury! The rooms are dark, and as described, without balcony, which finally was a bit disturbing, so I had to smoke chilling out in the garden. I did not change to a smokers room, so, without balcony, smoke also may have disturbed myself.

Now comes negative: When you arrive late as we did, at 11:20pm you will not find not even an open bar in the luxury, which has not any inside, so you open the empty mini-bar and have to wait for an expensive room-service beer, or you drink a warm spring water they provide sufficient bottles of it in the room. One day, we came in at 6:30pm from an excursion and asked for a dinner table in “Azure”, the only dinner restaurant. Booked out that Thursday night, also for hotel guests! A table for the partner hotel Westin could not be arranged for us for any time of this night! We went to discover and dinner by ourselves.

Next morning I wrote a letter to the GM complaining about that all - that the old Pink Lady of The Hawaiian could not feed their guests appropriately. A snack in the MaiThai bar outside was not just an alternative. This was answered quickly by George-English-last-name, his vice in charge, on my voice-box. When I called back he unfortunately was already off and the guest-service-complaint-manager in duty she offered me by phone 100 USD or an accommodation in her famous resto, in which I had had denied to step already in my letter to the GM. She did not understand me, so 100 is not my price for a fully written one-page-letter contesting by phone, and I did not want do bargain with her on the phone. The rate was 595+++ per night! So I will roll on to ask for compensation points to SPG. George may have understood me in a personal five-minutes-talk!

This hotel is of the higher Starwood brands -only the St. Regis higher- but if I compare with the Castillo Hotel Son Vida in Spain or with the Laguna in Bali, both of the same Luxury Collection, this Royal Hawaiian is big inferior for me.

They let you pay a “residence charge” which is well explained and includes, not bad at all, a free Wi-Fi and one hour of telephone calls all over the world per day. Plus a parking we did not need, so we had no car. They let you pay, if you want to access to their “private” part of the public beach, USD 40++ per couple and day for the sunbeds, well, better: beach chairs, umbrella included. Worse are the free beach chairs close to the mini-pool, which are absolutely dirty and uncomfortable . No cushion for my spine, five-stars++? (pic #3).

You may wonder why I only put ugly photos: that’s because the nice ones are already published.

The stay and the -overpriced- breakfast were pretty good. Go there on Sundays and you will have cheaper buffet, if not order a USD 12/20++ fruit platter or a really huge and good 21++ omelet. I would go there again, but fortunately it’s too far from Europe, so it’s expensive. If you decide to book there, or to another hotel close-bye (Trump without beach, The Westin Moana with beach) take a cheap breakfast or snack at the crowdy ”Duke’s” with cute waitresses next door (entry quickly from beachside), or a fabulous Italian dinner at “Taormina”, or a Asian Fusion at “Roy’s”, both next street nothing far from this hotel, way to the Trump, crossing the parking lot of the Sheraton.

Room Tip: Difficult, see my comment. If you need a big room, Main Building. If you need a small room with balc...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank masmiguelDusseldorf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Aloha masmiguelDusseldorf,

Thank for taking the time to detail your experiences and the kind compliments about our ambassadors. Our staff truly takes pride in providing service that is beyond expectation. However, we are disappointed that your experience was anything less than exceptional. We take all feedback seriously and have addressed your experiences with our leaders. I hope you will choose The Royal Hawaiian again in the future so we may demonstrate our unparalleled level of service and hospitality.

Mahalo.
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SLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Loved our stay there. Room was terrific, bed comfortable, AC quiet and cooling, Only negative is the bathroom is small compared to more modern hotel construction. Enjoyed being right on the beach and right next to Kalakaua street where all the stores, shops, restaurants, other hotels are. Overall Waikiki is overpriced relative to other comparable beach resorts and the resorts are all showing their age. I would expect prices to be 200-250 per night for the age, size, and quality rather than 300+. Breakfast at the beachside restaurant, though excellent, was still $25 a person for a classic eggs, bacon, hash brown, breakfast.

A great place to spend 2-3 nights. But not a whole week.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jcbrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Aloha jcbrad,

Our historic charm and location in the heart of Waikiki certainly makes us a unique luxury destination of choice for many of our guests. We thank your for your recognition.

We truly appreciate you taking the time to detail your experience, and we are so pleased that you had a wonderful visit at The Royal Hawaiian.

It will be our pleasure to welcome you back soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
143 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

The Royal Hawaiian is an inconic hotel right on the beach in Waikki.
The lobby of the hotel is vast and spacious with large wondows designed to capture the sea breeze to cool you on a hot day.
The hotel has a private section of the beach which cannot be accessed if you are not staying at the hotel and you literally walk out of the hotel on to the beach.
Now that is perfect.
There is a wonderful outdoor breakfast spot at the hotel where you can enjoy beautiful food and watch the activity on the beach.

Room Tip: You must get a room facing the beach
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DamianRoberts1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Aloha Damian R,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Our historic charm and exquisite atmosphere make us a truly a unique destination for celebration and we appreciate your acknowledgement. I will be sure to share your comments with our leaders. It will be our pleasure to welcome you back soon.
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buckinghamshire
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

This is a great hotel and I booked it after speaking to friends who had been to Hawaii. The ocean room view was great with a fantastic ocean view and although the pool was small it was no problem getting a spot to relax in the sun. The beach was fantastic and the concierge I dealt with was very informative. Short walk to all the local shops and restaurants on Kalakaua. Would have given this hotel a 5 star rating had the check in agent not tried so hard to sell an upgraded room (at a ridiculous cost of $1000/night) and told me I could not get my SPG benefits as I had booked through my travel agent

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms go for the higher floors (at a price no doubt)
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank amit1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Aloha amit1978,

Thank you for taking the time to share feedback about your most recent stay and your loyalty to the Starwood family. We pride ourselves in providing a flawless experience for our guests that surpasses expectations. We appreciate your kind comments about the “informative concierge”, “fantastic ocean views” and the pool and beach facilities. We are disappointed that your stay was anything less than exceptional. Bringing these details to our attention allows us to improve and I have shared your feedback with our leaders.. We hope that you will allow us another opportunity to demonstrate our signature hospitality, for which The Royal Hawaiian is known.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bryan, Texas
Level Contributor
81 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012 via mobile

I have stayed in many nice hotels and resorts and so far The Royal Hawaiian tops them all! The service, cleanliness and amenities were all excellent. Upon check in we were given fresh leis and kukui necklaces. The valet guys were always extremely friendly and helpful. My mother spent several hours at the spa and said the whole experience was great. Personally, I spent the majority of my time on the beach. They had 2 chairs with an umbrella to rent at $40/day. The Waikiki beach is quite famous and the Royal Hawaiian has the ideal spot on it! I did venture over to the Sheraton next door to enjoy their large tropical pool and slide. It was a lot more crowded but still enjoyable! The breakfast on the beach exceeded our expectations and Wayne was a great server!! My mom and I made Kukui bracelets with a wonderful lady right outside the lobby. She had pre-packaged kits to create your bracelet or you could design your own! It was one of the highlights of our stay! The balcony and view from our room was surreal and will be sorely missed! I cannot say enough amazing things about this hotel. The staff were so extremely gracious and helpful and went above and beyond in everything they did! It is not an inexpensive hotel but for a special occasion/vacation look no further... The Royal Hawaiian will not disappoint!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Thecrayonbx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Aloha Thecrayonbx,

It has been a true pleasure reading your review. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and for submitting a very thoughtful review. We truly appreciate your feedback and endorsement of our resort.

Our Ambassadors has a commitment to each guest to create exceptional experiences. We take pride in continuing the legacy of The Royal Hawaiian’s iconic past. I am pleased to hear of your exceptional visit and have shared your kind compliments with our managers and Ambassadors.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Royal Hawaiian as our ohana.
With warmest aloha,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Legendary Pink Palace of Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian seduces with elegant vintage architecture, lovely grounds and a serene sense that other luxury hotels here can't match. 'Traditional" rooms are well appointed but tiny; it pays to move one category up to the Royal Grove room. The newer Tower Rooms have ocean views but lack character and charm of the historic wing. Baths are renovated but very small, many do not have tubs.

The grounds and public areas of the hotel are stunning and beautifully maintained. The hotel has a roped off beach area with chairs that must be reserved in advance ($40 a day for two chairs and an umbrella). There is a small pool on east side of the resort and a large kids oriented pool on the west side shared with the Sheraton. Gym is small but adequate. Service is uniformly friendly and helpful.

Like others have said, this hotel offers a magical experience. Some may not like the older feel of the hotel, the small bathrooms etc...but if you are looking for the true Hawaii and the relaxation that goes with it this is the place to be.

Room Tip: Historic wing Royal Grove rooms offer the best combination of value and experience.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Jim M

Mahalo for your recent review on TripAdvisor. We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. Our unique destination and unrivaled accommodations are the foundations of The Royal Hawaiian. We hope that your experience will be one of your favorite travel stories to share again and again.

We hope to welcome you back again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort

Property: The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Address: 2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-2515
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:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#7 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#9 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#9 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#16 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#18 Business 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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