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“luxury hotel..not so luxurious room”

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Ranked #23 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 4 days last week. On arrival, we had to wait for ever at the registration desk since they have 4 stations but only two had a clerk. We stayed in the main part of the hotel, not the newer Royal tower. Disappointed on the size of our room, two persons couldn,t stand at the same time in the bathroom because it was so small, only one sink.The view was pretty right in front of the beach but NO real balcony to enjoy the view. The carpet was humid when we entered the room, looks like they had steam cleaned it for some reasons. This was not a room of a 5 stars hotel in our opinion. I could hear the guest next door taking his bath!The chaise lounges at the beach, for the two of us costed 40 dllrs/ day and if you wanted to be closer to the ocean you had to pay 50 dllrs! they charge you also 25 dllrs/ day extra for Internet and other things. The staff was very nice though, but we will not go back to this hotel. Corinne D.

Room Tip: I would try the Royal Tower at the Hawaian Hotel, seems more modern or go next door to the Sheraton...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Corinne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,232 - 2,238 of 3,969 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2013

"They got so much right but the things they got wrong left a mark on our stay"

A review prior to this one beautifully sums up much of our disappointment with our return to the Royal Hawaiian. This hotel should earn 5 stars easy. There is no more lovely or well-situated hotel in Waikiki and I still feel like a Hawaiian princess the moment I walk on the property.

Sadly the service left me feeling dreadfully common. No apologies that a cockroach skittered up my leg while I was resting on my bed. Three hours after alerting the front desk, the rat in the bushes by the coffee service was still there. And really must ever profit center be exploited? Cant the cost sit on the beach at a beachfront hotel be covered by the additional $40/day resort fee?

That said our Housekeeper was lovely, greeted us by name and changed the shower curtain when we mentioned the mildew odor in the room. Also the poolside waiter was especially kind to us and the only one who apologized for our run in with the vermin.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank swijsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 26, 2013

It is with true regret to learn of the experience you encountered during your recent visit to The Royal Hawaiian. Exceptional service and refined accommodations are the hallmarks of our brand and this iconic property. We strive to deliver outstanding service to each guest staying at our hotel, and apologize you did not feel our hotel met your standards.

Please allow us the opportunity of discussing your comments further. We will be reaching out to your directly to ensure a satisfactory resolution to your concerns.

Mahalo,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We have stayed at nearly all the other luxury hotels on Waikiki over the years - and at the end of 6 weeks of travel we decided to treat ourselves to the Royal Hawaiian. It was disappointing in many ways.
The rate had no relationship to value - ugly mismatched furniture - terribly uncomfortable bed - poor quality linens, with comforter for freezing weather, thermostat located tucked in a corner near a large piece of furniture and nearly over top of the unit, resulting in either roasting or freezing. A very tiny bathroom - but with nice towels.
Inconsistent and uncaring service - received newspapers the first morning - none the other days. There were newspapers left on the floor outside a guest room for TWO DAYS!!
Service fees all over the place a charge for using the hotel private part of the beach???- breakfast package with no flexability. Many servers pleasant but when something was forgotten - it was without apology, like the second course arriving after the first course.

Room Tip: Don't count on getting what you asked for
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Susan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013 via mobile

Stopped in for midday lunch. Simply beautiful. Restaurant by the beach provided a welcome respite from the crowds. Lovely service. Late breakfast including an fresh smoothie amuse bouche to start. Not to be missed, given the beauty, grandeur and peacefulness.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank upintheairmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 11, 2013

Aloha upintheairmom,

Mahalo, for taking the time to submit your review and for choosing The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort for your Hawaiian vacation. We truly appreciate your feedback and endorsement of our resort.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Royal Hawaiian Resort as our ohana.
With warmest aloha,

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Reviewed February 14, 2013

We have just completed a stay at The Royal Hawaiian Waikiki. We are 2 couples in our 50s. I have a long and warm association with TRH through my grandfather and parents who stayed there over many years. I used to stay there with my parents who still love TRH. However, there were some major disappointments this time. The check in procedure was very slow. While the staff were friendly and polite, there were not enough of them. We did not expect to arrive at a hotel that costs at least $400 a night and wait in a lengthy line. We were ahead of check-in time so were given access to a room to change. This was most helpful, however, every time we returned to reception to check on access to our room we had to stand in that line again. It was over all a very poor introduction to our four night stay. We were in the old building and the rooms, although small, were well appointed and much improved by the refurbishing. The rooms were clean and well equipped, with plenty of plush towels. The external area was a major disappointment. Over all the 40 odd years that I have been to or associated with the royal hawaiian it is the worst I have seen. A number of the umbrellas in the breakfast outdoor area were in disrepair and the fence along the dining area wall was in need of some care. The beach chair area on the beach used to be complimentary. However, it has now been contracted out to a beach facility company. NOT GOOD. They charge US$40 for two chairs and the umbrella for the day. That is over the top for a hotel with the room rate paid by most guests. Consequently the area was 75% unused. This changed the whole atmosphere and not in a positive way. You have really got this horribly wrong. The impression was were left with was that the hotel was under staffed and the management was not hands on with crossing their t's and dotting their i's. Breakfast-What can I say. The beautiful buffet that used to be the highlight of a stay at TRH has long gone. There is a small a la carte menu for those of us who's breakfast was included in the room rate. However, heaven forbid if you stray a little away from the menu. My husband wanted to have bacon with his omelette instead of potato, he was charged $7 for 4 pieces of bacon. Our friends were in a room with a locked door to the next room. The sound proofing was terrible and they felt like there were sharing in the next door domestic. I notice others have complained on trip advisor about this. You need sound proof doors. Despite my emotional attachment to the hotel I left feeling disappointed. They got so much right but the things they got wrong left a mark on our stay.

Room Tip: This is an expensive hotel in a prime location with a wonderful history. Do not raise your expectati...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank fairbairn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

This hotel has captured my heart when I was there four years ago for drinks. I vowed to return and stay there. I have been back two times since those magical cocktails and stayed at The Royal Hawaiian both times while in Waikiki. Granted, this stretch of honolulu is like Times Square with puka shells and sometimes you must turn off the noise.

This is what The Royal Hawaiian does best: quiet elegance but relaxing. The room was incredible and we had an ocean view with a balcony - worth the splurge. Small pool but hey...you have the most amazing ocean and a view of Diamondhead, so get on the beach! Pink everywhere...and the welcome glass of special juices (in pink and non-alcoholic...just wait till The Mai Tai Bar though) was heaven.

Service was exemplary at every turn: the pool attendants, Azure restaurant, concierges, The Mai Tai Bar ( have the Firecracker Ahi Tuna) Bar (ask for Reid and Susan, king & queen of making Mai Tai drinks). I didn't want to leave this slice of heaven.

This Starwood Hotels Luxury Collection hotel exceeded all expectations.

Room Tip: ocean view if you can splurge - well worth it!
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank CoronaOldTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 11, 2013

Aloha CoronaFallsChurchVA,

It is a joy to read your recent review of The Royal Hawaiian. Thank you for your loyalty and for your endorsement of our resort. Our hotel ambassadors strive to provide unparalleled services and memorable experiences to all our guests and I am pleased to read you experienced this first hand. Your comments will be shared with Reid and Susan. We look forward to your next return visit to The Royal Hawaiian again soon.

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Reviewed February 9, 2013

The Royal Hawaiian is a luxurious vacation hotel. My three children loved it, we're definately coming back next year. The beach out front is awesome, the ocean is swimmer friendly and has soft sand. My kids loved looking at all the shops inside. There are so many unbelivable restaurants just a short walk away. My two daughters got such a kick out of it being pink, they nicknamed it The Pink City. My children and I were surprised how big the Royal Hawaiian really is. The outside property is filled with tropical flowers and landscapes with ocean views. Luaus there are very fun, and they have lots of Hawaiian spirit! They are a bit pricey, though. Overall, The Royal Hawaiian is a fantasy suite.

Room Tip: Get a room with a ocean view, it's a incrdible view!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank 631Jen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 11, 2013

Aloha 631Jen,

Mahalo for taking the time to write a review. We are delighted to hear that the entire ohana enjoy their stay at “The Pink City.” I will be sure to share the new nickname your daughters have bestowed on us. The Royal Hawaiian truly is a unique luxury destination in the heart of Waikiki. Guests have often described The Royal Hawaiian as a “hidden gem,” “refine Hawaiian luxury” which is “conveniently located to world-class shopping and restaurants”. We thank you for your endorsement and look forward to the ohana’s next return trip.

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Additional Information about 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#9 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#12 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#15 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#18 Business Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range: $400 - $699 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 528
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1927, the iconic Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, ushered in a new era of luxurious resort travel to Hawaii. Situated in the heart of Waikiki, the hotel offers cultural activities, gold standard signature concierge service, valet parking, doctors-on-call, florist, currency exchange service, Japanese concierge, laundry and dry cleaning, dining service and world-class restaurants and bars, wireless internet access in rooms and all public areas, multi-lingual staff, 24-hour room service, business center, and beach and pool services. ... 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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