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“Old World Charm on the Beach”

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Ranked #17 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
195 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Old World Charm on the Beach”
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank TripTalkHawaii
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
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank Annersok
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
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 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
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Helpful?
Thank sharlene11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
santa barbara
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We stayed the week of June 1st. Wonderfully redone!

We traveled with our 3 year old son and it was perfect. We were able to go to the pool next and use the waterside when we wanted kid's fun. The rest of the time we were able to hang out at the more mature Royal pool. The beach chairs were perfect even for the fee. It was nice they were ours all day.

The location is perfect and we utilized the Royal Hawaiian Shopping center every day.

The Mai Tai's never disappoint.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank charlie l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angleton, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for my 40th birthday in April, 2013. This was our 3rd trip to Honolulu, having stayed at the Moana Surfrider the 2 previous times. We have always wanted to stay here and we were not disappointed. It never failed that when we would walk down the halls here, a staff member would look up from their work and greet us with Aloha and a smile.

We had a corner King room that was very spacious and nice. The bathroom on the other hand was TINY. I had bruises on both of my arms where I would either hit the corner of the sink or the TP Holder when I used the toilet. The shower was very nice and spacious though and the whole bathroom seemed to have been updated recently. Our room was a garden room and faced the interior garden off the main entrance. We were able to open our windows to let the trade winds in, because one of the chains had become detached and allowed one of the windows to open fully. The beach in front of the RH is excellent. We love Waikiki beach and we spent every day of our trip in beach chairs that we rented from the hotel. The pink chairs/umbrellas are $40 and the brown chairs/umbrellas on the front row are $50. For just the two of us, the price was fine. If we return with our kids, we probably wouldn't rent chairs. The only complaint about the beach that I had was that we couldn't drink alcoholic beverages there. It's a law, but it seems that we've done it in the past at the Moana Surfrider. I'm guessing the difference is that the Moana has beach chairs in a chained in area close to the hotel, and not on the actual public beach. It was an easy walk though from the chairs to the Mai Tai bar, which was excellent. The Scratch was my favorite Mai Tai and was ordered frequently. The location of the RH can't be beat. Beach on one side, bustling downtown Honolulu streets on the other side. It is quiet and removed from the noise of the city, but still so close and convenient. Eating establishments are numerous and plentiful. If you don't mind walking a few blocks further past Kalakaua Ave, you can still find great food, but at much cheaper prices. We didn't eat at any of the restaurants at the hotel. We preferred to get out and explore instead. It was an excellent hotel. I'm not sure that we would stay here again, though, unless the price was just too good to pass up. It is somewhere we've always wanted to stay, so it can be crossed off of our list.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank hula_girl_73
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 20, 2013
Dear hula_girl_73,
We are delighted to learn that you had an exceptional getaway with us at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We are also honored that you chose to celebrate your birthday with us. We truly appreciate your kind words regarding our ambassadors' warm aloha and hospitality. Please accept our apologies regarding the bathroom size; with the iconic architectural design of the historic wing also comes some nuances you would not find in more modern hotels such as smaller bathroom sizes, high ceilings and varying room sizes and shapes. Thank you again for choosing to stay with us for such a momentous occasion; we hope to welcome you again at "The Pink Palace of The Pacific."
Warmest aloha,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gosford, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

We only stayed here for a couple of days before we went on a cruise but the experience was wonderful. We stayed in a garden view room which was beautifully decorated, the bed and pillows were amazing best sleep. I want one of the pillows. Centrally located so close to shops and food you really are in the thick of Waikiki , but we didn't notice any traffic noise due to the mall in front of the hotel. We had difficulty getting into our room the card wouldn't work but the front desk went out of their way to fix the problem quickly and we were given a complimentary breakfast for our inconvenience and a bottle of champagne .The little added extras like fresh banana bread and chocolates orchid lai etc all made this a memorable stay.The food was fantastic we had several meals at the bar near the beach try the tasting platter with coconut shrimp ribs sushimi it was really delicious and the Mai tais were good too. The breakfast was also delicious with a great range of different choices.
I would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: We were offered an upgrade but preferred to stay in the an garden view room for the decoration if th...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Aussietripper11
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 17, 2013
Dear Aussietripper11,
We are delighted to learn that you had a memorable experience on your recent visit with us here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We apologize for the inconvenience you experienced with the key cards and appreciate your patience with our front desk while they resolved the issue. Our Mai Tai Bar is indeed a lovely place to enjoy a drink and some appetizers and we're thrilled that you had the opportunity to experience this renowned beach front bar. We look forward to extending our signature hospitality to you on your next visit to the "Pink Palace of the Pacific."
Warm regards,
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Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

My wife and I have been staying at the RH a couple of times a year for over 15 years. It's not the property it once was. Out last stay (2012) was a real disappointment, they'd turned the beach chairs over to the Waikiki Beach Services, and this has altered the private beach area in front of the hotel in a very negative way. I don't mind the charging for chair/umbrellas, $40 a day is a nit and not important. The negativity is the lack of people in that area, it used to a lively area where you could meet other guests, get together later for a drink, etc. Now it is a dead zone. We rented chairs one day to try it out, I recall 5 paris of chairs were occupied, it's like a ghost beach. Staff were still nice, many of them know us and are friendly and out going.

Room Tip: Get something facing the beach.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Rich C
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 17, 2013
Dear Rich C,
Thank you for your longtime loyalty to Starwood and The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We truly appreciate your continued loyalty, and as you can imagine we are disappointed to learn that your most recent visit with us was anything less than exceptional. Your feedback regarding the beach experience is very valuable, especially because of your familiarity with the area prior to some of our more recent updates. We hope your will give us another opportunity to extend our signature hospitality; we'd like nothing more than to continue to help you and your wife createlasting memories of your time here at the Royal.
Warm regards,
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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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#7 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#9 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#10 Luxury 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):
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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