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“Horribly Disappointed!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Ranked #16 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Horribly Disappointed!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

I have stayed at dozens of resorts and hotels in the Islands, and I have to say that the Royal Hawaiian was the BIGGEST disappointment I've ever experienced. I'll give top ratings to the hotel staff (with the exception of the beach attendees!), the lobby/reception areas, the on-property restaurants and the Mai Tai bar ... however, EVERY other dimension of this resort was a sad experience. Our family had one room in the tower, and two-garden view rooms. The garden view rooms are HORRIBLY dated in decor, musty in smell, and have anything but a garden view. One garden room viewed the deteriorating rooftop of the garden patio/porch, the other two rusty rooftop A/C units and exterior ventilation shafts! Those rooms were VERY clean; however, the furnishings are old, the carpet and curtains are musty, and the wallcoverings are DEPRESSING! The bathroom, I must say, was expceptional! Newly updated, very clean. The tower room, was a HUGE upsell by the check-in staff, was a TOTAL LETDOWN! The room had a fabuous view and a nice size patio. However, the furnishings and linens are VERY dated. Further, there are huge masses of gathered dust on the walls and on the tops of the bedside lamps. The bathroom is horrific! The fixtures appear to be top-notch clean; however, there was an inch of dark mold on the floor moldings behind the bathroom door. It had obviously not been thoroughly cleaned in months! The pool is this hotel is almost non-existent. It's a round hole about 15 ft in diameter. And the lounging tables/chairs surrounding it are so close that it's terribly uncomfortable. The food at this hotel is exceptional, but pricey! However, every meal I had here exceeded my expectaions ... as did the service and the drinks at the world famous Mai Tai bar. Truly top-notch! Now let me get to the beach attendees .... I have never encountered a more rude, obnoxious bunch of beach-bum groupie types at a 5-star resort in my life! They were terribly un-accommodating, rude, and not attentive. The resort itself charges a non-negotiable "resort fee" $40/day to enjoy the resort amenities. BE ADVISED ... the amenities do NOT include any beach activities. When asking for a chaise chairs and covered seating, we were immediately dismissed ... and told these items are only available to registered guests, and there is a fee. We had walked up to the beach from the water, and were mistaken for passers-by as opposed to registered guests. Regardless, we were dismissed and told to stay on the public beach, and advised to go buy folding beach chairs at the ABC Store. I was totally blown away! When I tried to correct the situation with the attendee, he advised I should contact the Concierge desk if I needed to be accommodated, once they verify my being a guest! Then he very smart-assedly said "even guests pay $10 for the covered seating on the beach". I nearly decked him! All this said, and $6000 later ... I can only say I will NEVER recommend this hotel to my family nor business associates traveling to Waikiki. Post the first impression at guest reception, this hotel is a complete and total disappointment. Rather, I recommend both the Sheraton and the Moana Surfrider (both of which are neighbors to the pink disaster). They are similarly priced, cleaner, and more professionally staffed.

Room Tip: Absolutely under no circumstances should you reserve a Garden View Room. For the same dollar, you c...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank WChadwick
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, March 20, 2014
Dear WChadwick,
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your very thorough and valuable review of your recent stay at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We truly regret to learn that your stay with us neither met your expectations nor fulfilled our mission to provide an exceptional experience to you as our guest. While we're happy to hear that our ambassadors delivered excellent service, we truly apologize that our accommodations did not offer the same. Your honest and detailed feedback regarding the cleanliness concerns with your rooms is quite helpful and has most certainly been shared with our housekeeping team to ensure proper steps are taken to eliminate such issues. In addition to these concerns, we also express our sincerest apologies regarding the unpleasant encounter with our beach and pool ambassadors. In absolutely no circumstances at all should our guests be treated in such distasteful manner and we're not only disappointed but also embarrassed that such events unfolded. Our beach services director has been made aware of this concern and has addressed his team regarding the incident. As previously mentioned, we strive to provide exceptional vacations to our guests and we truly apologize that we fell short in delivering the wonderful experience that you expect and deserve. We appreciate your honest and fair feedback regarding your stay and we assure you that your comments are taken very seriously and that our team has already taken action to ensure such lacking experiences do not occur again.
Warmest regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,495 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (851)
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English first
Burbank, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2014

We booked the Royal Hawaiian because our travel agent suggested it, and we were so glad we did. The Pink Palace was beautiful!! (and for some reason I was worried it was going to be tacky) Upon arrival we received a traditional Hawaiian Lei Greeting outside and after checking in we had fresh banana bread in our room waiting for us!! It was wonderful! I just can't say enough about the place. I'm not a fan of Honolulu, but I want to go back just to stay at the Royal Hawaiian again! We also had the best room service ever! They have no problem setting up a nice romantic table on your balcony for you......and the food......WOW! We just had the best time!!

Room Tip: This hotel is a must! Everyone needs to experience it!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dawn H
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, March 18, 2014
Dear Dawn H,
We're absolutely thrilled to learn that you enjoyed an outstanding vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. It's always a joy to welcome first time visitors and we couldn't be happier to know that you truly had a special vacation with us. We're delighted to hear that you took advantage of our breathtaking beachfront location by enjoying a private and romantic balcony dining experience. We hope to have the wonderful opportunity to welcome you back again soon.
Warmest aloha,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbridge, New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014

Amazingly clean and lovely hotel. Beach access, great restaurants a step away and a TON of shopping options. Great for a 2-3 day stay before/after a longer getaway on a quieter island. The Suite with joining bedrooms is perfect for family traveling together, ours was at an end of a hallway; two rooms connected by a sitting area. Loved!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jennarmstron
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, March 18, 2014
Dear jennarmstron,
Thank you so very much for taking a moment to share your lovely review of your recent stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We're thrilled to learn that you and your family enjoyed an exceptional vacation with us and we look forward to our next opportunity to welcome you back again.
Warmest aloha,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

Beautiful hotel with a lot of history on the best stretch of beach in Waikiki. We stayed in a beach tower room with great views. The hotel has lovely rooms, public spaces, beautiful art and amazing murals by Eugene Savage. The outside bar, Mai Tai, is perhaps the best beach bar on the planet (albeit a bit expensive). The hotel restaurant, Azure, was unexpectedly excellent - recommend the prix fixe menu

The charm you find at hotel and grounds at the RH is the real reason to stay in Waikiki. Senior staff were impeccable, some junior staff could use more a little more polish ie-customer service training.

All in all it doesn't get much better than this!

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank cbinla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RHCoordinator, Online Marketing & PR Coordinator at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Dear cbinla,
We're delighted to learn that you enjoyed a wonderful vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian. We appreciate your enthusiastic comments regarding our resort as well as our dining offerings including Azure and the world-famous Mai Tai Bar. Your feedback regarding aspects of our service are also greatly appreciated. We hop to have the wonderful opportunity to welcome you back again soon.
Warmest aloha,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kihei
Level Contributor
161 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2014

Once you get past the hubbub of Kalakaua Avenue and the horrible shops that block this gem from the street, you are in a different world. It is a restful oasis that removes you from the usual "tourist" activities. From the lei greeting to the hospitality room, our visit was delightful. All of the staff were friendly and helpful. Enjoyed eating breakfast by the beach/pool and being served by Wayne, who easily accommodated my gluten-free requests. Pool is a bit small and shaded, but the beach (and beach staff) is great. We had styed there many years ago and will return to the "Pink Lady" again!

Room Tip: We enjoyed staying in the "older" section with a garden view. Very quiet and peaceful.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan F
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, March 11, 2014
Dear Susan F,
We're delighted to learn that you enjoyed a wonderful vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian. Thank you for sharing your lovely comments about our resort and especially for taking the time to acknowledge Wayne for his outstanding service. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Warmest aloha,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Park City, Utah
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2014

It's the place to go on Waikiki. Historical, neat, clean, understated, luxurious. Ample size rooms. Close to everything. Amenities are well populated, so get your reservations. Breakfast on the terrace is one of the superlative travel experiences. Imagine Duke rolling in on the excellent Canoes break. If you want to try surfing, this is a great spot, but go early or late to avoid the crowded line up. Shops have most of the best of the best on the Island. We stay there one night on our trips to Kauai, since we can't get a direct flight there.

Room Tip: You don't need an ocean view room. Who lives in a hotel room, anyway?
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rob B
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, March 11, 2014
Dear Rob B,
Thank you for taking a moment to share your lovely comments regarding your recent stay. While we wish you could have joined us for more than one night, we're still delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and hope to welcome you back again soon.
Warmest aloha,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
45 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2014

My wife and I returned to The Islands after a 2 week cruise from Sydney to a Singapore and spent two days at this storied hotel. My late grandmother visited for a month every year in the 50s and 60s. We have stayed at many other high end hotels in Honolulu, but this was a first for the "Pink Lady," and won't be our last. The beachfront bar has the best Mai Tais (Tahitian for Excellence) in Paradise.

Room Tip: Go for the ocean view!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Howard A
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, March 11, 2014
Dear HowardAdy,
We're absolutely thrilled to learn that you had a wonderful stay with us here at The Royal, and of course that you had the pleasure of enjoying our famous Mai Tais! It's also quite lovely to know that you were simply following in the footsteps of your grandmother; we love welcoming generations of families back to the "Pink Palace of the Pacific." We look forward to welcoming you again soon.
Warmest aloha,
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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#8 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#9 Romantic 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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