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“A Gem in Waikiki”

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Ranked #17 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 28, 2014 via mobile

First off, my wife and I have high expectations when vacationing, especially paying for a hotel of this caliber.

Check in was smooth, no one tried to sell us anything, which was good and bad. We had no overview of the hotel and the amenities so it took is a day or two to figure out the grounds and how the hotel operated, such as beach chairs costing $41.88 (this is very unsettling when you pay $700 a night for a hotel room). This was visibly upsetting to many other visitors we saw throughout the week. The $36.55 resort charge is also a joke. It covers internet and parking...we didn't have a car and the internet moves at the pace of a snail.

The room was very nice with soft sheets and pillows. Service was amazing at the restaurants and the bar.

You cannot beat the location of his resort either. It's a little hideaway located in the middle of the restaurants and shopping. I would come back only if the price came down some and they threw in a few days of beach chairs and got rid of the resort few charges.

Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
5  Thank vcuengineer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 26, 2014

This was my second time at the Royal Hawaiian, the first was a couple of years ago with my husband and son. This time it was just with my husband. It was my 40th birthday present to him (which I got to share!) and it was fabulous once again. The only downside was that at checkin the lovely lady asked if we were celebrating something and I said my husband's birthday so she said she would send up a cake, how wonderful I thought, but sadly the cake never arrived :-( I felt silly asking for it later, when she had offered. However we did get the usual pink lemonade on arrival and delicious banana muffins.

The hotel is still as gorgeous as ever, ask for a quiet room away from the elevator in the 'old section' it really is beautiful, for me much nicer than the tower.

We had Mai Tai's at the bar overlooking the beach which was great for people watching.

There are plenty of cheap eats nearby in food court of the Hawaiian Centre if you don't want to eat at the restaurants and the best thing is that the Hawaiian Cookie company is within a biscuits throw (I became addicted to the chic dipped macadamia cookies and brought 3 boxes home with me!)

The pool is small at the Royal but you can use the neighbouring Sheraton's pool, but I would skip them both for the fabulous sea water of Waikiki. Don't bother with renting a beach lounge, they're not worth the money, just take your towel and find yourself a spot close to the water (the lounges are closer to the hotel than to the water) and soak up the atmosphere.

I have stayed at a couple of other places but none compare to the Royal Hawaiian, it is in the best sport and the most beautiful of all in my opinion and absolutely worth the money.

Room Tip: Stay in the Royal Grove, they don't have water views but are part of the 'old' building...
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Lindaluvs2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

We have been staying at The Royal for over 35 years and are always surprised at just how beautiful the hotel and gardens are.My husband and I leave there feeling like new people again.The friendly welcome we receive at check in ,our gorgeous room with a view of Diamond Head and a stroll to the pool and we are in Heaven!
The Mai Tai bar at sunset is just so beautiful,complete with a Hawaiian band ,it is a perfect setting.
Always tragic to leave there but knowing we will always come back,I could not recommend this hotel highly enough.A perfect escape!

Room Tip: We love the older part of the hotel as the rooms are larger and more private
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gerry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

Our family enjoyed our four night stay at the Royal Hawaiian. I always like when a hotel provides coffee early in the morning - it is especially nice when your toddler is up at 3 am due to the time change! And it was nice to offer our son the full Waikiki beach to explore with us at 5 am - safe, natural, beautiful. The staff is very nice. We don't recommend room service - a $15 glass of milk says it all. But otherwise a very nice experience. Small rooms - great service. Loved the tiki torches at night and the grass courtyard in the morning. Also loved the banana bread upon arrival!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Lighthouse923
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2014

A historical "pink palace" tucked away on the beach front. I traveled with my mother who was in a wheel chair-the hotel is very wheel chair friendly and is so convenient to the eateries, shops and transportation pick-ups for tours. The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center was just next door to the hotel. To emphasize...the Royal Hawaiian has a great location to get to everything and is tucked away which makes the location quite, peaceful and it made our trip a more relaxing vacation. They have beautiful gardens and relaxing areas to sit in and around. The hotel shops are also very nice. All in all the grounds are beautiful!

We just got back last night from our stay. Every traveler has his/her particulars and needs. I feel I need to be fair in my critique. I would stay here again! But I point out some needs for improvement to help the traveler and hope the hotel looks at this critique to improve their service. But again, I emphasize: I would stay here again because of its location(most important for this trip because of my mother's wheelchair needs).

Tour pick-ups were right next door to the hotel-at the Sheraton Waikiki-Aloha Landing-perfectly close and wheel chair friendly. It was nice that the Sheraton Waikiki is also affiliated with the Royal Hawaiian as we were able to use the pool at the Sheraton as well.

The Royal Hawaiian pool is very small. You must get out there early to reserve your spot. Guests go early and leave there towels and belongings on the chair to reserve there spot even though they may not be using the chair for hours on end. Perhaps the hotel can monitor the chairs since they have employees out there already. This would give more opportunities for all their guests to enjoy the pool. The pool at the Royal Hawaiian has lots of umbrellas and is more for the older crowd who want to relax-perfect for my mother and I. Unfortunately, we were not able to enjoy this pool because all the chairs were taken-reserved and empty! We went to the Sheraton next door - since there is an affiliation between the hotels we just got a wrist band and used that pool. The Sheraton pool is more for families with children. In fact, perfect for families with Children! Has a fun pool slide, fountains for wadding and a shallow end. It is a much larger pool. There were a lot of chairs-available chairs. However, not very much shade or umbrellas. My suggestion for the hotel: is to have more umbrellas available for guests. We were not able to use the infinity pool however-that pool was only for the Sheraton guest unfortunately.

As for eating at the hotel.... we did not eat in a restaurant at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. I did eat twice at the Mai Tai bar. The first time I was desperate to get my mother something to eat so we went there. We ordered a pizza to share and it was unfortunately one of the worst I tasted-uncooked and very little cheese and sauce. The second time i eat at the Mai Tai bar was in the evening. I had a drink and I ordered the chips and guacamole, sour cream with some shrimp/sea food aoli salsa. The chips were very over cooked and hard-I am mexican so I know my chips! My advice....go only for your free drinks and in the evening. You get a nice treat listening to a fantastic duo singing pop music and hawaiian songs and see the Hawaiian dancer. Spend your money at other good eateries that also have the fantastic views. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel...Maybe should get new chefs/cooks/and new menu items!

The cleanliness of our hotel room... was very good the first couple of days of our stay. Towards the end of the week toilet was not cleaned, carpet was not vacuumed, the clean towels were never the same. Several days we did not have hand towels and the same number of bath towels. Our dirty dishes were not picked up-I had to ask our house keeper to please take the dirty dishes. I did not want to leave it outside for fear bugs would come since it is more of a tropical location. My expectation for a luxury resort hotel- no matter what room status you are staying in..... the room should be cleaned the same way, every day!

We did take advantage of the historical tour of the hotel and that was wonderful to hear about the history. The guide was very friendly and so were the employees she introduced us to as we walked around. Great free tour, I highly recommend taking it!

As for the resort fee...You do pay a daily resort fee of $36.95 for which you do not really get any extra added value. I did take advantage of using our two free welcome drinks at the Mai Tai bar, we did receive our two bottles of water most days-I did have to remind out housekeeper a few times to leave water.

I did spend good money to stay here-even if I did not stay in a high-end room. I would say the Luxury part did not meet my expectation because to me Luxury is every aspect of the hotel must be impeccable and at a high quality at what ever level you booked your room. The traveler needs to go with the the expectation of historic and quaint hotel. I would take out the word luxury and replace with "Boutique-Historic" hotel. Overall my stay was very nice and I would stay here again!

Room Tip: We had a room on the Garden side and as it was a nice room-spacious and modern amenities.... Room #3...
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Travelgirl11167
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2014

My husband and I have stayed several times at the Royal Hawaiian and have had great experiences every time. In fact, we honeymooned there in 2002 in a lovely suite overlooking Diamond Head. I'm happy to say, the hotel is still just as wonderful as it was on our honeymoon. We prefer hotels with history and character so this is the perfect hotel for us. It is not the newest, but you cannot beat the authentic Hawaiian feel and the location with a fabulous view of Diamond Head. For people who surf, there are several good surf breaks accessible from the beach. It has night time entertainment and a great tiki bar. All in all, one of our favorite hotels.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Surfdiva8
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 reviewResponded June 18, 2014

Dear Surfdiva8,
Thank you so very much for sharing your lovely review of our resort. We're delighted to learn that you and your husband enjoyed another wonderful vacation here with us at the "Pink Palace of the Pacific" and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon! The waves are waiting and the Mai Tais will be cold.
Warmest aloha,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2014

My family and I absolutely love this hotel. The rooms are terrific, the service excellent and the Mai Tai's on the beach are fantastic. It has a fabulous location with a beautiful stretch of the Waikiki Beach. It is a classic old hotel and I think one of the first on the beach. We would not stay anywhere else. Highly recommend. It is expensive but worth it. But get up early to save a great beach chair with your towel!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank HelenHS
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 reviewResponded June 17, 2014

Dear HelenHS,
We're thrilled to learn that you enjoyed an exceptional vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We may be a little bias, but we also believe our Mai Tais are the best around. We are truly appreciative of your many kind words and 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.
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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:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#7 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#8 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: $343 - $836 (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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