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“Exceeded expectations”

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Ranked #18 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 16, 2014

Our party of 6 adults arrived at the Royal Hawaiian after a wonderful stay in a beachfront house on maui. Our holiday just got better and better. The hotel is beautiful, in a welcoming olde world style. Our rooms were perfectly located on the ground floor, so everything was a very easy walk. The surrounding gardens and beach access are stunning and the service was always friendly and cheerful. There are plenty of restaurants in the immediate vicinity, although we gravitated to Dukes several times ( if you go there you must have the dessert!). I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel if you are looking for a little taste of old Hawaii. My only regret was not receiving the banana bread and recipe on checkin as our other guests did!

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Debbiegardner
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 July 21, 2014

Dear Debbiegardner,
We are absolutely delighted to learn that you enjoyed wonderful stay with us here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We truly appreciate your many kind remarks regarding your experience with us. Please accept our apologies for the banana bread; we are very sorry to see that it wasn't delivered to your room as it should have been. Thank you however, for bringing this to our attention. Thank you again for your wonderful comments. We hope to welcome you back again soon.
Warmest aloha,

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Reviewed July 16, 2014

I recently spent three nights at the Royal Hawaiian, my second stay after an inaugural visit about six years ago (not reviewed).

We initially booked a garden room in the historic wing, taking advantage of an excellent corporate rate, but upon check-in decided to upgrade to a room with an ocean view in the tower wing.

Along with Halekulani and the Moana Surfrider (also managed by Starwood under the Westin brand), the Royal Hawaiian is one of the three dowager resort hotels in the heart of Waikiki. The Royal Hawaiian's historic wing was built in 1927, and the adjacent high-rise tower appears to date from the 70s or 80s. The hotel enjoys a prime spot on one of the best sections of Waikiki's fabled beach, and is a short walk from shopping malls, restaurants, and Waikiki's other prominent resorts. Although no one should visit Waikiki for quiet seclusion, the hotel's lush rear garden gives you a small sense of what the area must have been like when there was only a handful of big resorts on the beach. When we visited, guests were a mixture of couples and families.

Rooms in both the historic and tower wings are medium-sized, at best. There are no balconies, or "lanais", in the historic wing, but all of the tower rooms have an outdoor area to take advantage of the ocean views. Historic rooms have traditional décor and can feel a bit dark, given relatively small windows, while the tower rooms are brighter. We ended up in a corner room on the 14th floor of the tower wing, and had sweeping views of the beach and Diamond Head. The corner rooms only have one exposure, but do have bigger lanais.

First, the positives: Most staff members seem to have imbibed Aloha spirit, and are friendly and welcoming. MIchele at the front desk was very helpful, as was everyone at the bell desk. The public areas of the historic building are relatively well-preserved, and feature some interesting exhibits from the hotel's 1920s-30s heyday. The room itself was comfortable and reasonably well-appointed, with good bedding and the amenities you'd expect in this category. We didn't sample any of the food, entertainment, or beach facilities, with the exception of the Mai Tai Bar, where the service and drinks were both good.

On the down side, as others have mentioned, the pool is tiny. If a pool is of interest, you'd want to look somewhere else. I believe the hotel was last refreshed about 6-7 years ago, and it's about time for another update. Carpets are battered, and furnishings look a bit frayed. A loose strip of wallpaper slatted in the breeze next to our room. Housekeeping was a weak point - we found hair and a couple of random personal items, presumably from previous occupants, in the bathroom. The "do not disturb" sign was missing, and never replaced. While the room was clean, there should have been more attention to detail. There's a small gym, but not all of the equipment was in working order when I visited.

The hotel charges a "resort fee" on top of the basic rate. I've noticed that when guests question this type of fee, hotel managers often reply that "our pricing is in line with that of other resorts in the area," or something along those lines. I wish resorts in this category would have the marketing savvy to offer an all-inclusive rate. At this price point, I believe many guests would appreciate the chance to avoid feeling "nickeled and dimed." A small example in a similar vein: Guests are given free vouchers for a mai tai at the Mai Tai Bar. A nice touch, until you notice that the free drink is smaller than the one you'd get if you paid. Kind of tacky - and not the approach that makes you want to open your wallet for the resort's other offerings.

The Royal Hawaiian gives you a comfortable stay in a charming historic property in the middle of the Waikiki action. A bit more attention to detail would make the place feel less "corporate" and give guests the sense that they are more than fodder for Starwood's bottom line.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank ShiMoke
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 July 21, 2014

Dear ShiMoke,
Thank you for taking the time to share your review regarding your recent stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We appreciate your attention to detail in regards to some of our areas of opportunity and we thank you for bringing these items to our attention. We are indeed focused on delivering exceptional vacations to our guests and we are regretful that aspects of your stay did not meet these expectations. Please know that we value your comments and will most certainly share them with our team to ensure proper care is taken to enhance these areas of service delivery and guest experience. Thank you again for your time and feedback.
Warmest aloha,

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Reviewed July 12, 2014

We chose Hawaii to spend our (delayed) honeymoon & with the help of RandyC@CruisingCo.com we settled on the Royal Hawaiian and we were not disappointed in any way. From our lei greeting to checking in (which we also received a complimentary beverage..yumm) to our room (upgraded with SPG). We had a great view of the garden, the bed was comfy and yes bathroom is small but your not in Hawaii for the bathroom! They gave us a bottle Sparkling wine(which also has the history of the hotel on the back!) ,the banana bread was so good and leaving the recipe a great idea. We took advantage of the beach chairs and umbrellas (which was included in our package) and even had food delivered to us, the encrusted Ahi tuna and the Seafood salad were so good. We also had breakfast in the Lanai restaurant every morning, continental which included pastry,fruit and drink plus the chef had a special smoothie every morning! (also included in our package). The concierge service was awesome they helped with reservations and questions galore. We did have a photographer who supplied us with1 complimentary photo of our trip to the hotel but we did buy more as she took about 70 around the property and they turned out great, (also part of package). We had our anniversary dinner at the Azure right there at the Royal Hawaiian and it was perfect, we settled on the tasting menu and it was beyond good. They even gave us a special desert that said Happy Anniversary. The grounds are beautiful to walk thru. We hope to return and we would definitely like to go back to the Pink Palace. And of course Randy for making the travel plans.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Jean V
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 July 21, 2014

Dear Jean V,
We are so delighted to learn that you enjoyed an exceptional anniversary vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian. It's always such an honor for us to play a role in such a momentous occasion and we couldn't be happier to know that you truly enjoyed your special time. Thank you for all of your kind remarks regarding your experience with us. We hope to welcome you back for many years to come.
Warmest aloha,

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Reviewed July 9, 2014

This is our second time staying at this elegant hotel. From the moment you arrive, and are greeted with leis, and a juice drink while checking in at the desk (seated, so you shouldn't get tired) to the "Aloha" at the end of your stay, it is truly gracious living. It is not cheap, but worth every penny to be so well treated. We will stay there every time we are in Waikiki. Be sure to see the orchids in the gallery.

Room Tip: Get a room in the "Historic" section. It reeks of old world glamour!
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Ron181
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 July 11, 2014

Dear Ron181,
We are absolutely delighted to learn that you enjoyed another spectacular vacation with us here at The Royal. It is always a joy for us to welcome back our guests year after year and most certainly look forward to sharing our aloha with you for many more years to come.
Warmest aloha,

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Reviewed July 9, 2014

Everything was fantastic. Only thing that could have improved the visit was better service at breakfast and at the luau on Monday (took awhile for our wait staff to check on us). However, the rooms, location, and food quality were all fantastic! Definitely great perks for Starwoods guests also- front desk hooked us up at check-in!

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Campbell743
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 reviewResponded July 11, 2014

Dear Campbell743,
We're thrilled to learn that you enjoyed an exceptional vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We apologize for the hiccup in excellent service delivery at our breakfast and luau, and we thank you for bringing this to our attention. We hope to welcome you back again very soon!
Warmest aloha,

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Reviewed July 8, 2014

There were a few issues, but they were quickly resolved by Rick, Director of Front Office. It was the BEST vacation week of our lives! Thanks to the following associates for contributing to a remarkable experience: Byron (Surf Lanai Pool Dining); Dolly (Housekeeping); Chuck (Pool Manager). Hopefully, Royal Hawaiian will become our annual retreat.

Room Tip: An expansive view of the ocean from the tower building, and a balcony.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Phanny S
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 July 11, 2014

Dear Phanny S.,
Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your review. We apologize for the challenges you experienced and we're delighted that our team was able to quickly resolve the issues allowing you to enjoy the best vacation week of your lives! Your kind remarks are truly appreciated and look forward to welcoming you back again to 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.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

I graduated from High School on Oahu and remember the Royal Hawaiian from the early 70s when the gardens reached all the way from the building to Kalakaua Avenue (before they shoe-horned the Sheratin in front). Yet whenever we stay in Honolulu, we always stay at the "Pink Palace". It's as close to Old Hawaii as you can now get, especially since they have closed the International Market Place. The last time we were there was for Memorial Day weekend this year and splurged on the tasting menu in one of the private cabanas. When work means that we stay at other hotels on Waikiki (like the Hilton Hawaiian Village-which is only good if you have a family), when we are on our own, we always return to the Royal Hawaiian.

Room Tip: We like to stay in the historic rooms which are small but lovely. And these are the ones we can affo...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Deborah1977
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 July 10, 2014

Dear Deborah1977,
We are so delighted to learn that you enjoyed another wonderful stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian. It's always great to welcome back return guests, and even more rewarding to know that our resort brings back nostalgia from days past. We take great pride in our job as stewards of this special building and area, and we are so thrilled that you appreciate our efforts to maintain the magic of Waikiki and The Royal. We look forward to welcoming you back again.
Warmest aloha,

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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

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: $350 - $775 (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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