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“Great location, subpar service and falls short” 2 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
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great location, subpar service and falls short”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2014

I want to preface this review by saying I am a platinum 75/100 member with SPG for the past 3 years in a row. Last time I came to Honolulu was 7 years ago and I stayed at the Kahala hotel. On this trip I went to Kauai and stayed at the St. Regis and went to Maui and stayed at the 4 Seasons. Last trip even though the Kahala was an excellent hotel, we wanted to stay somewhere in the middle of the action so it seemed that the Royal Hawaiian would be a great pick. I was wrong. Let's start with the check-in process. We were given two rooms that were ADA compliant and the check-in adviser was trying to sell it as though we got a complete upgrade (yes the room went from garden view to ocean view technically). The rooms are a bit outdated, VERY humid, and the air conditioning wasn't working well. The bathroom is a bit small but outfitted with TOTO auto-wash toilets, however they do not work! The shower is very small but I think this is for ADA compliant reasons. The balcony is very nice though with a good view of the pool and ocean. The service in the hotel is sub-par, at best. The Concierge service is basically useless, they do not speak English very well. In addition to that they just handed us some brochures instead of suggesting places to go to eat. I actually ended up calling American Express Concierge and they were much more helpful. Some of our meals we used Trip Advisor to find places to eat as well, and YELP!. The pool is Extremely Small - a 30 foot diameter pool. There is a shared pool with the Westin next door. At check-in we were given a coupon to get 2 free chairs with towels at the beach everyday. I presented this to the beach services people and they said that this is subject to availability and they were booked till the 4th, I checked-in on the 1st and the 4th check-out... how convenient for them. On the 3rd I went to ask if anything opened up for the beach chairs and was told no. I looked around and literally MORE THAN 40 CHAIRS WERE UNOCCUPIED AND FREE. I proceeded to tell them I just wanted to spend an hour at the beach before we went to lunch, and they said that they can't do anything at all. This was a very disappointing experience, and actually made me not want to spend any time at the hotel at all. I spent my hour at the beach and when we left still more than 40 chairs were unoccupied. Pathetic. Anyways - breakfast was subpar, they didn't even have any bagels left for the continental breakfast however the staff was very friendly. I ordered tea from room service and they just got hot water and forgot the tea bag, by the time they got the tea bag the water was not hot. Given the humidity in the room, lack of service, horrible beach availability I would rather stay at a motel 6 quite frankly. The only thing this hotel has going for it is the location, which is good because you do not want to spend anytime at the hotel. I called my SPG Platinum line they have sent corporate email to the hotel - it has been 4 hours since this happened, I doubt I will get a response that will do anything.

Room Tip: don't get one at this hotel, but if you must then ocean facing.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank texas2811984
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, 8 January 2014
Dear texas2811984,
Thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian. We truly regret to learn that your experience was anything less than exceptional and we value your feedback. Our ambassadors are trained to deliver excellent service to all of our guests and we're disappointed to learn that such service was not provided to you and your family. Your comments regarding your unpleasant encounter with our concierge desk has been shared with our Director of Guest Experience who is responsible for overseeing our concierge. Thank you for sharing your feedback regarding the beach chaise availability, as this feedback can be used immediately to ensure proper communication takes place between our front desk and beach and pool team. The chaises are based upon availability, but our team should not be offering vouchers for chaises if the reservations are already full; thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please know that we value your feedback and will certainly incorporate your items of concern in our regular evaluation of products and services.
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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3,492 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
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2014 via mobile

I loved the grounds of the hotel and the beautiful beach. Pool was a little small. Rooms are very charming and service is great. Fantastic way to start your Hawaii vacation. Very close to some great shopping.

Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
Thank girlfromtherock
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, 7 January 2014
Dear girlfromtherock,
We're delighted to learn that you enjoyed a lovely vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian. Thank you for your kind comments about our grounds, beach and great 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
Australia
Level Contributor
105 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2013

If you don't know the history of the hotel before you come you will when you walk down the hallways and around the public areas with its photographic history on the walls.
There are few hotels left with the character, charm and comfort that this has - worth experiencing.
The gardens and grounds are superb, location impossible to beat, rooms comfortable with a period feel to them, access to shopping and restaurant strip is excellent, resort fee gives access to larger Sheraton pool. Taking beach view rooms is not necessarily the best option, the garden views are terrific.
Basically step onto the beach although renting chairs and umbrellas at $40 a bit of a turn off - just sit on the public access beach instead.
Service is a bit erratic - room cleaning often seems to wait until you are back in your room rather than other way around, turn down service knocking on door at 9.15pm lacks empathy!
Breakfast is a buffet one day a week and rest of time is either a larger or smaller a la carte depending on your package - the small menu was very well done.
Mai Tai bar is a great location for sunset. Well equipped gym.
Maybe the Sheraton or the Westin are more luxurious but nothing trumps the feel of the RH.

Room Tip: People may be drawn to beach view, however if you go in the newer tower you lose the great historic...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Burg3186
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, 2 January 2014
Dear Burg3186,
We're quite delighted to learn that you enjoyed an exceptional vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. Our team takes great pride in serving as stewards of this historic resort and iconic area of Waikiki, and we thank you dearly for sharing your appreciation for our efforts in maintaining the historic charm and indigenous feel of the area. 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
texas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2013

Where do I begin? This is one of the best resorts on Waikiki beach. The rooms are luxurious and well maintained. We did not stay in the towers but the rooms were all remodeled and spacious. Loved all the pink in the hotel. The service was excellent and I cannot wait to return.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • 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 esther7
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, 2 January 2014
Dear esther7,
We're delighted to learn that you enjoyed an exceptional vacation with us here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. Thank you for taking a moment to share your enthusiastic review of our resort. We look forward to welcoming you back to the "Pink Palace of the Pacific."
Warmest aloha,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2013

I don't particularly like staying in Waikiki because it's so busy and touristy. But if you stay at the RH you'll feel like you've stepped back in time into a different place. We stayed at the RH over Thanksgiving for a long weekend. Although it's right in the thicket of craziness (at times), as you step though the RH shopping center onto the property the environment becomes peaceful, serene and beautiful. The property and rooms are very well appointed keeping some of the vintage 20's feeling from when the property was first built. Amenities, dining options, service....all are wonderful.

Pros:
- Walking distance to everything in Waikiki, including Rainbow Drive-in, Ono Grinds and the trail head for Diamondhead
- Variety of restaurants, bars, shopping right outside of the property
- Quiet and serene oasis

Cons:
- Crowded beach
- Tiny pool, however you also have access to Sheraton's pools next door

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mortsiram
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, 2 January 2014
Dear mortsiram,
We're delighted to learn that you enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving holiday with us here at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We appreciate your kind comments regarding our resort's serene location and classic charm. We hope 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
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 8 days before christmas with my wife & 7 year old daughter. I would definitely stay there again but here is honest appraisal

Pros
Character/historic hotel
Service good
Location best in honolulu
Grounds and setting well maintained
Low rise and never waiting for lift
Use of next door sheraton pool and bars etc which is good for kids and adults (we spend all our time there) and has slide. This is a major plus.
3 spa pools
Loungers were always available
Beach access
Free intl calls in resort charge
Wifi

Cons
No fridge/mini bar
Pool side service average
Beach rental extra $40 per day
Small pool hotel but not issue due to use of sheraton next door)
Give u a free mai tai but then skimp by making it smaller and less quality then the if you order and pay of the menu (false economics!)

Did not eat there except pool side snacks which were good if a little expensive

Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Niallfitz
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, 2 January 2014
Dear Niallfitz,
Thank you for taking the time to share your honest and thorough review of your recent stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian. We're delighted to learn that you and your family took full advantage of the pool at our sister property Sheraton Waikiki. Thank you for sharing your feedback regarding some areas of opportunity for our service delivery and products, as this type of information is very valuable to us. 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
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2013

Went here on my honeymoon, had to fight for an "upgrade" to get a room that didn't directly overlook the lobby with cars driving up 24x7, then ended up paying for an extra upgrade anyway to get a modern room with a sea view in the much fresher Tower building. All told, just felt like too much effort for what we'd already paid- as a honeymoon couple perhaps expected a little more special treatment. Can't fault the location- right on Waikiki beach- but head to other hotels for your nightlife- nothing here for young people (30-something's).

Room Tip: Definitely go for the Tower building for more modern, fresher rooms and all important sea views with...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank icklevic
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, 2 January 2014
Dear icklevic,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian. We regret to learn that your vacation was anything less than exceptional, especially knowing that you were celebrating such a momentous occasion. We apologize for the challenges experienced in regards to fulfilling your upgrade request and we're disappointed to learn that our ambassadors did not seem to properly accommodate your honeymooning status. Your honest feedback is very valuable, as it allows us to evaluate our service delivery to ensure our team makes improvements to provide the exceptional experiences our guests expect and deserve. We hope you will consider offering us another opportunity to welcome you back to The Royal.
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:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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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