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“Yes, it has the features of a 5 star hotel, but not the care”

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Ranked #17 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
94 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Yes, it has the features of a 5 star hotel, but not the care”
Reviewed 11 January 2014

OK, giving this place 1 star is a bit draconian, but, I give it based on the fact that they claim to not only be a 5 star hotel, but also one of the best 100 hotels in the world. I thus expect the little things to be superb.

Its the little things like the below, that you accept in a 4 star hotel, but not a place claiming to be one of the top 100 hotels in the world.

1) waiting 5 minutes for the valets to stop chit chatting so I could give them my car.
2) My welcome "lay" half heartedly given to me
3) Waiting 10 minute for the concierge, while the head concierge was chit chatting with an old friend
4) The elevator to the "tower" can only be described as "Skanky". (It was dark and dirty). It also failed to open on arriving at the ground floor.
5) Bring nickel and dimed to death, even after paying a $35 resort fee.
6) Trash from the previous guest being under the bed
7) The drain pipe falling out of the sink
8) the ater pressure in the shower was weak.
9) The sand shower, the location of the faucets were highly awkward. Obvious that somebody had put it in without any thought or checkin on the use.
10) A swimming pool not big enough to swim in
11) Complimentary tea that was warm.. This is a real pet piece, a 5 star hotel should really know that tea drinkers need their water boiling, not luke warm.
12) The best. Slippers for the room, but only up to size 8. Guess they recon men don't wear slippers.


So there you have it. Wont be rushing back to this place, particularly at the prices they charged for a so called ocean view that was obstructed.

Room Tip: If in the tower, don't be on floor 5, 8. 11 or 14. They all seem to have tiny balcony's
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank David 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, 13 January 2014
Dear David B,
Thank you for taking the time to share your thorough and honest review of The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We regret to learn that your stay with us did not meet your expectations, however we truly appreciate your honest feedback regarding your experience. Please know that your comments have been shared with our management team to ensure proper follow-up and care is taken to ensure your concerns are addressed and improved upon. We've sent you a private message requesting for the particular room number for the room in which you stayed, as numbers 6-8 appear to be referring to the room. Again, we truly value this honest feedback as well as the time you took to share your comments.
Warmest regards,
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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (867)
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English first
Hinsdale, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
188 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2014

Love this beach and all it is about. Honolulu is liking being in the Gold coast of Chicago with a great beach though for swimming and surfing. This hotel is right on the beach. The hotel's service is fantastic and the shopping that is right out your door well like I said if you like the Gold Coast of Chicago this is it.....

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tina W
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, 13 January 2014
Dear Tina W,
We're thrilled to learn that you enjoyed your time with us at The Royal Hawaiian and the warm Hawaiian waters fronting our resort. Thank you for our enthusiastic comments regarding our service and location; we truly appreciate this. We hope 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
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 January 2014

Couldn't justify the money we spent for our room while the location was good the hotel itself wasn't all that amazing nor was our room it was very average with little 'wow factor'. Prime position though!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Skoosh

Helpful?
1 Thank Jade 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 review, 13 January 2014
Dear Jade S,
We truly regret to learn that you recent stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort did not meet your expectations. We apologize that we did not deliver the outstanding service and products you expect and deserve. We've sent you a private message should you feel inclined to share more details and suggestions on how we can elevate our services to ensure you receive the 'wow factor' that you most certainly deserve from The Royal.
Warmest aloha,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

I booked 6 nights at the Royal Hawaiian for December 27 through January 2 and paid $1000 a night (including taxes and resort fee) and this hotel DID NOT measure up to other 5 star hotels that I've have stayed at which included Halekulani, Four Seasons at Hualalai, and Ritz Carlton. On our first day at the Royal Hawaiian, my daughter and I went to pickup towels for the pool or beach and asked for assistance in locating a chair, there were 4 attendants standing around and none of them made any attempt to help us in that regards. The only communication exchanged between us was that the beach chairs were fully booked and if there was a chair available by the poolside it would be towel free. This response was so unexpected because our past experience has been that someone helps us in locating or setting up a chair. So, WHY am I even being charged a resort fee when I couldn't get a chair by the pool or beach?

My other concern about the hotel is the noise level. When I made my room purchase online, I signed up for a garden view room @ $875 (not including hotel tax 4.7% general excise tax, occupancy tax 9.25%, and daily resort fee $35.00). But when we checked in, the reservationist upgraded us to an "Ocean View" room which we thought was wonderful. BUT, the problem was that the room overlooked the Mai Tai Bar and the communal luau area with stage. One night it was a luau and new year's eve was dancing and loud singing until 12:45 am in the morning. I would have preferred my garden view to the "Ocean View" and I'm upset that the reservationist was trying to pull the wool of my eyes.

Not only was the outside noise level extreme, I could hear the guy snoring in the adjacent room. Can you believe how thin the walls are?

For money we spent, the accommodations et al was not worth it. Poor service and limited resources.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank May N
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, 13 January 2014
Dear May N,
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and concerns regarding your recent stay at The Royal. We truly regret to learn that your stay was anything less than exceptional and we are quite disappointed to learn of our noted shortcomings in our beach and pool service. Our ambassadors are trained to provide excellent service and your experience was certainly not what you expected or deserved, and we are truly sorry for this. Additionally, we apologize for the noise levels experienced in the upgraded room and we apologize that our front desk ambassador did not properly communicate the various events occurring at the resort that could be hear from your room. We appreciate your honest feedback and have shared it with our management team, as we continually seek ways to elevate our guest experience. Thank you again.
Warmest aloha,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MI
Level Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

We came to Hawaii to celebrate my sister's 25th Wedding Anniversary. We absolutely loved this hotel, from the Lei's on arrival to the rooms and the beach. The pool was small, but we could always find a chair, and we could go next door to use the bigger pool. Our pool was quiet and we loved both the blueberry smoothie shots they brought around each afternoon and the cold face towels.

The cost was high; everything is in Hawaii. But we felt it was worth it for a once in a lifetime (maybe twice?) trip.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JLOMi
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, 13 January 2014
Dear JLOMi,
We're honored to have been the your resort of choice to celebrate your sister's 25th Wedding Anniversary! Thank you for sharing your enthusiastic comments about your stay; we truly appreciate the time you took to share this review and we hope to have the wonderful opportunity to welcome you back again to The Royal.
Warmest aloha,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

The Royal Hawaiian is a beautiful property in the heart of Waikiki, and in fact, probably one of the best hotels for discerning travelers on the touristy Waikiki strip. It could use a few improvements, but overall, it was a great stay and I wouldn't hesitate to stay again.

PROPERTY: The property is stunning and they've done a wonderful job of keeping up and restoring the Pink Palace. If you saw the hotel on "Mad Men," it does look exactly the same, which is a good thing! You can get lost for hours enjoying the retro photos and memorabilia from the hotel's heyday around the property. The beach is beautiful, and as you'll find if you walk down the strip, one of the better beaches on Waikiki.

ROOMS: The rooms are charming but comfortable, and recently renovated, as well. The bathroom could only fit one person at a time, but not a problem on a leisurely beach vacation. The bed was very comfortable.

RESTAURANTS/BARS: The restaurants/bars at this five-star, luxury resort were the one thing that was lacking. We were shocked to discover that the last dinner seatings were about 8:30pm, so as late risers/eaters, we didn't get to enjoy them. The beach bar had tasty options for lunch as well as good tiki cocktails, but last call was 10:30pm. I was a bit disappointed that there was no retro "Mad Men" style cocktail lounge--especially since there was so much unused beautiful lobby space with ocean views and lovely evening breezes. There were many hotel guests just sitting around the lobby in the later evening hours--surely they would have liked a cocktail or coffee? As night owls, we ordered drinks from room service and then got beverages at the many ABC Stores nearby and enjoyed them on the (empty) pool deck. This wouldn't deter me from staying again, but I'd certainly be excited to return to find an elegant bar for a nightcap...

LUAU: The Royal Hawaiian Luau is a wonderful experience. I was hesitant to book the expensive "royal feast" over the many cheaper, more traditional options in Waikiki, but I'm glad I did. It's great for couples - the show was fantastic, the conversation was fun, and the hotel has photographers on hand to get a shot of you in front of the Diamond Head. (And you didn't have to hula with small children.) The food was good, too!

AMENITIES: I chose relaxation over activities, but the hotel has many on offer. Additionally, guests can utilize the amenities at the sister properties, including the beautiful Moana Surfrider (which, incidentally, did have a nice cocktail lounge). I would suggest that management compile a newsletter each evening with the next day's activities, restaurant/bar hours, fitness offerings, etc. at each property so we know about everything we can use, because there seemed to be a lot available!

OVERALL: Overall, beautiful property, comfortable rooms, attentive service, and a great vacation. I'd definitely stay again. With just a few small improvements, this hotel could be one of the best beach resorts in the country!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank samanthaonstyle
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, 13 January 2014
Dear samanthaonstyle,
Thank you very much for taking the time to share this very thorough and honest review of The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We're delighted to learn that you enjoyed your room as well as our property, including the various pieces of history displayed throughout. Your feedback regarding our dining options is very valuable to us and we truly appreciate your honesty. Call us bias, but we must agree with you in that our Aha'aina Dinner Show is a wonderful experience, and we're very happy to learn that you enjoyed it during your stay. Again, we appreciate your comments and 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
Cleveland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

We stopped in Honolulu for the last leg of our trip. Many had warned us how crowded Waikiki beach is, but I wasn't truly prepared for the craziness we experienced. About a $40 -$50 cab ride to the hotel from the airport (traffic was crazy). If you are looking for a relaxing and quiet vacation spot - this is not it. The hotel itself was nice, very unique with a lot of history. My wife really enjoyed the decor, but thats really where the greatness ends. We stayed in a standard room (garden view), and the connecting room walls were paper thin. We heard everything, yes that too! Needless to say we didn't get much sleep/ We had a lot of flight issues due to the winter weather on the east coast, and when asked if we could check out later on our departure day that request was denied. You expect more with the prices you are paying here especially when asking staff they said they were at about 80% capacity. The Mai Tai bar area is nice with good food, expensive, and we did run across some snobby guests who really thought they were important when we accidentally walked behind them in a picture taking scenario. The breakfast buffet cost us $94 with tip, so be prepared to spend some money if you stay on-site to eat. They do have a shared suite you can use if you need more time at the hotel (which we did), but nobody wants to share an area when your on vacation with people you do not know.

Room Tip: Spend more for the upgraded rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rvajda
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, 13 January 2014
Dear rvajda,
Thank you for taking the time to share your review of your recent stay with us at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. We truly regret to learn that your vacation was anything less than exceptional, particularly because you were on your honeymoon. We apologize for our shortcomings with your particular room and surrounding noise; we typically offer the option for a room relocation for guests who express such concerns and we apologize if this was not provided upon informing our guest service managers. We understand your frustration in regards to our inability to offer late checkout and we apologize for this inconvenience. Unfortunately availability for late checkout is based on the availability of the particular room and the daily guest arrivals in that same room category versus the general resort occupancy. We appreciate your honest feedback regarding your experience and we again apologize for our shortcomings. We hope you will consider offering us another opportunity to welcome you back again.
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
#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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