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“Clearly the best hotel in Hawaii””

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The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Ranked #17 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Aussie
Level Contributor
343 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
“Clearly the best hotel in Hawaii””
Reviewed 21 July 2010

We have just stayed in this beautiful grand hotel that's had many millions spent on it to make it the ultimate vacation choice, on the world's most famous beach at Waikiki.

The Pink Palace is the iconic place to be on Waikiki Beach, with wonderful staff and the absolute joy of free beach lounges and umbrellas in prime position on the beach.

Many of the staff are proud Hawaiians who still feel the spirits of the Hawaiian Royal Family who used to come here to their summer vacation home. They feel privileged to work here and happily embody the spirit of Aloha (welcome, hospitality, friendship, assistance and more - what a lovely word).

The internet is also free in the room behind the concierge, so a recent review is quite incorrect. The most recent reviews are so far off reality that Tripadvisor readers need to know the truth.

What's special about the Royal Hawaiian compared with other Waikiki hotels?

First, you're right there on the beachfront at the centre of Waikiki life. Staying somewhere else back from the beach (as we have previously) just won't let you remember that special Hawaiian holiday.

Second, this hotel has won the Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice award for 2010 for Romance and Relaxation for a very good reason. Only by staying here will you understand the uplifting spirit of enjoyment and hospitality in grand surroundings.

Third, the architecture is outstanding. EVerywhere you go along the beach, your eyes are drawn to this Pink Palace that's so alluring. No other hotel offers the aesthetics and entry motif in such vibrant colours of warm peachy pink with vivid blue splashes of contrast.

Fourth, the hotel and room interiors are stylish as well as beautiful. The walk down the nicely decorated hallway towards the bright strip of white sand and blue ocean in front of you is unforgettable.

And fifth, the staff are special people who seem to have been hand picked for Hawaii's top hotel. We had the pleasure of meeting the friendly general manager Kelly Hoen who went out of her way to spend time talking. How many GMs do you see walking around a hotel, let alone meet?

We were lucky enough to dine at the memorable Azure restaurant overlooking the beach, and that alone is a story worth telling - a seafood restaurant where the buyers bid for the freshest produce at 5.30 every morning at Hawaii's famous fish market. The wine list is terrific but it's hard to go past one of their superb pina coladas as you look out over the curve of Waikiki Beach all the way up to Diamond Head.

We've stayed at and loved the Moana Surfrider before (also a Starwood property) and this timme also checked out the Halekulani, but that was more expensive and for us, not a patch on the grandeur and history of the Royal Hawaiian.

Thanks so much for making this our best holiday ever.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Manager_Janet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New Jersey
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2010

though you would think Royal Hawaiin was not one of the newest hotels, it was byfar the most relaxing. Waiikki is a very busy city and some of the hotels seem like Grand Central Station with so many people in their lobbies that it is stressful just walking around. The Royal Hawaiian just doesn't feel that way, it has a relaxed atmosphere and is right in the heart of everything. you need to park in paid parking and walk to the hotel which is a pain. the pool is a bit small but it's heated and is nice. the beach is beautiful. Watch out for the breakfast which is a total rip-off----$19 for a small plate of fruit, $13 for a bagel. As a family of four, our breakfast was over $130 and so we never ate breakfast there again. would stay there again as the other hotels were just too busy.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank belle d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MVLUN
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2010

After checking out at the Marriott Ko'Olina Villas 3 days early to stay here, my teenagers were excited. We had two rooms, One at the historical garden view which I recommend. (newly remodeled) and mine was at the Tower with balcony ocean front. I first had a smoking room which the front desk switch since I had a child with asthma. The hotel ground is very quaint, but nothing impressive. I had to ask for my banana bread 3 times, and finally delivered around 7:45 pm. No turn down service. I notice that the cleaning carts had extra amenities including a shower gel which I never received. I guess this hotel is fine if all you need is a room and a bed. There was nothing special about staying here. The bed and pillows were not comfortable. The air condition was noisy which also kept my up. I had to go downstairs to fight for beach chairs at 5:30 am and wait for the umbrellas around 6:00 am. It is not my type of vacation, so I will stay elsewhere next time. We did eat at the Halekulani Hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel was booked when I called to make a reservations the last minute since we left Ko Olina Marriott Villas early. Even the pool was very small, but the Sheraton Waikiki next door was open to guest at the Royal Hawaiian. We are a Starwood members, and I did use points for one room, and paid for the Tower room. Like I said, this hotel is just not for me.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MVLUN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2010

We are currently staying in room 210 and it is the smallest hotel room of our Hawaii trip and by far the smallest bathroom of any hotel in which we have stayed (ever). Perhaps other rooms are bigger, but if this is the standard size room, do not stay here. The staff is very nice and the location and history a plus, but the downside of an old hotel is small rooms, small closets, tiny bathrooms, and few modern amenities (small fitness room, no game room, and a pool the size of a hot tub, literally) compared to other, more modern hotels. Everything has a fee; parking, beach activities, internet. The hotel is not worth the price and not worth the precious vacation time to stay in.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jmmforget
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDCAT4
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2010

Traveled with family of 4, children are 18 and 21. Searched very thoroughly where we wanted to stay on the first leg of our hawaii trip. Four days on Waikiki at the Royal Hawaiin were wonderful. The hotel is impeccable. Details make this resort very special. Service amazing...yes, it's pricey, but you are staying at a 5 star resort in heart of Waikiki. Rooms nice, beach chair setup very nice considering the crowds on this beach. Stayed in the tower because we definitely wanted a balcony and this is the only section that has them. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank WDCAT4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2010

We booked transfers with Hawaii23 at a cost of $23 which we felt was very good - used them again for our return to the airport and would definitely recommend them.

CHECK IN - arrived at the hotel at about 1pm and although check in isn't normally till 3 our room was ready. We were greeted with an orchid lei and a refreshing fruit juice - all very charming. I’d booked a tower room and requested a high floor so was delighted to be allocated the 16th floor which gave the most fantastic views of the beach and ocean. We were there for 8 nights.

ROOM - our room was lovely and spacious with a nice bathroom. It was well furnished and spotlessly clean the whole visit. We much appreciated the coffee maker plus fresh coffee replaced daily and also the empty fridge to store milk, juice etc. Each room has a lanai and we spent most evenings sitting out there till quite late. The best surprise for us was the lack of mossies or other nasty bugs which meant we were able to leave the doors wide open at night and drift off to sleep listening to the waves...........bliss.

HOUSEKEEPING – overall very good and kept our room spotless. We particularly liked the turn down service with chocolates and bottled water. One small problem - they always turned up as we were getting ready to go out for dinner so there would be a quick scramble to get some clothes on. On our last night we missed them altogether as we’d put the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door while we showered. I rang down to guest services and was assured they would reschedule and bring clean towels. When we got back at just after 10pm nobody had been in the room which left us with just one towel for the morning. It was only once so not a big problem, but we heard other people complain it happened to them frequently which would have been very irritating.

CONCIERGE - very helpful with one exception. After unpacking we enquired about a Lost Tour and were told by the person on duty at the time that he’d never heard of these tours and in any case couldn’t recommend a company the hotel didn’t normally deal with. He did however say he would do some research, took our room number and promised to come back to us the following day with some information. He never did and I must admit we were so enjoying the beach that we completely forgot about it for a few days. When I remembered I did a quick search on Google using the hotel’s pc and came up with two companies, but although one of the other concierges phoned round and did her best to book a tour for us we’d left it too late. She then found a Circle Island tour which was good, but not really what we’d have preferred. Our fault for not chasing it sooner, but a bit annoying that the first concierge just didn’t bother.

FOOD – our booking didn’t include breakfast so we only ate breakfast at the hotel twice as it was ridiculously expensive – around $60 for just coffee, juice and the basic omelette deal for the two of us. Although the food was nicely cooked and the service was good it really didn’t warrant the expense. I did enquire when checking in about upgrading to a package which included breakfast and was quoted an extra $600 which was a good $120 more than it would actually have cost to eat there for 8 days – not sure how they worked that out!! We found it a much better deal to walk a few yards along the beach to Dukes where they offered a buffet breakfast for $14.95 – way better value and still on the ocean front.

LOCATION – fantastic. The beautiful gardens at the rear act as a welcome buffer to all the noise and activities around, but still keep you close to the shops and restaurants. We're very much beach people and the Royal Hawaiian definitely has the best section of beach right in the centre of Waikiki. Although it’s a public beach it’s the only hotel with its own bit sectioned off and complimentary loungers and umbrellas. It was necessary to get down there quite early to be sure of getting the beds you particularly wanted, but some were still available till around 11am each day. It was a huge plus to know that you could relax in the shade without any hassle.

GRIPES – we did think it was a bit much for there to be a $15 daily charge to use WiFi in your room – standard at many hotels much less costly than this one. The alternative was to use the free pc’s in the business centre, but as there are only 3 and one was out of order the whole time we were there it usually meant quite a long wait to get anywhere near one.

OVERALL – we absolutely loved this hotel. It was a lovely touch being invited to a cocktail reception one evening which we really enjoyed. Although it's not the most luxurious hotel we've stayed in we were sooooo pleased we picked it – perfect location and when we looked round other hotels we really felt it was the best on Waikiki beach. It's way, way too expensive, but that seems the norm in Waikiki and for us, the benefits definitely outweighed the small negatives. I've said this in many previous reviews, it's all about expectations - this hotel definitely met ours.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank jenniren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Lake Tahoe, California
Level Contributor
62 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2010

Arriving at the entrance after the frenetic Waikiki traffic, birds are signing and the cool calm of garden surrounds you. Ahhhh. From the Bell station to check in to a quick tour of the grounds and amenities, the staff are perfect and the hotel is lovely. It is in a perfect situation on the beach. Why would you stay anywhere else?

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank WhapoFishShack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 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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