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“Fourth of July Nightmare”

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Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Ranked #54 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 15 July 2012

I checked in July 3 early with Celeste at the front counter with my Gold SPG card. She looked at my card and said it was invalid, she would not honor it and to I would have to call Starwood. She advised me to come back around 3 pm when the room would be ready.

I came back around 3pm to check in and it went downhill from there. The line to check in was about 20 deep so I used the Gold Preferred line. I ironically got to deal with Celeste again. She asks" how can I help you?" I said I'd like to check in and she rudely says "I know that, I checked you in earlier". She then proceeds to tell me I have to go to the end of the other line because my Gold card is invalid. She then says OK, I will take care of this and proceeds to call Starwood and right in front of me says " I have an individual with an invalid card trying to check in, will you verify the number?" Of course the number is good so about 20 mins later she proceeds to check me in.

The room she gave me was awful. Smelled of mold and very outdated. Looks nothing like the pictures posted on their website. I called down for a room change and they said no problem, we will send a new room key right up. 30 mins later i call back down to see whats taking so long and they had no idea what I was talking about. About 20 mins later they gave me another room. Lastly the elevators take forever. 10 -15 mins each wait for an elevator and they are packed. Felt like I was on a subway downtown.

The customer service here is awful. The friendly Hawaiian attitude that is prevalent throughout the islands is simply non-existent here. This place is dismal and unwelcoming. I travel for a living and this property does not deserve the Sheraton name. I will never stay here again and if asked by friends or family I will advise against it.

Room Tip: If you can avoid it do not deal with Celeste at the front counter.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank bhunter767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sheratonpk, Online Marketing Coordinator at Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2012

Thank you bhunter767 for taking the time to review our hotel. We regret to hear of your challenges and offer our sincerest apologies. We appreciate your loyalty as a Gold Member of our Starwood Preferred Guest membership. I would welcome the opportunity to connect with you offline so that I may follow up on all your concerns personally. I have sent you a direct message with my details and look forward to hearing from you soon. Mahalo.

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1,514 - 1,520 of 3,604 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2012

The Princess Kaiulani is not one of the newer properties in Waikiki, but offers excellent location and also an excellent value compared to the other larger properties in Waikiki. On this trip, I was upgraded to a room with a nice ocean view, but internet reception was unavilable from that room, so they moved me to a lower floor property without a view. The Front Office Manager, Mayrose, was very accomodating in moving my the following day and even provided at no charge a MiFi adapter to use during my stay so that I am getting very fast response on my Ipad, Iphone and laptop.
Also, there is nitely entertainment on the lobby level. Guests can get an excellent free show
of the entertainment from their balconies. If you are a traveler on a budget, it is an exceptional value. Also, if you get a rate on the internet and will be staying at the hotel for 5 days or more, there is often a promotion that Sheraton offers only directly of 25% off the entire stay, which will beat their internet rates.

Room Tip: Ask for the Newer tower that has a partial ocean view. If you are SPG, you will often be upgraded...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank RugglesTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sheratonpk, Online Marketing Coordinator at Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2012

Mahalo RugglesTravel for taking the time to share such a wonderful review on your recent stay with us. We are so pleased to hear that we our Front Office Manager, Mayrose, was able to assist you right away and provide you with alternate accommodations to your preference. Our main goal is to ensure our guests have any enjoyable visit with us. We hope to see you soon. Aloha.

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Reviewed 12 July 2012

From 7/4-7/11 2012 we stayed in room 302 of the Sheraton Princess, a pool view room which was an unexpected and happy upgrade from a standard view room.

The hotel itself has a stellar location directly across from the Moana Surfrider and quite literally a 2 minute walk to one of the best beaches in the world. It has a gorgeous open lobby adjacent to the very nice pool with lush landscaping and a nice bar and restaurant serving buffet breakfasts and dinner. We really enjoyed the pool and pool area after a morning on the beach. Please note that all Waikiki hotels have small pools, not what you will see in other vacation destinations. That being said, this is definitely one of the nicest - and we've stayed around Waikiki in previous years.

The resort fee is $18 per day and with this we got free local calls, 60 minutes long distance calls per day, 2 bottled waters daily, free wi-fi (a bit spotty at times), a free child buffet with a paying adult, and free parking. I may be missing a thing or two. The fee is mandatory, but we certainly found value in it with parking alone.

Our room was very clean. I will admit I was a bit disappointed at first with the bathroom which could perhaps use an update. After the first day, however, I didn't give it another thought. The rooms are just a teeny tiny bit outdated, but nothing to bother yourself with. We (my husband, 4-year-old and I) were quite comfortable there and found there was plenty of room for us. The bed and bedding were heavenly and housekeeping did a wonderful job each day. The walls featured lovely hawaiian floral artwork, and the television was a nice sized flat screen with ample cable, including Showtime. We're not terribly picky, but do feel we have reasonable - high standards and so I'm a bit surprised by the negative commentary in other reviews. This is Hawaii people - lighten up! Don't expect a Sheraton on the islands to mirror one in LA or NY - its just totally different, but great!

A very large safe was available for use in the room, as was a nice sized fridge. Both free. The east wall was all glass, with 2 open sliding doors leading out to the balcony which had 2 chairs and a table. Lovely. Please note that the odd numbered rooms in this building (pool main building) do not appear to have balconies. All others in the 3 building do appear to have them.

I will admit I was a bit hesitant to book based on mixed reviews. However, after staying here I see no reason to ever stay anywhere else - and I have stayed at 5 star hotels in Waikiki before. The location is perfection, right in the middle of everything without ever feeling anything but relaxed as she is set back just a bit. While some say she could use a facelift, I completely disagree. The Sheraton Princess has charm and a true Hawaii feel - she isn't "sterile."

We loved our stay and have no complaints. We will absolutely stay here again!

Room Tip: I thought the Pool View was great. Keep in mind that there is nightly entertainment in the pool are...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank a_bells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 13 July 2012

Mahalo a_bells for your wonderful and very detailed review our hotel. We are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and would absolutely stay here again. Our centralized location is a great value for our guests, our guests’ love that Waikiki Beach is just a crosswalk away. We are happy that you enjoyed our Sheraton Sweet Sleepers and found our daily resort charge to be of great value during your stay. We hope to see you again at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel soon. Aloha.

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Reviewed 11 July 2012

This hotel was terrible! It either needs a major renovation, or needs to be torn down & rebuilt. The pool is tiny, lobby & hallways are totally outdated. A very busy & bustling hotel in a great location. Lanais are a good size. A plus was that the mandatory resort fee included parking & long distance calls. Bathrooms are tiny & not many towels provided. Also, nice touch with the beach service - chairs, towels, water & fruit - makes up for lack of a good pool.

Room Tip: Try to get a room that actually faces the ocean & stay away from rooms close to the elevators...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank cmariec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 13 July 2012

Aloha cmariec and thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We regret to hear of your experience and off our sincerest apologies. One of the main purposes of online reviews is to highlight the areas of improvement and your review allows us to do so. We are pleased that you found our amenities included in our daily resort charge to be of convenience to you. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back. Mahalo.

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Reviewed 9 July 2012

The best thing I can say about this hotel is that the lobby and pool area, with the restaurant and bar are very nice. This Sheraton is convenient enough, being on a busy row of hotels, restaurants and shops. The staff were very professional and helpful. The rooms, however, are in desperate need of updating. It was small and the "balcony" was about three foot wide - barely big enough for the little table and 2 small chairs. The bathroom was very tiny and the outlets in it did not work! The worst part was the musty smell of the room. I was afraid all my clothes would pick up the odor, so I did not even unpack for my 3 day stay, kept all my clothes in my luggage. I am sure there are better places to stay in this very busy part of Honolulu.

Room Tip: If you choose to stay at this hotel, definitely ask for an oceanview room. We were supposed to have...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 12 July 2012

Aloha TPKaren and thank you for your recent review. We appreciate your honest feedback and are pleased to hear that you found our guest areas, restaurants, and staff to be enjoyable. I do apologize for the challenges you experience with your accommodations and have shared this with our management team. Thank you again.

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Reviewed 6 July 2012

Myself and my husband stayed here in June for five days for part of our honeymoon, and it was the biggest disappointment. We got married in a Sheraton hotel at home in Ireland and it was fabulous and as part of the Starwood group we were expecting a lovely hotel and great service. We arrived after a very long flight and the person at the check in barely looked at us, started having a conversation with someone else before we finished checking in, ignoring any questions I had about wifi etc and basically looking annoyed he even had to deal with us. No congratulations on being there on honeymoon (though we realise the amount of people on honeymoon in Hawaii) but a welcome or hi how are you would have been lovely. Starwood Group had said we would get an upgraded on checkin, but if our room was the upgrade I wouldn't like to see the others. Positives about the room were that the bed was comfortable and clean and we had a balcony with a nice view of the town though noisy at night. The downside was the room is in really bad need of refurbishment, cupboards off their hinges, extension leads lying around the place, bath not working (despite sending someone up to fix it, it still didn't work), grubby and worst of all it had a connecting door to the room next door so we could hear everything from our neighbours. We had booked a smoking room, though only one of us smokes and only ever outside but on arrival my husband went out on the balcony, closed the bedroom door and had a cigarette. The next day there was a phonecall reminding of us of no smoking, absolutely that's fair enough, though it wasn't inside and we haven't been able to figure out how they saw this, it remains a mystery. My husband from then on went downstairs outside the hotel to have a cigarette, though he smokes few and far between. On check out the manager tried to charge us $300 for smoking in the room that morning, claiming housekeeping had seen signs of smoking. This is an absolute con. We had been out since 7 that final morning, came back at 12 and housekeeping had not even been in the room. There was no apology or backtracking on their behalf, all but one of the staff we encountered was rude and the breakfast!!!! $24,99 per person, for a below average buffet, outdoor seating, with pigeons and birds walking on all the tables and on the plates and cutlery which is disgusting. The staff here need a good lesson from starwood on customer service. We will never get another honeymoon, and they really put a dampner on our whole trip, when it can so easily be avoided. From a very disappointed honeymoon couple. We left and checked into the Royal Hawaiian, now that's where you want to stay!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Jade C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 9 July 2012

Aloha Jade C and congratulations! Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. I am very sorry to hear of your experience and offer our sincerest apologies. I have sent you a direct message with my personal contact information. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly and follow up on your concerns. Regarding your smoking comments, it is our policy that we do not allow smoking on any of our balconies. Our smoking rooms only allow smoking inside the room. I apologize that this was not clearly communicated to you. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Mahalo.

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Reviewed 3 July 2012

For my initial post, I hadn't actually stayed here yet. I had contacted the hotel to see about upgrading our room for our honeymoon. They said they made a note of it and when we arrived we were upgraded to a balcony room (originally we apparently did not have one). It was a mountain view, but still nice to be able to sit outside in the mornings and evenings. To our surprise, they also brought up a bottle of champagne and some fruits and other goodies to congratulate us!

The pineapple carving demo was fantastic. He had a long line and it was the best pineapple i've ever had. The crafters that set up are also pretty cool to check out.

My husband and I developed a daily routine of heading out to the beach, coming back to the pool for happy hour (waitress Debbie was the best!), then heading in to get cleaned up and venture out for the night. We did the breakfast buffet twice, but didn't sit down there to eat. Instead we did the to go box and ate on the balcony. The first time we both paid and had our own boxes, but found that was way too much food. The next time my husband went down and just made us box that we shared.

Another perk to staying here is the beach service. Each day (as long as you use the provided beach towel so they can find you) you will get water brought to you out at the beach if you lay out near the duke statue. It was very refreshing. They also had apples and oranges, which made for a great snack.

The food we tried during happy hour was just ok, and breakfast wasn't bad. There are definitely better places locally though.

About our room - it was small and outdated, but clean and served its purpose well enough. Our a/c never seemed to really get very cold at all and the screen was completely covered in dust so thick that no air could get through it. We ended up leaving that open and it worked a bit better, though not much. The bed was very comfortable though, as were the pillows. We didn't spend all that much time in our room, so it was fine for our needs.

The gym was a great bonus for me and I used it a couple of mornings. The activities desk was very helpful as well with booking our excursions. Overall, the hotel is in a great location because it's a short walk to either end of Waikiki beach and many great restaurants and shops. The staff was extremely friendly and the pool was a great way to relax in the afternoons.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jkielman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 9 July 2012

Aloha jkielman and thank you for your wonderful review! We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your accommodations and our daily cultural activities. Our historic location is rich with the Hawaiian cultural and we want to share this with all our guests. Your routine with your husband sounds like a great and relaxing one. Thank you very much for sharing this so that other guests may do the same. We appreciate all your detailed feedback and hope to have the opportunity to welcome you and your husband back soon. Mahalo!

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Additional Information about Sheraton Princess Kaiulani

Address: 120 Kaiulani Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-6203
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range: £150 - £322 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sheraton Princess Kaiulani 3*
Number of rooms: 1152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is located in the heart of Waikiki just steps from Waikiki Beach and a short drive to downtown Honolulu. The hotel invites guests to experience the true spirit of aloha while enjoying daily cultural activities, fresh, local breakfast and dinner buffets and the Splash Bar! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel Honolulu
Sheraton Hotel Honolulu
Sheraton Hotel Princess Kaiulani
Princess Kaiulani Hotel
Sheraton Honolulu
Honolulu Sheraton
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hawaii/Honolulu

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