For the most part, the recent renovation of the Royal Hawaiian is brilliant. This hotel is often described as an oasis on Waikiki, and that is a spot on description. Shielded from busy Kalakaua Ave by the Royal Hawaiian Center, the hotel is cool and quiet. Service is top notch.
Couple of things though - we stayed in a Junior Suite in the old building. The bathroom, while small, is great quality and has top notch amenities. Bedroom is OK in size and has a very comfortable bed and a large HD TV. The airconditioning seems to be a very old unit and does not even have a thermostat. Even stranger, there was a sitting room attached to the bedroom, which had some chairs and a very comfortable sofa, but no air-conditioning!! Which meant that the bedroom would be nice and cool, but the sitting room was hot and stuffy. Very strange oversight in that side of the renovation...
The other unfortunate aspect of the renovation is how the hotel has allocated its beach-front space. They have replaced the wonderful open-air Surf Room a casual dining venue, with an enclosed fine dining restaurant. Cabanas have also been built in between this restaurant and the beach, thereby ruining the beach and Diamond Head views from the restaurant. There is a large flat lawn next to the Mai Tai Bar which doesn't appear to be used for anything and then a function room that never seemed used on the other wing. What this means is that the hotel almost seems like it has turned its back on the beach. It's a real shame and has destroyed the naturl human connection that should exist between Waikiki and the Royal Hawaiian.
And while we used the new large free-form pool that is shared between the Sheraton and the Royal Hawaiian, I laughed the first time I saw the Royal Hawaiian's own pool - could you build a smaller pool?!?!? It's not much bigger than a large spa! Ridiculous, particularly when you consider all that wasted space nearby...
However, those things aside, I would certainly stay there again, if only for the service, the atmosphere and the quietness, with all the advantages of being in the heart of Waikiki.
- 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 Honolulu, Hawaii