Hotel Review: The Royal Hawaiian
Having stayed at all of the other SPGs in Honolulu, we had to experience The Royal Hawaiian. It's like Pokemon, gotta catch them all. We saved some points and spent our first night in Honolulu at the Hyatt Place, and moved over to the Royal Hawaiian for an additional two nights.
Check-In: There was no separate "elite" check-in area open when I was checking in, and there were two people ahead of me.
After about five minutes, an agent freed up and helped get us checked in. She mentioned that there was a resort fee, highlighted what was included, explained how the lounge worked and provided additional details on SPG platinum benefits. She told us that we had been upgraded to a "Historic Ocean Deluxe" room which was in the historic building and had a direct ocean view. This was music to our ears since we had heard that the non-ocean view rooms weren't too great. The last thing she handed to us was a coupon giving entitling us to a few treats from the bakery in the hotel. The check-in agent was professional and outlined all the key information relevant to our stay.
The Room: The room itself felt really elegant upon walking in. The first thing that popped out was the bring pink, pineapple wall design behind the bed. There was a desk directly to the right of the door and a massive king bed with a TV across from it.
The bathroom is right next to the TV and is quite small considering the size of the room, but was perfectly comfortable. The local Hawaiian Maile toiletries were luxurious and I appreciated how they kept a dental kit with toothpaste in the bathroom.
There was also a sizable living room with a table, two chairs, a couch, a TV and windows with views of Waikiki through some palm trees.
The Property: The property has an elegant, colonial feel much different to the Sheraton Waikiki down the road. I loved the pink theme and the Spanish architecture, especially considering many of the other buildings around Honolulu are an eye sore. The hotel felt lively, but it was never overly crowded - you could always find an open chair by the pool or a seat at the lounge during breakfast.
The lobby is in open air with plenty of rich wood notes and the new "Royal Hawaiian" bakery which apparently just opened.
I loved the massive vintage map in the elevator lobby and the other finishing in the older Royal Hawaiian building. The coconut grove in front of the building is beautifully manicured and tourists from other hotels were always milling about and taking pictures.
The Royal Hawaiian is also one of the only hotels on Waikiki that has its only little slice of private beach.
Breakfast in the lounge was somewhat of a let down, though evening drinks were great. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, bread, pastries, yogurt, coffee, tea, juice and bellinis. From 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, wine, sparkling wine and beer was served along with an array of snacks. There was fried rice, thai vegetable curry, cheese, crackers, chips and veggies which was a pretty nice spread - it ended up being our dinner one evening.
The Service: Service was really warm and efficient throughout our two night stay. The agent at check-in made sure to go through all the intricate details about what was included in the resort and our platinum benefits. We didn't eat at any of the restaurants at the hotel, but the employees in the lounge were superb. They always made sure our glass of wine or pint of beer was topped off.
Tsunami Says: Rates at The Royal Hawaiian are usually somewhere in the $280 to $450 range which is quite pricey. At 20,000 SPG points per night, you're not getting incredible value, but I really enjoyed the experience. I really appreciated the upgrade to an ocean view room, and in the future for a longer stay I would probably use Suite Night Awards or pay to confirm my self in an ocean view room. I would definitely stay here again if I had points to burn, or found a cheap rate. I loved the architecture, the old world feel and the location.