Nothing says paradise like Hawaii, that said for our honeymoon my (now wife) and I decided to go. I was a young kid last time I was in Hawaii and my wife has never been to this magnificent jewel in the Pacific. There are lots of nice hotels in Oahu and Waikiki may not be the first choice of everyone as it is a bit of a “city” however when it comes to old-world luxury there simply isn’t any hotel nicer then the Royal Hawaiian.
Opening its doors in 1927 to cater to the upper-class traveling via steamer ship the Royal Hawaiian has had a very long and interesting history from being shutdown to support troops during World War II to the modernization and commercialization of Waikiki the Royal Hawaiian has stood its ground.
The most distinctive hotel on the Waikiki shoreline with its distinctive pink color the hotel is beautifully designed to embrace the constant trade winds from the pacific.
Staying at the Royal Hawaiian feels like being transported back in times, sometimes a bit too much. The “old” rooms do not have balconies however the new Mailani Tower does. Additionally, this being a very historic building the pool can feel quite small however since the Royal Hawaiian is owned by Starwood and part of their collection of hotel, the Sheridan next door and the Westin just a short walk down the beach are all accessible to those staying at either. This is probably best for families who can use the larger pool at the Sheridan next-door as well as their buffets.
All in all this hotel was amazing, of our travels to Hawaii it had the most character, authentic old world luxury coupled with the ability to access more modern hotels when needed.
Was the hotel expensive? Yes, was Waikiki more reminiscent of a bustling city? Yes, but stepping into the Royal Hawaiian is like being transported back to those grand steamships embarking on a rare gem in the pacific and simply put, you can not get that feeling at any other hotel, period.
- Great beach with fairly calm waters
- Amazing location and views of Diamond Head
- Mailani Tower has free appetizers and drinks (alcoholic) at various points in the day as well as free breakfast
- Restaurants were amazing (especially if you have allergies)
- We used our American Express Platinum card and got free breakfast which pretty well let us order anything on the menu free!
- Waikiki is a great place to start since if you forgot anything you can pretty well buy it there and the mall is just across the road!
- Great free (and some pay) activities like bracelet making and a history tour I highly suggest you take
- You can access the Sheridan (next door) or Westin properties. The Sheridan has a larger pool that’s more kid friendly
- Rooms in Mailani Tower were a bit sparse for my taste but modern and clean none the less
- The original building does not have any balconies
- Beach chairs / umbrellas were not free but rather ~$40 USD (although you can use your own towels and such)
- Its Oahu, you don’t really get the Hawaiian charm being in Waikiki
- Pricey, but really you have to expect that
- Royal Hawaiian pool is pretty small
- When driving watch for the sign for the Royal Hawaiian or you may miss it
Tips / Hints
- Very cool little alcove near the great dining room showcasing the steam ship history of the Royal Hawaiian I very much suggest see it and will only take 5 or 10 mins
For more details and to book head on over to Royal Hawaiian