The Royal Hawaiian
2259 Kalakaua Avenue,
Honolulu, HI 96815
My Rating: 74%
Price Rating: $$$$$
Summary of Stay: While I was there on business, I had the opportunity to explore all the hotel had to offer. My appreciation for historic hotels drew me to the iconic ‘Pink Palace.’ Built in 1927, the hotel boasts all the services of a first class hotel including business services, gym, pool, shops and several dining options. Bell staff were quick to greet me and check-in was seamless. Upon entering the Garden View guestroom in the historic hotel tower, it lived up to everything I expected from my research online: exceptional linens, fresh banana bread, luxurious toiletries, and their signature pink Frette robes. This is when the stay began to unravel. The pool at the hotel is far too small and underwhelming. The beach area is cramped and not well serviced. I had two unpleasant dining incidences - one in a restaurant and one with room service. The concierge wasn’t very helpful in booking reservations and found I could do much more with my smart phone. And getting extra towels turned into a huge frustration. Finally - upon check out, another guest’s bar tab had been charged to my room. And while it was resolved by the hotel, it was inconvenient and something I have only encountered one other time in my travels.
Highlight of the hotel: As boring as it sounds, the highlight of the hotel was actually the bed. Perfectly luxurious with very fine sheets and comforter. It was hard to get out of bed in the morning just because it was so comfortable. After a day out in the sun or shopping or after a night of clubbing, this bed is the perfect haven.
Highlight of the stay: Is eating the fresh banana bread in the room a valid highlight? In all seriousness, it is ridiculously amazing.
Drawbacks: Some of the staff are incompetent and others have too much attitude. Avoid the restaurants and room service.