The Royal Hawaiian — Hotel Review

While in Honolulu, John and I were guests at The Royal Hawaiian. Affectionately known as the “Pink Palace,” the hotel is situated on Waikiki Beach and is instantly recognizable. The hotel is a part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection and is both grand and luxurious and comfortable and casual.

Location – The hotel is about 10 miles from the airport — depending on the traffic, the commute can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Yes, Honolulu traffic can be a bear! The hotel has a great location on Waikiki Beach and is next to the Sheraton hotel (and nearby the Moana Surfrider Westin and the Outrigger properties). The hotel is connected to the Royal Hawaiian Center — an upscale collection of shops and restaurants.


Customer Service – The service at the hotel is phenomenal. Everyone on staff consistently asked how they could help or if they could be of assistance, from the concierge to the facilities staff. In advance of our trip, I was contacted by concierge staff and they helped us to plan meals and activities. This service was very helpful and most appreciated.

Accommodations – John and I stayed all three nights at the hotel on (hard-earned) hotel points. We were upgraded to the Nani Pumehana Suite, a well-appointed suite on the first floor of the hotel. Our room overlooked the lush garden and was a haven to us during our stay. The room was beautifully decorated and provided way more space than we needed. A stay at the Royal Hawaiian can be very pricey, but depends on room type and time of year (high-season vs low-season).

room Collage

Amenities – As a member of Starwood’s luxury collection, the hotel offers far more amenities than we could use during our short stay. In addition to two restaurants and a bar, the hotel offers many lounging areas and meeting rooms. The hotel also has a fitness center, spa and many in-hotel shops for souvenirs, food/drink, books, jewelry and the like. The hotel also hosts a weekly luau — we did not attend due to the timing of our trip — and local bands/hula dancers in the bar as forms of guest entertainment. During the day, the hotel also offers a nice spread of complementary fruit-infused waters, coffee and tea for guests. We also received bags of the hotel’s infamous banana bread every day during our stay. So delicious! The hotel also has a very nice pool and premier seating on the beach.

amenities Collage

Member Recognition – As a Platinum Starwood member, we were treated like VIPs. In addition to our suite upgrade, we were treated to complimentary continental breakfasts during our stay. Our choices were pretty extensive and made for a comprehensive and filling breakfast. Considering the cost of things in Hawaii, it was great to have one of the day’s meals taken care of by someone else! Additionally, hotel staff kept our room well-stocked with complimentary water that we kept in the fridge in our room. We were also given free wireless internet, beautiful leis upon arrival and offered a 4PM late check-out.


We would return to The Royal Hawaiian without hesitation…if we returned to Oahu.  Given our desire to explore new places, I am not sure if this is likely in the near future. Regardless, we would happily recommend this property to friends and family.

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