Royal Hawaiian

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by bea61, Feb 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. bea61
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    bea61 Silver Member

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    After weeks of debate, we selected the Royal Hawaiian for a four day stay in July 2010, paying with cash and points. We arrived after dark, after a day-long flight, and after a long, confusing drive through Honolulu. Once we finally spotted the tiny arrowed sign in the circle drive of the Sheraton Waikiki, our entire world-view changed. The dip down into the trees and the soft lights of the Royal Hawaiian made cosmopolitan Honolulu disappear. The valets greeted us with fragrant leis, expressed sympathy at our exhaustion, and send us into the lobby. Arriving after dark, the architecture of the lobby was impressive, but we had no idea until the next morning how impressive the place really is.

    Our room was on the very end of the top floor of our wing, and seemed to be a very long walk from the elevator bank. It did give us a chance for full immersion in RH pink. Everything (carpets, walls, staff uniforms, towels, napkins) is pink, but it did seem to be various shades so that the look was coordinated but not overwhelming.

    Our standard room was pleasantly large for a historic property. The furniture was styled to be island colonial but was very new. The tv was a large flat screen on top of dresser/refrigerator. We had a small walk-in closet with a safe and the bathroom had a large vanity with a shower but no tub. The window in the bath and in the bedroom overlooked the banyon tree in the courtyard.

    In the morning, we were treated to spectacular views of the ocean, and Diamondhead, from several different areas. My favorite was a portico filled with rocking chairs. Breakfast at the Surf Lanai was expensive, $60 for two people, but the outdoor patio and the view of the ocean from under a palm tree was worth the cost. The portions were generous and the food hearty. However, we went spent the rest of our breakfasts, at half the cost, at the hotel next door.

    Generally, the staff was friendly and helpful. However, the main lobby was understaffed and there was often a wait for one of the three people at the desk. There did not seem to be dedicated concierge, so everyone went to the front desk for everything, causing a bit of a backup. We learned that it was actually easier to work with the concierge staff at the Sheraton next door. The valet staff at RH was phenomonal. After the first day, they all pronounced my difficult name correctly, and remembered personal details. Even after we returned the rental car on the first day, the valet staff still spoke to us by name for the rest of our stay, and continued to be very helpful.

    Even though this was the most expensive of the SPG properties, I would go back again, but I would make sure I was paying on points.
     
  2. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort will debut a new historic photography exhibit next week, Hollywood’s Golden Age in Waikiki.

    The showcase will include classic mid-century images, celebrity sightings, and photos from the war glory era. Free and open to guests and hotel visitors, the exhibition runs from August 4 to December 31, 2011. Plan your visit below.
     
  3. tigerwong
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    tigerwong Silver Member

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    Stayed at the RH for the first time this past week using FRN awards. At check in I was informed that as a Platinum member, I was "upgraded" to room 2001. Having never been to the hotel I figured I was on the 20th floor. I was shocked to see I was placed on 2nd floor with a handicap shower. For the first time ever, I went back to front desk to voice my displeasure. Initially front desk said they couldn't find anything else. As I reached for my iPad to search room availability a room on 4th floor surfaced, then 8th where we were eventually placed. Suites were also available according to the website, but since I had to rush to a luau I let it be. While the room wasn't a suite, we still found the view and room to be more than sufficient. My wife and I enjoyed the fruit plate and free daily lunch (wish I could use multiple coupons per day instead of being restricted to 1 coupon). Outside of initial check-in, the staff were all very helpful. Free beach chairs for guests were very convenient as I recall the Westin charging for chairs. Overall great stay and hopefully I get upgraded to a suite next time.
     
  4. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    Did I see you, I was there too. I had a similar conversation with the desk agent. I ended up on the 7th floor after turning down a non-view garden suite.

    The concierge was the best I have dealt with in all of my travels. I even have the bruises from jumping the rock to prove it. Not sure I can praise his suggestions enough.

    The one lunch was and is useless.
     
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  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Thanks for the feedback... This hotel was on my short list of properties to stay in during my upcoming HNL trip, but now that I hear this I think I'll pass.
     
  6. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    There was also the guest next door that sat on the balcony smoking. That wasn't much fun in the morning and I don't know if the calls downstairs to the front inspired the staff to make an effort to do something about it.

    The one caveat to all my comments, as mentioned above, is the concierge [one of the concierges as there were a few I saw manning the desks]. No idea what his name is, but he really was that good. This trip was a MR sort of trip for me. I needed the 9k eqms, had free resort nights, and the UA fare with vouchers and CR-1 upgrades could not be beat. I had no idea what to do in HNL outside of visit Pearl Harbor. The concierge's suggestions to add to what was minimally planned made for a great 2 days in HNL.

     
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  7. BackSlash

    BackSlash Silver Member

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    I stayed in July of 2011 and found the RH pool area crowded but not nearly as crowded as the RH/Westin shared area. Our room was on the 7th floor facing the ocean but most impressively they checked us in at 8 am after a particularly horrendous redeye. We didn't have a fruit plate (Gold not Plat) but the banana bread was delicious although presented in it's saran wrap.

    One thing that has to be said, I could have fit a rollaway into the room closet. I'd stay there again.,
     
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  8. Scott Schmidt

    Scott Schmidt Silver Member

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    Would definitely go back--and if you check the Promotions and Packages, it can be less than the Sheraton or Westin!

    On my November 2010 visit, the check-in agent did not have an upgraded room ready, so I took what they had and went to dinner at Cheesecake Factory, where the wait was 90 minutes. Got a call from the front desk on me cell--they had a better room. I ran back to move my bags and by the time I got back to the restaurant, we had magically skipped the line!

    Now here is the kicker--the front desk agent sent me a hand-written Christmas Card from the RH. Did not get that from the Princess Kaiulani or Moana even though I made many more stays in those properties over the year!
     
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