Rated 3 out of 5 by lovetravel113 Great Hotel Dragged Down By One Employee's Poor Service
Hello general manager of Royal Hawaii.
Your hotel is overall an amazing property, but as a loyal gold member of SPG I was caught off guard by some below average quality of service, so i wanted to take the time to provide the feedback, as I do look forward to coming back again with my family.
The Pro: my family of seven people had a wonderful time on the beach and at the Azure restaurant. The staff at the beach counter and the restaurant was accommodating and welcoming, made us feel right at home. Azure staff made sure that we had gotten a very nice large table on the outside patio when they learned that we were there for family reunion and my mom's birthday. There were some wonderful staff members at the hotel, to name a few: our waitress Stephanie at Azure, was helpful, warm, and efficient, we really appreciated the wonderful food and experience; the front door staff and concierge, each one of them was super warm and accommodating, made us feel right at home; the pool staff who helped us set up umbrellas and Matt who taught me surfing, super helpful and just simply delightful people.
The Con: I was SHOCKED by the rudeness and unwillingness-to-help attitude of one woman at the front desk – her name was Sora. Given how good other employees are, her rude attitude really jumped out. I had three interactions with her: at check in; when I was getting the room key; when I was requesting the hospitality room key after checking out. This made her the person whom I had THE MOST interactions with when i stayed at the hotel from 10/30 to 11/2. And EVERY time, it was an unpleasant experience.
1. At checking in – she made absolutely no effort to welcome me to the property, no effort to recognize my SPG gold membership, no effort to even try to make a conversation with me. When I asked “The gentleman who received me at the door mentioned that this is the 2nd oldest property here in Waikiki, is that so?” she simply replied “Yes”. She made my check-in experience really unpleasant by NOT proactively providing ANY helpful information about the hotel, NOT EVEN, providing a map to the property or offering me to stay in the hospitability suite while waiting for my room to become available. I was the ONLY guest checking in at that time (it was 6am in the morning). I had to come back to her to ask for a map, and ask about the hospitability suite where I could rest. She made absolutely no effort to tell me where I could spend the waiting time.
2. That negative first interaction was evened out by OTHER staff members’ warmth at the Azure restaurant, where I sat down to have breakfast while waiting for my room. After a couple of hours, I was falling asleep after a long haul flight from Tokyo, and Sora has not called my cell phone (although she promised to) to inform me about my room availability, so I headed back to her counter at the front desk to check. Miraculously, at the moment I showed up, she acted like my room has JUST become available at that moment, and checked me in. Come on!! I’m 100% sure the room has NOT JUST become available the moment I showed up. She offered no apologies for my waiting around (even as courtesy).
3. Thank god I did NOT have to check out with her at my departure, but I did have to talk to her again to ask about the hospitality suite so my mom and I could take a shower. Again, she was cold, rude, and passive aggressive. She handed me the key with no information about where to find the room! When I asked her, she simply said: it says on the key card.
Overall, she acted as if she was a principle at a middle school where she would routinely scold students and teachers, rather than a front desk person at a five star hotel. She was rude, cold, not willing to answer questions (every time I asked her a question, like “where can I find the hospitality room?”, she gave me the “you must be stupid” eye), and not willing to be helpful – This really left a black mark on my impression of the hotel, which is really unfortunately given how warm and nice everybody else was!
As I was waiting in line to return the hospitality suite’s key to her, I had a chance to observe her behavior and attitude toward other guests – so, she obviously wasn’t just being cold and rude to me, she was like that to EVERYONE! This person Sora really has NO BUSINESS working in the hospitality industry, let along the most important position of welcoming and sending off touchpoint of the hotel – the front desk! I also had a chance to talk to the other front desk woman (when my key was broken, she helped me replace it) and the woman at the concierge desk (when she let me check out my room and return the hospitability key to her to avoid waiting in line for a long time), they were both super warmth and efficient.
All in all, my family and I would love to come back to this gorgeous property, as long as we no longer need to deal with Sora.
November 3, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by David Much lower level of service compared to last year
While the hotel staff was very welcoming, and the room are great, there are a few things that took be aback. In particular, I was shocked to discover that the hotel started charging USD 40 for an umbrella and a chair on the beach, which is outrageously expensive, and a big downer compared to be previous stay at that hotel a year earlier. C'mon, this is absolutely ridiculous. And plus the beach staff was not very pleasant at all. The hotel should increase the USD 36 resort fee by a few USD to include the use of chairs and umbrellas at the beach.
The rooms are also more loud than I remembered, especially in the morning.
The location, however, cannot be beat, but this should NOT be a reason for taking advantage of their customers.
January 31, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Melyobbo Waikiki Wonderland
We recently stayed at the Royal Hawaiian for three nights. We arrived to a very warm welcome by amazingly friendly staff. Right for the start we knew the staff cared. We got an early check in,which just made our day.
The facilities of the resort are fantastic. Our two girls (12 and 13) loved the playground pool. although it was busy, it never seemed overcrowded. The cocktails by the pool were amazing, you must try the Lava Flow!
We loved the proximity to the shops on Waikiki. Two almost teen girls loved how close it was to them and that they could walk across the beautiful green grass to Forever 21.
We loved the proximity to great restaurants and to the Royal Hawaiian Centre.
The hotel was decorated for Christmas and was truly gorgeous. I love pink and was inspired by all the pink decorations.
Our only concern was the size of the room. With two teen girls and two adults the room was tight squeeze. The bathroom although beautiful, was small.
I would definitely stay here again and would highly recommend it to couples wanting a smaller more intimate hotel experience.
So glad we stayed there for the last three nights of out holiday.
Mahalo to the Royal Hawaiian, we would definitely be back again.
December 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Roz39 grand hotel
Beautiful facilities. Spacious room. Luxurious linens and bath supplies. Beautiful views. Great location on best beach, close to shopping and dining
October 16, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by MM85 ANOTHER GREAT STAY !!
Just got back from 11 wonderful days at the Royal. As always, we were welcomed with open arms by the staff and made to feel like we were in our second home. Special thanks to Cori (you are the best!), Brandon (on arrival with our bags), Jim and Jason (for helping arrange our cocktail reception at the Mai Tai Bar), Keaha (reception), Brent (Azure), George and Nam (Surf Lanai), Evelyn and Michael (housekeeping) and Michael (beach service), Susan (Mai Tai Bar), and so many others. Can't say enough good things about the Royal.
August 5, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by hdpetersen Delta Diamond No Crossover = lame
As a Delta Diamond with Crossover benefits, I am always greeted with great charm at every starwood hotel in which I stay. This time, I was taking my family for a weekend in one of the supposedly most prestigious hotels in Hawaii only to be treated terribly by the check in staff and embarrassed in front of my family. Besides the host, the food service was terrible and the waitstaff was equally as rude. I will never return to this hotel, nor recommend to anyone else. It's old and needs some serious renovations as it's way past its prime :)
April 18, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by DrHG only average
The hotel is beautiful - as expected (except for the tiny pool). However the service was average at best. the pool/beach staff that the hotel prides itself on were only minimally helpful and generally aloof and focused on talking to each other. The restaurant food was wonderful (breakfast) but the service was also average - forgetting items, not repairing a wobbly table, not having enough menus available and a general lackadaisical attitude about service. we stay at numerous high end hotels around the world and this was not impressive.
April 24, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by JRSTokyo Wonderful experience in an iconic hotel!
We spent a few days at the hotel bookending a trip to Kauai. We could not have picked a better spot. The hotel is beautiful and sits on a prime spot on Waikiki. Situated next to the Sheraton Waikiki, the hotel's facilites, accessible to all guests, covered all of our needs from great pools for our young children to beachside cabanas for weary parents. Check-in time was great on the front end and yet took longer our second stay. Staff flexibliity to minimize guest check-in wait time should be enhanced. That said, we had a wonderful stay.
January 4, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Jacksnow1 Summer Vacation
This is the third time that I have stayed at this hotel and I will be having a hard time staying at this hotel again. My wife and I were celebrating our 25th Wedding anniversary and we decided to switch hotels to the Royal Hawaiian. We did get an upgrade to an ocean view suite which was quite nice. Since this was in the original hotel the air conditioning unit does not work well. The room stayed at a constant 75 degrees, which made sleeping in the room a pain. The pool and service in the pool area was good. The only problem is this is a luxury hotel and you expect no screaming kids around the pool. This pool should be only be used for adults or children over 16. There is a kids pool beside the hotel which is shared by the two hotels.
July 24, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Gypsy79 Beyond Amazing
The Royal Hawaiian provided an experience that will last a lifetime. From the beautiful architecture to the delightful food, this resort creates flawless details. My son and I both enjoyed swimming in the pools, and our room was not only gorgeous, but spacious and very clean as well. The staff were all kind and prompt with assisting us in any way. Thank you for an amazing stay. Can't wait to go again!
September 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Koohiichan Oasis in Waikiki
The Royal Hawaiian is an oasis in the middle of Waikiki. Set back off the road, with quiet gardens and the best beach access in Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian is the only way to go for a real, luxurious resort experience. The staff is top notch and the food and facilities are wonderful. This is not a budget friendly hotel, but as long as you go in with this in mind, you will enjoy splurging. The pool is small (can use the Sheraton's Helumoa pool next door) but it is less crowded than those nearby and our kids preferred it.
June 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by HighValues Home away from home
I always feels like I'm returning home when I visit the Royal - staff reckognise and welcome me back.like an old friend. Azure is still a magical dining experience and the Mai Tai Bar with Kui and his crew still make and serve the best Mai Tai's and always with a smile. Pool staff are friendly and helpful; Housekeeping staff are courteous and competent as are the Bell Staff. All take pride in their hotel and do their utmost to make guests feel special. A lovely and gracious experience.. Looking forward to my next visit next year.
November 21, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by JJM2012 Calm amongst the chaos
We stayed a week at the RH and were thrilled with every aspect of our stay. The staff was very helpful and attentive to our needs. The location was a real bonus. Located in the middle of Waikiki, the RH is located within walking distance to just about anything you could need. And yet with all that is happening nearby, we were amazed at the calm and quiet atmosphere awaiting us when we walked around the corner to the hotel. It was serene and quiet. The room had adequate space and was well-kept. I would highly recommend this hotel.
September 10, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by vols94 Old Style Experience
We selected the Royal Hawaiian for the Art Deco feel and it delivered on that. If you need a big modern room or a large bathroom this is not the place for you. The dining is limited but Waikiki provides plenty. Property seems isolated even though it is in the heart of Waikiki and the beach is right out the door. The staff is attentive and the management of needs was excellent.
September 17, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Alaninlaca Outstanding Staff in an Iconic Cultural Landmark in Paradise
This is a majestic property with a rich cultural history, and the property has undergone a renovation to restore it to its original look c 1927. It occupies the most beautiful stretch of Waikiki beach, and has a gorgeous view of diamond head. There is a beach club on the sand in front of the hotel which is the place to relax and take in the sights of Waikiki while enjoying the sunshine. It is an extremely well-run property, and the staff are as good as you'll find anywhere. They are really what make this property awesome.
November 1, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by ramona1 Living up to Expectations
The Pink Palace totally lived up to our expectations. Fabulously 5-star - we stayed in the old vintage wing which is one of the best parts of this historic hotel. Lounged by the pool, rented a lounger/umbrella combo and a paddle-board. All staff extremely helpful, especially the night-shift Housekeeping ladies. Perfectly located right in the center of Honolulu with beach access. And we even managed to sneak in a Sunday Brunch which is worth going back for in itself. Totally sold on this great hotel and will be returning.
December 2, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by Sleeplessinhawaii If you can sleep through noise it's not a bad place.
I was so excited to go to the Royal Hawaiian. I had read so many wonderful things about it. I love historic places and couldn't wait to try it. Having said that, I'm afraid that my experience there was not the best. The rooms were very beautiful and clean, the bathroom was a one person only with no room for most of my toiletries. I was impressed with the Frette sheets and the Malie products, but unfortunately we were "upgraded" to a partial ocean view room which if you looked out the window seeing the rooftop from the floors below you could kind of see the beach in the corner if you leaned enough. I would of rather had a garden view and was offered to switch back to the not upgraded room, but my husband was tired from the flight and I didn't want to bother for one night. I should have though, because at around 8 pm the noise started in the next room. The family in the next room was so noisy, one child was screaming, not a baby mind you, the baby was crying too though. Then the mother started screaming at the screaming child to stop. This went on for an entire hour and my husband and I decided we did want to change rooms. I called the front desk and they gave us the choice of two. The next door room, which smelled very bad, or the one they offered earlier. I took that one with the pretty garden views. We moved and of course as soon as we got in, there was some kind of bar with a party going on across from our room. Then since the room was in the middle of a hallway with an adjoining hallway, several people went by and were also noisy. We just looked at each other, laughed and said. Thank God it's only one night! Some sound proofing in the walls and better windows could of helped. They said sorry about the inconvenience but I told them it wasn't their fault the family from the trailer park was next door. The staff tried to help me when I thought I had left something in the previous room, the manager and security person took time out to try to help me at a late hour and they were very nice.To sum up, paper thin walls do not make for a good nights sleep.
November 22, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Remembering482 The Pink Palace Needs Help
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel use to be my favorite hotel. I have gone for vacation most years of my life--probably 30+ times. After an expensive remodel she looked lovely, but many important features were removed. It is no longer at the top of my list. Dirty elevators (grunge around the baseboards and carpet), poor menu selections, empty restaurant, average food preparation, poor bar service, beach umbrellas that cost a fortune, no table cloths (or elegance) at the restaurant. I could go on. Breaks my heart.
January 17, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by emm56 not the best could be better next time
Booked for spg50 (50% off). At first did not get rate ...i needed 100 points spg center did not mention. Asked for non smoking and was booked smoking. Called the night before arrival. Everything fixed but when I checked in and explained situation. I was a suspect. insinuating I was lying. I was to get an ocean view room. I know the person checking in with was annoyed. Rewarded with a great room on floor 2 where the air condition system was blocking my ocean view. Nice. also there are maybe 550 rooms and pool/beach space for about 150. Really?. Stayed at The Moana Surfrider the next 4 days. Everything there was excellent. Thinking about asking for some type of comp. Would stay again if I ask about my view before checking in. Cindy at the Mai Tai Bar is great. go get a Mai Tai with her.
August 13, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jeffrey1 Hotel Great...Maid service questionable...
From the moment we arrived the front staff treated us like royalty... all the downstairs staff were outstanding... the maid service was iffy... towels one day...no towels the next or not the correct ones... room always clean but, really... even when we called downstairs and requested specific towels... no response until one day later a large stack of towels were left... this is the ONLY criticism but really... a five star hotel that cannot get towels to the guest's room when requested for two days???
March 14, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Curly14 Better last time
Love this hotel, love the location have been here two other times and had better experiences, but that said I will be coming back.
Just a few issues with noise and some of the beach and pool staff not so friendly this time but that won't stop me coming but as it is a wonderful hotel/ resort with a touch of class..
September 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Advgreg Best in Hawaii
Stayed for 11 days in June and it was amazing as usual. The hotel is in the middle of Waikiki with all the great food and shopping. But, the hotel beach is the real Waikiki Beach. The best family beach in the world. Words can not describe how wonderful the hotel staff is at this resort. True "Aloha Spirt" in everything they do for you. Tower rooms have the benefit of walking right out onto the beach and the historic building has the charm of old Hawaii. This is the only place to stay in Waikiki.
July 1, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by hulagirl52 Enjoyed our visit to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel
If you are in the mood for a splurge in Waikiki then the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is the place for you. The grand old "Pink Princess" is still beautifully maintained and all the staff make it a point to welcome you daily and do a fine job of sharing their aloha. The pool area is a bit small and there is a charge for the loungers on the beach, which seems like an excessive charge given the resort fees over and above the room rate but other than that we loved our stay and can't wait to return.
May 19, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 Location is everything but hotel has a long way to go
The room in the Tower was nice but the food odors wafting up from the restaurants are nasty. The check-in experience was miserable - kind of like a bus station (they never sent the champagne they said they would send for our anniversary), the elevators are slow and dirty, the tour we booked through the concierge to visit Pearl Harbor was miserable, the food in the restaurants (breakfast and dinner) is awful and over-priced, but the beach experience is great.
July 23, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Disappointedtraveler Not worth it
This is a beautiful hotel that sadly is living on its reputation. The wait staff was VERY uncooperative and refused to have food cooked as requested. The room air conditioning is very noisy. The pool is very small and there is not enough seating. Finally, teh hotel decided that the publicity of having the Today show was more important than its guests comfort. The show interfered with the use of the facilities and was broadcast from 1 am to 4 am, which meant that we could not sleep that night.
May 27, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by Jersey07305 DISAPPOINTED IN
WHEN BOOKING THIS HOTEL, WE THOUGHT WE WOULD EXPERIENCE A MUCH HIGHER LEVEL OF SERVICE. NOT!! 55 MINUTES TO CHECK IN! THEN WE ARRIVED INTO OUR 2 ROOMS. AFTER 6 PHONE CALLS INTO FRONT DESK FOR A POOR AIR CONDITIONER OUTPUT, THE ENGINEER STATES,''YOU HAVE A SMALL AC UNIT, NOTHING CAN BE DONE.... IT TOOK 6 CALLS.... I GUESS WHEN YOUR ALWAYS SOLD OUT, THEY DONT CARE ABOUT MY 6 CALLS...BE CAREFUL, THE FRONT DESKS DOESNT CARE, THEY SMILE AN PRETEND NOT TO UNDERSTAND YOU SO THAT YOU GO AWAY!!!!
August 15, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by americano98 Luxurious stay - great location
First time on Oahu and LOVED this property! Very centrally located to Waikiki restaurants and shopping. For relaxation I recommend the chairs on the beach rather than the pool which is on the smaller side. The Azure has fantastic seafood, and the Mai Tai Bar has the best mai tai in Honolulu. Service was very friendly and attentive. And my room was immaculately maintained. Don't miss the rocking chairs on the back patio for a nice break at the end of the day. I can't wait to come back!
March 2, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by Jimbo626 Very disappointing experience
I have over 500 SPG nights and travel to Honolulu on business regularly. The wait to check in (20 minutes) was not pleasant as I was the only person in line at the time. The process takes way too long. I was given an "upgrade" which happened to be garden view, across the hall from the maid's closet and service elevator. The room had a tiny bathroom and the furniture was out of the 1960's. Very, very disappointing, although the guy who parked my car was really nice.
June 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Alohatears Royal at the Royal
There is nothing more old grand Hawaii than the Royal Hawaiian . Classic class, at its best! The best beach in all of Hawaii and the beach boys at the Royal Hawaiian give you all ALOHA . First class from STAFF, food and drinks , Glamour of a classic hotel...
September 16, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by ShawnB Amazing Hotel - Disappointing Service
My girlfreind and I rented chairs on the beach in the section that had service bar & food service. After asking for a server 3 times we finally went up and got a menu. Asked for a server to place an order and after an hour and 15 minutes we finally went up and ordered from the bar. We were then told to come back in 20 minutes to pick up our food and that they will not deliver it. For such a classy hotel with so much history i was shocked with the lack of care from the employees.
January 24, 2013