It’s been a while since I’ve done a hotel review. So it most definitely is time that I did one. The last hotel I reviewed was the Willis Wellington Hotel. For today’s blog, I’ll review our hotel in Honolulu. During our stay in Honolulu, our home was The Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki. It is situated right next to The Sheraton Waikiki. These hotels are roughly a 20 – 30 minute drive from the airport, depending on the traffic you encounter along the way. We had rented a car and drove ourselves. You know the drill, I’ll categorise my blog into the good, the bad and the ugly and finish off with a conclusion on whether I’d go there a second time myself or not. Feel free to leave any questions that you have.
This hotel is a resort style hotel, situated right next to Waikiki beach. This is the hotel you choose to stay at if you want to just go and relax. You’ve got Waikiki beach at the door of your hotel, you can spend the day sun bathing, or wait till the day has cooled down a little bit before relaxing by the beach. One of my favourite experiences was strolling along Waikiki beach once it had cooled down and the sun was about to set. The entire area around the hotel is full of tourist shops and restaurants, but not necessarily a lot of activities to do per se. There’s shopping, there are restaurants, there probably are some clubs nestled among those restaurants.
As the beach is right by the hotel, a lot of the rooms have the beach as the view from your respective rooms. In saying so Hawaii also has a lot of tall trees. These trees sometimes block the view of the ocean and all you can get is just a glimpse of the ocean. I suppose that’s all the more reason to get into your swimming togs or hell shorts and a t-shirt and go running towards the Pacific, right?
A unique thing that I saw in our guest room, was the fan that’s made of bamboo, I think or might be wood I’m not too sure. Whilst this is the first time I’ve seen something of this nature, I’m told that similar fans exist in parts of Asia and other countries in the world. As we entered the room and noticed it, we thought it was more so a ‘showpiece’ just to add to the beauty of the room. But to our surprise it actually was a working ceiling fan.
Last but not the least, the staff at the hotel were very friendly. They were very courteous and looked after us well. My father who is like a little kid, and gets very impatient when it’s really hot kept asking for help as his fan wasn’t working, even he was looked after very well. As much as it pains me to say this, that whilst the staff were very helpful there were some who weren’t quite helpful and in fact were very rude. I’ll talk more about the specific incident later on in the blog.
Let’s start with the guest rooms for this category. The bathrooms in the room were too small. There was hardly enough space to get changed after a shower or even if in general you wanted to get changed. As we had booked our rooms through the SPG program we had breakfast available to us. If you’ve seen my previous hotel review videos you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of breakfasts at hotels in America. There’s hardly any options and this hotel is no exception. All that was available were a selection of fruits, bread and beverages. Last but not the least, the pool at The Royal Hawaiian is very small. It’s more so a kids pool, but the good thing is that the Sheraton’s pool is slightly bigger and guests of both hotels can use this pool with your room key card. The pool at the Sheraton well it isn’t really a pool for swimming but if you want to just go and sit in the pool for a few hours, it’s perfect. But of course, there’s the Pacific Ocean at arms length if you wanted to do some serious swimming.
As I mentioned earlier, some of the staff members were very rude. At this hotel there are two places where breakfast is served. One of which is where only the elite guests were allowed. We were not aware of this and we ended up here almost everyday. On the last day one of the staff members realised that our keycard access and the type of room we’ve booked does not allow us to grab breakfast from the said place and immediately assumed we well my parents were trying to sneak in. This person was rather rude to my parents as they informed them that we didn’t have access to this particular restaurant. When I say rude, I mean this person created a bit of a scene. They then in their crap tone of voice explained where we are meant to go for breakfast. They made their way there only to find out that, the breakfast option that my brother had requested had not been processed on our key cards. What that means is, when they went to swipe their card to go into the breakfast place (the correct one this time) it denied them entry. This made my parents more embarrassed simply because the staff member who was rude to them initially had taken them to the correct place. Plus the staff at the new breakfast place were also rude. Disheartened, they returned to the room and conveyed the entire ordeal to my brother. He immediately got on the phone to his SPG ambassador and to explain the rude behaviour and the fact that we had requested the breakfast on the keycard, which had not been processed. Within minutes we got a call to our room saying we were given complimentary access to the new breakfast place and we made our way there. Whilst my brother and I didn’t eat a morsel of food from there, my parents had to, as they had to take their medicines. I feel like this situation could have been avoided. It was an honest mistake we made and there are ways of dealing with situations. I don’t deny for a second that there are people who try to sneak into such things, but when you’re working in hospitality there are ways with dealing with such situations.
I hope no one has to endure that experience. If you’ve stayed at this hotel, what was your experience like? If you haven’t stayed at this hotel, has this review helped you make a decision about your stay? Tell me in the comments below!
Until next time,