If there’s one iconic place to stay at Waikiki Beach, it’s the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, a Luxury Collection property. Located next to and affiliated with the Sheraton Waikiki, it was a dreamy place to spend my last two nights in Honolulu, making me crave a true week-long vacation instead of just the two extra days I tacked on to my work trip for POW! WOW! Hawaii. Pulling up to the property is an iconic moment in itself—it’s stately, elegant, and a brilliant shade of pink.
I should have known instantly that everything in the hotel would be pink—but it was still a pleasant surprise to enter my hotel room and find a pink striped bathrobe and pink champagne, and pink umbrellas and beach towels on a stroll out to the pools. I was very happy with my oceanfront room and balcony with a view. While on site, I learned that when the hotel was built, most of the guests were traveling to Hawaii by boat and didn’t want to see the ocean from their room—they had just spent days on the water, and preferred the views of the mountains and Honolulu on the other side of the hotel.
However, next door at the Sheraton Waikiki, 80% of the rooms in the entire hotel are oceanview. It’s a great place to look if you want to guarantee yourself a spectacular sunset each night.
I stayed in the newest addition to the hotel, the Mailani Tower, which offers an exclusive lounge area that includes free breakfast each morning and happy hour each night. The daily resort charge includes great amenities to enhance your hotel experience; a great option if you’re truly looking to relax.
There is also a smattering of gift shops right in the hotel, where I ended up buying myself an “apres surf” t-shirt that had been calling my name all week. Additionally, there’s a charming bakery in the lobby with plenty of delectable treats to keep your sweet tooth at bay and coffee for those afternoon pick-me-ups when you’ve had a little too much sun at the beach.
We spent most of our time at the adults-only pool at The Royal Hawaiian, but if you’re into a more active pool scene, definitely check out the Helumoa Pool that sits between the Sheraton Waikiki and the Royal Hawaiian. There are mini and full-size cabanas for rent, and food that you can charge straight to your room, even if you’re staying at the Royal. I would definitely recommend starting your day there early, as the energy ramps up as the day goes on.
Sheraton Waikiki also has a ton of fun little areas to check out and put your feet up. They just renovated all of their lobby areas, and the new furniture is awesome!
As the second-oldest hotel in Waikiki, experiencing a stay at The Royal Hawaiian should definitely be on your Oahu bucket list. It’s incredible to picture visitors in 1927, when the hotel opened, wearing their traveling best and a fresh-flower lei. Although it’s dreamy to imagine the hotel in its heyday, the Royal Hawaiian only gets better with each passing year. After finally getting to stay here for the first time, I can definitely say that life on island time suits me just fine.
Photography by Sunny Golden
The coolest thing I got to take part in this week happened right at the Sheraton Waikiki. 808 Urban was commissioned to paint an incredible mural at RumFire restaurant on-site. It was such an honor to learn the meaning of aloha from such a passionate island local—it was an incredible moment to be a part of.
Thank you to the Royal Hawaiian for hosting my stay.