The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Honolulu, Hawai'i - My Family Travels

One of Waikiki's oldest hotels, the Royal Hawaiian, offers 10-acres of exclusive beachfront property and fun for the entire family One of Waikiki's oldest hotels, the Royal Hawaiian, offers 10-acres of exclusive beachfront property and fun for the entire family

The newly renovated Royal Hawaiian Hotel (2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815; 866/716-8110) in Honolulu, O'ahu has attracted generations of stylish travelers for close to a century. Many of today's grandparents (and their parents, as well) stayed in this legendary establishment in their youth; today's travelers will find that the hotel has updated their services and amenities while maintaining their original old world glamour and charm.

When the Royal Hawaiian's first guests arrived in the late '20s, they traveled by ocean liner and unpacked their steamer trunks for a several-month stay. The "Pink Palace," as the hotel was nicknamed due to its dramatic coral-pink stucco finish, was initially frequented by Hollywood stars, business giants, and political luminaries who made it their temporary home.

The original building is much the same today as it was back then, with the same grand lobby containing massive crystal chandeliers, polished floors, and sumptuous furnishings. Rooms in the original wing of the hotel have period furnishings and are slightly more formal than the newer wing, which has larger guest rooms but a bit less charm. Adjoining rooms are readily available. 

Since the Royal Hawaiian was one of Waikiki's early hotels, it easily secured a 10-acre beachfront parcel that includes a particularly stunning swath of white sand, where you can try surfing, snorkeling, boogie boarding, or simply sunning and splashing about in the balmy waters.

In 2008, the Royal Hawaiian underwent renovations, reopening on January 20, 2009. Featuring 529-rooms, including 34 suites, the Royal Hawaiian offers everything you need. Upon arrival children receive a welcome kit, including a letter to parents outlining the kids program, a personalized welcome card and gift, and there is a lock-out on pay-per-view movies.

You may want to reserve a particular umbrella table and chairs or row of chaises by the pool, which will remain exclusively yours for your stay; it's an easy way to set up an outdoor headquarters for the family. Children can participate, for a fee, in a program that operates daily from 9am-9pm with boogie boarding, lei-making, swimming, snorkeling, shell collecting, fishing, and games.

There is a huge shopping center facing the hotel, and the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium (don't miss the monk seals) are a short walk away. Other activities to explore are the Dolphin Connection and the Pearl Harbor and Arizona Museum.

The hotel's Royal Luau is the only oceanfront luau on the island. It takes place on Mondays at 6pm. It terms of cuisine the "Stay At One, Dine At All" program allows guests to dine at any of the Sheraton or Westin sister hotels and charge it to your room.

Resort Report Card

Name: Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Address: 2259 Kalakaua Avenue
Phone: (808)923-7311
Seasonal Rates: $$ – $$$$
Hotel Setting: A
Hotel Staff: A
Choice of Activities: A-
Quality of Amenities: A-
Bonus: Free ice cream in the kid's club.
Note: Complimentary fresh sliced pineapple served poolside, daily at 3pm.

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