The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort

A historic, private strip of Waikiki Beach
Steeped in history and situated on 14 acres of prime oceanfront real estate in Oahu, it’s no surprise The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort is considered an icon in Hawaii. The Spanish-Moorish-style hotel opened in 1927 on a site where Hawaiian royalty once vacationed.

When the Waikiki hotel was first built, the only way for visitors from the mainland to get here was by steamship. The voyage from the West Coast took five days. By the time these passengers arrived in Waikiki, they weren’t interested in seeing more of the ocean, so the hotel was built facing gardens and the mountains.

With the advent of air travel, of course, that all changed. In 1969, the luxury hotel added oceanview rooms to its inventory.

Over the decades, the “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” with its distinctive rosy hue, has remained a standard for luxury in the islands. It recently underwent a $70 million refresh, with a newly transformed Mailani Beach Tower, new guest programs that offer authentic and enriching experiences, and improved ambiance throughout the property, from its inviting open-air lobby to the luxe amenities in each guest room.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • The Royal is the only hotel that has a private section of the world-famous Waikiki Beach, with chaise lounge chairs and refreshments just steps from the ocean.
  • You are greeted with an orchid or kukui nut lei, and a freshly baked loaf of banana bread awaits in each room.
  • Don’t miss a drink at the beachfront Mai Tai Bar. Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron first created the mai tai in 1944 and then made a version specially for The Royal Hawaiian in 1953. His recipe is still served today, alongside a menu full of other tropical mai tais.
  • Upgrade to a room in the Mailani Tower, which opened in early 2015. It provides an intimate haven with its own separate check-in, personalized itineraries for guests, and complimentary breakfast and evening spreads.
  • Every Monday, the hotel’s ocean lawn is transformed into a traditional luau called ‘Aha‘aina. It’s Waikiki’s only waterfront dinner show.
Things to Know
  • The Mailani Tower is in a different area from the rest of the hotel. It can be confusing to find it, so ask the bellman for help.
  • The resort runs a private beach concession, which offers a variety of ocean activities, including stand-up paddle-boarding lessons and surfing in a traditional outrigger canoe.
The Rooms
  • The recently updated accommodations are outfitted with vintage koa wood seating, contemporary furnishings, historic photographs and sophisticated pops of tropical colors.
  • The spacious and modern bathrooms feature sable-colored stone and dark-stained millwork with locally made Malie Organics bath products.
  • The Mailani Tower opened as the new modern counterpoint to the resort’s historic wing, with an airy, beach-inspired vibe that still feels chic.
  • Mailani Tower rooms have boudoir pillows and Frette-brand bathrooms — pink, of course — with original artwork commissioned by celebrated local artists.
  • Every room in the Mailani Tower has views of the ocean, giving you a reason to linger here a bit longer before venturing out.
The Restaurants
  • To say the Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian is famous is not an understatement. The beachfront bar still serves Trader Vic’s original two drinks — the Royal Mai Tai and the Scratch Mai Tai — along with a few new versions and a slew of handcrafted cocktails.
  • The oceanfront Azure is the resort’s signature, dinner-only restaurant serving fresh-caught seafood from the local fish auction in nearby Kakaako.
  • The luxury hotel’s weekly luau presents an extensive buffet with stations for poi and poke, island fruit, salads, grilled meats and vegetables, a kalua pig and local desserts.
  • The beachside Surf Lanai doles out breakfast (like the Pink Palace pancakes with guava-raspberry shortcake, balsamic strawberry relish and coconut Kaffir cream) and lunch (like an open-faced lobster tartine or a gourmet loco moco with port-wine-braised short ribs, a crispy poached egg and pandan garlic rice).
  • For a sweet souvenir, pop into the Royal Hawaiian Bakery to pick up Koloa pineapple coffee cake, haupia cream brioche, Big Island honey macadamia nut sticky buns and more tropical treats.
24-hour room service
Babysitting services
House car
Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Getting There
2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
HNL (16-24 min)  
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