In May, I stayed in an oceanfront room at the Royal Hawaiian Resort that goes for $1,040 a night.
My balcony had a beautiful view of nearby resorts, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head State Monument.
I'd book a longer stay next time so I can partake in resort activities, like paddle-board lessons.
The Royal Hawaiian was one of the first hotels in downtown Honolulu and sits adjacent to Waikiki Beach.
The luxury resort is nicknamed the "Pink Palace of the Pacific" for its iconic pink color.
The property is part of Marriott's international collection, so I used points to redeem my room.
I opted to stay in the Mailani Tower — built in the 1960s — because, unlike the other buildings, it has balconies.
I used 58,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and only paid a $314 cash upgrade for an oceanfront room. Without points, the room usually costs $1,040 a night.
After checking in, I found out I'd been upgraded to a corner room with a much larger wraparound balcony.
When I checked in, I got a welcome drink and voucher for the Royal Hawaiian's famous banana bread.
Upon arrival, guests are given leis and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, beer, or a mocktail.
I also got a voucher for the property's famous banana-bread muffins, which are served every morning at the hotel's coffee shop.
The room had very comfortable furniture.
My room had a lounge chair, a desk with space to work, and an extremely comfortable bed.
The balcony was big and furnished.
The outdoor balcony was large and featured a beautiful breeze-block wall.
It even included an outdoor couch and a dining table with chairs.
Each room had a bathroom and pink seersucker robes.
Although the bathroom felt somewhat dated, it had unique features like a bidet attachment and a set of seersucker robes embroidered with the hotel's logo.
Our balcony had a great view of Honolulu.
Our balcony overlooked Waikiki Beach, the Diamond Head State Monument, and the resort's pool.
The building also neighbored Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, which offered live music every night that we could hear from our patio.
There was historic decor and beautiful flowers around the resort.
The Royal Hawaiian's property featured expansive gardens and a wide variety of gift shops.
Its lobby showcased historic portraits of the hotel and the noteworthy guests that have visited. Old restaurant menus with previous dishes and their prices were also displayed.
The hotel's Mai Tai Bar is known for its titular cocktail.
The resort offers several dining options, including the beachside Mai Tai Bar that serves lunch, dinner, and lots of cocktails.
It's unsurprisingly known for its mai tais, and the current menu offers many different iterations of the rum-based cocktail.
Live music constantly played at the bar, so it was pretty busy both times I went.
Beach chairs and umbrellas are available to rent for an additional cost.
I expected beach chairs and umbrellas to be complimentary for the stretch of beach outside the hotel, but I was happy to pay the fee.
Unfortunately, when I visited the stand at both 4 p.m. and 9 a.m., there were no chairs available.
If you're planning a visit, I suggest contacting the property in advance for rentals.
The pool was small, but we could also use one at a neighboring resort.
Although the pool seemed small, especially at such a popular resort, guests could also swim at the Sheraton Waikiki, which is within walking distance.
Special activities like lei-making, paddle-board lessons, and morning yoga are included in the mandatory resort fee. But since I visited during a holiday weekend, they were fully booked.
Luckily, I still got to watch the Friday evening fireworks on the beach with onsite dining.
I'd absolutely book a room at this property again.
My stay at the Royal Hawaiian was great, and I enjoyed being close to downtown dining and shopping.
I feel like if I'd done more research before my arrival, I would've been better prepared with advanced reservations for things like beach chairs and activities.
I wouldn't hesitate to stay again — in fact, I'd book a longer trip so I can take advantage of all the extra amenities.
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