If you want old world charm, top notch customer service, this is the place for you. Recently renovated to the Spanish-Moorish architecture, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, also known as the Pink Palace of the Pacific, in Honolulu, Hawaii, is back to world-wide prominence. The historic six-story luxury resort, which is an icon of Hawaii’s glory days sits atop picture-perfect Waikiki Beach, flanked by picturesque tropical gardens and views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean. With its distinctive rosy-pink facade was taken from a popular American obsession of the era.
One of the first hotels established in Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian is considered one of the flagship hotels in Hawaii tourism. It opened its doors to guests on 1 February 1927 with a black tie gala attended by over 1,200 guests. It cost USD $4 million and took one and a half years to build. Hotel’s first official registered guest was Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, who would have been queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii had the monarchy survived. Duke Kahanamoku, the legendary Olympic swimmer and popularizer of the sport of surfing, frequented the Royal Hawaiian Hotel restaurants and private beachfront.
Interesting details about staying in this Hotel. You’ll receive a piece of banana bread on your bed as part of their traditional welcome roll-out, which also includes a flowery, pun-filled lei. Eating and Drinking Open-air dining, snacking in a beach front cabana, putting on the ritz for a fancy/casual evening: anything goes when it comes to food and drink in the hotel. The pretty and traditional Mai Tai Bar boasts major mixology masters and emphasizes organic ingredients. Fresh seafood caught just around the corner (at Pier 38) is offered at Azure Restaurant, and the Surf Lanai Restaurant is a causal, beachy eatery.
Water Sports Both the Royal Pool and Helumoa Playground, which features two freshwater swimming pools, are steps away from the beach — and both are visible from my balcony. Fun Fact: the Helumoa name came from a giant rooster named Ka’auhelemoa, said to have scratched the ground at the feet of King Kakuhiewa in the 16th century. Kakuhiewa, taking this to be a sign from the gods, planted 10,000 coconut trees in honor of the occurrence—and many of these trees’ descendants still survive in the area.
So, no wonder why this hotel has featured in numerous media projects: Charlie Chan’s “The Black Camel”, the Charlie’s Angels episode “Angels in Paradise”, the Mad Men season 6 premiere, “The Doorway”, etc.