The Hyatt Regency in Waikiki, Honolulu has been my normal property to stay in when visiting Honolulu in recent years. Looking back though it has been nearly two years since I was there last. However, the exceptional fares from Dublin on OneWorld has changed that and I have had two visits so far this year with another coming along at the end of May. Rates vary widely with them often coming down about 4 weeks before a stay only to go back up in the fortnight before arrival. Keep an eye out for the towers during helicopter shots in Hawaii Five-O, it’s really distinctive!
The property is located opposite Waikiki Beach and is about a $45 cab ride from the airport. You can take the 19/20 bus from the airport (departures level) to a stop just two blocks from the hotel. This is just $2.50 (correct change only) and the bus won’t take large luggage. The taxi journey is about 25 minutes and it is about an hour on the bus. I usually take a cab on arrival and the bus on departure.
The property consists of 2, 40 storey towers liked by a three storey shopping arcade which also houses Reception, the pool, the Grand Club and the hotel’s restaurants.
In recent times the rooms have been renovated and this is my first return visit since that happened. All pale blue and modern the makeover is remarkable. I know that not everyone likes it, but I feel the rooms are fresh and welcoming now.
On each occasion I have been upgraded as a Diamond Gold Passport member to a partial ocean view in the Diamond Head Tower. This is the tower where the Grand Club is located and the view is, in my opinion, better than the full ocean view rooms which just look directly out on the ocean. I love the mixture of buildings and the Pacific you can see from the room:
I was given a room on the 38th floor and then one on the 39th floor on my last two stays. The 39th floor had a large balcony, about double the size of that on the 38th floor.
I love sitting out there with a coffee in the mornings watching the city wake up, people get ready for the beach and the world start in Honolulu. Plane taking off from HNL in the background and the odd military plane leaving its base also.
The bathrooms have been fitted with new sinks but the tubs have not been changed. There is a large HD TV opposite the bed which can be watched from the sofa now added to the room. The loos have washing and drying equipment installed for those that are familiar with these options.
The public areas have undergone some renovation, but the lift lobby provides a reminder of how it used to be at the property.
Walk across from the hotel and 250 yards away is the beach and beyond it the ocean.
About two weeks before I arrived, I received an email from the hotel confirming that they waive the resort fee for Diamond members (still), which is great and explaining the services on offer. The 4pm check-out doesn’t apply at resorts but on one stay where I needed it (9pm departure from HNL!), they were happy to offer it to me. Great Service.
The hotel seems to have a good mix of Asian and American visitors with weddings still being popular amongst Japanese guests. The staff are pretty friendly and there was never a queue longer than 5 minutes at the check-in desk. They have started charging for parcels to be held there, but were more than happy to hang on to my bag between visits at no charge.
The Grand Club is pretty nice and there was never a problem finding a table inside or outside. I shall write more about that later in the week.
So a nicely renovated property with some great staff where I am looking forward to revisiting in around 4 weeks. And this time, for 2 nights! Luxury.