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October 20, 2011
To be honest, I was initially a little skeptical about The Royal Hawaiian - the bright salmon pink color and its location in the center of busy Waikiki made me question why it was so popular. But once I paid a visit to the iconic resort, I understood why. It immediately became one of my favorites!
The second oldest hotel in Honolulu, The Royal Hawaiian was built in 1927 and to this day, still maintains its historic charm. The hotel is comprised of two wings - the historic tower that was part of the original resort, and the Royal Beach Tower, which consists of more modern rooms. The rooms of the Royal Beach Tower are influenced by - yes, the beach - with its sandy colored carpet and ocean-inspired decor and each room comes with a small lanai. While the rooms here are comfortable and chic, my favorite part of the resort is the historic tower, hands down. Though most the rooms in the historic tower do not come with lanais, the rooms blend the history of the resort with modern, luxurious amenities. Rooms have high ceilings, making them appear extremely spacious and just full of old-world charm. Some rooms overlook the historic Coconut Grove. The doors were also hand-carved many years ago in the Philippines and has exquisite details depicting the Hawaii Coat of Arms and state motto, created by King Kamehameha III. Carved in Hawaiian the words translate into “The life of the land is perpetuated into righteousness”. The resort's iconic pink is sprinkled throughout the room but not overly done. The lobbies of the historic tower have rotary phones (that work!) and a mail chute that runs all the way down to the mailbox on the bottom floor. How cool is that?
Fun Fact: All guests are greeted by a loaf of homemade banana bread once during their stay. I never tried it, but word is that it's delicious. What's even better is that you'll receive a recipe card with the bread for you to take home and recreate!
During my visit, I also had the luxury of eating at the chic Azure, one of the Royal Hawaiian two restaurants. All the food is from local farms and shops. The menu changes every few days depending on what's in season. I had the 5 course tasting menu (very reasonably priced at $69, and if you want the wine pairing add another $20). All dishes were amazing, but my favorite had to be the Azure Sashimi, with the yellow fin ahi and Japanese hamachi. The fish literally melted in my mouth!