We all travel to be transported to a different place – but in the case of The Royal Hawaiian – when you walk through their welcoming pink doors, you enter a different time as well.
The iconic hotel, affectionately known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific” gracefully perches on Waikiki Beach and has been delighting guests since 1927, when it ushered in a new era of luxurious resort travel for Hawaii. Its name is in fact rooted in royalty, as the site was once the personal playground for King Kamehameha I after he conquered the island of Oahu, and the former location of Hawaiian Queen Kaahumanu’s Summer Palace. Built in a Spanish-Moorish style popularized by Rudolph Valentino, the resort is an immersive experience in 20th century glamour and we happily spent two days relaxing in the glow of a pink paradise, barely leaving the property. I couldn’t get enough of the Old Hollywood feel of the place, and fully expected to round the corner and discover former guests Natalie Wood and Frank Sinatra lazing the afternoon away in one of the pink-walled lanais.
On our first day David and I arrived just in time to grab a glass of champagne and head up to our room in their recently added Mailani Tower. We settled into the lounger on our private lanai to enjoy stunning birds-eye views of the swimming pool, Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach as the sun dipped over the Pacific. The lanai turned into our favorite spot in the hotel as the breeze cut through the balmy Hawaiian air.
Days were spent reading and napping by the pool, though it’s a bit of a trick to secure a lounger since the main pool area is on the smaller side. I recommend arriving at 7AM when the pool opens and draping a few of their pink striped towels and a personal item or two (magazines, coffee cups and sunhats all work) on the chair to reserve your spot. Many guests embraced the laid-back aloha spirit and padded around the grounds barefoot, on their way to the Surf Lanai Restaurant for a breakfast of Chef Colin Hazama’s signature Pink Pancakes, or to and from the bathwater-warm ocean.
The Royal is the type of place where you start making plans to return before you even check out. Thank you to The Royal Hawaiian Resort – A Luxury Collection Hotel, for having us! We look forward to coming back soon.
I’ll be sharing more from our recent trip to Hawaii over the next few weeks. Mahalo for following along.
Photos by Stacie Flinner for stacieflinner.com