Royal Hawaiian closing for 7 months

Royal Hawaiian closing for 7 months

There are 24 comments on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin story from Jun 1, 2008, titled Royal Hawaiian closing for 7 months. In it, Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that:

Today the iconic, pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel closes for the second time in its history as the 81-year-old structure undergoes a seven-month facelift.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

First Prev
of 2
Next Last
Educator

Hilo, HI

#1 Jun 1, 2008
Good to see renovations coming. Look at travel review sites on some of Oahu's "Top" hotels and you'll notice a lot of negative comments on the hideous conditions of some of these places.
CCC

Shipshaw, Canada

#2 Jun 1, 2008
slow down in tourism...recession on the way, if not here already, airlines cutting back and shutting down,
Don't get me wrong, the Pink Palace is a beautiful hotel and the gem of Waikiki, however with tremendous competition worldwide for tourists dollars, Waikiki as a whole is in desperate need of a hotel rate
makeover, is not a full hotel at $ 200.00/night with restaurants, and all hotel associated revenue producers, a better scenario than 50% full at 350.00/night with no extra money to spend, I haven't done the complete math, but I have to believe scenario # 1 has got to be better for everyone, more people around, more money being spread around Waikiki, lower hotel rates would be win-win for everyone,and no matter how you look at it, tourism is still the # 1 industry and will remain so, for generations to come. When the Japanese stop coming because of the expenses incurred,(mainly for accommodations) you know you have a problem, the Chinese will not spend like the Japanese did..no way.
CCC

Shipshaw, Canada

#3 Jun 1, 2008
Apparently, not everyone is facing doom and gloom in Hawaii,the gouging of the tourist (in respect to hotel pricing)that has been going on for years allows hoteliers the opportunity to spend hundreds of millions to upgrade, they may upgrade, but they are in for a big surprise when the tourist is a no show, or has downgraded his hotel to be able to afford gas in his rental vehicle, and pay the 11-12% tourist goging tax. Obviously there is way more money in this world, than brains, Hawaii better wise up soon,
increased competition from other resort type locations worldwide is heating up, once you are branded very expensive as well as unsafe, it is very difficult to shake that reputation (my opinion only)
Sarah

United States

#4 Jun 1, 2008
As always the Pink Lady is lucky; renovating during the down turn.

It is a wonderful hotel and hopefully will always be there with its beautiful gardens; love their luau.

Just wish I could spend that much money for a hotel without feeling guilty and there was a bus stop closer.

Since: Mar 08

Irvine, CA

#5 Jun 1, 2008
Reply to Sarah
As a University of Hawaii graduate student in the late '60s, I was a bellman at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The bell staff wore the baby blue with white pipen sripe jackets. We had brass buttons and also wore white pants with a blue stripe down the sides. There were family cottages on Kalia Road and you can see the seashore from Kalakaua Ave!
It was a more genteel era.
Hawaii Resident

Honolulu, HI

#6 Jun 1, 2008
CCC wrote:
Apparently, not everyone is facing doom and gloom in Hawaii,the gouging of the tourist (in respect to hotel pricing)that has been going on for years allows hoteliers the opportunity to spend hundreds of millions to upgrade, they may upgrade, but they are in for a big surprise when the tourist is a no show, or has downgraded his hotel to be able to afford gas in his rental vehicle, and pay the 11-12% tourist goging tax. Obviously there is way more money in this world, than brains, Hawaii better wise up soon,
increased competition from other resort type locations worldwide is heating up, once you are branded very expensive as well as unsafe, it is very difficult to shake that reputation (my opinion only)
You're absolutely right! The rising travel cost, room tax, crime, traffic congestion, you name it, all combined, paints a bad picture. Everytime a visitor is mugged you'll read about it all across the U.S. The economy will eventually right itself but sad to say the social problems will continue.
Gedo

Regina, Canada

#7 Jun 1, 2008
I recently sent a letter to the owner of this historic landmark hotel in which I expressed my dismay over a few rumors I heard regarding planned changes in the upcoming renovations...two examples being adding water slides in the pool area, and decreasing the area of the Surf Room Restaurant. I hope that these rumors are proven to be untrue.I believe that a cardinal rule in renovating historic buildings is to preserve 'character-defining features or forms'; failure to adhere to strict guidelines can have regrettable consequences.
My appeal to the owner...
"If you must...go ahead and make your changes---
But, please don't carry them too far."
Gedo

Regina, Canada

#8 Jun 1, 2008
To further support my wish that the owner of the Pink Palace have second thoughts regarding planned 'improvements' I add the following comment regarding the completed 'renovations' at one of his other properties, the Moana Surfrider. Having, in person, seen some of the changes there a few weeks ago, I came away with a longing for the way it 'used to be.' Again, I base my sentiment on a guideline meant for owners of heritage buildings:
"Removing or obscuring character-defining elements...so that a new use can be accommodated ...is not recommended for heritage buildings."
I wonder, is it reasonable to have owners ask for customer feedback to determine what they would like to have as improvements? If a majority of repeat customers like the property just the way it is (excluding considerations based on unavoidable upgrades...like plumbing), does it make sense (economically and aesthetically), to go ahead with costly renovations?
hmmmm

Waimanalo, HI

#9 Jun 1, 2008
CCC wrote:
When the Japanese stop coming because of the expenses incurred,(mainly for accommodations) you know you have a problem, the Chinese will not spend like the Japanese did..no way.
You're right the Chinese will spend more. The Chinese are flocking to Japan to buy the best that the Japanese can offer including Japanese cars. All major retails outlets have Chinese speaking sales people.

A major Chinese developer built a western styled open atmosphere facility to attract a place for the new young Chinese wealthy. Critics said the Chinese won't come. They are coming in droves buying $10 beers at the outdoor cafes. The same beer can be bought for less than dollar just around the corner at the local convenient store.

Funny how newly acquire wealth spurrs people to buy the best or most expensive.
WestSide

Kailua, HI

#10 Jun 1, 2008
Hawaii Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
You're absolutely right! The rising travel cost, room tax, crime, traffic congestion, you name it, all combined, paints a bad picture. Everytime a visitor is mugged you'll read about it all across the U.S. The economy will eventually right itself but sad to say the social problems will continue.
both of you are absolutely right!! I work in Waikiki and hear the tourists everyday talk about being ripped off, disappointed in tours, shows, etc. WAKE UP WAIKIKI. It's just not for Tiffany shoppers you know!!
edward kelly

AOL

#11 Jun 1, 2008
Building the giant Sheraton Waikiki
next to the sophisticated
Royal Hawaiian was a sad day for
Hawaii. From the sublime to the ridiculous. In seven months
when they reopen gas will be
$5 a gallon but I expect to
return to see the new hotel.
Karen Teele

Ewa Beach, HI

#12 Jun 1, 2008
I was lucky to have lunch at The Surf Room, Thursday the 29th of May. I say lucky because from what I hear, it is not just Koa Furnishings, Moroccan stone and new lighting! I was told there will NOT be a Surf Room as it is now and that there will be bungalows at that spot. Also Please tell me that this is just a JOKE but that there is some sort of WATER PARK or Slide "for the kids"? What is the ocean for? Please don't do anything so tacky and tell me this is a joke. Please save the Surf Room and the Historical beauty of The Royal Hawaiian. Sincerey, Karen Teele at Maili Cove, Waianae, Hi
Sarah

United States

#13 Jun 1, 2008
ahgung wrote:
Reply to Sarah
As a University of Hawaii graduate student in the late '60s, I was a bellman at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The bell staff wore the baby blue with white pipen sripe jackets. We had brass buttons and also wore white pants with a blue stripe down the sides. There were family cottages on Kalia Road and you can see the seashore from Kalakaua Ave!
It was a more genteel era.
Wow, how great; thanks for the history, did not realize that there were family cottages but do know that buildings now block the ocean breezes which one could feel at the International Market Place.
Blackpope808

Kailua, HI

#14 Jun 1, 2008
The tourist industry for Hawaii is dead or at the very least on a ventilator. How can we compete with Bali, Bangkok, Hanoi, and very soon Dubai of all places which is spending BILLIONS of dollars to become a new tourist destination to buffer their dwindling oil reserves? We have gouged our loyal tourists, we have short changed our workers, and there is no diversification of our economy.
Blackpope808

Kailua, HI

#15 Jun 1, 2008
Karen Teele wrote:
I was lucky to have lunch at The Surf Room, Thursday the 29th of May. I say lucky because from what I hear, it is not just Koa Furnishings, Moroccan stone and new lighting! I was told there will NOT be a Surf Room as it is now and that there will be bungalows at that spot. Also Please tell me that this is just a JOKE but that there is some sort of WATER PARK or Slide "for the kids"? What is the ocean for? Please don't do anything so tacky and tell me this is a joke. Please save the Surf Room and the Historical beauty of The Royal Hawaiian. Sincerey, Karen Teele at Maili Cove, Waianae, Hi
I have to agree...why do all of our shore based hotels need pools overlooking the Pacific Ocean?
LeiLani

Honolulu, HI

#16 Jun 1, 2008
I notice that the management is not talking about how the Surf Room, an island tradition for decades, is going to be "improved". The plans include enclosing most of the Surf Room in glass to create a high-end seafood restaurant. There will be no more beautiful Sunday brunches in the open air overlooking the beach as the "new" Surf Room will be limited to serving a continental breakfast at the end of the room overlooking the pool.

This is a very sad loss to those of us who have been coming since the 1940's to the Surf Room for family celebrations to revel in the beauty and elegance of this last grande dame of Waikiki.
John

United States

#17 Jun 2, 2008
Hats off to Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts LP, for it's dedication to reviving the Royal Hawaiian. It's charm and elegance is unparalleled by any other hotel in Hawaii, with the exception of the Moana, now unfortunately called the Moana Surfrider (Shame). And to keep the medical benefits for its employees is commendable. Hopefully, we'll see our friends and family when you return to the newly renovated Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
DaleC

Sacramento, CA

#18 Jun 2, 2008
The Pink Palace has been, along with Diamond Head, an enduring emblem of Waikiki. Despite the continuing attempt to crowd it out with featureless modern monstrosities, it should continue to symbolize the disappearing elegance of this special place.
Alex

Regina, Canada

#19 Jun 3, 2008
Dear contributors to this column. I notice that most of you, like me, are apprehensive about the Royal Hawaiian renovations such as are rumored to take place...such as the drastic change to the surf room and the addition of water slides to a new pool complex.One is tempted to think that the Pink Palace is being turned into a Disney resort. Like Leilani's comment above, I lament this change and invite you to do as I did and write the owner of the Royal expressing your dismay at the changes that you disapprove of.
Regarding changes still being done at the Moana Surfrider, I understand that there will be no more Beachside Cafe with its optional al fresco dining and view of Diamond Head. What manner of market research yielded such 'need to drastically change'?
A statement from a web page of the Royal Hawaiian suggests that the hotel..."remain(s)an icon of luxury and romance...for anyone seeking elegance from a bygone era." If the above-mentioned changes do go through, indeed the classic elegance of the past will be 'bygone'; instead we will have the "featureless modern monstrosities" that Dale C refers to.

By the way, did you know that there are no more Sunday brunches at the Moana Surfrider Hotel?
Another tradition has been placed into the dustbin of history because paths are being chosen that I, and fellow writers above, assume are economically expedient for the owner but are deemed aesthetically questionable by longtime guests/patrons such as myself?
MarilynC

Oakland, TN

#20 Aug 14, 2008
I stayed at the RH until it's closing day on June 1, 2008. My stay was wonderful. I just wished I had taken more time to explore the hotel. I did do the last Luau at the hotel before closing and my stay was wonderful. I am just afraid with th upgrades that I will not be able to afford to stay there when I return for my next visit.

It was a beautiful and wonderful experience at the Royal Hawaiian. We ate dinner at the Surf Room as well. The staff was wonderful.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News GE, Starwood warn North Carolina governor (Apr '16) Apr '16 Shirvell s Shrivel 4
News Starwood Opened 74 New Hotels in 2014, Plans Co... (Jan '15) Jan '15 Pavlos Lombardi 1
News Robot Room Service Hits Aloft Hotel Group (Aug '14) Aug '14 walkerwilliam91 1
News Eyesore no more? Daytona Beach a " The former D... (Jun '14) Jun '14 Joe 3
News Consumer Business Rewind: Marriott & Other Hote... (Sep '12) Sep '12 kaley 3
News 'Room key given to drunk': investment banker su... (Jan '12) Jan '12 DW Washburn 3
News Harry & David's failed Mr. Fix-It (Apr '11) Aug '11 allenadv 3
More from around the web