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Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach

The ride to the Hyatt Regency was pretty long and drawn out, thanks to traffic and a driver who was either high or dumb. In any case, I arrived in one piece and decided to be nice and tip the guy. He looked surprised and I don’t even think he said thank you. No good deed…

I want to warn you ahead of time that it was my genius idea not to bring my camera on this trip to avoid having one more thing to lug around. And since the quality of photos taken by iPhones is totally overhyped, you’ll find some slightly blurry/grainy shots not even an Instagram filter could fix. And using a flash is just hideous, so apologies in advance.

My first impression of the Hyatt Regency was Maui meets Vegas in a trailer park. It’s incredibly run down and needs a power wash/paint job fast. First, you walk into the lobby, where you have a passage leading outside, one leading into the atrium, and an escalator sandwiched in between that takes you to the front desk. It’s not as impressive as the Hyatt Regency Maui by any long shot. Why they couldn’t fit a front desk somewhere into all the empty space on the first floor, I don’t know. Maybe that’s why I never made it into Architecture school.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Review

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Lobby

I took the escalator upstairs, made a right, and continued down a hall for a bit until I hit the front desk. The layout of the hotel and the check-in desk’s location is really impractical. As a whole, the hotel looks very similar to the Hyatt Regency Maui (especially the hallways and shops), but is in definite need of an upgrade.

There was a short line at check-in, though Diamond check-in was free. The agent welcomed me, acknowledged my status, and explained my Diamond benefits to me. I didn’t score an upgrade, which was fine on a one-night stay. I picked 1,000 points as my welcome amenity and after receiving a lei, I was out of there.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Hotel Review

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Front Desk

Before heading to the elevator, I made a quick stop at the window next to the front desk, which had a nice view of the beach. At least one photo turned out right.

View from the check-in area Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Hotel

View from the front desk

The Room

Getting from the elevator to the room was like walking through a maze. The hallway splits into two and then three more  directions, and another maze, until I finally made it to my room in a far corner, cramped next to two other doors. I have no idea how they fit two other rooms next to mine.

I had booked a standard room, which was pretty spacious. The tv was on, with the ukulele playing on the hotel’s channel. It was a nice touch. The room was clean, though a bit run down. The balcony had a table and two chairs with a view of the street. At least there was a pretty rainbow…

View from the Balcony

View from the Balcony

The balcony door wouldn’t open and I imagine it must have been rusted shut. It’s not a view you want to sit out and enjoy, so it was fine.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Standard Room Photos

Standard Room

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Standard Room Photos and Review

Standard Room

The bathroom was pretty run down as well, and if I was one of the many Japanese tourists who came to America expecting luxury, I’d be seriously disappointed.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Standard Room Bathroom

Bathroom

In any case, I was here for a night, so it wasn’t a big deal. I pulled out my laptop to work and found the wifi to be extremely slow, so I headed out to the lounge.

The Regency Club Lounge

The Regency Club Lounge is kind of difficult to find. There is no sign pointing to it and it’s in a far corner next to the on-site seafood restaurant. The entire floor (outside of the lounge) smelled like fish, which wasn’t pleasant.

Regency Club Lounge Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach

Regency Club Lounge entrance

You do have to swipe your card to get into the lounge. It’s one of the nicest lounges, aesthetically, that I’ve ever been to. I walked in around 15 minutes after it had opened for evening desserts and it was completely deserted. I grabbed a latte and thought it would be nice to sit outside, but it got pretty chilly so I headed back inside. The views are some of the best I’ve encountered in any lounge.

View from the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Club Lounge

View from the Regency Club Lounge

The dessert spread was pretty basic – some cookies, a few dry cakes. The wifi was much faster than in the room and I stayed and worked until they kicked me out.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Regency Club Lounge Photos Photos

Regency Club Lounge

Regency Club Lounge Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach

Regency Club Lounge

Regency Club outdoor seating area

Regency Club outdoor seating area

When I got back to my room, a rep from Speedi Shuttle called and confirmed that the driver would pick me up at 9 AM the next morning for my 11:50 AM flight. I asked about traffic at that hour and she assured me it would be fine. Considering how indifferent every employee I’d encountered had been, I was surprised to even get a confirmation call about my ride.

The next morning I came back for breakfast and it was much busier, though there was plenty of seating. The breakfast spread consisted of egg sandwiches (which were decent), hard boiled eggs, smoked salmon, cold cuts, pastries, and fruit. Overall, pretty impressive for a lounge. There was POG juice in the dispensers, along with your typical orange and apple.

Regency Club Breakfast Spread Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach

Regency Club breakfast spread

After a quick breakfast and work call, I headed downstairs into the lobby. Right on time, I spotted a Speedi Shuttle employee (red hawaiian shirt and tablet in hand). After confirming my reservation, he grabbed my bag and walked me over to the awaiting shuttle. I was expecting another long drive, but this one was a (true to the company name) speedy ride.

The Service

While the hotel had it’s shortcomings in terms of the condition of the room and overall aesthetics, the service was excellent. The lounge staff were friendly and attentive. At one point I wrote a snarky tweet about how dingy the place was (I didn’t even include the hotel’s handle in the tweet) and got a call from someone at the front desk, asking if everything was ok. A few days later, the hotel manager emailed me and, citing my tweet, asked how my experience was. I explained that the service was great and that my comment was directed towards the overall condition of the hotel more than anything else (which I guess is still pretty bad feedback). Perhaps it wasn’t fair to compare this place to the Hyatt Regency Maui, but it was difficult to notice some of the similarities between the two hotels and overlook the obvious differences.

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Ariana Arghandewal

2 Comments

  1. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki on 3 occasions, once for almost 3 weeks while working in the city. Each and every time we’ve had a great room. The last time we were upgraded to a suite. The service was excellent – especially the last time when we had to extend our stay. Even though they were fully booked they were able to meet our request.
    I agree, the hotel is odd with the mall basically in the middle of the lobby but the service and lounge more than make up for it. Some rooms are better than others. Having been in 3 different ones I can tell you that emailing ahead really does make a difference.

    • I agree on the service. Maybe because I was there for just a night, they decided to put me in the crappy wing of the building.

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