When we were planning our trip to the island of Oahu, we knew that we wanted to divide our time equally between Waikiki and the North Shore. This would allow us to see a lot more of the island and enjoy some busy city days followed by some chill beach days. The problem was deciding what hotel to stay at in Waikiki because there are about a million to choose from.
We watched some vlogs on the subject, read several Oahu travel guides, consulted blog lists about choosing the best hotels, and still weren’t really sure which hotel to pick. Finally we decided that we wanted to stay at a Hyatt property so that we could book it with points. There were 3 different Hyatt properties to choose between. The Hyatt Place at 12,000 points per night, the Hyatt Centric at 15,000 points per night and the Hyatt Regancy at 20,000 points per night. Our plan was to stay for 3 nights. We had 60,000 points to use toward the booking. If we chose the Hyatt Regancy, it would use all 60,000 of our points. We could certainly pick the Hyatt Place at only 36,000 points but I was really drawn to the Hyatt Centric which would fall right in the middle at 45,000 points. Done and Booked. **
I thought it was a nice touch when Rachael from the Hyatt Centric started reaching out to me via e-mail a few days before we arrived to confirm our preferences and go over check in times. We arrived around 9pm after a 23 hour travel day. The Lobby was gorgeous! Tiare at the Front Desk Checked us in and presented us with tons of helpful information and maps. As she handed us our room key, she let us know that we would be on the Penhouse level in an ocean facing room with 2 Queen beds. Wowzers! She also included a coupon for 2 free drinks at the bar as a small gift to us because we were celebrating our 30th anniversary (a bit early).
As you can see the Lobby had plenty of elegantly arranged seating and was also home to the Business Center, The Bar and the Lanai Restaurant/Breakfast Room. The Lobby also had fresh Kona coffee available at no charge and a large jar of ice water with fruit slices. Each day they also made a ginger spritzer that was available for guests to enjoy. Some really nice perks.
We took the first elevator up to Level 20 which was as high as it went. Then we followed the sign around a corner to ride another elevator that went to floors 21-23. Our room was located on the 21st floor. As we stepped off the elevator, there was a suite door immediately to our right that contained the doors to our room and the room next door. This was fancy indeed.
Once inside the room, we could see how lovely and modern it was. The room was very spacious and everything seemed brand new. Of course, there were our 2 Queen Beds (Last room available with points), a nice dresser with 2 closets attached and a very useful entry table. I ended up storing our bags by lining them up neatly under the table. Since it was near the door, it was also a great place to keep our grab and go items. One of the closets had hangers, an iron and an ironing board while the other side contained a mini fridge, the coffee station, a room safe, plus a few extra drawers.
As I made my way over to the bed, there was a very large window with a blind over it to my left. When you opened the blind, you could see all the way through the bathroom. The farthest part of the bathroom was a toilet area. Not just any toilet, this one had an electric heated seat and wall mounted bidet controls with several options depicted for you to choose from. Oh my. Right in the middle of the bathroom was a large vanity area with plenty of space for the 2 of us to spread out all of our sundries. Last was the huge glass and tile shower stall with a deep soaker tub and 2 rain shower heads. I absolutely adored this bathroom!
The Hyatt Bath Amenities were very nice. The hair and body wash items all had a creamy texture and a lovely light coconut fragrance. The bar of facial soap had chunks of coconut for exfoliating blended into the creamy coconut scented cake. These were my favorite bath amenities from any hotels this year.
I quickly unpacked, which is something I must do right away whenever staying in a hotel. Yes, I have some OCD issues….So what. There were plenty of drawers for everything to easily fit into and lots of space for Mark to hang all of his Aloha shirts in the closet.
We were still wound up so we headed out to find a cocktail and a bite to eat before bed. Since the hotel bar and restaurant were already closed, Tiare at the desk gave us a few options of places to go. She was super helpful and informative and we went to several places she suggested…all were perfect. She gets many gold stars!
When we returned, we climbed into our super comfy beds (when you are really tired, 2 beds is sometimes nice) with fluffy white covers and plenty of pillows that were just the right firmness. The next morning we woke up rested and ready to go. Since we arrived at night, we had not yet seen our view. When I pulled open the drapes, I could see the sunrise on the ocean along with a faint rainbow. I knew this was going to be a great vacation.
As we got around and the sun continued to climb high into the sky, we could see surfers, boats and kiteboards on the ocean. Although we were not staying in an oceanfront property, the view was pretty good (especially from the Penthouse level).
After having some brunch around the corner and checking out the local area, we came back to the hotel for a boogie board, 2 beach chairs and some beach towels. You could also get beach umbrellas, but we had enough to carry for the little hike we had ahead of us to the beach. The beach chairs were nicely fitted with straps so that you could wear them like you would a back pack. Clever! All of these items are included in the $39 per night Resort Fee that the hotel charges.
The Resort Fee also included a pair of reusable water bottles that were waiting for us in our room when we checked in. We used them during the whole vacation refilling from various hydration stations at both hotels and at places we visited. It was still pretty warm (85-91) even in mid October, so the water bottles were much appreciated.
Other items included in the resort fee were GoPro rentals, Popcorn in the lobby, Yoga and Lei making classes, Sunscreen & After Sun Lotion, and Premium WiFi access.
If you are booking a reward night, you don’t pay the resort fee, but still get the perks.
As evening neared, we decide to relax at the hotel’s rooftop splash pool and hot tub. This was my first experience with this type of pool which is not very deep and mostly just for lounging. I really enjoyed it. Although the hot tub didn’t seem to be very hot and there wasn’t much action from the jets, but the pool was just fine for me on a balmy Hawaiian evening. Near the area where the pool towels were located, were 2 giant pump dispensers. One contained Sunscreen and the other one was After Sun Lotion. It was really handy for people to use them right at the pool.
While hanging out at the pool, we cashed in our drink coupons for Lanai Tai’s which are a variation of a Mai Tai. I actually liked it better than the typical Mai Tai, which I find to be a bit too sweet for me. I wish I could remember what was in it, but it was green with some creamy stuff on top and was pretty delish. It doesn’t get much more chill than sipping a cocktail at the rooftop pool as the breeze blows lightly with the sound of waves crashing softly around you. I think I found my happy place.
Located on the Street level of the hotel was a Concierge and a Valet Station. Even though we didn’t have a car to bother with on our days in Waikiki (no car kept us from paying a $45 daily parking fee), the Valet Station is where you picked up all of your beach gear and towels. When we checked out, they scheduled a Flat Rate Taxi to take us to Alamo so we could pick up a rental car for our North Shore Adventure days.
On Sunday afternoon, we decided that we wanted to plan some structured activities for Monday. I paid a visit to the Concierge and reviewed the list of things that he had to offer. Since we didn’t have a car, I purchased a $46 pp Tour to Pearl Harbor via bus which also included a Honolulu city highlights tour. I also took advantage of a special being offered for a Sunset Catamaran Cruise at $55 pp for later that evening. We were very pleased with both of the activities. It was nice to be able to schedule them at the last minute right from the hotel and at fairly decent prices.
We took advantage of the Hotel Breakfast Buffet the Lanai Restaurant that day to fuel up for our adventures. Hawaii has a lot of Japanese Tourists. So the breakfast buffet included miso soup and fried rice along with fresh fruit and juices, potatoes, scrambled eggs, Portugese sausage and a selection of cereals. I rather enjoyed both the fried rice and miso soup for breakfast. The food was very good when comparing to the breakfast quality of other hotels. That is one thing that I really appreciate about Hyatt hotels in general, they traditionally provide a really nice breakfast.
My Final Thoughts on this Hotel
This was one of the best hotel choices I have made in a very long time. We absolutely loved it. Everything from the friendly staff to the fabulous room with a view and the hotel’s long list of amenities exceeded our expectations. If I was going to give this hotel a star rating based on a scale of 1-5, I would give it a 6!
We will definitely stay here again if we return to Waikiki. Hyatt has really found it’s way into my heart this year and is now at the top of my list for scheduling any new hotel stays.
**I do agree with Gary from View From The Wing that there are some issues happening when booking Reward Nights for this hotel. I encountered some problems on the Hyatt site while booking my reservation. I first checked to see that the website still showed Rewards night availability for my dates. It did. Then I transferred enough points from our Chase Sapphire and proceeded to book the room. When I was almost to the end of the process, a pop up appeared telling me there were no Rewards Night rooms available. Panic set in because I had already transferred the points. After regrouping, I called Hyatt directly and explaining the situation to a Manager. He was able to secure our 3 nights Rewards stay. But you shouldn’t have to jump through those hoops. It should be transparent and individual hotels should not be able to play games like that.
This his was very frustrating for me, but I was able to get it worked out and we had a wonderful stay. Although I am not holding it against the hotel for my review, I would like to see Hyatt do a better job of keeping this from happening.