Arrival Experience: This is one of the biggest hotels on the stretch of famous Waikiki beach, and Hyatt Regency Waikiki copes with the crowds seamlessly. In fact, it rarely feels that there are lots of people in one place at any given time. The open-air lobby is soothed by the sounds of nearby crashing waterfalls in the shopping area of the garden patio and the sounds of crashing waves across the street. Chilled water and iced tea greet guests as they await check-in. Spread across two towers, the rooms are easily accessible by wood-framed elevators with Hawaiian music playing in the background. The tropically clad staff is friendly and welcoming despite this tourist mega hub, and Japanese and Chinese-speaking staff are available.
Dining: There are loads of options to feed your hunger along Waikiki, but guests need not venture far since Japengo is in the house. This Hawaiian restaurant opens for dinner and delights diners (many from outside the hotel that scramble to make a reservation) with its fresh sushi and island flavors. With a new menu, Chef John Matsubara delights diners with fresh flavors including local island seafood and colorful salads. SHOR is the main buffet restaurant with a live omelet station at breakfast, tropical fruit, pastries, and an impressive array of Japanese selections to cater to the Japanese clientele that frequents Hawaii. A comfort food menu of burgers and salads is served poolside, and several cafes and coffee shops are located within the hotel’s open-air shopping arcade. Light snacks and refreshments are also available in the ABC store, which allows you to charge purchases to your room.
Rooms: The twin buildings are round with rooms wrapping around them. This means that all rooms benefit from stunning views whether of the shoreline or the mountain range behind the city. Furnished balconies provide fresh island air, but inside the air conditioning works hard to keep rooms cool. Fresh from a total overhaul, they are decked out in baby blue paint on the walls and stark white linens on the signature Hyatt Grand Beds. Thick duvets and pillows are just the thing after a day surfing Waikiki. Flat-screen cable TVs face the beds, and long white desks have adjustable lamps and a charging station with outlets for almost a dozen items to charge simultaneously. Side chairs are by the window, and all guest rooms come with a slew of amenities that are included in the mandatory resort fee. They include dental kits, two bottles of water daily, access to the fitness center, robes, slippers, and Hyatt Regency tote bags to use around the island and take home. Room shapes and sizes vary due to their position within the building, but both towers offer equally stunning views. Bright bathrooms feature spa-branded toiletries, stacks of terrycloth towels, and new showers with strong water pressure and curved shower rods. Japanese toilets with heating and spray features are a pleasant surprise (in more ways than one). Free wireless high speed Internet is available throughout the hotel, and it even works by the pool and on the balcony. Guests booking the Regency Club category enjoy access to a third-floor lounge with an exceptional breakfast buffet, afternoon snacks, and an evening happy hour. The private outdoor terrace is one of the best features at sunrise and sunset.
Amenities: Conferences and groups love this hotel for its ample meeting space with dedicated support staff and the latest technical gear. A modern fitness center keeps guests in shape for their swimsuit figure, and a full-service spa offers a variety of massage and beauty treatments. Green thumbs may like to peruse the farmer’s market that sets up shop in the hotel’s public areas each week with fresh produce and flowers that lure both locals and guests. The swimming pool is located on the third floor with lovely views of Waikiki, and those that want additional privacy can arrange to rent one of the numerous cabanas that encircle the pool. A raised whirlpool is especially popular in the afternoon hours. This is a strong contender for top hotel along Waikiki, and its reputation precedes itself for its international clientele.