Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa Review
Hawaii is one of my favorite vacation destinations — I’ve been 19 times. Typically I go to the Big Island. However I recently found a mid-week airfare deal during my Spring Break to Honolulu. I’ve only visited Oahu once before and stayed outside of the city. This trip would be a quick two nights so I decided to try Waikiki. My first night I would stay at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa at a cost of 20,000 points.
The Hyatt Regency was built in 1976 and renovated in 2015. The property is huge with 1,230 rooms across the two towers.
Waikiki is only about 20 minutes from the airport and is located between downtown Honolulu and Diamond Head peak. TIP: If using Uber or Lyft, make sure you check the right location when you type in the hotel name. On my ride in from the airport, it had the Hyatt Regency in downtown Honolulu, not Waikiki, even though there is no Hyatt in downtown. The Hyatt Regency is about as central as you can get; located just across the street from the main beach. Waikiki is a compact tourist area with high rise hotels and a long stretch of beach. There are a ton of restaurants and shopping options within walking distance.
No hotel in Waikiki is going to be a sprawling resort. Think of this more of a city property with a beach across the street.
The property, with two 40 floor towers and a three level base, takes up an entire city block.
I arrived after my flight to the hotel around 8pm. As a Globalist I had been pre-upgraded to an Ocean Front King. Note that this hotel doesn’t typically offer upgrades to suites as there are only a few standard suites (known as Ocean Family Suites). Instead Globalists should expect to get an Ocean Front room on a high floor.
I was assigned room 3558 in the Diamond Head Tower. The Regency Club is located in this tower on the Floor 3. As this is a resort property, there is no guaranteed late check out however I was able to receive a confirmed 2pm check out which was just fine for me as I was moving to another hotel for my second night.
Note that the property charges a $42 per night resort fee. If you are staying on points or are a Globalist, the resort fee is waived. During my visit rooms started at over $400 when you included the resort fees and taxes, so paying 20,000 points seemed like the best value.
Each guest floor (5-38) of the Diamond Head Tower has a total of 18 rooms. Floors 39 & 40 are suites. The best rooms are going to be the XX59 and XX60 rooms as they are directly facing the ocean. I would say any of the XX56-XX63 rooms are going to have great views. I believe any room XX60 and higher would have a view of Diamond Head. Every room at the property has a balcony.
With only four elevators in the tower, it can take a while to get to your room. The elevator lobby and hallways are basic but clean.
I was assigned room 3558. As you enter the room you are directly in the room with the closet and open concert bathroom area on your right.
The room feels fresh with a Hawaiian vibe (blue, cream and wood). It is a Regency so it isn’t top end furnishings but everything was well maintained.
The bed faces a wall mounted TV.
Under the TV is an empty mini fridge and basic coffee set.
As part of the resort fee, you get two refillable water bottles in your room in addition to a reusable tote bag in the closet.
Blackout and sheer curtains cover the floor to ceiling sliding glass door. The balcony has a small table and two chairs.
By the entrance is a built in closet in the same area as the single vanity sink. Note that this area is open to the rest of the room.
The very small toilet and bath area is separated from the rest of the room with a standard door. The tub/shower combo has a wall mounted shower head with strong pressure in addition to a handheld wand shower head.
The toilet has a Toto bidet, which is standard in Japanese hotel rooms (Waikiki gets a lot of visitors from Japan).
The bath products are branded with the on site spa label.
The Regency Club is located on Floor 3 of the Diamond Head Tower, tucked behind the SHOR restaurant. It is open 24 hours, which I don’t think I have ever encountered in a Regency Club before.
Breakfast is pretty basic. Two hot dishes (scrambled eggs and bacon during my visit), some fruit, hard boiled eggs, and pastries.
The pastries were the highlight. The blueberry scones were very fresh.
There is an outdoor patio which looks out on to the beach, though note that there is a three lane street between the hotel and the beach. You can see the patio in the second photo below just above the hotel signage.
During the day they have prepackaged snacks out and access to non-alcoholic beverages.
My favorite feature of the club is a SodaStream Professional machine; similar to one of the Coke Freestyle machines. You get to pick your flavoring, how carbonated you want it, and then pour a cup.
I arrived after the evening appetizers, but they did have some fresh cookies in the evening. Alcohol is not complimentary at any time.
Pool & Gym
For such a huge property, the pool is tiny and basic. I suppose they assume that most people would rather spend the day at the beach.
There is a covered hot tub as well.
The gym is across from the pool and looked like it had a good number of machines.
There are two restaurants in the hotel — SHOR and SWIM (located adjacent to the pool). The entire first and second floors of the hotel are set up like a mall with stores and restaurants, including an Urban Outfitters, coffee shop, and three ABC Stores.
Waikiki is definitely not your typical Hawaiian experience. It feels more like Miami’s South Beach of even Las Vegas than your typical relaxing Hawaiian experience. But if you are looking for a visit where you have everything you could need within a five minute walk — shopping, restaurants, beach — then you might enjoy Waikiki. Staying on a high floor of a hotel tower with expansive views of the ocean definitely made it feel like a vacation in Hawaii for me. Had I been on a lower floor without the ocean view it would be a different story.
The Hyatt Regency, if you are going to visit Waikiki, is a fantastic option. If you want a property directly on the beach, there are a few better options (the Moana Surfrider is across the street and you can literally walk out on to the sand without crossing a road). The Regency is a typical Regency which means more of a mass produced experience with little personalization. With 1,230 rooms, don’t expect staff to know your name.
Have you visited the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki? What did you think?