Hawaii April 20, 2017
Most People Don’t Know The Fascinating Story Behind Hawaii’s Legendary Pink Hotel
In the heart of Oahu’s tourist district and among the hoards of luxury hotels and resorts, stands a picturesque pink landmark you surely won’t miss as you stroll down the famous Waikiki beach. This is the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and, at 90 years old, it is still just as legendary – and just as pink – as when it first opened in 1927.
With a long history firmly rooted in Hawaii’s rich culture, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is positively magical.
When the Royal Hawaiian opened in 1927, it was only the second luxury property along Waikiki Beach (the Moana Surfrider, now a Westin resort, was first opened in 1901). In the beginning, the luxury hotel welcomed many affluent travelers from Europe who traveled to Hawaii on ocean liners from California.
In the 1940s and during World War II, tourism declined, and the Royal Hawaiian’s 284 rooms were instead occupied by members of the armed forces. You see, the United States Navy had leased the entire property for $17,500 per month as a place for sailors to rest and recuperate from the rigors of war. The Monarch Ballroom, once used for fine dining, became a Navy mess hall.
After the war, and before Hawaii officially became an American state in 1959, the Royal Hawaiian was returned to its former glory, and has been one of Oahu’s most elite hotels ever since.
With its brightly-colored exterior and Spanish-Moorish facade, it is said that the world fell in love with the Hawaiian Islands through the Royal Hawaiian Hotel when it first opened. The hotel’s iconic pink color was is the result of Portuguese influence on its architectural design.
Standing between serene tropical gardens and gently crashing waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Royal Hawaiian is an icon of luxury resort travel known for its luxurious rooms, and plenty of stellar amenities - including two world-class pools and three mouthwatering restaurants.
Known to the world as "The Pink Palace of the Pacific," the Royal Hawaiian has played host to heads of state, celebrities, influential figures and tourists for the past nine decades. The hotel’s first registered guest was Princess Abigail Kawanakoa, who would have been the Queen of Hawaii had the monarchy survived. Other notable guests include Duke Kahanamoku and former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The beachfront hotel cost approximately four million dollars when it was built on sacred Hawaiian grounds (that’s not accounting for inflation), and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America.
The Royal Hawaiian Hotels even offers guests a complimentary tour of its historic royal grounds on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. For a detailed timeline of the hotel’s history, check out their website. Also, be sure to check out these 15 epic hotels and resorts across the Hawaiian Islands.