A stay at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki wasn’t exactly on my radar. I’d eyed the hotel during my first visit to Hawaii’s most populous island, but opted instead for the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa. The main reason why the Hyatt Centric wasn’t an option? The hotel likes to play games with its award availability.

Scraping together the points for five nights was also an issue that trip. But the award availability issue has been chronic. As an solid Category 4 hotel — at least on paper — in bustling Honolulu, it is certainly a prime candidate for using the annual free night and other free nights earned with the World of Hyatt Visa card. I’ve previously read that you need to book a week-long stay for standard award nights to open up. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.

Almost. As it turns out, I was able to book a one-night stay at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki. While I was excited to see what the hotel is like, it didn’t exactly leave me impressed. Now let’s jump into the details of the stay.

Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach exterior sign

Exterior sign

Booking the Hyatt Centric Waikiki

I booked my stay using a Category 1-4 free night award for the single night. Note that I booked the stay very last minute. I’d never found space at this hotel before during any previous search for Oahu properties. So, I was quite surprised that the Hyatt Centric was an option. My guess is that so few rooms were sold that they were willing to open up the base level award rooms, even for a one night stay. This beats having to book a week-long stay. 

The cash rate was $312.59 for the night, including the destination fee. I don’t pay the latter as a Globalist. This is one of the better uses I’ve gotten out of one of a Hyatt free night certificate. I considered booking another night, as one was available. But I instead booked the Hyatt Place Waikiki for my remaining nights on Oahu.

It’s rare that I reach out to a hotel ahead of time to ask for anything, but I did for this stay. Before I boarded my flight, I noticed my room had been upgraded to a City View Suite with two queen beds. I made an inquiry if I could be given a Mountain View Suite, or at least a City View Suite with a king bed. 

This was the first time the text feature worked for me. Never before have I received a response, but the Hyatt Centric Waikiki got back to me promptly. That was the good part. The unfortunate part is that the front desk said they didn’t have any more City View king suites available. The Mountain View suites are a premium suite, and they weren’t willing to give me one of those either. 

A few more texts back and forth, and I settled on a Mountain View Deluxe King Room. 

Location and Getting Around Waikiki

The Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach is smack dab in the middle of the city’s popular neighborhood. It’s on Kuhio Avenue, which is not beachfront. You’ll have to walk a couple blocks to feel the sand between your toes. If you’re up for any reasonable amount of walking, it’s a fine base for getting around Waikiki on foot.

The hotel has a parking garage, and self parking runs $42 per night. Valet service isn’t much more at $50 per night. Given the rates I know of at a couple other hotels, this is a bit high.

I chose not to rent a car during this trip to Oahu. Instead, I got to the Hyatt Centric Waikiki by taking the bus, which dropped me less than a block away. It took a bit longer than a taxi from HNL, but it was plenty convenient. Given how easily I navigated the city using the bus, I’d certainly opt for it again. But that is another story. 

Hyatt Centric Waikiki exterior

Hotel exterior

Arrival and First Impressions

My first surprise was the 8th floor lobby. The ground floor Hyatt Centric Waikiki has a desk where you can book tours or other activities, or something along those lines. I only saw it staffed once. It also had a bit of festive decoration, given that it was early December. Otherwise, there’s pretty much nothing else besides a couple luggage carts. 

a room with a christmas tree and a computer

Hotel entry area on ground floor

I also noticed the Starbucks Reserve location on the ground floor, my first time seeing one of these. My curiosity was piqued. As the elevator whisked me up several floors, I started to wonder. How different is it than a normal Starbucks location? My musing didn’t result in a visit, though. It’ll have to wait for another trip. 

a door with a sign on it

Door between Hyatt Centric ground floor and Starbucks Reserve

There was one other person in the lobby when I arrived besides the front desk staff. The lady at the front desk thanked me for my Hyatt loyalty and acknowledged my Globalist status. She was clear that the resort fee was waived and that parking was also waived. That’s when I told her I didn’t have a vehicle. Free parking is a great Hyatt status feature, though, and something to keep in mind in a city like Honolulu. It can get expensive quickly.  

Hyatt Centric Waikiki lobby

Hyatt Centric Waikiki lobby

Then for the big surprise: the Hyatt Centric Waikiki restaurant is closed. It’s never reopened since the pandemic. I found this a bit insane. A four-star Waikiki hotel without a restaurant?! Per the front desk, it’s a choice by the hotel owners. Maybe it wasn’t profitable before. But it seems like a massive service to give up on providing your guests. Clearly the hotel is doing fine without a dining establishment, as it’s going on four years without one. 

Given that free breakfast is an elite status perk, the Hyatt Centric Waikiki provides Globalists with 1,000 Hyatt points as compensation. In my opinion, this isn’t nearly enough. That’s $15 to $20 in points for most people. Maybe if they awarded this per person, I wouldn’t complain. But even for a solo traveler, this is weak. I have to imagine breakfast cost more than that per person. 

Still surprised, I made my way to the elevator, key in hand.

a door with a light on the wall

Door into my room

Mountain View Deluxe King Room

I will say that the room was the best part of the Hyatt Centric Waikiki. As a Deluxe Room, it offered a bit more space. The windows are nearly floor to ceiling, which makes for a nice view, and like the overall layout. There’s a wide entryway with a chair and mirror between the two closets. The desk is also in the front section opposite the bathroom door. The bed is beyond.

a room with a chair and a television

Room from entryway

a room with a door and a suitcase

Deluxe room entryway

Hyatt Centric Waikiki king room

Room with king bed

a room with a television and a bed

Other side of room

a chair next to a lamp

Corner chair

The desk is a nice enough setup. I was able to get a couple hours of work done from here. The closet next to it is where you’ll find the coffee maker, minifridge, and safe. The hotel also provides a couple reusable water bottles.

a desk with a remote control and a lamp


a small refrigerator with a small refrigerator and a coffee maker

In-room coffee maker, safe, and fridge

The bed had enough outlets to charge multiple phones. There are also USB plugs on the clock next to the bed. Overall, I found the room plenty functional and nicely styled. I would gladly take it over the other two Waikiki hotels I’ve stayed at previously. 

a telephone on a table


The view in the morning is also exquisite. My photo doesn’t do it justice. The “Mountain View” is a mix of city and Oahu hills, which would end up being fateful later on during my trip.

Hyatt Centric Waikiki city view

View from my room

My single complaint is that there was no water in the room. I was quite thirty after the flight and had waited to get to the hotel. I had to venture back down to the front desk to pick up a couple bottles. I’m wondering if the reusable bottles are what the Hyatt Centric Waikiki provides instead. 

Know The Bathroom Situation

If the city and mountain view isn’t enough, you also have a fantastic view of the shower. And if you’re in the shower, you can still have a view of the city and mountains. Just know they can see you too.

Hyatt Centric Waikiki room bathroom

View into the bathroom

But be warned: the shower blinds are controlled from the bedroom side. There’s also no separate door for the toilet area, which you nearly have a view of from the bedroom as well. 

This isn’t a room conducive to traveling with kids. But for a solo trip, or a trip with your spouse, it’ll work just fine. 

a bathroom with a round mirror

Sink and toilet

a bathroom with a mirror and a shower

Sink and shower, with view into bedroom

a group of toiletries on a wooden tray

Bath amenities

The only negative to the bathroom is that the temperature fell short of my liking. The pressure was good, but it didn’t get close to hot enough. 


With the hotel restaurant closed, you have to find all your food elsewhere. For breakfast I headed across the street and down a block to Kono’s Northshore. It had good ratings, and these didn’t lie. Kono’s serves up a solid breakfast burrito. I’d gladly eat here again. Maybe someone needs to talk the Hyatt Centric into providing a cash credit for a few nearby restaurants instead of 1,000 points.  

a building with a sign on the front

Kono’s Northshore across from hotel

For lunch I hit up Kai Poke Waikiki, just down the block from the hotel entrance. It hit the spot, but I will say that Maguro Spot is a better poke place. I hit it up later in the trip. It’s a bit more of a walk from the Hyatt Centric Waikiki. 

It’s weird to have no hotel dining available at what should be a 4-star property. It certainly detracts from the experience, even with decent food nearby. I’d at least expect them to serve breakfast. My guess is that the owners saw the option to cut costs and took it. I didn’t even bother asking if the bar operates, but I bet I know the answer.  I never saw anyone there. 

a bar with chairs and a painting on the wall

Hyatt Centric Waikiki bar

Other Hotel Amenities

The pool at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki isn’t what you’d expect. Swimming is out of the question. It’s a lovely pool deck, and I hung out here with a book during the early afternoon. But it certainly more of a lounge area than a pool.

Hyatt Centric Waikiki pool

Pool area

I’m sure this is great for some people, but totally undesirable to others. I didn’t care all that much this trip, but it’s not something I’d bring my kids to. Give us at least three feet of water, if not a couple more.

The shaded cabanas and lounge chairs are nice though. While I started alone out on the pool deck, plenty of other guests arrived within the hour.

a pool with a hot tub and a bench on a rooftop

Pool and cabanas

Hyatt Centric Waikiki cabanas


a hot tub on a patio

Cabana…and corn hole

The hotel provides sunscreen and after sun gel, which is nice. If you need to stay out of the sun entirely, the hotel dining area (where the restaurant should be) has a view of the pool deck.

towels stacked towels on shelves outside a building

Towels and sunscreen dispenser

Hyatt Centric Waikiki dining room

Unused dining area

There’s not a whole lot else to the hotel. It has a small fitness center. You can also head downstairs to the Starbucks Reserve location.

Final Thoughts

Overall, my feelings are mixed on the Hyatt Centric Waikiki. While I liked the room, it not one I’ve consider for family travel. It might be perfect for spouses, though. The pool deck is nice, but also not exactly what you’d expect.

The biggest miss is the lack of a restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I found good food elsewhere. It just seems odd to not have anything available in the hotel itself. And if the property is going to skip this, I think the compensation should be greater for any benefits you miss out on.

I might consider the Hyatt Centric Waikiki again if traveling solo and one night magically appears in the award inventory. But I’d otherwise look for other options in Hawaii’s capital city.