For my trip to Hawaii, I booked a five night stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. I then decided to add an extra day to my trip, and wanted to try out the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach for the first night. I’ve visited the common areas on a previous visit, and added it to my list of hotels that I wanted to try. This would be my first Ritz-Carlton Residences stay and my fourth Ritz-Carlton property overall. My most recent Ritz-Carlton stay prior to Waikiki Beach was at Half Moon Bay, California late last year.
Booking + Pre-Arrival:
For this stay, I used my Marriott Bonvoy points. I booked after Marriott switched to dynamic award pricing and for the dates I was looking for; the price thankfully stayed the same as when they had award charts at 70k points per night. This month still has 70k nights, but after this month the lowest prices are in September for 80,500 points per night. My stay was during Spring Break, and cash rates for my stay were $880 including taxes.
They were offering the base “Ocean View Room” and the one category higher “Deluxe Ocean View Room” both for 70k points so I opted for the latter. In terms of “rooms” there are 3 categories, Ocean, Deluxe Ocean and Grand Ocean. After that, are the suites (1-4 bedrooms).
Takeoff Tip: The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach is cool in the fact that they do not charge a resort fee!
Fora Travel Benefits:
I started working with a travel agency, Fora Travel, and can assist in booking hotel stays. As a travel agent we are partnered with Virtuoso and Four Seasons Preferred Partners to name a few. With this, you can get special perks when booking with us. The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach features:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary Full Breakfast daily for two per bedroom
- $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay
- Complimentary admission to the Honolulu Museum of Art
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
If you are interested in getting these perks and want to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
My flight from LA landed early and we arrived at the hotel around noon. Once you arrive at the porte cochère, you’re supposed to let the Concierge in front of the elevators know and they will give you leis and communicate with the front desk.
The main lobby is on the eighth floor, and it is small, but nice and open air. I did notice the sofa in the lobby needed some fixing on upholstery, so maybe some hardware changes are due. But overall, the hotel still felt relatively new.
We were helped quickly, and our room was not quite ready yet but was told I would get a call when it was. Totally fine, as we planned to have lunch at the Quiora restaurant on site anyway. We left our bags and off we went to lunch. Right when dessert came out at around 1pm, I got a call that the room was ready. Talk about perfect timing! It was nice to be able to check-in early and freshen up.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach Towers:
The hotel is split up into two towers, the Ewa Tower and Diamond Head Tower. The Ewa Tower opened in 2016, and the Diamond Head Tower opened in 2018. The Ewa Tower hosts the main lobby for the hotel but both towers are connected via the 8th floor. Both towers combine to have 552 ocean view residences, and the concept is that the amenities and concierge are available to the residential owners while staying at their units while they also have the option to put their residence in the hotel rental pool while they’re away.
Deluxe Ocean View Room:
We were assigned to a Deluxe Ocean View Room on the 18th floor in the Ewa Tower. To use the elevators, you select your floor and scan your room key and you will get assigned an elevator. All rooms have an ocean view, so you’ll notice the rooms are located only on one side of the hotel, and the hallway corridor allows for views of the city.
Rooms in the Deluxe Ocean View category range in size from 426 square feet to 519 square feet and can be located on the 9th to 22nd floors. I think our room was on the larger side, as we had a partition that could fully close the bed area to the living room, and I’ve seen photos online that some rooms in the same category don’t offer the extra space to divide the bedroom area from the living room.
Kitchen + Bathroom:
Upon entering the room, you have a long corridor with the bathroom to one side, and the kitchen on the other. Since it’s a studio, the kitchen space is a bit tight to cook an actual meal, but it’s a kitchenette that is almost like a full kitchen. Appliances are from Miele, and you have a deep sink, twin-burner cooktop, oven/microwave and fridge. The kitchen is fully stocked, with utensils, plates, etc just like you would see at a vacation club or timeshare hotel. A Nespresso machine was present, as well as 4 mini bottles of water.
Also a nice perk about staying at the residences is a full washer and dryer! It nice to throw in the bathing suits after a swim.
The bathroom was pretty and quite spacious, with a separate soaking tub, large walk in shower, dual vanities and a separate W/C area with those fancy toilets (Toto Washlet seat).
Toiletries were provided by Asprey, in the Purple Water scent that is standard for the Ritz-Carlton properties.
The one thing about the bathroom that I didn’t particularly enjoy was the low-ish water pressure from the shower, and the fact that the glass partition from the shower was a bit short allowing a water to seep through to the main bathroom area. Additionally, whoever designed where to put the power outlet was not practical. The only power outlet in the bathroom sink area was right in the middle of the dual vanity underneath the mirror and where many toiletries were located. Plus, there was no nightlight, which I also ran into as an issue at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay. The mini-blinds from the tub to the main room allowed for so much light to get into the room even when fully closed, and there were only 2 settings for bathroom lights, either bright, or super bright. No option for a small light or mirror to be left on as a nightlight.
Bedroom + Living Room Area:
The bedroom featured a king-sized bed, and two nightstands. Only one nightstand had the alarm clock and power plugs. If you forgot your charging cable don’t fret! They actually had all sorts of charging cables on that one nightstand for your use.
A Ritz branded tote bag and pineapple gummies were waiting on the desk.
Bed linens are provided by Frette, and my parents stated that the bed was quite comfortable.
There were two TV’s in the room which was really nice, one in front of the bed and one in front of the sofa! The hotel had the sofa-bed set up for me already once we checked-in which was nice, and I would say it’s the size of a Double Bed. It was pretty comfortable as far as sofa-beds go, so no complaints here! A cool feature was the folding doors that could separate the bedroom area and the living area.
While the AC as a whole worked well, the air vent in the living room was directly located in front of where the sofa was positioned, so if you wanted to keep the AC on, it would blow right in your face which was a bit annoying.
I did notice that the furniture is showing some signs of age. Some of the cabinetry has been nicked already, and the sofa cushions looked a bit tired. A soft renovation should be able to bring the hotel back to pristine condition.
The balcony was quite nice, with a full glass design allowing you to have a great view. Despite the hotel being a few blocks from the water, the view was pretty good! You could see the ocean in the center, and the city both from the left and right. Two chairs were provided, but they had seen their better days unfortunately.
Highlights + Service:
Especially since I travelled during Spring Break, Waikiki was quite packed. Staying at the Ritz helps you escape from the city a bit. It’s so nice being able to get into an elevator and being the only ones most of the time. This is quite hard to find in the city! My stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village after had so many long elevator waits, or involved climbing many flights of stairs.
And the service! Well that’s why you come to the Ritz right? Thankfully, the hotel delivered on the service front. From the staff at the restaurants, concierge on the ground floor, front desk and housekeeping, you pay for five-star service and you will receive. Some of the towels were a bit stained so I called up for some new ones on the app and it was delivered in literally less than 5 minutes. A request for extra towels at the Hilton Hawaiian Village took more like 1 hour haha.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach boasts three restaurants: Quiora for Italian that serves lunch and dinner, La Vie for French cuisine that serves breakfast and dinner, and Sushi Sho for its famous omakase experience at dinner and popular takeout offerings.
I tried Quiora for lunch, and it was pretty good! It’s a nice open air restaurant, and they had a business lunch three-course menu for twenty five dollars which included an iced tea, choice of soup or salad, main dish of spaghetti, fresh fish or a prosciutto sandwich, and a lychee panna cotta for dessert. I opted for the fish and it was quite good, but my favorite part was the lemon chicken soup and lychee panna cotta.
For breakfast, I tried La Vie. It’s a nice open air restaurant for breakfast. I got the Farmers Omelet with egg whites and it was quite tasty. Also, the bacon they served was very good! While not the fanciest breakfast setup for a Ritz, a nice place to relax and enjoy the island weather.
There are two pools all located on the 8th floor lobby level. The pool in front of the Ewa Tower is the adult pool, and there’s a family pool in front of the Diamond Head Tower.
Takeoff Tip: Everyday from 2-2:30pm at the Family Pool, an ice-cream cart comes out to serve complimentary ice cream! The day we arrived it was Ube flavored ice cream and it was quite tasty.
I enjoyed a swim at the adult pool right before sunset, and it’s more of a lap pool with two jacuzzis on each side. Being only on the 8th floor, you can actually barley see the ocean, but it’s still nice to have the city view infinity pool style. The deepest part of the pool is only three feet eleven inches.
When I went to the pool, poolside service had already ended, but an attendant quickly set up the chair with a towel wrap and offered waters. I saw the cabanas that are offered for rent, and they have a mini-fridge, TV and safe.
On the seventh floor, there is a fitness center that’s open 24 hours. I visited on two occasions, once at night and once in the morning, and both times it was actually quite busy. I assumed most of them working out were residents. The fitness center was not huge, but definitely larger than your average hotel gym.
The Spa is also located on the lobby level in between the two towers.
And, at the ground floor is the upscale boutique grocery store Dean and DeLuca. I tried some Macarons and unfortunately they were way too mushy and creamy so I would not recommend them! But some of their sandwiches looked pretty cool. Also on the ground floor is Island Country Markets (upscale version of the popular convenience store ABC Store) which is handy for snacks!
The location of the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach is quite central to Waikiki. This was my seventh visit to Waikiki, and I really like the location of the Ritz. It’s a bit quieter than the main Waikiki area. While not directly beachfront, it’s about a 10 minute walk to the beach. The hotel will supply you with beach towels as well.
The hotel is located on Luxury Row and right off Kalakaua Ave, so you’re only a few steps away from store like Dior and Chanel to name a few. A short 5-10 minute walk away is the main part of Waikiki Beach with the shopping and restaurants at the Royal Hawaiian Center and the International Market Place. Also, the famous shopping mall Ala Moana Center is about a 30 minute walk away, or a quick Uber. It’s pretty easy to get an Uber/Lyft in Waikiki, and the fares are quite fair.
An escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach is a solid option depending on your needs and preferences when visiting Honolulu. The peaceful atmosphere, guaranteed ocean views, and kind service are the highlights. I would most definitely consider staying here again on my future visits to Honolulu.
Have you stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach before? How was your stay? Comment below!