Review: Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach (Hawaii)
The Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach was the first of four hotels we stayed at during our recent trip to the island of O‘ahu, Hawaii. This will be a full review of our 2-night stay at the property.
How I Booked
Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach is a Category 4 property in the World of Hyatt program. A standard award night costs 15k Hyatt points. Note that Hyatt recently announced peak/off-peak prices, so you may see lower or higher prices depending on your date.
15k * 2 nights = 30k Hyatt points
Good news is that resort fees and taxes are waived for Hyatt award stays! This can be an extra $100+/night savings!
The redemption is a pretty good deal as we are getting almost 2cpp on this redemption after accounting for resort fees and taxes! For more detailed breakdown of the value proposition, see this article:
Hyatt points are transferrable 1:1 from Chase Ultimate Rewards if you have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Preferred. You can also earn Hyatt points directly with the Chase World of Hyatt credit card, which also gives you Discoverist elite status.
The hotel is about a 20-minute drive from Honolulu airport (HNL), and is located in the center of Waikiki neighborhood, where the majority of hotels are situated.
Although the property is not beachfront, it is only a 2-block walk from the beach. If you are looking for a direct ocean view from your room, I recommend you look elsewhere.
That being said, the location (in my opinion) is super convenient, as it is only a short walk away from many popular restaurants, cafes, and shopping destinations. It is also very walkable to the beach, even if you decide to carry equipment like beach chairs and umbrellas with you.
Some food options around the hotel we checked out:
- Izakaya Pau Hana Base (hidden alley Japanese cuisine, affordable and authentic!)
- Kona Coffee (delicious pastries and coffee for breakfast, be prepared to line up though)
- Island Vintage Coffee (amazing Acai bowls, coffee, etc)
- ABC store (convenience store)A
Additionally, these are located directly on the ground floor of the hotel:
- Ice Monster (shaved ice, boba, etc.)
- Starbucks Reserve
So even though the hotel's main restaurant "The Lanai" was still closed at the time of our visit, there were plenty of food options nearby.
Due to current Hawaii Safe Travels regulations, all guests must stop by the front desk to have their vaccination records checked. It could also be a good opportunity to inquire about potential room availability to see if you can score an upgrade!
Once you enter the building, take the elevators up to the Lobby Level (8F). For returning guests, you can also take the elevator directly to your floor.
Overall, the lobby area felt very spacious and occupancy seemed low (as were most places in Waikiki during our visit). The staff welcomed us and wished my girlfriend a belated happy birthday (I had actually emailed the hotel prior to inform them of the occasion)!
Even though I only had Discoverist status (from the World of Hyatt credit card) at the time of my stay, and had booked the most basic award room type available (2 Queen Standard), we were informed that we were upgraded to the larger King Deluxe City View room on the top floor! Although we definitely would've preferred the ocean view, we did end up really enjoying the one we got (plus we had 3 more hotels lined up after, all with ocean views).
We were also offered 2pm late check-out (WoH Discoverist benefit), and told that we could let the front desk know anytime if we needed it. It came in handy as we left around noon (normal check-out is 11am), just in time for the noon check-in at our next hotel (review coming soon!).
Overall, the check-in process was quick and pleasant. Everyone we interacted with during our 2-night stay were also friendly and happy to assist with anything!
The room we got was on the top floor of the building (although it appeared that there were 2 additional PH levels that guests can access once on the 20F).
In case your room isn't facing the ocean (like ours), you can still see it near the elevator lobby on every floor:
Alright, now the actual room...
We were pleasantly surprised when we saw that the hotel staff had decorated the room to help celebrate my girlfriend's birthday. It was a nice little gesture and the perfect welcome to kick off our first Hawaii trip.
Shout out to Jovey, Virgee, and everyone who made this happen!
As part of the resort fee inclusions, guests receive orange reusable water bottles. We found these to be quite handy and they are yours to keep after! In addition, we also found bottled water in the room, which is actually a WoH Discoverist perk (lol).
The Keurig coffee machine leaves something to be desired. It would have been nice if it was a Nespresso machine, but for this price point and the numerous cafes around the area (including a Starbucks Reserve right downstairs), this is completely fine.
Overall, the entire room was modern, clean, and filled with lots of natural light. This is no surprise as the hotel was completely renovated in 2017.
One downside is that since this used to be an office building, rooms do not have lanais (balconies).
The bathroom is on the smaller side, but perfectly adequate for this price point. I love the style and the bright colors make this property feel incredibly modern and lively. The shower pressure was also very strong.
One area for improvement would be the outlets. Some of them were slightly loose so your device may not charge properly. However, there were plenty of working outlets around the room (including many with USB ports), so it wasn't really an issue.
Finally, here is a brief room tour video:
The lobby level has an abundance of public seating for hanging out. It was pretty much empty during our visit, and definitely a great place to chill if you are with friends.
The area is also connected to the outdoor pool area (more on that later). It is also where breakfast is normally served, although the Lanai Restaurant was still closed due to COVID.
As previously mentioned - this property, like most hotels in Hawaii, charge a daily resort fee. Good news is that this fee is waived on award bookings! Here are some items included in the fee:
- Beach chair rental
- Beach umbrella rental
- Boogie board rental
- Sunscreen & after sun aloe gel
- Reusable Water Bottles
For the full list of inclusions, see the official site.
The equipment can be borrowed from the bellman on the ground level. Be sure to go early as it is first-come-first-serve.
One of the biggest complaints about this property is that it doesn't have a "real" pool. In fact, the hotel actually even calls it a "splash lounge" as it is only around ankle-deep.
There is, however, a pretty decently sized hot tub, so it could be a nice place to hang out. We didn't see other guests during our brief visit there, but again there probably isn't much reason to hang out here since the actual ocean is only 2 blocks away.
The property also has a gym, but I didn't get to check it out during my visit. Here's a picture from the official hotel website:
It was a real life-saver that the property provided sunscreen and after sun aloe as we had just landed and didn't get a chance to buy our own yet. Of the 4 hotels we stayed at, this was the only property that had it. Nice touch!
There's also water cooler stations on various levels where you can fill up your reusable water bottle.
Overall, I would say this is one of the best value for money (or points) if you are looking for a modern, clean and conveniently located place to stay in Waikiki with excellent service.
We loved the vibe of this place - just far enough from the main touristy areas to get some peace and quiet, but also close enough that we are always just blocks from the action. The resort fee also includes some of the most useful benefits unlike most other hotels. As long as you do not stay expecting oceanfront views, you won't be disappointed!
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