I had a chance to try out the Hyatt Centric in Honolulu and my oh my, how disappointing it was.
If you are considering booking travel or signing up for a new credit card please click here. Both support LiveAndLetsFly.com.
If you haven’t followed us on Facebook or Instagram, add us today.
Status Run/Mileage Run to Honolulu
For an end of the year mileage run, I took a very long way home on a business trip and flew from Houston to Honolulu. I stayed one night and then returned. For my troubles, I retained 1K status for next year, added about 8,000 miles to my account and had a chance to try out the Hyatt Centric Honolulu.
In the end, I wish I had just used a Same-Day Change and turned right back around.
The property is a high rise in the Waikiki area, though not on the beach. The hotel is converted from an office building and is generally unremarkable from the outside.
Phone: +1 808 237-1234
At checkin I was upgraded to a “City View King suite.” This is the type of suite listed as “open plan” which means “not really a suite.” Let’s see what others consider to be the definition of a suite.
(Hotel) Suite: A suite in a hotel or other public accommodation such as a cruise ship denotes, according to most dictionary definitions, connected rooms under one room number. Hotels may refer to suites as a class of accommodations with more space than a typical hotel room, but technically speaking there must be more than one room to constitute a true suite.
To Hyatt Centric Honolulu’s credit, there was a second room in 1202 but someone should let them know that the smaller room at the back away from the door should be the bedroom and not the sitting room. I am sure the shape of the building played some part in its design but the second room is useless and thus it’s not really a suite.
The bathroom was nice but missed a couple of items that could have advanced it above just ok. The shower had plenty of room but didn’t have a rain shower head. The toilet had a separate water closet, but the toilet didn’t have an Asian bidet seat which surprised based on the price point and number of visitors from abroad.
The desk was very shallow and forced me to take my two laptops to the bed because they couldn’t be opened at more than a 90-degree angle. There was just one unoccupied power plug at the desk either (how does that happen?) Next to the bed, outlets were also hard to come by, and those available meant only one device could be plugged in or USBs – not both.
The service was friendly, but the breakfast staff couldn’t keep the buffet items full or tables cleaned. I counted 23 tables (splitting out four tops) with three of them occupied, every single table including the one I type this from, was dirty and none in the process of being cleaned, just content with them dirty. Most of the food was dried out and stale or otherwise needed replenishment with more than an hour and a half left before breakfast ended. The selection was anaemic. It was above a Hyatt Place, but barely.
This should have been the area in which the hotel excelled. But when a Honolulu hotel can’t properly stock pineapple, it’s a lack of effort because it’s certainly not a lack of availability. Microwaved eggs, frozen potato hashbrowns, a bird indoors eating directly from the cereal dispenser and not a clean table in the room – there’s just no excuse.
The property features a narrow pool and deck area on the 9th-floor reception. I would imagine there’s room for 30 adults on the deck before people start just laying towels on the wood decking. There’s a hot tub at one end and you can barely see the ocean just a few blocks away. The hotel is in the Waikiki area, but not on Waikiki beach.
It’s nothing to write home about.
At $250 per night plus $33/night resort fee, the cash rate is at around the same price as the Regency and about 10-15% more expensive than the Hyatt Place. However, there are plenty of other hotels in the area that deliver more for less money or at least deliver more for the same amount of money. I won’t be back.
What’s My Gripe?
For my stay and other dates I quickly checked, the Hyatt Centric is the most expensive, the newest and most premium hotel from the chain in Honolulu. I arrived excited and happy to be there. I left annoyed and ripped off. I expected premium and received “Select Service.”
For what it’s worth, I search a dozen random dates in the near future and the long term and couldn’t find a single night where there was availability for award space. Come on, you’re telling me you’re already booked solid for Tuesday, October 13th, 2020? And Thursday, November 12th? And Wednesday, January 22nd? Feel free to post your Hyatt Centric Honolulu award night availability in the comments, otherwise, I am pretty confident that in yet another case of this hotel believing they are above their station and out of compliance with the program for availability.
I think what annoyed me the most is that it became clear that they were happy to tick the boxes but not interested in adding real value. The resort fee included a bunch of stuff I already received with my status but the others you’d need a decoder ring to enjoy. There’s beach equipment and GoPros available to borrow as part of the resort charge, lobby filter coffee, local and long-distance calls, and fish you can request in your room (Betta Fish Buddies.) They advertise they offer S’mores, but it’s only on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm. Even a Courtyard in Pennsylvania is going to offer that. Morning yoga is offered twice weekly, lei making on Sunday afternoons at 2 pm, and “Hurricane Popcorn” offered twice a week. Including refillable water bottles in your room with a water filtration station offered on just three of the floors is certainly not a benefit, and one I would never pay for. This is a junk fee and just one more insult to paying guests.
If the Hyatt Centric Honolulu wants to mail it in, that’s fine, it’s Hawaii and Waikiki beach – they will fill their hotel. But they shouldn’t act like this property is above what it is. It’s insulting to people who spend money and points. I should have stayed at the Sheraton.
Have you stayed in this property? Did you have a better or worse experience than I did? What do you think?
You are just extremely picky. That hotel has the best service , nice clean comfy rooms , feels small instead of the massive resorts and as a Globalist I didn’t have to pay the resort fee. Breakfast has fresh made POG and they will make you eggs as well. By far my favorite hotel for exploring Waikiki. Next time try one of the big resorts. I’m sure you’ll walk away not feeling ripped off. I go to Waikiki to swim in the ocean and it’s only a 4 minute walk away. I’ll take the walk then deal with some of the massive resorts. Also the hot tub on the deck is awesome. I was looking and the Centric is always priced lower than the resorts. Usually it’s the best value, go during December and yes you’ll pay $250. Also only 15,000 points… can’t beat that over $.02 per point after the tax and waived your resort fee. If Globalist they also honor free valet parking
I didn’t driver during my visit so the free parking isn’t an adder for me, and while I am Globalist, not every reader is. I was also on a paid stay.
I know Oahu very well having lived there from 1979 to 1990. I usually do AirBnB and hit a breakfast Buffett at certain hotels that I know will not check for a room key or ID to use in their restaurant. Just dress nice and smile.
First world problems
Free valet parking … on award stays
@ Kyle — Was that a free upgrade? If so, that’s an awesome upgrade at this property, even for a Globalist. Are you Globalist? If so, why are you complaining about the resort fee?
Like it or not, it is a well-known fact that this hotel basically doesn’t offer award space, so I also don’t understand that complaint.
The complaint about breakfast is valid, and you should have complained loudly, as that is wholly unacceptable and some training or a manager getting off their but and helping sounds necessary.
It was a Globalist upgrade, but while I am a Globalist just 12,000 or so (http://bit.ly/2JCWuee) are. Most readers are not so they should know what they are getting for their money, or in this case, aren’t.
Not offering award space is out of compliance with the program so being known for not offering award space doesn’t make it ok.
There’s an Enterprise around the corner too, made for easy zipping in and out to North Shore. It’s not a perfect hotel, but it’s newer, modern, and clean. Your spending ~$280 in Waikiki for a hotel room that’s pretty solid. Where are you going to find that elsewhere in that area? Good luck.
Hawaii in general is a big rip off. It’s convenient for me living on the west coast, but cash prices are expensive. Points and miles are the only way to enjoy Hawaii, but Hyatt availability is poor in general. I don’t think the service was that poor for that type of hotel, but that it was completely overpriced.
I find great Hyatt award availability generally and found excellent value in Hawaii at Hilton Waikoloa in Kona for less money. (http://bitly.com/2F4VLy2)
I think you’re being insanely picky in this review. I visited this hotel recently and had a fantastic free breakfast. It was tasty and very filling and I felt welcome. Full disclosure, I am a bird and only tried the cereal.
Do you disagree with my assessment of the breakfast based on the images? I felt they spoke for themselves.
Funny, I was just working on a post on the same topic (Kyle and I don’t always talk about his posts in advance). I was also disappointed last month and found the breakfast particularly lacking.
You missed his last sentence.
It’s a good hotel… But it isn’t a resort. I stayed for a week in August on vacation and was super disappointed. My biggest issue was the pool. It’s a joke. Even getting past it’s 2-4 depth, which I can overcome, it still sucks. Everyday it was overrun with children splashing everywhere. I couldn’t even sit in the chair and listen to music with my feet wet because the pool design was a de facto kids pool. Also, far away from the beach and it’s a pain. I’ll never return again
I didn’t have the same experience with children at the pool, it was abandoned, likely out of lack of interest. Another commenter said it was a four-minute walk to the beach. That wasn’t my experience and it sounds like that wasn’t yours either.
I had a similar experience there. Although they perform a Hawaiian ceremony In the morning that was interesting. A better value is the Regency Waikiki right across the street from the beach. Lots going on in the courtyard- hula dancers, lei making, sharpee tattoos, tastings, fun. You’re in walking distance of everything.
This property like many in the past 10 years are poorly converted old hotels/office/apartments “thrown together” to garner a “flag” This property is no better/worse than the Courtyard, Hyatt Place, Laylow or say the Courtyard in Kona. My company works in these “reflags” I see how they’re done in most cases poorly/cheaply done. Witness the Courtyard has been “refreshed” twice and still a dump. If in Japan I can see closets for rooms but Honolulu ? Nope.
Operaters in the islands have enjoyed unprecedented occupancy levels so the need to “exceed’ expectations is just not there and until there’s a down turn and it’s coming service will continue to stink. I don’t think Kyle was being overly picky frankly whether your a paying guest or on points ( don’t forget you earned those points) one expects a certain level of service. I have in the past checked out of a hotel in Honolulu and walked over to another because of lousy service
Good review Kyle – that breakfast looked awful. I find most of the major brand hotels in Hawaii have service levels like this, unless you are staying at the ultra premium properties, IMHO most of these brand hotels bank on travelers from the mainland that will accept the poor level of service just to be in Hawaii. For the most part these travelers are not loyal customers.
To me Hawaii has always had a high opinion of itself. True it is a beautiful place, but with the world getting smaller with air connectivity, Hawaii has lots of competition now, which is why I avoid the place. It’s expensive, overrun with tourists, has a crummy-outdated airport (HNL) and I find myself wanting a vacation when I leave as its anything but relaxing.
Again, just my opinion.
Always great to hear from you Mike, and I believe we agree regarding Honolulu in particular.
Gotta chill brah, its Hawaii not the mainland. If you want a good breakfast in Waikiki, go over to the ABC and buy a fresh papaya or mango…
Naw, dog – the Hilton Waikoloa in Kona serves a dynamite breakfast for free to Hilton Gold (everyone) and Diamond members (almost everyone due to status via their credit card) or it costs $25/person. (http://bit.ly/2qdp0I5) It was “fire.” Hyatt Regency Guam at least had fresh-pressed juice, clean tables, and no birds eating from the buffet despite having most of the doors open. It’s not a mainland vs. islands thing, it’s not a Hyatt thing, it’s a Hyatt Centric Waikiki thing mailing-it-in thing.
Da kine. Try the Kahala’s or the Ala Moana’s or the Prince’s ono breakfast next time…
Aloha and hau’oli makahiki hou!
Stayed there shortly after it opened, and it was ok. I enjoy the regency much more than the Centric, just for onsite facilities. The only time I ever feel the crowd of the Regency is if I check in around 3pm.
I appreciate how brutal and to the point this site is. Whether you agree with ‘em or not, Kyle tells u what he thinks and immediately so, without creating scroll-through clickbait or tripe designed to appease affiliate links.
We used two separate free night certificates to stay there. Seems like the system requires two night minimum, which meant World of Hyatt agents needed to call the hotel and get them to allow the two back to back night awards. Not sure 2 night minimums are allowed under Hyatt award rules but regardless it was a pain and made a lot of work for various employees. The details of your stay reflect our experience staying there though people can differ on how much they care about each feature. Generally I think the standards of amenities in Waikiki Hotels are really out of whack. Most of the hotels have tiny pools and pool decks. Brands don’t signify the relative value and level of service that they do elsewhere. A limited service flag might routinely price higher than a normally higher flag of the same company (and actually be nicer). We haven’t stayed at the truly top end hotels but friends who have remark that some of those have become run down. Glad I didn’t pay for this stay, whish I hadn’t paid for the breakfast, but didn’t mind staying there.
Anyone that goes to Hawaii and stays at a Hyatt Centric deserves this type of service. I won’t go to Hawaii if not to stay a top hotels. It is a long trip and not a trip worth of a Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Hyatt Centric. If I cannot afford a top hotel in Hawaii, I stay home.
This review seems extremely picky to me. It seems like the author just decided to write a critical review no matter what happened. I count at least 12 pieces of pineapple on the serving tray. Is that not enough for you? The breakfast pics look way better to me than what I expected based on the review. Guess what–it’s not a Park Hyatt and you’re in the middle of a busy tourist district over a holiday week–the breakfast items are going to go fast and it won’t constantly be full.
Rooms look somewhat dull for a Centric, though.
Mark, I stated I was excited to be there and had high hopes for the brand. You count twelve pieces of pineapple? What about the rest of the empty platter in a deserted dining room with all dirty tables? It’s not a Park Hyatt, no, but if they charge more than the full-service Regency across the street I expect better. Also, despite when it was posted, this was not over a holiday weekend.
My point is that if you want to be a Hyatt Place, rebrand and be a Hyatt Place. If you want to position your property as a resort, then it needs to be a resort. This is going for nearly $300/night in one of the slowest weeks of the year. They do not release award space, and it’s not a “Hawai’i” thing. I link in another comment above a property in Kona that costs less and delivers more and is a true resort as well as a review of the Hyatt Regency Guam which is also away from the mainland.
I stayed 3 night in the same hotel back in Jan 2018. I enjoyed the stay. The room was clean and what I liked the most about the hotel is its location. It’s only 2-3 minutes walk from my favorite Udon restaurant, and also 2-3 minutes walk from the International Market Place. I did not try the breakfast there. I usually don’t eat breakfast at a hotel because of the price, and there are decent options at this hotel – Starbucks at ground level, and also a great bakery at the International Market Place. I guess we are looking for different things. For me cleaniess, comfort, location/convenience and friendliness of staff are the most important factor when I choose a hotel. My last experience at Hyatt Centric was quite good, and my whole family (my wife, my 2 teenagers and myself) enjoyed the stay.
Two more things to add: the hotel is also within walking distance to the beach and the shopping district, and across the street there is a food court in the basement of a building that has many great Japanese restaurants.