Royal Garden at Waikiki
Club Wyndham Royal Garden at Waikiki is on the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. This was an amazing opportunity for me to continue a dream vacation. It may be the dream vacation for you as well. Hawaii is on the bucket list of many people, especially if you grew up seeing it on so many great movies and TV shows.
Video by The Hawaii Vacation Guide
Day One Arrival from the Big Island
For us we were continuing our dream vacation after staying on the big island at Kona Resort and then Royal Sea Cliffs. Years before, I had come by myself and stayed at the Waikiki Beach Walk resort, so I was thrilled to be coming back to Waikiki.
Waikiki is truly one of the most amazing places on the planet. Without exception the beauty here is mind blowing. Sunsets here will make your heat warm, and your eyes tear up.
This resort is along the Ala Wai Canal, and offers gardens that combine with a truly tropical feeling to make a great travel destination. We were booked for a 1-bedroom presidential villa that had great views of both the city and the canal.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- DVD Player
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Concierge Services
- BBQ Grills
- Business Center/Fax
- Fitness Room
- Fitness Room
- Hot Tub
- Wi-Fi Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Laundry Facilities
- Swiming Pool Outdoor
- Sunbathing Area
As you can see the room had everything you could want for your vacation. The only thing I missed was a full stove but you have a microwave, and a toaster so breakfast for was possible and that is really all I ever cook on vacation other than reheating something anyway, so I was golden.
Here are some reviews of the resort from other guests.
The hotel was very nice and cozy. The people that worked there were friendly from the front desk to the valet team. Very considerate and accommodating. When requesting something from the front desk, it didn’t take long to get it. Our room view overlooked Waikiki and the mountains to the North of the island. We were close to the beach and Canal’s walking trail. Also walking distance to 24hr fitness if you’re concerned with working out while on vacation. Everything was walking distance away. Shopping, beach, surfing, park, dining and entertainment. Really enjoyed my stay there.
Booked ocean view, but it’s farther away from the beach, so it’s a small view between the ocean-front hotels. Room was spotless, and had lots of towels and amenities. Hotel staff were very friendly and available. The concierge tries try to sell you for a tour of their main property for a time share purchase, but we opted out. Room offered everything we needed, but was a short walk to downtown Waikiki.
Like the Waikiki Walk resort this resort too is not directly on the beach. If that is a must have for you there is always the Ko Olina Beach Club which I wrote about on my last visit to Hawaii. That has the best beach view and access likely in the World. This resort has its city and canal view charms however, and a great location for people who are active.
Here the views of the resort are the most impressive. Whether they are the lobby, or the royal gardens themselves. You will likely feel your jaw drop when you are checking in.
I think it is all about where you are most comfortable. If you want the beach to be the center of your vacation then you may want a resort on the beach. If you are into exploring the islands their selves then this may well be your ideal location. Being just a few blocks off the beach it is easier to get in and out off that the beachfront locations.
Staying here does have you within walking distance of Fort DeRussy Beach Park, and its amazing access to Waikiki Beach. The resort also gives you ready access to the beach with about a 15-minute walk. You also have closer access to dinning and many great shops.
After the flight over from the main island, which would be best described as a fast puddle jump, the drive to the resort was a piece of cake and the location is easy to find. With valley service that is easy and fairly cheap it was very painless.
Checking into the room everything here is clean and nice, as so many reviewers have mentioned. The balconies are small here which is a shame it would have been nice to be able to sit outside for breakfast, but you can get outside for fresh air and to see the view.
Here an ocean view is just that a view kind of between the buildings of the ocean. You may prefer a city or canal view here to a room with the ocean view. The canal view room gives you a nice look at the canal and the gardens too. Our room had the best of both the city and canal which was nice.
Once we were settled in it was time for us to find somewhere to eat dinner nearby. I did not want to get in a car and go somewhere I wanted something close we could walk to.
Nearby was a Tommy Bahama Restaurant. I knew about the Hawaiian shirts and clothing, and even the interior decorating stuff, but I had no idea they had a restaurant. Once I saw that I was like hey, lets try it out. My gal pal was game so that is where we went.
Here they have great surf and turf available. The crab cakes were as good as home and with us being from the Chesapeake Bay area that is saying something. Here the crab tasted a little sweeter if that makes sense. Both are good but this crab just seemed sweeter than the blue crab some home.
The steak here was also very good. Turns out Tommy can do more than just Hawaiian shirts, who knew?
We also found you can jump on the Waikiki Trolley all around this area so you do not have to walk as much. This took us to a cool little Tiki bar next, and we had a few more cocktails that we should have to be riding a trolly much less walking, but it was fun. We managed to make it back to the resort just fine, and back to the room.
They called the Tiki Bar Arnold’s but they do not have a website up at the moment or I would share it here. The staff was , but it was just a hole in the wall kind of place with a Tiki theme.
Day Two Club Wyndham Royal Garden at Waikiki
I am a sucker for all things historical, so after breakfast and before the beach I wanted to check out the Hawaii Army Museum. Thankfully, I had stored up enough winning nice guy credits at this point to get my friend to agree.
First things first though, we both wanted breakfast. In part to put off too much time in the sun with slight hangovers, and also to help with the hangovers. For breakfast we chose Eggs N Things we had seen it when going into Tommy Bahama and it looked good. I have a sixth sense for breakfast joints.
Now things are more expensive in Hawaii, and that includes breakfast. Here the food was very good but $40 a person all in seemed a bit much for something that was not a buffet. But again, I was in a travel capital of the World so I must continue to adjust my brain a little. Maybe I noticed it more because it was breakfast and, in my head, I think “how fancy can breakfast food be”. To be fair, I freely spend that much on a brunch buffet or breakfast buffet anywhere so truly it is not a big deal. It just struck me at the moment. The food was good though,, and it was a great start to the day.
I think I made out OK however because the next stop the army museum has free admission and was great. I am not sure she got as much out of it as me, but the AC did us both good after breakfast and still nursing the slight hangovers.
One thing they did here that I think every military museum should do is share the Medal of Honor winners from the local area around the museum. This has the list of MOH recipients from all of Hawaii, and it was damned impressive.
After a quick visit to the museum, we hit the beach right there, which was amazing.
Check out some reviews of the beach here.
Really nice beach next to a convenient recreation center if you want to escape the sand and lay on grass. It’s in front of the Army museum. The beach was also nice because there was a good amount of non-rocky sandy area. This beach is a 2-minute walk from a beach bar (it’s illegal to drink on the beach) on one side and some restaurants and a Starbucks in the other. Surfboard, kayak and water bike rental is available next to the park. There’s also a small pier nearby that’s a really cool spot for pictures.
Along Waikiki Beach, I like Fort DeRussy Beach the best. It’s less crowded and has a quiet atmosphere. And beach services are close at hand.
This is a great Waikiki beach behind Fort DeRussy Army Museum, that doesn’t feel you are in the middle of a mass of tourists.
Guys, I agree with the reviews here. This is a hidden gem that most vacationers for whatever reason just do not go to. To me this is like walking just a little way down the beach on 7-mile beach in Grand Cayman instead of staying right by the main resorts.
Here you feel like you have the entire beach to yourself, instead of packing in like sardines on the beach by the major hotels and resorts that are on the ocean front. Take the Waikiki Beach Trolly to get close then just walk the last block to the museum it is a no brainer for your vacation.
Until sunset we spent most of the day here by ourselves but close to a local beach pub, and also restrooms, and everything you needed. What a score. Now once it got time for sunset, even this beach fills up for the scene. But that was kind of cool to be around others because of the shared emotion.
I tell you, the sunset here is so amazing that it is emotional to watch. For me it was like watching a perfect movie in the theater and everyone cries and claps during the rolling credits. Here it was mother nature, or God’s credits rolling on your perfect day in Hawaii, truly amazing.
I think having such easy access to this amazing stretch of the beach made even me (a true beach nut) OK with not staying right on the beach.
Day Three Time to Explore Oahu
Being someone who has traveled so much now, I finally see the value in paying a little extra for a guided tour of areas. The main value is how much you can see in a day. That planned itinerary is worth a little investment to get you taken to the main things to see. Today I booked us both on a tour of the main points of interest around the island. It was 9 hours long and included many of the main sites.
What to expect on the tour
– Kahala, Hawaii’s Beverly Hills
– Hananuma Bay – Halona Blowhole
– Byodo-In Temple (Free with tour purchase)
– Tropical Farms (Free coffee and macadamia nut samples)
– Fumis Shrimp Truck (other food options available)
– Big wave surf Sunset Beach – Snorkeling at Secret Turtle Beach (snorkel gear included)
– Historic Haleiwa Town
– Dole Plantation (tour purchase comes with FREE, whole Dole Pineapples! -Limit, one per party)
You will note a major thing that is missing is , and that is because I have done that before and it takes a half a day or 6 hours just for all of that. Since my friend had already done a military museum yesterday with me, and I have been there before, I opted out again on this trip. If you have not been it is worth going on if you are a fan of history like I am, and our nation’s military. The oil still comes up from the Arizona and standing there is truly a moving experience.
One stop you may want to go back to on your trip once you go is the Dole Plantation it is just that neat, large, and engaging. But this part of your day-long trip may be enough of a glimpse for some of you.
There are other tours you can go on as well. One that people love is to spend most of the day on the North Shore then spend about 30% of the trip shopping and viewing other locations. I wanted my friend to see more than just the North Shore so we went for this longer and more diverse day trip. Essentially for less than $90 each, you get transportation, guides, and preferred access to the sites listed. It is a solid value. Just bring a little extra money for the food trucks or additional snacks at Dole Plantation since their pineapple deserts are great.
Our day started with a free pick up from the hotel at 7:45 AM or so, and then we were brought back after an amazing 9 hours later that late afternoon.
The hotel pickup and drop-off we’re free and boy after all the walking a lifesaver.
Check out the reviews of this provider and their tour guides to see many happy customers. Our guide was Tyrone. I do not know why I did not expect Tyrone to be our guide. Some part of me expected a large island looking guy or gal. But Tyrone was great. He was funny and truly cared about the guests in his care.
Some people just have the gift for hospitality. Tyrone was one of those people. I could see him as a cruise director, how engaging he was and how much he knew about the islands. Sometimes when you are traveling, it is just one or two people that make or break a vacation experience. This was one of those people, but in the best way.
I am a pretty easy-going person, but this is just someone that you want to like because of his personality. Awesome guide and experience.
We arrived back at the hotel before sunset, so we headed back to the beach for that and then off to dinner.
Day Four Before Leaving the Islands
Before leaving Hawaii, I wanted to wake for a sunrise. They are still nice here though form this side of the island, not as amazing or life changing as the sunsets. Then afterwards go get some breakfast. Something simple. There is an IHOP near the resort.
It is hard to believe that this vacation really happened. I stayed at 3 resorts over a little over a week in the Hawaiian Islands. Both on the big island, then on Oahu.
Ahead of us waited 16 hours of flights that would feel like 20 since you did not have the expectation of the vacation of a lifetime to look forward to.
Maybe this time I would be able to sleep some. Since the first leg was very long, I think I may try to take some melatonin or something else for sleep. It is not pressurized air, so maybe I can use my portable CPAP on the flight to prevent me from snoring. I have never tried that before. I will have to ask.
If you want to save a fortune on your trip of a lifetime to the Hawaiian islands, book the room through TZort.