REVIEW: Hyatt Centric Waikiki, Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and Hyatt Place Waikiki

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UPDATED: February 1, 2024

NOTE: This entry was originally written in November 2021 (in the height of COVID pandemic). We have since visited Oahu two more times (Feb. 2022 and Feb 2023)

Oh, what is it with me and research? Well, I took one for the team. And when I say team, I meant those of us who belong to Team Hyatt. Ever since we became Hyatt Globalists, we’ve been on this quest of trying many properties linked under the Hyatt umbrella.

Oahu recap

We just got back from a weeklong getaway to Hawaii, this time we visited the island of Oahu. We were just on Maui last summer. Hawaii is an easy quick getaway from us West Coasters. A quick 5-hour flight from Los Angeles, and we’re back home, yes, Hawaii feels like home. We know our way around, we have our favorite places to eat, and we love taking on new adventures.

For this trip, we decided to give all three Hyatt properties a try, all three properties on Oahu were all located in the world-famous Waikiki Beach. To be perfectly honest, staying around Waikiki is not really our style. We like venturing away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. However, Waikiki is home to many fine properties on the island. We had options to use our free night certificates with Marriott and IHG. But if there’s one thing you need to remember with staying in Waikiki, you are subject to being charged parking fees (averaging $50 per day), and resort fees. Frankly, I didn’t want to pay nearly $100 per day for parking and resort fees. For this vacation, we flew for FREE using points, and only paid $251 for a weeklong car rental, so to pay $700 ($100 of parking and resort fees x 7 days) was not part of my DNA.


Solution? Use your Hyatt Globalist perk

That’s right, as Hyatt Globalists, when we booked with points and/or free night certificates, parking is waived and so are the resort fees. We could get upgraded to a suite or a  better room with views, and take advantage of early check-in and late checkout of 4pm. Some properties offer free breakfast, and others have access to a Club Lounge for Globalists where you could avail of free food and free drinks. So it was a no-brainer, we decided to book with Hyatt, and not just one Hyatt hotel, but we decided to stay on all three Hyatt properties in Waikiki.

Not a Hyatt Globalist?

Not to worry. If you don’t have status with Hyatt such as Hyatt Globalist, I tried to summarize my experience in all three properties and gave them my fairest assessment. So here we go!

Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach

First visit: November 2021

We booked a total of three nights and this property – two nights at the beginning of our stay in Waikiki, and then another night towards the end of our visit.

Average standard room rate $226

  • Resort fee $33 + tax (beach chair/towels, water bottles, workstation, fitness center, yoga, lei-making, access to borrowing GoPro)
  • Parking – $42/day (self-parking) with in and out privelege.

How we paid for this room: We used our free night certificates. This property is a Category 4, and we planned it well in advance to ensure that we used our Cat 4 free night certificates at top destinations, and this was one of them.

Location – this property is not beachfront, but you could be at the nearest beach by walking 5-10 minutes. Right outside the property, you will have access to many different dining options such as Paia Fish Market, Basalt, Starbucks, Musubi & Bento Iyasume, Marugame Udon, and the very popular Heavenly Island Style restaurant. You are also close to Ross Dress for Less and Nordstrom Rack, excellent for those who love to shop and still be on a budget. It’s also just a block away from International Marketplace..

Parking – $42/day (self-parking) with in and out privelege at this property, self parking is available and is included at no extra charge since we are Globalists and we used our certificate. The parking is on the 6th level of the parking structure, and you could take the elevator to the lobby or directly to your room from there.

Lobby – once you enter the building, you’d have to take the elevator up to the hotel lobby/front desk located on the sixth floor. There were two counters for you to be assisted, and we were assisted rather quickly. There’s a fitness center, a bar (I don’t believe it was open during COVID), a couple of computers and printer for the guests to use.

Outdoors – Right outside are cabanas, hot tub, and a “walking” pool – not a real swimming pool, more like a place for you to lounge and get your feet wet.


Breakfast buffet was closed due to the pandemic. As a Hyatt Globalist, this perk was a huge miss. The hotel was only offering 500 World of Hyatt points per day. Honestly, the 500 points does not compare to what the breakfast would’ve normally covered. For a stay at this property, 2 adults + 2 children could get breakfast at no cost. 500 points does not even begin to cover the breakfast for one individual.

Our rooms – The free night certificate gets you a standard room but our Globalist status got us suite upgrades.

  • City View Suite Upgrade – Quite spacious with a separate sitting area with a sofa sleeper and sliding door for a privacy. It over looks the city and has gorgeous mountain views as well. Our room did not have a bathtub, just a regular rain shower. There was a desk for me set my computer for me to work on. There’s a fridge, a safe, and a Keurig option. I love this room, and the views from this room. It was also easily accessible once we got out of the elevator.

  • Oceanview suite upgrade – we came back to Hyatt Centric a few days later and stayed another night using another one of our free night certificates. This time, we were given another suite upgrade with a little bit of ocean views (a few buildings were in the way to give us full ocean views). Our room was located on the 10th floor, and I was told that if we had a higher room, we’d have better views of the ocean.

Added perks – the hotel provides beach chairs, umbrellas, and beach towels at no extra charge.

  • Hits: the rooms we were given were beautiful, the dining and shopping selections were nearby and very convenient
  • Misses: lack of breakfast, lack of having a “real” swimming pool for such a beautiful space

Second visit: February 2023

This was a very last-minute booking. We stayed here on a Sunday night, and we just booked the day before. We found an award space that allowed us to use our FREE night award certificate good for properties up to a Category 4. We checked in around 3pm, and we were advised that the hotel has been fully committed with all of their suites. We were still given an upgrade – high floor with two beds (a king and queen bed). I expecting a “basic looking room” but was pleasantly surprised at the amount of space the room provided. It looked rather long which made the room even more spacious. We had views of the mountain and city.

Breakfast perks for Globalists have not returned. What was different? Instead of giving us 500 points back, Globalists are now given 1,000 points back in lieu of breakfast. It may not be the best tradeoff in value when it comes to breakfast, but I’ll take the extra 500 points.

We forgot how much we love this property. It’s centrally located to many of the places we wanted to visit. The staff was courteous, and the place was squeaky clean. Yes, we weren’t given a suite upgrade this time around, but it was not a deal breaker. Our room suited us perfectly fine.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach

It’s hard not to review this property knowing that just a couple of months ago, we stayed at Hyatt Regency Maui. It was night and day, but I need to remind myself that each property is different. I’m going to try and remain very fair with my feedback.

Average standard room rate $234

  • Resort fee $45 + tax
  • Parking $50

How we paid for this room: We decided to give this property a try even if we had to pay in cash. We couldn’t use our free night certificate. If you booked using points, you would need at least 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night. There’s a resort fee  of $45 and parking fee of $50 per day. We booked it using our Healthcare discount of $149 per night. The resort fees were waived, and during our check in, the lady who assisted us also gave us parking vouchers.

Location – there are two towers for this property that is facing Kuhio Beach. This is also close to the famous statue of Duke Kahanamoku. The beach is right across the street. Depending on when you plan on going, I could see this area being busy. We went during the pandemic, when tourism was halted and was just starting to pick up. It didn’t feel that crowded at all.

Parking – we were directed to self-park, and the parking structure is right across the street. We had to take a ticket stub when we entered the structure, and before leaving, we had to use the ticket machine to pay for our parking fees (in our case, instead of using our credit card, we slid our parking vouchers which covered the payment amount due (at no charge to us). Not gonna lie. But I dreaded parking our car. We had to drive up to the 5th or 6th level where the non-valet spaces were located. The drive up and down this structure was so tight, and you had to be very careful to avoid other cars that are passing you by. The parking spaces were also quite tight. Parking in Waikiki, in general. is like that, not the most generous of parking structures. When compared to my experience at Hyatt Regency Maui, our booking came with free valet parking, and it made everything so easy.

Our oceanfront king room – We were upgraded to a King Oceanfront Room. A family suite was available (if we used a suite upgrade award) but we were only there for a couple of nights and decided to just stick with the ocean front room. It was roomy enough for the two of us. Once we got to our floor, as we walked out, it truly felt that the hotel needed a facelift. Once we walked in to our room, things were better. The room was nicely updated, ot was spacious since it was just the two us. It’s a good thing that the views more than made up for these shortcomings of the hotel needing a facelift. We had great views of the ocean from our room. At night though, while we were on the 20th floor, we could still hear loud music playing. While it didn’t prevent us from sleeping, I could only imagine how loud it must be for those in the lower floors



No breakfast included, however, since we’re Hyatt Globalist, we had access to the Regency Club lounge on the 3rd floor with free breakfast options. (details below)

Regency Club – We were looking forward to this and will not lie to you, but we were underwhelmed. The staff was wonderful – nothing wrong there. Again, this is coming from a guy who just recently visited another sister property, Hyatt Regency Maui. During breakfast, they had the crispiest bacon….fresh fruits, and quite a few breakfast choices. They were served to us cafeteria-style The property un Waikiki simply lacked the opportunity to present their food well. The Maui property was busy but efficiently ran. I was just disappointed that on our two days of breakfast at the Waikiki property, pancakes were served one day (no meat choices), and french toast the next day (again, no meat choices). To be honest, the pancakes and french toast weren’t even hot or warm enough to melt my butter. I had to place the butter next to my hot cup of coffee to melt the butter. Yes, Hyatt Regency Maui spoiled me. They had sausages, bacon, eggs, and they all just looked so appetizing. Plus, they were served when they were warm. The breakfast in Waikiki was already pre-packaged, it was already room temperature.

Outdoors – on the 3rd level, there was a pool and a hot tub. Just a rectangular shaped pool, not huge at all. After all, the ocean is just across the street. If Hyatt is reading this, I think this could’ve been another great opportunity to capitalize on being an oceanfront property and make an oasis out of this pool area. There was no wow-factor in this pool area. Just a suggestion.

Added perks – the hotel provided beach chairs, umbrellas, and beach towels at no extra charge.

  • Hits: location, location, location – that’s what you’re paying for…breathtaking, convenient access to the beach
  • Misses: older rooms, older everything, pool area could be better, Regency Club needs to serve better food selections

Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach

For our last Hyatt visit, we moved to Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. We booked this hotel just two days before our stay. We opted for a very early check-in at 10am.

Average standard room rate $197

  • Resort fee $25+ tax – which includes beach towel, beach chairs, boogie board
  • Parking valet $45
  • Breakfast included – hot breakfast (details below)

How we paid for this room: We used 12K points per night. We could’ve also used our FREE night certificate  since this was only a Category 3. But we decided to reserve the use of our free night certificate on properties that go up to a Category 4. We had the points so we just booked using 12K points.

Location: This is just a five-minute walk to the nearest beach. It’s located in the tail end of the strips of hotel in Waikiki closer to Diamond Head. This is just a few minutes drive to Rainbow Drive In for excellent local food, and Leonard’s Malasadas.

Our room: We were given a “partial” ocean view room with two queen beds and a sofa sleeper (good for up to 5 guests). Why two queen beds when there were only two of us? We checked in quite early (around 10am), and the room that was available had ocean views with two queen beds….it was on our last night, and it’s a Hyatt Place, we had an idea what to expect with our room.

Our room with “ocean views”

Parking: Valet parking was included at no cost for Hyatt Globalists (no self parking). Otherwise, valet parking for non-Globalist is $45.

Breakfast: Hot breakfast served and packed for you (eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, coffee, juice, yogurt, fruits). Perfect for budget-minded travelers (especially, families).  Staff – super friendly and helpful. Honestly, I prefer the breakfast here than the ones served at HR Waikiki (pancake, hard boiled egg, cheese, fruits)….and no breakfast at Hyatt Centric Waikiki. Hyatt Place won me over on this!

Added perks: Free use of beach chairs and beach towels.

Outdoors: The pool is nothing to write home about….reminds me of an old apartment style rectangular pool.

Which one do I prefer

First of all, I was so glad that we got to try all three properties. Here’s my take. We all travel differently, and we all have different needs. If you want ocean front views and easiest access to the beach…Hyatt Regency. For well-appointed rooms and great foodie selection right outside the hotel – Hyatt Centric. For lowest possible amount of points needed, and decent hot breakfast and good enough to fit up to 5 guests – Hyatt Place.

For this recent trip to Oahu where it was just me and my wife, we found ourselves hanging around Waikiki 30% of the time. The rest of the time, we spent outside of Waikiki. Mind you, we are not first-timers to Hawaii nor to Oahu. And I mentioned this because we had no need to savor every single moment in Waikiki. So my experience or my expectation could be far different for those who are visiting for the first time. They might like the idea of hanging around Waikiki more. For us, we love experiencing more of Hawaii by venturing away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.

If ever we return with our family, a stay at the Hyatt Place at 12,000 points per night that could easily fit 5 of us will do just fine. The hotel is just a few minutes away from the nearest beach. Chances are, we will use the hotel as a place to sleep, shower, rest. We will most likely be out and about exploring the island.

Would I stay at the other two properties? Without hesitation….yes! I’m still leaning towards choosing Hyatt Centric over Hyatt Regency for its close proximity to the types of food we love to eat were near the Hyatt Centric. And perhaps, if ever the Regency Club at  HR Waikiki goes back to some kind of normalcy where they are serving food that aren’t pre-packed, perhaps I’d be willing to give them a try again.

Which credit cards could you use to book a stay at Hyatt?

So the question, how does one earn Hyatt points or book with Hyatt free night certificates? You don’t have to be a frequent traveler to earn these points. In my case, it’s all about having the right set of credit cards. The following credit cards could make this easily possible:

  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card
  • World of Hyatt Business Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
  • Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Chase Freedom Flex®

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for taking one for the team! Your research was super helpful as I have been planning our next trip to Hawaii (one night in Oahu and 8 nights in Maui) in October.

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