I’ll just cut right to the chase: this review of the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel is going to be brutal. I basically set my expectations too high for this property, which resulted in one of the most disappointing hotel experiences I’ve had in the past 12 months.

Yes, the lobby was really nice. But my room was small, depressingly drab, and horribly out of date. It even smelled a little.

Then again, this is a hotel just steps from Waikiki Beach, so I do realize that all of the complaining I’m about to do is a bit pretentious. But I’m going to do it anyway.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel exterior
Sure, it’s easy to confuse this with the county jail from the outside, but the palm trees (and proximity to the beach) made this a hotel I just had to try – at least once.

A full review of my one night stay at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel in Waikiki

With the word “princess” in the name, you would think that this would be a fairly luxurious property. Maybe not quite on par with the Moana Surfrider Hotel across the street (the hotel I stayed at the night before), but at least better than the very college dorm-like Vive Hotel just two blocks away

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there isn’t anything about this property that is at least remotely princess-like.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani main entrance
The main entrance. “Bob, the least you could have done was put on a floral shirt. We’re in Hawaii for cryin’ out loud!”


The Princess Kaiulani Hotel is located on Ka’iulani Ave between Kalakaua Ave and Kuhio Ave in Waikiki. The location is excellent IMHO, as it’s right in the middle of everything. Unfortunately, that’s the nicest thing I’ll have to say about my experience in this entire review.

sheraton princess kaiulani location map

The lobby (and checking in)

I could tell right away that this was a mid-range property as soon as I walked through the main entrance. Sure, everything was clean and nice, but the lobby didn’t even come close to impressing me as much as the one in the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel (on Kuhio Ave) did the first time I saw it.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani lobby
The lobby is really nice actually. A lot nicer than the room they gave me, that’s for sure.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani lobby design
It’s a huge lobby, btw. I’ve got nothing bad to say about this place yet!
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani lobby overview
At the very least, they did an amazing job of elevating my first impressions to unrealistic levels. I was still thinking that (based on how nice the lobby is) my room was going to epic (lol).

I didn’t have to wait very long to get checked in. There was nobody ahead of me, so I just mosied right up to the desk and was taken care of in an instant. The entire check in process took less than five minutes.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani check in desk
The check in desk. Maybe they could’ve put pictures of the rooms on that back wall just to set expectations better? I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud.

Getting to my room

My mood worsened the deeper I walked into this hotel. The elevators are located way back in a dark corner of the lobby, and I was getting that seedy (and somewhat creepy) “cheap hotel” vibe as I pressed the button for floor 16.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani guest room hallway
The guest room hallways are certainly less grand than the lobby, but it wasn’t enough to make my butt clench involuntarily.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room 1657
Room number 57 on the 16th floor was mine for the night.

Room overview

I’m not gonna lie. The very first words out of my mouth as soon as I open the door to my room were “ok then.” And it wasn’t even something I muttered silently under my breath either. It was a hearty expression of disappointment straight from my gut – an instant (and brutally honest) reaction to everything that I was seeing.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room entryway
Ok, I know this doesn’t look as bad as I’m saying it was, but I was just hoping for more based on how much I paid for this (which would surely make your butt clench).

The room was fairly small, very dark, and it looked like it hadn’t been updated since 1995.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room with twin beds
I booked a room with twin beds (because I’m an indecisive dork who likes having choices).
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room overview
I know. You’re probably thinking I’m a pompous idiot for being dissatisfied with this room, but stay with me here. You’ll understand soon enough…
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room size
It was a little small (which, if you haven’t heard, is what she said).
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani large flat screen tv
What was not small was the TV. It’s huge! Which…ironically enough is something she never says.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani large pillows
On the subject of size, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention these big honkin’ pillows.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani in room phone
If one yellowed plastic phone wasn’t enough…
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room telephone
How about two? I will say that the fact there are two phones in this room (mere feet apart) negates the yellowed plastic slightly.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel room furniture
Stepping back a bit reveals the most beat up furniture I’ve ever seen in a hotel room. I don’t know…maybe they were going with a vintage vibe and I totally misunderstood.
Scott Leazenby taking pics of Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel room
FYI: when I take pics of a hotel room the same way I take pics of a scary looking insect, you just know it’s not good.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room materials and textiles
That said, some of the textures and materials in this room were on point.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room details
I think they just gave up when they got to this side of the room.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room chair
Pro tip: this chair will come in real handy when you start hyperventilating after realizing how much you spent for this room. Yup, I can speak from experience when I tell you that you’ll feel weak in the knees right before you start gasping for air.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room review
I discovered that best way to recover from one of those moments is to turn right around and look at the nicer part of the room.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room door
Knowing that I could make a break for the door was reassuring as well.
Getting pics for my Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel review
I paid how much for this??
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani room closet
Of course the coffee maker and the refrigerator is in the closet. Why wouldn’t they be?
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani refrigerator
Good news: the refrigerator was nice and cold. Bad news: there was a fresh pubic hair in the bottom of it. At least I hope it was fresh.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani in room coffee machine
I didn’t check to see how many pubic hairs were in the coffee maker.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani closet amenities
And yes – the closet consisted of hangers, an iron, and an ironing board as well.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel floor plan
Because I know there’s at least one of you who wanted to see the floor plan.

The view

The saving grace about this room was (by far) was the view from the balcony. I had a west facing room, which featured a slight view of the ocean if I hung way out over the railing (and cocked my head to the left). I’ve certainly had worst views from the hotel room before. This was nice!

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel room city view
It’s kind of amazing how much nicer this room got once I threw open the drapes.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani private balcony
This was a “city view” room, which definitely lived up to its name. I like the private balcony!
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani view from room
This is the view looking towards the west.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani view of ocean from room
There’s a nice view of the ocean as well (depending on courageous you are).
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani view from 16th floor
This is the view looking straight down. My apologies to those of you who suffer from vertigo.

The bathroom

The best way to describe the bathroom in my room at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani is to say that it reminded me of a typical roadside motel bathroom. It was kind of dark, extremely beige, and very much out of style.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani bathroom door
Nope, what I’m about to show you isn’t going to change your mind about this hotel. The bathroom is pretty much on par with the rest of the room unfortunately.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani toilet
Hello to everyone who just typed “Sheraton Princess Kaiulani toilet” into Google just now.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani bathroom vanity
This sink looks like a pretty good place to wash the sand out of your shorts to me.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani bathroom amenities
The Hawaiian Tropic amenities are a nice touch I guess.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani bathroom tub and shower
Here’s the tub / shower. I told you this was going to be basic!
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani shower head
A shower head fitting for a princess. No, they didn’t tell me to say that.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani bathroom overview
And that’s pretty much it. I can’t think of anything else to say about this bathroom other than the fact that I appreciate its cleanliness.

Restaurants, bars, and lounges

Another nice(ish) thing about the Princess Kaiulani is the lounge area just off the main lobby. And I’ve got good news: there are many places on-site to sit and get some work done in quiet solitude.

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani lobby lounge and pool
At least there are some nice lounge areas in the lobby to escape to when you can’t stand your room any longer.

The pool area seemed fun and lively. The bars and restaurants looked nice, although I didn’t get a chance to try any of them. I mean, this is Waikiki for crying out loud – why eat (and drink) at the hotel with so many great bars and restaurants within a few minutes walking distance?

Pros and cons of the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel

If it wasn’t obvious by now, there’s basically no chance in hell that I will ever stay at the Princess Kaiulani ever again (at least not until they update it).

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani thumbs down

I mean, for the most part, it was fine. The problem is that there are so many other great hotels in the immediate area, all costing the same amount of money (or less). If that’s not enough to convince you to stay away, here are all the pros and cons of this hotel based on my own personal experience:


  • At least it’s clean. There was nothing about this hotel (whether it be in the lobby or my room) that made me curl all my toes in disgust.
  • The views from the upper floor rooms are spectacular. No matter which direction you’re facing, there will be lots to see.
  • The location is excellent! It’s literally right in the middle of everything, with the beach being less than a block away.


  • My room looked like it hadn’t been updated in a very long time. Everything from the phone to the furniture looked extremely dated.
  • The walls are paper thin. I could hear the people in the next room talking as if there was no barrier between us. I heard everything, and thankfully, they didn’t do anything disgusting.
  • The nightly rates are just as pricey as some of the more luxurious hotels in the immediate area. It’s not worth it!

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