Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Royal Hawaiian Hotel, also known as the Pink Palace of the Pacific, is a hotel located at 2259 KalÄkaua Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. One of the first hotels established in Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is considered one of the flagship hotels in Hawaii tourism. It opened its doors to guests on 1 February 1927 with a black tie gala attended by over 1,200 guests. The hotel quickly became an icon of Hawaii's glory days. It was the Hawaii residence or Western White House of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and boasts the bar that invented the Shirley Temple cocktail (as does Chasen's restaurant). The Royal Hawaiian closed on 1 June 2008 for a complete renovation. The property reopened on 20 January 2009 as a member of The Luxury Collection division of Starwood Hotels.

With the success of the early efforts by Matson Navigation Company to provide steamer travel to America's wealthiest families en route to Hawaii, Captain William Matson proposed the development of a hotel in Honolulu for his passengers. This was in hope of profiting from what Matson believed could be the most lucrative endeavor his company could enter into. Matson purchased the Moana mansion, fronting the Ainahau royal estate. Christening it the Moana Hotel, it opened in 1901 as the first hotel in Waikiki. With its overwhelming success, Matson planned and built the Royal Hawaiian Hotel which opened in 1927. During World War II, the Royal was closed to tourists and instead served as a place of rest and relaxation for U.S. submariners. While the Royal Hawaiian's lush tropical garden was (and still is) tranquil and poetic, on the beaches fronting the Pink Palace (sometimes referred to as the Pink Lady) one saw reminders of the war with rolls and rolls of barbed wire planted in the sand. The hotel was sold, along with the rest of Matson's hotels in Hawaii, to the Sheraton Corporation in 1959. During the 1960's, the Pink Palace was home to "Concert by the Sea" which broadcast daily through Armed Forces Radio Network (AFN). Soldiers would listen to sounds of home all across Vietnam, and then on R&R would come to Waikiki to visit the Pink Palace in person. In 1974, Japanese businessmen and brothers Kenji Osano and Masakuni Osano purchased the Royal Hawaiian Hotel from ITT Sheraton. The Osano brothers formed Kyo-ya Company Limited, a subsidiary of Kokusai Kogyo Company Limited as the corporate entity charged with overseeing the hotel properties they had bought from Sheraton, including : Moana Hotel, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel, Sheraton Surfrider Hotel and the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. All are managed today by Sheraton Hotels and Resorts Hawaii. The purchases put the Osano brothers on the Forbes List of World's Richest People in 1999. After the death of the Osano brothers, Takamasa Osano inherited the billions of dollars owned in properties. Along with the Moana Hotel, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel continues to be one of the flagship hotels in the Osano corporate empire and is the part-time residence of the Osano family.

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel cost USD $4 million and took one and a half years to build. The six-story structure had 400 rooms and were of Spanish and Moorish styles popular during the 1920s. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel was influenced by Hollywood legend Rudolph Valentino and his Arabian movies. Cupolas were created to resemble Spanish mission-style bell towers. The pink color was taken from a popular American obsession of the era. The architects were Warren and Wetmore of New York City. The hotel's public rooms, notably the Oceanside Lobby and Recreation Lounge, were redecorated in 1946 by Frances Elkins, the sister of architect David Adler.

Notable guests and tenants
As soon as the Royal Hawaiian Hotel opened, a non-stop flood of tourists from the mainland United States poured through its doors. It served as the Pacific home to the world's most influential statesmen and early Hollywood stars. Its first official registered guest was Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, who would have been queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii had the monarchy survived. Duke Kahanamoku, the legendary Olympic swimmer and popularizer of the sport of surfing, frequented the Royal Hawaiian Hotel restaurants and private beachfront. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel became a favorite stomping ground for Kahanamoku's famed group, dubbed the "Waikiki Beach Boys". President Franklin D. Roosevelt at times conducted Presidential business from the Royal Hawaiian, and it was the first facility to be dubbed the " Western White House". During World War II, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel became home to many returning sailors off long war patrols. In 1961, the hotel appeared in scenes of the movie Gidget Goes Hawaiian . In 1977, the hotel was featured in the Charlie's Angels episode Angels in Paradise. More recently, the hotel was featured in several scenes of P.T. Anderson's 2002 film Punch-Drunk Love .

Building Activity

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