Hawaii as a holiday destination is evolving to cater for people that don’t see Hawaiian shirts and family holiday resorts as must see features of the Polynesian islands.
Located directly adjacent to the Hawaii Yacht Club, The Modern Honolulu opened in September 2011 with 353 guest rooms, including 30 suites and a penthouse.
The guest rooms are in addition to an 800-guest ballroom, meeting studios, an indoor/outdoor terrace, a nightclub, two swimming pools, a day spa and renowned Japanese restaurant. This place really does have it all.
As you pull into the hotel’s driveway, a valet and porter rush down to greet you, as if they were expecting you to arrive at any minute. This type of service not only clears the driveway quickly for new guests, it also displays a high level of professionalism and service.
The experience continues as you walk into the reception area toward the large wall-hung surfboard pieces and modern matte-finish wood reception desk. A refreshment and face towel is offered while the check in process takes place — definitely a treat to take the edge off a long flight or inter-island commute.
The check in area is an impressive expanse of wood, lush seating and the entrance to The Study — a unique place within the hotel that opens from 6PM and features a place to eat, drink and relax. While most would expect a conventional entry door, The Study opens to the public from 6PM by virtue of a rotating bookcase.
While the original hotel on this premises (the Ilikai Yacht Harbor Tower) opened in 1964, the renovated Modern Honolulu bares no resemblance. Everything from the lifts to the softly toned hallways looks fresh, new and unfettered.
We started our stay booked into an Ocean View Junior Suite. As you walk into the room, there’s an immediate hit of luxury and substance. Light coloured features, such as white walls, white sheets and neutral carpet make the suite look far bigger than it is — not that it wasn’t big enough to start with.
That theme follows on to the sleeper lounge that wraps around the wall adjacent to the bathroom. The comfy seating/sleeping area perfectly complements the rest of this uber-luxury suite.
Down days mean movies and movies are best viewed on a big television. Thankfully, The Modern Honolulu has guests covered. Each guest suite comes with a huge 46” high definition LCD television. Television shows and movies are also screened in high definition, making the viewing experience beyond impressive.
Suite rooms feature a swivel mount for the television, meaning that it can be viewed from the bed along with the sleeper sofa. Movies and television shows can also be purchased to watch on demand, so you don’t have to miss your favourite show just because you’re on holiday.
In addition to visual entertainment, guests are also treated to JBL branded iPod docks in each room. If you don’t own an i-Device, don’t despair because guests can loan iPods and iPads preloaded with tunes.
In the bathroom, the light colour theme continues with white wall tiles and light coloured floor tiles. An oversized sink sits next to venetian blinds, which can open up for visibility into the lounge area. While this is a great design feature, it can limit privacy if you and your guest are not as close as some couples.
Coffee lovers will enjoy the use of complimentary Keurig coffee from the Keurig coffee machine delivered to your room with daily free coffee refills (coffee is normally refilled nightly during the turndown service).
Other free guest amenities include site-wide Wi-Fi, a 24-hour business centre with printer and Internet access, along with a free 24-hour fitness centre (both accessed with the guest room key).
Both outdoor pool areas offer a unique leisure experience. The lower pool is a ‘family friendly’ pool, is heated and is filled with salt water. Poolside service is available at both pools, with staff very attentive and quick with orders.
The bar at the lower pool will even whip together cocktails to help take the edge off a hard day shopping or sight seeing. There is also a happy hour, helping you get the most of your night!
Lounges poolside are available to all hotel guests, while large sun lounges can be hired and reserved at the start of the day.
For a more personal experience, the upper pool is a wading pool, but restricted to adults only. It’s a tranquil oasis that offers the ultimately in relaxation.
We sampled several menu items during our stay by the pool and were very impressed with the quality and taste of the food. The prices were in line with what I would expect at a high-end hotel.
For those after some world-class dining, there’s no need to travel far. Morimoto Waikiki is The Modern Honolulu’s signature Japanese restaurant that is headed by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. A traditional mix of Japanese and Western food builds the contents of a menu that ranges from tuna to Australian steak. It truly is a special dining experience.
After a hearty dinner, Addiction Nightclub can be heard calling your name. The roof of the nightclub features 40,000 reclaimed light bulbs, while the weathered steel bar stretches some 10m across the face of the dance floor.
If there were only one complaint I could make about The Modern Honolulu, it would be our room next to the elevator. We were told that the elevator stopped working from 10PM and that we shouldn’t hear a thing after that time.
Unfortunately, the elevators could be heard through the night and during the day while sitting in bed relaxing. Fortunately, the staff were able to move us without any hesitation or fuss, which was fantastic.
Pictures of The Modern Honolulu really don’t do the hotel justice. The level of style, sophistication, luxury and attention to detail shines through when you experience the hotel in person. The Modern Honolulu is the ultimate hotel for those people after a quiet, luxury and serene holiday getaway.
If the idea of screaming kids running around tired looking parents isn’t what you consider a holiday, look no further, The Modern Honolulu is the perfect place for you.
The Modern Honolulu
It's one of the trendiest hotels in Honolulu and Waikiki. The Modern Honolulu has all the features of a Hawaiian resort, but is peppered with modern style and trend setting attributes. It's not the cheapest hotel in Honolulu, but certainly feels like one of the most stylist.
- Dining and Entertainment