The Modern Honolulu
(866) 970-4161 or (808) 943-5800
1775 Ala Moana Blvd.
353 rooms, 2 pools, restaurant, lounge, 24-hour room service, shop, 5 conference rooms, free resort-wide Wi-Fi and in room hi-speed Internet access, 24-hour business center, lanais on half of the rooms, free 24-hour fitness center, wedding coordinator, 46-inch or larger hd tvs, Kuerig coffee makers free upon request (including pods replenished daily), free microwaves and fridges (rooms come with a chiller) upon request, day spa, nightclub, valet-only laundry, valet-only parking. The building was originally built in 1964, and renovations were completed in 2010 for $240 million. It’s an 18-story building that actually used to be part of the Ilikai Hotel next door. They tout themselves as “luxurious, yet brilliantly laid back,” and we agree. This is one of the few places where Internet pictures just don’t do it justice, and we’ve never said that before. From the moment you enter, you immediately feel welcomed and relaxed. The color scheme is taupe and white mixed with dark browns and wood tones. The resort can be very busy, yet never feels crowded because there are so many places to hang out. They have two pools and decks, one for families and one for adults only. The family saltwater pool has a lounging area poolside, and both pools have a bar with poolside service for food and drinks. It’s not on the beach, but it embraces the Ala Wai Boat Harbor so well, it seems almost part of it. Extensive landscaping also helps keep the area from feeling stark and urban like many other Waikiki resorts. The music that plays throughout the resort is even piped underwater. The adults-only pool on the upper deck is a dark blue, 8- to 12-inch-deep wading pool with some chairs in the water and fine white sand encircling it. An abundance of large, cushy daybeds (no charge, unless you reserve them) are scattered around to lie on. Only wish the umbrellas were larger for better shade.
The rooms are very modern (hence the name) and white, which is a cleaner’s nightmare, and we can’t help but wonder if they’ll change their mind to something more practical. The view designations seem fair and are shown off well against the decor. They lend iPods and iPads to guests for free (as available) to use during their stay, and they come programmed with a broad music selection. Most bathrooms have showers only—no tubs, and we wish they had a held-held option for the shower head which is mounted pretty high up. (A problem if you have small children.)
They bring in varied live music and mainland DJs for their many venues. Their 9,200 sq. foot ballroom is impressive. Various specialty-type suites with large lanais can be used for weddings and special events. Someone even got married in the wading pool. Their shop is not a typical sundry, but a trendy gallery. And their day spa is simply called Spa.
The staff is exceptional and welcoming. This is one of our new favorites in Waikiki, but it’s a pretty long walk to the center of Waikiki, so you’ll either want to hop a bus or drive. It’s also about a 10-minute walk to the beach along the shoreline. Valet-only parking is $28. Rooms (340–390 sq. ft.) are $500–$700. Suites (665–1383 sq. ft.) are $1,500–$7,500. Those rack rates are way too high, but discounts are easily available.
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