Dreaming of a fun and lively vacation to Hawaii, but want a bit of solitude while you’re at it? This is exactly what the Modern Honolulu offered me on my recent trip to Oahu. A modern, chic twist to the culturally rich and lively Oahu.
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Hawaii has become somewhat a home away from home for me, where I become emotional even just thinking about leaving. However, the food is fantastic (think large, filling, and tasty), and the people are warm. One of a kind, making your vacation that extra bit special. I often have the opportunity to travel anywhere globally. Still, I always find myself migrating back to the magical islands in Hawaii. So I was obviously delighted to return and thrilled for the Modern to host me and to try something new compared to my usual stay in the heart of Waikiki and the buzzing tourist zone. I was surprised that there is a whole other world around the corner at The Modern Honolulu.
Having only been present for a few years, this popular Hawaiian property has fast boomed to become one of Hawaii’s hottest and most recommended properties. Being home to Morimoto Waikiki, one of Hawaii’s most in-demand restaurants, as well as Hawaii’s hottest nightclub, Addiction, it is no wonder so many people are raving about it. No matter where I am, whether it be in Australia or overseas, if Hawaii is the topic of discussion, The Modern will somehow pop up. It is definitely a local favourite, acting as a fresh alternative from the more accessible and common beach resorts, and provides guests with a relaxing modern hideaway.
The Modern Honolulu: A Hotel Like Paradise
With stunning views over Oahu’s Ala Wai Harbour, as well as the sandy white Hawaiian beach, you really are in paradise. The hotel itself is a lovely small boutique size property that is almost always fully booked. However, it still provides guests with their own space and relaxation opportunities. It is never too busy, and you will always find a seat by the pool or in the dining areas. Waking up nice and early was a real treat, the perfect opportunity to enjoy the swimming pools to myself and have a nice fresh Hawaiian breakfast whilst watching the sunrise. On the flip side, sitting on the decking beside the pool late at night provided a different but breathtaking experience. The moon illuminated the water beautifully along with the colourful underwater lights to provide the perfect evening setting. To keep in tune with the modern flair, the pool music could also be heard underwater via the underwater speakers. My mind was truly blown!
Not only were morning and night a sight to be seen, but the sunset was also out of this world. The sunset provided amazing colours over the pool, ocean, and harbour, with my favourite view coming from the adults-only pool on the deck’s upper level. The colours lit up the sky and marina just beautifully, reflecting on the lower-level pool, which gave a breathtaking and opulent scene.
The Modern Honolulu: The Pools
The guests at the Modern were varied. Ranging in age from the ’20s through to the ’50s, it was a sea of beautiful people. Those such as myself seeking a serene, relaxing environment generally spent a lot of time by the adults-only pool surrounded by soft sand, pool beds and double-seater lounges, and a forest of palms. The views were spectacular, and the shallow pool was the perfect destination to hop on a white floating pool bed and float in heaven. The views from this pool over the main pool and the marina were stunning. I really found it hard to leave. Once discovering the frozen coconut mojitos, they kept on rolling in, becoming somewhat of a daily staple.
Shooting day and night was made absolutely fine by the few hours during the day when the glistening sun was at its hottest, where I would just float in the pool amongst the palms, soaking in some Vitamin C and enjoying my refreshing cocktails.
Meanwhile, the main pool on the lower deck was suitable for all ages, with children and adults enjoying the water and the convenient location of the Grove bar and restaurant. The double-seater daybeds are available for hire at both pools and are a definite recommendation. So think Miami glam and spoil yourself a little.
The Modern Honolulu: Nearby
The location of the Modern was also another plus. As I said earlier, when in Waikiki, I usually stay right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Waikiki centre, so I had no idea what to expect giving the Modern a try. It was easily within walking distance to Kalakaua Avenue, the main strip of restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Even closer was the Beach Walk, which is another similar strip on a smaller scale. It is also located right next to the child-friendly Hilton Hawaiian lagoon pool, which is a must-visit for all families with kids and those beginners wanting to give stand up paddleboarding a try. The water is completely flat and perfect for beginners.
The Modern is also dangerously close (think 3-minute walk, close) to the Ala Moana shopping mall. The mall where I did some serious credit damage. So the location is dangerous if you’re an easy shopper like myself. The main Waikiki Centre is also about a 20-minute walk from The Modern. The walk is beautiful and scenic; however, if a stroll isn’t your thing, an open-air trolley can take you directly there from just outside The Modern.
The Modern Honolulu: The Room
Now! On to the nitty-gritty. The room. It was fabulous! One of the highlights of the property. Such a great minimalist chic combination. I was placed in the oceanfront suite, and judging from just the room’s title, I knew we were in for something unique. Being super high up is always important to me for spectacular views. Luckily enough, we were placed on one of the top floors on the corner of the building, with the best view in the house. I woke to sweeping views of both the harbour, ocean, and pool area every morning. With two balconies, one facing the harbour and southern beaches, and the other facing Waikiki beach and the two pools, you could really enjoy all angles of the property and its surroundings. The bedroom window opens directly onto the harbour, and its blue waters giving you that perfect serene wakeup. The white drapes, white walls, and white furniture made the suite chic and homely. A soft white L-shaped lounge was ideal for ending the day sunken into soft pillows whilst sorting through thousands of shoot images. Room rating? 10/10.
The Modern Honolulu: Dining
The dining options at Modern are also vast and varied. With Morimoto Waikiki by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto being on location, it is no wonder the property is always buzzing. This is one of the most in-demand restaurants on the island. President Obama counted as a regular. The Grove and the Passageway are two other more laid-back alfresco dining options. My favourite meal is the famous fish tacos (yummmmm!). They are located next to the main pool, and seating is amongst beautiful arbour, bougainvillea and hibiscus trees.
So to describe the Modern in one short word, I would call it “modern.” It is for the traveller who wants an island getaway with a chic and happening edge. The Modern is undoubtedly a hotspot and has a classy modern twist on island life, with the option to stay within the four walls of the resort or venture out to the shops and beach.
When walking through the entrance of Modern Honolulu, it is hard to not fall in love. The decor is beautiful and very unique. The food is drool-worthy, and the rooms are always in pristine condition, serviced twice a day. If you cannot stay at the property, at least put aside the time to pop in for a nibble, a drink by the bar, or a dance in their nightclub. There is always something happening on at the modern, and you will find yourself there one way or another. If you are flexible with dates and interested in a bit of a party, on the first Sunday of every month, the Modern plays host to a Grey Goose party by the sunset adults-only pool, with locals and tourists coming out for some fun! Although I wasn’t there for it this time, it has definitely hit my bucket list. I will be back for a party under the sun.