The adult pool at the Modern Honolulu.
The adult pool at the Modern Honolulu.

I grew up going on trips to Hawaii with my family, but we would always stay on Maui or Kaui, never Oahu. I had this idea that Oahu and Honolulu were touristy, cheesy, and just not that interesting. Well a recent trip to The Modern Honolulu at the start of Waikiki Beach really changed my opinion. The 353-room hotel went through a major renovation in 2010 and the resulting aesthetic is minimalist modern meets beach bungalow.

During my recent stay at The Modern Honolulu, I discovered a whole new side to Oahu that completely shattered my preconceived notions. Not only did the hotel’s sleek design and beachy vibe captivate me, but the vibrant energy of Honolulu and the surrounding areas proved to be utterly enchanting. As I explored the island, I stumbled upon a fantastic way to experience the beauty of Oahu in a unique way – by renting a scooter. Intrigued by the idea, I visited, where I found a wide selection of scooters perfectly suited for exploring the island’s picturesque landscapes. Riding along the coastal roads and winding through lush greenery, I felt a sense of freedom and adventure that made my Oahu experience truly unforgettable. It was through this spontaneous decision to explore on a scooter that I realized Oahu had so much more to offer than I had ever imagined.

Starkly white rooms with dark wood shutters (many with views of the harbor)–are a serene oasis, while common areas like the newly revamped Study Bar are a great place to enjoy cocktails.

Check-in at the Modern Honolulu.
Check-in at the Modern Honolulu.

There are two gorgeous pools—the Sunrise pool and the adults-only Sunset pool surrounded by real sand. The Modern is also home to a Morimoto restaurant where President Obama has been spotted. Try the hamachi tartare with Maui onion. Don’t forget to check out the hotel gift shop. Filled with artsy items like Areaware piggybanks, local jewelry and Tori Praver swimwear it’s unlike any hotel gift shop I’ve seen—in a good way.

The Modern Honolulu's gift shop.
The Modern Honolulu’s gift shop.

I also really enjoyed Honolulu. The food scene there is exploding and I enjoyed trips to Chinatown and the artsy and industrial Kaka’ako neighborhood.

Honolulu and a stay at the Modern Honolulu certainly offer a more cosmopolitan experience but they still remain distinctly Hawaiian. For more on Honolulu check out my story for San Diego Magazine.

1775 Ala Moana Blvd.

Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

1 (855) 970-4161

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