Waikiki has so many options and yes even kama’ainas ( locals) do venture there now and again. I think its best to stay on either end of Waikiki to stay out of the traffic fray- there always seems to be some roadwork on the main drag of Kalakaua Ave. There are two directions on this side of the island: Ewa and Diamond Head. So here is a fantastic place on the Ewa end of Waikiki.
Do you remember the opening for the old Hawaii Five -O show? Steve McGarrett is standing on the lanai of the newly built Ilikai Hotel ( curiously the real name of the developer was Chin Ho). The Modern is in what was part of the Ilikai complex. It boasts 353 rooms and suites, a Morimoto Restaurant, a fantastic sandy shallow “Sunset Pool” and has a hip night spot “ of the moment” if you like that.
Opt for the Penthouse if you are feeling flush. A large deck provides a perfect place to sun yourself. With dining room, entertainment space, ocean and marina views you’ll feel like a prince or a certain now- local T.V show star does when staying here. Order in something from the menu at Morimoto’s for a private deck party. It’s casual and elegant but still beach-y here. Just the feel you’d instruct your designer to give you if you owned a pied-a-terre on the Diamond Head gold coast not far from here. And it’s yours for the asking.
This was published as a highlight at AFAR.com