Honolulu, United States

The Modern Honolulu

Rates per night from$170.33

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD170.33), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


A bit of all white


Buzzy Waikiki Beach

Say Aloha to Modern Honolulu hotel a minimalist Hawaiian haven with two pools, four bars, a cool nightclub and a buzzy restaurant just a stroll from Waikiki Beach. Bright, white and very modern rooms are soothing, as is a walk through the private tropical garden.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

20 per cent off spa treatments plus a tropical fruit plate and mineral water upon arrival


Photos The Modern Honolulu facilities

Need to know


A total of 353 rooms, including 31 suites.


Noon, but flexible for US$100. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from $170.33, excluding tax at 14.96 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $30.00 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude à la carte breakfast (from US$12). A $30 nightly resort fee will be charged to each room; this includes a host of extras.


The hotel's resort fee gives you free access to Addiction nightclub, yoga classes in the gym and local sights such as the Honolulu Museum of Art.

At the hotel

Spa, nightclub, gym and free WiFi throughout. In rooms, flatscreen TV, iPod dock, iPad, tea- and coffee-making kit, free bottled water and bath products by Lather.

Our favourite rooms

Room 911 (an Ocean Front Suite) is on the hotel’s eastern sea-facing corner, and this means two balconies: one above the pool, another looking out to sea. It’s another wonder in white, with earthy shades and a huge teak sliding door. If you’ve got it, spend it: the impressive Penthouse may come with a hefty price tag, but it’s super-sized inside and out, with a wraparound terrace, as well as panoramic Pacific views from the bedroom.


The marina-facing Sunrise Pool is surrounded by teak decking and sunloungers, with giant squashy day-beds in a tropical garden, picnic tables and a cocktail bar. The oceanfront Sunset Pool is a lantern-lit adults-only plunge with an adjacent cocktail bar.


The spa has four treatment rooms, and separate mani-pedi stations. Everything is natural and neutral, including the plant-based Éminence Organic Skin Care products. Book in and have a muscle-calming Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, which simulates the movement of ocean waves.

Packing tips

You’ll find essential Hawaiian gear (sarongs, a ukelele) in your room, but don’t forget binoculars for whale-watching, as well as heels and look-at-me clothes for dressing up after dark.


Lightweight doggies (25lbs or less) can stay for US$50 a night. See more pet-friendly hotels in Honolulu.


Cots for babies are free; cost for extra guests and extra beds is US$65 a night. A local nanny can babysit if required.

Food and Drink

Photos The Modern Honolulu food and drink

Top Table

The tables are packed close, so be aware that any sweet nothings will be shared with your neighbours. Chances are it’s balmy, so head outside and dine on the lanai overlooking the marina or one of the poolside bars.

Dress Code

Go for understated, but refined island-inspired style here.

Hotel restaurant

Bougainvillea and hibiscus frame alfresco eatery The Grove Restaurant and Bar, which opens for breakfast at 7am. Start your day with locally-roasted Kona coffee or a fresh fruit smoothie, with a plate of decadent Banana-Macadamia Nut Waffles or eggs any way you’d like them. From noon through night, it’s the place for fresh salads, sandwiches, and island-inspired light bites; order an icy cocktail or two and lounge there all evening.


Hotel bar

Five: the Sunrise Pool has a cocktail bar; adults-only Sunset Pool has 100 tonnes of sand on its home-made beach, plus its own lagoon, as well as staff who’ll wander past your hammock and spritz you with Evian if you’re looking a little sweaty; the Lobby Bar hides during the day behind the rotating bookcase in reception and only reveals its giant sofas, low lights and custom cocktails at 6pm; industrial Addiction is the hotel’s own nightclub – queues go round the block for people wanting to get past the rusty steel doors into the concrete club and listen to sets by hot international DJs; and Morimoto has its own bar.

Last orders

Breakfast at the Grove from 7am to 11am; it stays open all day. Lobby Bar is open till 1 am Sunday to Thursday, 3am Friday and Saturday.

Room service

The full restaurant menu is available 24 hours a day.


Photos The Modern Honolulu location
The Modern Honolulu
1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Waikiki Beach
United States


Honolulu’s airport is eight miles away. Taxis from the airport run approximately US$30. United Airlines (www.united.com) and Hawaiian Airlines (www.hawaiianairlines.com) have routes from across the US, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland.


The drive from central Honolulu should take around 15 minutes. Valet parking (one vehicle a room) is included in the resort fee.

Worth getting out of bed for

Guests feeling active should seek surf lessons (or just some eye candy) from Honolulu firefighters at the Hawaiian Fire Surf School on Campbell Avenue (+1 808 737 3473;www.hawaiianfire.com). Take a glimpse into the island’s grand past with a trip to Iolani Palace, the only royal residence in the States (+1 808 552 0822; www.iolanipalace.org), or wander the Hawaiian Hall at the Bishop Museum, a homage to local art and history (+1 808 847 3511; www.bishopmuseum.org).

Local restaurants

Foodies full up on Morimoto sushi should try Chef Mavro on South King Street in Honolulu (+1 808 944 4714; www.chevmavro.com), for some fine dining with artfully matched wine. On the same street, Alan Wong’s is another celebrity-cheffed eatery shaking up the Hawaiian scene; be sure to book ahead (+1 808 949 2526; www.alanwongs.com). Town on Waialae Avenue has a chef with a thing for field-to-plate freshness at its helm; expect seasonal, organic and local dishes such as pan-roasted chicken with tatsoi (a Chinese leaf), grapes and pancetta (+1 808 735 5900; www.townkaimuki.com). If you find yourself in the State Art Museum, have lunch at its little sister – Downtown on Hotel Street (+1 808 536 5900; www.slowdowntown.com). Make time for a sushi session at Chiba-Ken (+1 808 941 2800; www.chibakenhawaii.com) on Ena Road. The choice of fishy morsels is extensive, and the chicken and pork mains are not to be sniffed at, either.

Local bars

The best nightspots are in Chinatown, where old warehouses and low-rise shop buildings have been transformed into cool bars and clubs. Head to North Hotel Street and try The Manifest (+1 808 523 7575) or Bar 35 (+1 808 537 3535).


Photos The Modern Honolulu reviews
Sue Gough Henly

Anonymous review

By Sue Gough Henly, Pleasure-seeking scribe

For years, Mr Smith and I have avoided Waikiki for fear it would be littered with tourists in bad Hawaiian shirts and wilted purple leis. That, and the trend of area hotels resembling something between a shopping mall and Disney's Adventureland: in other words, the exact opposite of a tropical escape on one of the world’s most remote islands.

Then, we heard whispers of a hotel that was sexy and sophisticated, a minimalist haven with a beach-pad vibe. What sealed the deal was the fact that we could fly Hawaiian Airlines from Sydney to New York via Honolulu to enjoy a languorous few days lounging in laid-back luxury at The Modern Honolulu, a sleek high-rise hotel.

We swoosh up to the entrance in our dinky rental car and a friendly crew welcomes us. Check-in is a breeze, although Mr Smith can’t take his eyes off the collage of broken surfboards behind the pale oak reception desk ("Are the waves really that monstrous?" he whispers desperately). The boards, it turns out, were broken in competitions on Oahu’s North Shore by the champion likes of Kelly Slater and Andy Irons. Phew.

Our airy Ocean View room is awash with white linens and beige furnishings…a grey throw rug lies across the king bed, brown teak shutters partially screen the scalloped deck. Ian Schrager had a role in the hotel design and went for a look that was cool and cream, just like his house in the Hamptons (or so we hear); regardless, he certainly knows how to do casual beach-chic.

Within moments we are lounging on comfy chairs on our private deck, gazing out across the yacht-dotted Ala Wai harbour to the blue Pacific. Mr Smith strums a tune on the room’s yellow ukulele; I have donned one of the three, bright Hawaiian-print pareos thoughtfully left for our use. For those of you who don’t have access to the Hawaiian language translation app handily loaded onto our loaner iPad (also queued up with Hawaiian tunes), a pareo is a sarong.

We head to the Sunrise Pool (one of two pools – the other one, is the adults-only Sunset Pool), swooning on a couple of the wooden deck’s sunloungers and ordering two Frozen Coconut Mojitos from one of the super-cool staff. I spy on our fellow guests from behind my dark sunglasses: a couple is on a day bed with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, 20-somethings in string bikinis are talking on their iPhones, a toned surfer strolls in with his surfboard. French, English, Australian and New Zealand accents are sprinkled among the Americans. We stay long enough to enjoy some live acoustic music, and, as the bougainvillea-framed pool bar gets livelier, fairy lights in recycled wine bottles light up the trees.

We could’ve been easily convinced to partake in another potent round, but we have a dinner date to keep at in-house restaurant Morimoto, of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto fame, whose other top-notch spots can be found in Philadelphia, New York and Napa. The last rays of pink streak across the sky as we settle in on the deck and enjoy Morimoto’s original interpretation of poke, Hawaii’s raw-fish dish. This one is served with bocconcini, avocado wasabi sorbet and dashi foam. Then we indulge in a fishing fleet of sushi and a delectable dish of yellowtail, cooked tableside in a hot stone bowl with vegetables and rice.

Back in the room, Mr Smith wants a nightcap, but, upon opening the minibar, we discover only a note saying that we can order funky cocktail combos from room service. One that catches his eye is the Pleasure Package. All I can say is that the whipped cream is not for cocoa.

The next morning, we feast on macadamia waffles with caramelised bananas on a terrace behind the pool, its back wall decoratively decked out with hanging ferns. Perusing the hotel shop nearby, we are tempted by groovy swimwear, sunglasses and surfboard cheese boards – not to mention the bright blue piggy banks by LA artist Steve Allen. “They keep running out the door,” says the shop assistant, who Mr Smith notes is as sexy as all the other staff, and possibly even sexier than the clientele (present company excluded, of course).

Today we base ourselves at the round, cobalt-blue-tiled Sunset Pool, which has been enterprisingly landscaped with palm trees and fine white sand – a welcome addition since the Modern is not right on Waikiki Beach. It is, however, only a short and picturesque lagoon-side stroll away.

As dusk falls, we repair to the Study, a speakeasy-like bar off the lobby that appears after 6pm when the bookshelves are turned ajar. Sinking into leather chairs in a cosy nook surrounded by billowing cream curtains, we get literary, Hawaiian style. Mr Smith orders War and Peace, a Jack Daniels Tennessee sour mash, bruised to perfection with lemon, fresh mint, and Peychaud’s bitters. I choose The Scarlet Letter: Stolichnaya vodka, flash infused with fresh pineapple and orange, bound in cranberry and served over seltzer.

Clinking glasses and toasting okole maluna to another day in paradise, we settle in for the bookish night ahead.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Modern Honolulu’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Upon arrival at the modern honolulu we were greeted with a very welcome drink and hot towel. The staff were fabulous and although our room wasn't ready as we arrived early, it was sorted swiftly. The room was large and contemporary but designed with styl, with a fabulous view of the harbour – the lounge chairs on the balcony were a bonus. Food within the hotel restaurant was delicious although a tad expensive for the portion size; visit Ravish from 7.00pm onward for the happy hour food menu. Every Friday there are fireworks on the beach near the hotel and you can get a perfect view from the poolside bar. On a Saturday night the revolving bookshelf opens in the lobby and the bar behind gets very lively, if you wanted to continue the party downstairs the club offers free entry to hotel guests and is worth a visit. We had a lovely stay and would recommend it for couples, plus there is an amazing shopping centre 5 minutes walk away with all the designers you could desire. It's definitely worth booking a table at Azure for a sunset dinner: the food and the setting in the Royal Hawaiian were delightful. I would also recommend going out on a catamaran to get a different perspective of Honolulu and a couple of hours away from bustling wakiki beach.

Don’t expect

The main pool was pretty small and the adult only sunrise pool was barely a foot deep but you can still soak up the sun lounging around on a lilo. It was taking us about 25 minutes each day to walk down Wakiki beach to get to the good surf area – the hotel is not on top of the water sport action but instead in a quieter spot by the harbour. This suited us but did mean we did a lot of walking.


Stayed on 1 Sep 2017